Julie: Welcome, Rebecca. Thank you for joining our blog today.
Rebecca: Thanks so much for letting me chat with you and your people. I know it'll be fun.
Julie: Your website, www.rebeccasavage.com, especially your bio. in it, is very revealing. It seems that your career changed course in midstream. To what do you owe that change in your focus?
Rebecca: I think I've gone in so many directions because I'm a well-rounded person. I've traveled a lot, especially when I was in the military, and I love languages and people everywhere. I held a top secret clearance in the military, so that helped me decide what type of books I'd write first, but I've started branching out to other sub genres now. So I started in the military, then got out when my base closed and became a teacher of history at the high school level, and now I've added author to my resume. I also do taxes on the side, which means I think with both sides of my brain. Scary!
Julie: Having read as many books as you mentioned, you already had the formula for good romantic suspense. What book of all the ones that influenced you had the most impact on your style of writing?
Rebecca: Okay, so, not to sound like a broken record, but so many people like Nora Roberts, and I have to say I do, too. She's so fast-paced and stimulating. There's never a dull moment in her books. I hope there aren't boring points in my books either, but if there are, they won't last long. I promise.
Julie: Does your background in history affect the voice of your writing?
Rebecca: Yes, I had a hard time switching from writing like I was penning a research paper. Fiction is all action, dialog, and so on. Term papers are a very different animal.
Julie: Would you recommend belonging to the RWA (Romance Writers of America) to our already published Champagne Books authors? And if so why?
Rebecca: Okay, well, this one could get me in trouble either way, huh? Here goes. I have benefited immensely from the local level groups of RWA such as Carolina Romance Writers and Missouri Romance Writers, and the National Conference I attended in 2007 in Dallas was great, but...if you don't go to the conference, or join a local group, I see no benefit to being a part of the RWA national organization. The RWR Magazine (Romance Writers Report) is okay, and it gives you contest info and such, but the main benefit is being a part of the local group. So if you're gonna spend the money to pay the yearly fee to belong to RWA, then join a local group and go to the meetings. The members of those groups will be your best sources of information.
Julie: You showed a lot of discipline and integrity not hopping into RWA’s pool of judges when they put out the call at the local chapter level each year. You said you weren’t ready to judge or join critique partners then. What did you base that feeling on?
Rebecca: I didn't want to judge until I'd been judged. If I hadn't sold and published my own works, how would I know if I was doing the right thing or had the knowledge base or experience to judge or critique someone else's work? I'm not perfect now, but I've been working with editors and critique partners a while now, and I think I know what they're looking for. My writing has improved because of those folks, so I hope others can trust my judgment. Of course, I was an avid reader, but it's like driving. Watching and doing are two very different things.
Julie: Hoax agencies and publishers dupe many beginning writers. What would you say are the three most obvious warning signs that these people are not for real?
Rebecca: 1.) If they ask for money, they are bogus. All money flows from the author, not to them. Never pay for editing through false agency. I fell into that trap. See my warning in my bio. I paid $89 for a paragraph of generic advice, then found out the agency was a hoax. 2.) If no one in your groups or on any of your loops has heard of them, or if they've heard bad things, they're bogus. Ask. Ask. Ask. 3.) If they're not a part of some overall organization, they're probably bogus. Check them out.
Julie: One of the most impressive things that I noticed in your history was your faith in yourself and your willingness to, as Stephen King likes to say, “kill your darlings.” All those edits and reedits when you still may not sell the book can be wrenching. What drove you to stay with this and continue writing new material?
Rebecca: I'm a stubborn fool. “My” quote at the bottom of my emails, on my website and on everything I sign for my high school students is: Never let anything hold you down. Rise above it. I live by that motto. I'd never get anywhere if I didn't. Neither would anyone else. Besides, if you send your work to enough people and get the same feedback from enough editors, publishers, critique partners and everyone else, you'll soon learn they're right. Do the edits.
Julie, Tell us about your latest book to be released in September with Champagne Books.
Rebecca: Consequences: It's set in St. Louis, Missouri on The Hill, the Italian area of that great city. I'm from a small town near there, and I have a lot of family still in St. Louis. I go there often, and I love The Hill. I lived in Italy for five and a half years, so I speak the language and love the people. I had eight Italians in my house this June and traveled with them across the country. See my website for my travel info. So, the book is about a police officer, grieving for his murdered fiancée. He stumbles across a manhole on the street where his fiancée was killed, and he finds seven women shoved into the hole. He is a homicide detective, and he has to find out the identity of the serial killer and stop the rescued women from being murdered. The killer is still after them and won't stop until the task is finished. The heroine is the last victim, and the hero believes she'll be the most helpful in solving the case.
Julie: Sounds fascinating. I will buy that book for sure. It was a pleasure to talk with you, Rebecca. Thank you for your time today. How can our readers reach you?
Please, email using the contact form there. Anyone who contacts me within five days of this interview will be entered to win one free pdf copy of one of my books if they email me through that form.
Thanks for listening, and let me know if you like my work. I hope everyone does. I'd hate to be pegged as boring. It's my greatest fear...next to cheese. I'm lactose intolerant, so cheese is my ultimate worst fear. LOL
Interview contributed by Julie Eberhart Painter. Email email@example.com Website:
www.books-jepainter.com, author of Champagne Books newly released Mortal Coil.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Julie: Welcome, Rebecca. Thank you for joining our blog today.