INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR OF, "THE FOREVER GIRL" REBECCA HAMILTON Hello Rebecca! It is so wonderful to have this opportunity to interview you. Tell us how you got into writing paranormal fantasy, Gothic horror, and literary fiction?
My tastes for books have always been varied, and I found the ideas I had made it impossible for me to stick to any one genre. Even when I write in one, I’m often incorporating ideas from many. Horror novels were what I grew up on, so I think it was only natural that played a role in my tastes as a writer. My interest in literary fiction began in my teen years and has carried the way for a long time; I probably read more literary fiction than anything else. As for fantasy, that was my doorway to reading. I liked some things about the genre and used to read a lot of it when I was a child, so it has that comforting feel to it for me. But most fantasy just wasn’t quite what I was looking for. I found I liked contemporary fantasy best, but even then, there wasn’t much that was really quite right. I think that’s what really opened me to the world of writing; I realized if I wanted those books available, I’d have to write them myself. And so I began. Tell us more about your fascination with the Salem Witch Trials. Is there perhaps a historical link there or is this just something you find that really grabs your attention?
If it weren’t for the witch trials, I’d probably have zero interests where history is concerned. I am not sure why it fascinates me as deeply as it does, but perhaps it’s something about those themes of acceptance and the way society will believe anything to fit or be entertained, the way society will hurt anyone to get what they want. Psychologically, those things interest me, and so when I see those themes in anything, my interests are piqued. We'd love to know more about those multiple personalities that you live with. This seems to be a norm for most authors, do you find it scary at times to have so many characters roaming around in your mind?
Scary? Not really. They are pretty good at staying locked away until I need them (or until I’m in the shower or about to go to bed). Maybe it’s because I’m such a busy person. I’m never bored. I do find, however, that sometimes my characters can influence me. When I’m writing certain characters, I tend to be bolder in life. Writing other characters leads me to be more contemplative. Some make me more of a joking sort; some make me sensitive and emotionally in tune with others. If you had to choose one supernatural entity that is your utmost favorite, what would it be and why?
From my book, I really like the Ankou the best. They play a small role in Volume One of this series, but in later books they play a stronger role, and I just find the things they do and experience to be the most original and fascinating. Also, their lives lend more toward creepy experiences (which I adore to read/write about) so that’s why they are my utmost favorite. Tell us more about your books, and what we can expect from you in the near future.
This series is bit unusual. I’d venture to say that it probably won’t appeal to “die hard” fans of any particular genre, or those who go into a book with expectations. I tend to mash up a lot of elements (paranormal, romance, mystery, horror, historical, etc) and while each book may lean more heavily toward one of those avenues, the next book might learn more heavily toward something else. The series is also unusually set up. Books 1, 4, and 7 are Sophia. Books 2, 3, 5, and 6 are each a different character (Sophia brings everyone together in Book 7). Some people might like having the break to see new characters. Some might not like the large gaps between Sophia’s books. I know I can’t make everyone happy, but I think for those who just LOVE reading (anything they can get their hands on with an interesting story and well-developed characters) will be able to get into this series. One aspect of your life you mention in your bio that I find not only interesting but heart-warming is the fact that you have a child with autism. This is a problem that many parents find themselves dealing with. Give us some insight into how you deal with it, and perhaps some things you've discovered that help.
The hardest part is being surrounded by other people who don’t understand even when you explain it to them. I relate to my son in a lot of ways and while I can’t understand everything he goes through, I try to think about things from his point of view. If you don’t, you’ll just easily find yourself angry/annoyed/etc as many others in his life get with him. Also, the school systems are the WORST. Their knowledge of autism is so outdated that I think it would stun even doctors from the nineties. How they can be so out of date is beyond me, but they seem to think that all autistics are either 1) Rain Man or 2) Completely non-verbal and non-functioning. I wish to raise awareness about those spots on the autism spectrum that aren’t as well understood, so these kids can find support instead of being treated like “bad kids” or “problem children”. How I deal with it? One day at a time. Things that help? Focusing on every special moment my son brings into my life that others may never have the pleasure of experiencing. Tell us more about your family and do you allow them to critique your work?
My husband has no interest in reading my work. My mom I won’t show my work to (at least not the Forever Girl Series). My uncle and my dad are both reading, and so far I’ve only heard back from my dad, who is totally honest (it’s not his thing, but he’s proud of me, and he wants to hunt down every meanie who gives me a bad review LOL Really, I have to laugh. He’s great…AND he’s kidding. I always tell him I don’t mind those reviews. You can’t win ‘em all.) You are without a doubt an amazing woman, tell us how it is you juggle writing with family and other normal day to day activities.
Confession 1: I schedule my tweets. I want to be able to interact with everyone who follows me, but odds are, I wouldn’t be able to connect with even a fraction of them without scheduling tweets. So, when I DO have time, I scroll through all my @messages and reply to everything that needs a response.
My kids come first. I have to do therapies with my son for examples. There’s a lot of doctor appointments on top of that, and dentist appointments (unfortunately, my daughter—who takes impeccable care of her teeth—has my husband’s genetics more than mine, and keeps getting cavities). My daughter also goes to gymnastics 3x a week (she’s on the preteam and starts competitions this fall, I believe). I try to use that time to read, but I can’t resist…and end up watching her all or most of the time we’re there. So it’s hectic. Sometimes the laundry doesn’t get done… Who are some of your favorite authors that inspire you the most?
Nancy Pickard and Marisa de los Santos. If you haven’t read these authors, I highly recommend them! Do you have any advice you'd like to share with other authors, or in general that you think would be beneficial to our readers?
For authors—put everything you got into your MS, and if it doesn’t please everyone (which will happen, so this isn’t REALLY an “if”), look for what can be improved and write off what is simply a matter of preference. Never give up. You CAN have too many editors, but you can NEVER have enough proofreaders. Believe the people who believe in you.
Don’t ever forget that is the main purpose of reading. Authors tend to turn into readers who over analyze and become critical for the sake of critical. Fear not—the word is FULL of critics. So if you want to read just to read, go ahead. Read to enjoy. You can do this and still post reviews! I hear from a lot of people who feel they don’t know how to write a review, but I think those are the BEST reviewers. They are the people who are just going to say what they think. They aren’t going to try to analyze their review or see how they can show off their review skills or how they could totally be the next Roger and Ebert. Just be YOU. Because YOU are great. And being you, without trying to be something else, is so much more fun. Also we'd love you to share your links and let us know where we can find out more about you. www.beccahamiltonbooks.com (be sure to check out the Current Giveaways page, the Reviews page (for blogger reviews), and the Around the Web page (for previous interviews and guest blogs!) www.theforevergirl.com (coming soon) I’m always available to connect on twitter @InkMuse
My books can be purchased at the following links:
Barnes & Noble
Kobo Bookstore PRINT Edition:
Additionally, you can buy a signed copy direct through me for $14.95 Thank you again Rebecca for this wonderful interview. We hope to do this again in the near future!
Thank you SO much for having me