My latest interview is with the talented Rebecca Hamilton who is working on several books at the moment, including a book for the “Forever Girl” series. She is married and has three children, ages 3-6. She began writing about four years ago, and shortly after that she met RP Kraul, who quickly became her closest writing partner, best friend, and now business partner as well. She considers him at times her “muse”, her inspiration, and absolutely her mentor. She has learned so much from him and to now be running a business with him is a pure joy, especially a business that embraces an industry they both passionately love.
As her eldest has Autism and she herself deals with sensory issues and social anxieties that may be attributed to Aspergers, she often finds herself writing unusual characters and perhaps trying to bridge that gap between “mainstream personalities” and those who are considered “different”. She believes that if we understand these people who are different, we may see a beauty there that is unmatched anywhere else. She thinks that’s definitely there in her writing—that desire to show that different isn’t always a bad thing and that people like us aren’t really so hard to understand if you have the desire to try.
Books & Writing: Have you always been interested in writing?
Rebecca Hamilton: Most writers I know say they’ve been writing since they were kids. I’m not like most writers, though. I’ve been reading since before I was old enough to go to school, and reading has always been my first passion. I always considered writing a book as a bucket list item. Something I wanted to do “someday”. I wrote some neat creative stories in school, as was required, but I never really tried to write anything until about 4 years once. Once I completed my first book, however, I realized this was more than a bucket list task for me. This was my one true passion, my one creative outlet where perhaps I have some real talent. Finally I’d found an artistic outlet that I knew I could stick to. I’d always had an artistic mind, which beforehand I had expressed through poetry and clay-sculpting, but it wasn’t until I ‘discovered’ writing that I realized I had any artistic potential.
Books & Writing: How did you end up writing Horror stories amongst others?
Rebecca Hamilton: Initially, I’d set out to write “crossover” paranormal fantasy, meaning paranormal fantasy for adults and young adults. The end result was more something in between—perhaps a little too edgy to cross into the young adult audience. Within that work, though, readers of mine spotted some strong elements of horror. Just little hints, here and there. I wouldn’t say my first book is a horror novel, mind you. Then I wrote a literary fiction novel, and some hints of horror slipped into there as well. I think my horror-writing came out full force, however, when I sat down to write with nothing in mind. I had an idea for a paranormal story brewing in my head, but a “voice” came to me and I started writing that. That evolved to be the start of that paranormal story I had brewing…except once I started, it quickly became apparent I was writing horror. I will say I’ve never been good with Horror movies (I can’t stand the sight/sound of horror), but strangely, I’d always loved reading horror novels as a child and young adult, and now continue to do so as an adult who has rediscovered the genre. So I guess the answer to your questions is… is just sort of happened…was just always there, beneath the surface, and then one day it cut free and spilled onto the page.
Books & Writing: I understand your new book “The Forever Girl” is coming out this January. Can you tell us a little bit about the book.
Rebecca Hamilton: The Forever Girl is a paranormal fantasy novel with hints of romance, horror, and mystery throughout. The novel lends itself strongly toward a theme of acceptance and also a sense of ‘home’. It follows Sophia Parsons as she combats a family curse, uncovers a family secret, and discovers a dark supernatural hierarchy far worse than her town’s ‘Christian’ cult. In the end, she’s faced with the decision to either abandon her Wiccan faith or forfeit her opportunity to end her family’s curse.
Books & Writing: How did you come up with the story line for this book?
Honestly, I didn’t know anything about storylines when I started writing. And taking what I had an turning it into a storyline after the fact…well, let’s just say the current version of this novel probably doesn’t have a single sentence remaining from the original version. The story-line more evolved from trying to salvage some of my more basic ideas. Mostly, I knew I wanted a Wiccan characters and I knew that her early actions in the novel would ignite something beyond herself and set things into motion for her to end up going down the dark supernatural road to face a responsibility she wasn’t prepared for.
Books & Writing: Who designed the beautiful cover for the book?
Rebecca Hamilton: The cover for the first book in the series is a photograph of Maria Amanda (mariaamanda.deviantart) and it was taken by Rune Hammelstrup (hammelstrup.deviantart) as for the layout and design, that one is on me. I take care of the font and design around the images for my book covers, and for this series I’ve opted to do two covers for each book—one for print, and one for e-book.
Books & Writing: I read on your website beccahamiltonbooks that it’s part of a series. How many books will there be in the Forever Girl series?
Rebecca Hamilton: There will be seven books in the actual series, with three of those novels featuring Sophia, and the other four featuring a different character each time.
Books & Writing: Is there a special reason why Sophia, the main character for “The Forever Girl”, isn’t going to be in all the books from the series?
Rebecca Hamilton: Sophia is the “Spirit”, and the other characters represent Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. Her Journey is almost like a Trilogy within the Series, which is how it started, but I realized that the other characters she encounters in the last book of the series have such amazing stories of their own to share. I’m especially excited about the book I’m working on currently, which is book two in the series. Sophia, however, gets more page time because her story is the largest and she is the one who will ultimately bring everyone together.
Books & Writing: Is she based on someone you know? Or is she a mixture of people you know?
Rebecca Hamilton: If you asked me about Ivory or Lauren or Sophia’s Mom or Dad, this might be a little easier to answer, as there are pieces of people I know in all of those characters. Sophia, however, must be more of a subconscious smorgasbord of traits I’ve seen in others. Her personality is close to mine (She’s an INFJ((introversion, intuition, feeling, judging), I’m an INFP (introversion, intuition, feeling, perception)). I found her hard to write as she’s the rarest and least understood of personality types, but for many reasons, that made her the perfect character for this story. Her reactions to things, however, are very different from my own. If I’d written her to be just like anyone else I knew, this story wouldn’t be this story anymore. It’s Sophia alone that makes it what it is.
Books & Writing: You are also working on “Her Sweetest Downfall” as an appetizer you say, which has some connections to the series, but isn’t part of it. Why did you decide to not make this part of the series?
Rebecca Hamilton: Ophelia’s story (Her Sweetest Downfall) is related to the world and characters of the series, and she’s even in some of the books in the series, but I don’t see her story as part of the overall main plot. It’s more a plot of its own, just related. I am thinking of including other Journals as well. It’s kind of like bonus material.
Books & Writing: Do you have a favorite Author, which books you just have to read as soon as they come out?
Rebecca Hamilton: Nancy Pickard, hands down. I’m also a fan of Marisa de los Santos.
Books & Writing: Do you have any tips for aspiring female writers?
Rebecca Hamilton: Write what is on your heart. Write what you want to read. There will be others out there who want to read it, too. No matter how different we are, there are always others who can relate to us; we just have to find them.
Below is an exclusive excerpt from the book “The Forever Girl”
I passed by City Market, and a cold darkness blanketed me. The streetlight turned red, and the whispering curse throttled through my mind. For once, I wished the whispers were loud enough to distract me from my thoughts.
To tourists, the market was merely a place to stop in and purchase a few items for their hotel fridge. Belle Meadow, mountain resort town! They didn’t care about the town’s history in coal mining, and they certainly hadn’t heard about the murder, or how Mrs. Petrenko, now a widow, sold the building to City Market. The windows had been replaced with new treatments, the parking lot repaved, and the inside freshly painted and retiled. But the shell of the building remained, a constant reminder.
For months after the murder, I’d visited Mrs. Petrenko twice a week. She taught me to garden, taught me to identify the different herbs and their natural properties. She inspired me to look at what connected nature with humanity, which ultimately led me to my Wiccan faith, though I was certain that hadn’t been her intentions.
Mrs. Anatoly Petrenko was perhaps one of the sweetest women I’d ever met. And her pelmenis, hands-down, made for the best Russian cuisine I’d ever tasted. A few times, she told me I was the daughter she’d never had. She and Mr. Petrenko had come here to start their own business, and their hardships had gotten in the way of them starting a family. It was all these reasons, and more, that I eventually stopped visiting.
I didn’t deserve her kindness.
I want to thank Rebecca for answering my questions and the exclusive excerpt of course and wish her all the best!
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