I love when interviews actually focus on the books themselves – most folks want to know more about the writing process than the story, so it was refreshing to take a deeper dive into the world on the page. Learn what headspaces the characters are in at the beginning of the work, my future writing plans, and even why my replicator order is “Absinthe verte, one cube.”
Catching up on appearances I’ve made over the past couple of years for food and fiction, and lo and behold! I never promoted my episode of the Swirl Suite podcast from last year! I love this group, or “squad” as they call themselves, of female wine and spirit professionals of color, based mainly in the DC area. Last year, they did a series, “Get to Know a Wine Blogger,” and I was thrilled to be asked to take part. Surprisingly, the only subject that’s out of date is that my fantasy novel, Wings Unseen, is no longer coming out but has been out for a year (pick it up on the right –>). Oh, and we’re a year past that Wine Bloggers Conference in Santa Rosa as well. Details, details. Otherwise, it’s a pretty fun interview!
In this 42-minute episode, you’ll first listen to Sarita (Vine Me Up), Glynis (Vino Noire), Leslie (Vino 301), Tanisha (Girl Meets Glass), and Melissa (the Liquor Lady) talking about summertime humidity, Juneteenth, and Oz restaurant’s Happy Hour in Arlington, VA. About eight and a half minutes, the ladies start chatting up myself and Tivon of Von Vino.
Tivon and I talk about how we got into wine blogging, how drinking it got us into wanting to record it and learn more about it. Then we all talk about the wineries we visited most recently and I say “like” way too often, as per usual. I’m a California Valley Girl – I can’t help it. Great tips follow for advice to wine bloggers just starting out, our favorite happy hours (shoutout to the Libertine!), we play a word association game, and a surprising truth is revealed — very few of us keep cases of wine at the ready! I also share some of my fiction writing process, which I’m in the depths of on two different books right now.
That direct Soundcloud link is right here. Or check out the show below on Youtube, which I queued up to right before my and Tivon’s introductions. Thanks for tuning in! And thanks to the Swirl Suite Squad for having me.
It has come. This is the last week I’m spending on bragging about Maya’s Vacation, my romance novella about a woman who has to decide if she wants to chance her heart on an old flame all while painting and eating her vacation away. This week, I’m sharing a few snippets of interviews I’ve done to promote Maya’s Vacation. I was interviewed at a couple of romance book and author sites. If you’ve ever wanted to learn a bit more about me or my romance novella, you should swing by them!
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. It is a beautiful book that blends religious striving, human suffering, cultural understanding, and language into a narrative about learning to live with aliens on another planet and learning to live with ourselves.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Viennese Cafe Waltz—it was a specialty flavor done by Safeway Groceries’ store brand for a few years: chocolate covered hazelnuts in a cinnamon, vanilla, and mocha ice cream.
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Eggs Goldenrod—cheese sauce over toast with sliced and grated hard-boiled eggs. Calories for the win!
Night owl or early bird?
Very much a night owl. I get a lot of eye rolls when I say I wake up around 10 am…until I remind them that means I’m in bed around 3 am.
Skittles or M&Ms?
M&Ms, especially those new coconut ones. If they made those in dark chocolate, I’d be in heaven.
Next on the agenda is Astraea Press’s blog, where I did an interview the day of Maya’s Vacation‘s release.
A random fact about your story.
Scrabble is not a recommended matchmaking method.A random fact about you as an author.
I’ve been writing stories since I mastered handwriting—though whether I’ve ever actually mastered cursive is up for debate. My first stories involved the La Brea Tar Pit and taking a ride on a unicorn with She-Ra. It was horror and fantasy from an early age.
Favorite line in the story (can be funny, romantic, etc).
My favorite line in the story is actually the very last one, which I dreamed—or rather, I dreamed a version of it that needed some editing. But I can’t share that one! Instead, I’ll pick this: Maya thought that interesting, but Dean’s soothing voice, like jazz spilling out of a sidewalk café, distracted her from giving it any further consideration.
Since three is such a beautiful number in writing, I’ll end the interview bragging post with this snippet from Fridays Off the Wall at Joselyn Vaughn’s blog last year.
Joselyn: Who would you cast as the main characters in a movie of your latest book?
Rebecca: In Maya’s Vacation, the main character, Maya, is a woman in her early 50s. She has a salt-and-pepper bob and an intuition that guides her strongly. I could see Kathy Najimy playing her. Dean, the main romantic interest, is an artist of the same age, lanky, and has a mop of curly blonde hair. Richard Gere with long hair would be a fun choice and would get that emotional angst just right, but I’d love Viggo Mortenson also. Danny Devito would be a perfect actor for Maya’s bustling friend, John. Naomi and Wynona Judd would have great fun playing Opal and Esther Donnelly, a pair of randy widows, as long as they don’t mind dying their hair pink.
Joselyn: I love the idea of a not 20-something heroine. We can find love at any age. What is your favorite line for your most recent book?
This is not from a book but from my short story, Apocalypse, published recently at Yesteryear Fiction. It is about a woman—a diviner, actually—who is noticed by someone else for the first time in her life, which makes her realize that she’s worth noticing: His face is alight with the reflection of something dazzling, something she has never seen but always been. From the novel, I can only give my second favorite line—my first is the last line of the book, and I don’t want to give that away! My second favorite is Maya thought that interesting, but Dean’s soothing voice, like jazz spilling out of a sidewalk café, distracted her from giving it any further consideration.
Joselyn: That is really nice imagery. Do you have any characters who keep bugging you for their own book? Will you give them one?
Rebecca: I assure you, both John and Opal from Maya’s Vacation are quite confident they are worthy of their own books, largely because they find themselves infinitely entertaining and think they are great catches to anyone of the opposite sex. The fact that I have no plans to do so simply mystifies them. Obviously, I’m not paying due attention to their charms, and they may be forced to try harder.
I hope you enjoyed those little tidbits on why I wrote Maya’s Vacation and just plain learning more about me. I can’t leave you without showing off that cover one more time and giving you links to where you can buy Maya’s Vacation for $1.99, now can I? Here’s where: Astraea Press,Amazon, or Barnes and Nobles.
Two weeks ago, I posted the first in my series of self-promotional blogs on Thursdays, titled the Bragging series, because I always feel less self-conscious about anything if I just embrace it fully. This week, I’m pointing you toward the interview I did with WOW! Women on Writing as part of placing third with the story I shared two weeks ago, Last Complaint. Here’s a little snippet from the interview where I describe what some of my thoughts were in forming the main character:
WOW: That’s so true. Creating a hook that keeps readers invested is the goal. Your creation of the main character is brilliant. She’s self-centered, lonely, demanding, and vulnerable. That’s a powerful combination. What does her attitude say about the state of humanity?
Rebecca: Since she spent her life not taking other people’s feelings into consideration, she essentially removed herself from humanity and they no longer wish to consider her feelings, either. Through rejecting the simple human connection that comes from things as basic as treating the people around you with respect, she has essentially lost the right to that same treatment herself. Not that I want people to read about a murder and cheer on her death, per se, but I do like that it’s a bit of a comeuppance for her and the way she’s lived her life.
Read the rest of the interview here. If you do, you’ll learn about my other motivations for writing Last Complaint (hint: they aren’t that deep), why I started this blog in the first place, and my long and sordid history with General Hospital. This was the first interview I did regarding writing, and it’s still one of my favorites, even if I gave the dreaded “Write, write, write” answer for what advice to give new writers. I still hang my head in shame when I remember it.
Last week, as part of winning 3rd place in Women on Writing’s Summer ’09 Flash Fiction contest, I was interviewed on The Muffin Blog. We covered my inspiration for Last Complaint, how and why the character came to be the selfish yet somehow human character that she is, my food/wine/cocktail reviews, my lifelong obsession with General Hospital, for which I write a weekly column at Eye on Soaps, and my fantasy novel. So if you’d like to read more about any of the above, wander on over! I’d love to hear your comments on it, either over there or over here.
Switching gears, I’m mulling over any blog-related resolutions I might want to make this year. In the past year, I’ve gone from the occasional post to nearly daily ones, increased my traffic around 100%, and added in other blogger’s thoughts on wines, in addition to some smaller changes. I think that what I’m missing is more communication with other blogs! But how to fit that in with a schedule where I really don’t just plain write as much as I should? Hmm. Must think it over. If you have a blog that you don’t think I visit, though, please leave the link in the comments and I will add it to my roster!
On my fiction/creative nonfiction goals, I plan to submit at least one piece a week to either a contest or magazine/journal, as long as I have finished ones ready to go. That shouldn’t be too hard to do, right?