Thursday, 11 April 2013

Author Interview - Rebecca Ethington



Tell us a bit about your family. Well let’s see, I grew up in a small family, being the oldest of three, one brother and one sister, and now have my own small family. I’ve been married for ten years and am the proud mother to two very crazy little girls. My poor husband is incredibly out numbered; he’s the only guys amongst three very emotional gals.

What is your favorite quality about yourself? I love that I am able to take criticism. Between years of performing theatre and then writing I have gotten very used to hearing the negative about myself. I think a lot of people let that stuff tear them down, heck even I do at times, but being able to pick the negative apart and find ways to make yourself better is really something. Besides, it’s a great feeling to know that I am getting better.

What is your least favorite quality about yourself? I always failed these questions in job interviews. I would have to say my temper. I am a woman and therefore can go from zero to angry in 2.5 seconds.

What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why? “Sometimes the hard jobs are the ones that are really worth doing” – Rainbow Brite, Chasing Rainbows.
Yep – I am totally a ‘80s kid at heart. I actually used to collect Rainbow Brite dolls, which is probably why I went for the Rainbow Brite quote – but even beyond that – it’s just a really great quote.

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? So Much! I have great kids, a huge history of amazing on-stage performances that absolutely fill my life with good memories and experiences. I have great friends, and a really awesome book that people love. I would say I’m full, but there is still so much room!

What is your favorite color? Purple

What is your favorite food? Tune Fish Rice Patties (And now, I know what I am having for dinner)

What’s your favorite place in the entire world? Disneyland. Dude. It’s a hands down win. Of course, I haven’t been very many places, so ask me in a few years.

How has your upbringing influenced your writing? My childhood was full of imagination. My parents were both theatrical people, so I grew up in a theater. I would take naps in audience chairs and piles of costumes; I would have snacks in green rooms, every evening a rehearsal. I think that type of upbringing will give anyone a magical, all imagination, outlook on life. I blame that for the way my mind works more than anything.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? My grandparents owned a bookstore and would only give books for presents. I always told stories and my grandmother would always tell me that if I would write one of those stories down she would turn it into a book. I wish I hadn’t waited quite so long to let that story out of my head, and write it down. But, I am really glad that I did.

When and why did you begin writing? I actually wrote Kiss of Fire, my debut novel, for my grandfather’s birthday. He is 94 and lives several states away. One day while we were on the phone he made a comment about how my grandmother used to love my stories. It was that comment that sparked the idea as writing it for a gift. I would have never thought that other people would have loved it too!

How long have you been writing? I have been writing short stories and scripts since I was in second grade. Kiss of Fire (released Oct. 2012) is my debut novel.

When did you first know you could be a writer? When people started buying Kiss of Fire – and actually kept buying it, and liked it. The book has done remarkably well, and only by word of mouth advertising. I would have never imagined the success that this book has seen. It’s like a dream come true.

What inspires you to write and why? My grandmother. She loved books, as if owning a book store wasn’t proof enough. I like to think that every book I write would go on her ‘top ten’ list, but I want it to be worthy to be there.

What genre are you most comfortable writing? Any. Really. I just write the stories in my mind, and I have so many that stretch over every genre – it’s crazy! I am really excited to write them all too.

What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? I think the most challenging bit about writing, especially in the case of Eyes of Ember, is not being able to type fast enough. Lol There are so many challenging bits, making the manuscript plot hole free, creating believable characters, pacing.. it goes on. But that’s all frosting, the stuff you perfect at the end. For me, getting the story out can be frustrating. Sometimes my fingers just don’t move fast enough.

Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it? Writing Eyes of Ember really taught me the value of my family. I never would have expected to get so much support and encouraging words! It was really a great reminder as to how awesome my family really is.

Do you intend to make writing a career? You know, it was always in the back of my mind as something I would really enjoy doing. Who would have thought I would actually be good at it, and that people would love what I do. So yes, I have many more stories to tell, and I am excited to do it!

Have you developed a specific writing style? One of the things that my reviewers tell me is that they love my writing style. I never really tried to have a specific style, I just kind of wrote the way I feel – but I guess people love it, so I will keep doing it!

What is your greatest strength as a writer? My ability to story tell, to create words, to have believable dialog. I spent so many years on stage, writing scripts, and at story telling festivals. All of those things have really given me a unique perspective on how to tell a story.

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? I run. I turn on the Lady Gaga station on Pandora, turn on an audio recorder and I run on a treadmill. As I run, I talk, recording everything, until I have figured out where to go next. I really love running; it truly clears your mind and helps me to see the path that the story needs to follow.

Can you share a little of your current work with us? Right now I am working on the third book in the Imdalind Series. The last thing I wrote was: “What’s going on in your brain, my love?” I asked her quietly in Czech, knowing that even if she was alert enough to hear me, she wouldn’t understand.”

How did you come up with the title? I actually don’t like the title to any of the books in the Imdalind Series. I made them all up before the books were written so when I gave my grandfather Kiss of Fire for his birthday present it would look like a real book. But then the book went crazy and I was kind of stuck with them. Normally, I come up with titles once the first draft is done, based on my favorite scene.

Can you tell us about your main character? Joclyn is shy, emotionally scarred and very introverted. She’s been abandoned by her father, and hides herself in multiple ways rather than facing the pain she feels. It makes her weak, but she isn’t really. She just has to find her strength. Joclyn is in love with her best friend, and by the end of the book is showing signs of her strength. By the end of the series she is pretty bad-ass.

How did you develop your plot and characters? This story has been in my head for quite some time. When I get a story I write notebook length outlines for them, as well as character studies, and any other details. I want to have the story fully thought out before I even start writing.

Who designed the cover? The cover for Eyes of Ember was designed by Sarah Hansen at Okay Creations. She did an amazing job, and I am totally in love with her for creating such beauty.

Who is your publisher? Because this book was written mostly as a birthday present I went the self publishing route. It’s been a really great experience, I love being an ‘Indie Author.’

Why did you choose to write this particular book? It was a story I used to tell my grandmother when I was younger. I was writing the story for her, in an indirect way, so it just seemed fitting that I would go with a story that meant something to both of us.

What was the hardest part about writing this book? For Eyes of Ember I think it would have to be living up to expectations. Kiss of Fire has been on three top 100 lists on Amazon for weeks, people love it. I was absolutely terrified that they wouldn’t love this one.

Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it? I have learned some Czech words, how much I love running, and above all how to put aside my embarrassment and actually tell people what I am doing.

How do you promote this book? With Kiss of Fire, for the first few months I did absolutely nothing. Kiss of Fire pulled itself to several top 100 lists all on its own thanks to some amazing new fans who diligently spread the word. Since then I have been learning to navigate the world of twitter, blogs, and online tours. It’s been a crazy experience! That’s what I am doing with Eyes of Ember, we’ve got twitter blasts and blog tours – its crazy!

Will you write others in this same genre? I will, along with quite a few other genre’s as well. I have about six other series in this Genre, two in New Adult, One in Urban and even one in horror. They are stuck in my head at the moment, but they will be extracted soon.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Never give up.

How much of the book is realistic? The majority of it, the series goes out on a limb after Kiss of Fire. But Kiss of Fire is very easy to relate to. In Eyes of Ember the world starts to open up and expand.

Have you included a lot of your life experiences, even friends, in the plot? Not a lot actually. Most of the characters and scenarios have stemmed from my crazy imagination.

How important do you think villains are in a story? Villains are vital to any story. That doesn’t mean the villains are something tangible or an all-encompassing bad guy; just an opposing force. There would be no story without that. How good your bad guy is though can either make or break the story.

What are your goals as a writer? To tell great stories! I love hearing from my readers that they loved my book and that they got so into the story they cried. It just turns me into mush inside! I will always wait until my stories are ready, and turn out great product – because I really want ever one of my stories to impact my readers.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? You mean for author signing or events? Not yet, but I hope so!! I really think it would be a dream come true to be invite to one, but heck, I would be just as excited just to go to one!

What books have most influenced your life? “Sideways Stories from Wayside School”, “Angela’s Ashes”, as a teen and “Playing the Jack” as an adult. I really love these books and they really did impact my life so much. I think there is a perfect book for everyone to help them get through their darkest hours, and these were mine.

Have you ever considered anyone as a mentor? Nope. I guess the position is available, so if anyone wants to apply you’re more than welcome.

Can we expect any more books from you in the future? Definitely. I’ve got to finish the Imdalind Series and then I’ve got a few more up my sleeves.

Have you started another book yet? Book three of the Imdalind Series is in the works. I am also working on book one of my New Adult series.

Where do you see yourself in five years? Somewhere warm. lol

What are your current writing projects now? I have got to finish up the Imdalind Series, and then I am going to start a new series – I haven’t picked which one yet though, my notebooks are just packed with crazy ideas.

Are you reading any interesting books at the moment? I just finished up Hopeless by Colleen Hoover and The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski. I really loved both of those.

What are some of the best tools available today for writers, especially those just starting out? The world of being an author has changed so much! My grandmother used to tell me that she ‘knew’ people in publishing and could help me to get my book published. But now, now you can do it all yourself and that level of control is amazing.

What contributes to making a writer successful? Taking pride in your work. I think anyone can write a story, and most of those stories can be amazing. But to really take pride in your work, to get it out there, edit it, give it an amazing cover. Those are absolutely essential for being successful.

Do you have any specific last thoughts that you want to say to your readers? I love you all!! No really, I would hand out giant bear hugs if I could. You guys are all amazing, and without your support Kiss of Fire and Eyes of Ember wouldn’t be anywhere near where it is now. Virtual hug!!

What do you do to unwind and relax? I run. My treadmill and I have a deep intimate relationship.

What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing? Not worrying about being able to take care of my family. We hit a rough patch when the economy collapsed and my family lived out of cars and relied on others for basics like food. To never have to worry again, and to give back to those who have helped us. It has been amazing!

Do you have any upcoming appearances that you would like to share with us? None yet, but hopefully soon!

If you could leave your readers with one bit of wisdom, what would you want it to be? Don’t wear socks with Sandals. Go for shoes if your toes get cold.

When you wish to end your career, stop writing, and look back on your life, what thoughts would you like to have? ‘That was amazing.’

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - YA Paranormal
Rating – PG
More details about the author & the book
Connect with Rebecca Ethington on Facebook & Twitter & GoodReads

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Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
Paperback -
Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
Smashwords -

3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
Smashwords -

5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
Amazon Kindle -

12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

Blog-A-Licius - Sherbet Blossom

SherbetBlossom

Blog-A-Licious

Dealightfully Frugal

Blog-A-Licious - The Few, The Proud, The Wife

Blog-A-Licious

My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo

tbaoo

Blog-A-Licious

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Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

Rediscovering Domesticity

Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun

Greatfun4kids

Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

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Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max


Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry

BlogNostics

My Awards - September 2010

My Awards - September 2010
Awarded By Jo Frances

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded By Alejandro Guzman

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded by Kriti Mukherjee

My Awards - April 2011

My Awards - April 2011
Awarded By Roy Durham

My Awards - June 2011

My Awards - June 2011
Awarded By Sulekha Rawat

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