I have the great pleasure of having Rebecca McKinnon on the blog today! Lost Amongst the Shelves is part of the blog tour for the release of Rebecca's second book, Cantrip, in The Refuge trilogy. I have reviews of Annexed and Cantrip up this week, so go and check those out!
Before I begin with the interview, I must say that Rebecca is the sweetest! Not only did she put up with my horrible memory (I totally forgot to send out my interview questions on the right date) but she remembered that today was my birthday! So on to the questions!!
Hi Rebecca! I wanted to say a HUGE thank you for asking me to be on the tour for your second novel in The Refuge Trilogy. I’d also like to offer you a HUGE congrats for publishing your second novel! These books have been an absolute thrill for me to read and I’ve enjoyed getting lost in The Refuge!
Thanks, Kristan. I’m really excited to visit Lost Amongst the Shelves. Also, I wanted to wish you Happy Birthday!
To start off, why don’t you give us five fun facts about yourself!
I have the ability to get hurt standing still doing nothing (which once caused me to break my nose).
Most of my best friends are characters in books.
I’m deathly afraid of moths—yes, I know it’s crazy, but twice in my life I’ve had a moth try to burrow into my ear!
As a kid, I read books while roller-skating.
I can’t buy my favorite ice cream without driving two hours. Aggie Ice Cream is made at the Utah State University creamery. While it’s not the university I went to, I’ll always root for USU—just because of their delicious peppermint ice cream!
Now, how about five fun facts about your books in The Refuge Trilogy, such as some hidden behind the scenes facts about the book, personal stories woven into the pages, crazy edits that didn’t make the final cut, etc.
When I picture The Refuge, I see it tucked high in the Rocky Mountains—probably because I was born and raised in their shadows.
The symbols used to depict Insertion and Absconding are designed in quadrants. Celtic knots that have these four sections are considered “protection knots.” These protection knots are wards to keep malicious influences from crossing through the barrier from the outside world.
Mac has become more controversial than I expected him to be. Some people love him and wish Narissa had fallen in love with him, while others think he has a hidden agenda. My view on Mac will become clear in the third book.
If things in The Refuge had gone according to tradition, Leah would be the next Council Head.
Cell phones not only work in The Refuge, but can cross over the barrier. Around The Refuge, flagpoles hide antennas. To cross into the outside world, the signal is sent through the computer link connecting the realities.
Twitter is really popular amongst bloggers nowadays. Describe this series in a tweet (160 characters or less).
A tale of adventure, choices, and different kinds of love. Narissa learns to live beyond her past and embrace the present.
Could you describe your own personal writing process? Any fun tricks or necessities you have to have in order to write?
My process isn’t very interesting, really. Generally, I have my kids playing around me while I write (which doesn’t actually work that well, but it’s what I can manage)!. I sit at the computer and go at it. For the first book in the trilogy, I did more revisions than I like to think about. I was trying to learn how to focus on more than one aspect of the book at once, but I made a pass through the book for the general story, then for details, then voice, and on and on and on. The second book I managed in three or four passes. Hopefully I’ll get through the third in two or three!
I love a great fantasy. You’ve created this incredible new realm for readers in the Refuge. How did you come about the idea for this story?
I didn’t exactly come up with this idea—the idea found me. It basically invaded my mind and wouldn’t go away. What else could I do? I wrote it down to make it stop taking all my attention.
The concept of this alternate reality that the characters reside in was absolutely mind-blowing and very creative! Did you have any difficulties with trying to relay this story to the readers?
I don’t think so—but feel free to tell me if I didn’t pull it off!
Narissa is a fantastic protagonist. I love her rebellious streak and strength throughout the series so far. She was definitely a fun read for me and by far my favorite character. What was it like creating her character? Did you model her after anyone in your own life?
I didn’t have to do much to create Narissa. She came to mind fully-formed. I did refine some things about her—and, I’ll admit, I gave her my habit of speaking without thinking.
Personally, when I read I love to picture the story like a movie in my head. If you could cast your favorite characters from the series so far, which actors would you choose?
On this one, all I can say is that I wouldn’t want anyone too famous. People would see them and picture their famous characters. If I were able to set that aside, I think I’d want Bonnie Wright to play Narissa. Christie Burke would also be fantastic!
What advice do you have for other aspiring authors? Especially Indie authors like yourself?
Work hard, and don’t listen to anyone who tells you the only people who self-publish are the wannabes who can’t get published any other way. Learn to have a thick skin, but still be able to learn from your critics.
Mostly, though, just don’t quit. I don’t care who you are, you can always be better with more practice!