Joining us today is Rebekah Nicole and
A Whisper in the Flame (The Ragers Series Book 1)
Where are you from? Does the area you live in influence your writing?
Absolutely. I grew up in a smaller town, just inland of Charleston, SC. There was lot of slow southern living, “Bless your heart” church going women, and 4 AM hunting wake-up calls. The nice part about where I’m from is that the beach was fifty minutes one way, a lake was fifty the other, rivers ran between them, and the foothills and mountains were only two-hours northwest. Great geography! While A WHISPER IN THE FLAME is set in North Carolina, there are definitely plenty of parallels from my hometown added in.
Tell us your latest news??
My first novel just released, so that has been a lot of fun trying to promote it and get it out there. I have a couple of different projects in the works at the moment. The first one is the second book in this series. The name is still to be determined, but I am hoping for a release around the end of the first quarter or beginning of the second quarter 2022.
The next project is another book series that is more in the YA fantasy realm. I am super excited about this one but also nervous because it will be by first work of fiction written from dual perspectives (or at least at this point it is!).
When and why did you begin writing? What inspired you to write your first book?
I was a late bloomer when it came to learning to read. I was behind everyone in my class. I struggled through Hooked on Phonics and most of the other reading tools out at the time. Finally, my parents bought me the Jump Start games, and for whatever reason, it clicked!
From then on, there was no turning back. I leapt straight into chapter books starting with the Magic Tree House Series. My love for reading and writing just seemed to explode. I remember writing my first full length play in the second grade and rehearsing it with my friends in the library. My grandmother is very artistic as well. She liked to write and paint, so I do see her influence in my own love of writing.
As far as what inspired me to write my first book; I will say, almost all of my stories from the last thirteen or so, have stemmed from dreams. Sleep! Dream! Try to remember or write down those dreams the moment you wake up if you can. It has inspired a good many short stories, my current novel’s concept, different sequences in the book, and future novel ideas.
What book(s) / author(s) have influenced your life and writing?
The Magic Tree House books by Mary Pope Osborne were the first ones to influence me. They held such an enchantment over my imagination. Mary’s adventures inspired both my pretend play and my writing at the time. I cannot wait to share these stories with my own kids one day soon!
J.K. Rowlings’ Harry Potter series was also a major influence over me, as it was to millions of other people. Honestly, people who didn’t like the Harry Potter books are probably a little worse off for it. Ha-ha, just kidding… Kind of…
Rowlings’ personal story inspired me to never give up on my dreams, regardless of the struggles or rejections that try to get in our way. But more importantly, her novels taught people that nothing is more powerful than your ability to love. And that is a message that will stand the test of time.
I could not talk about writing influences without mentioning Sarah Dessen, who I was particularly obsessed with throughout my mid to late teens. She helped me pick up the pieces to my life a few times and helped me learn to really tap into my emotional side. Which happens to be the side I now prefer.
Tell us about your characters and how they came to be? Have they been in your head for a long time?
The main cast of characters, Emma, Jamie, Jake, and Kye were all born from the same dream way back in 2015. Emma is probably modeled off a person I wish I could have been in my late teen years. She’s kind, intelligent and extremely determined. She’s also always in her own head, she lacks confidence in herself, and she tends to trust the wrong people.
Jake and Jamie are siblings whose family was, by no means, perfect, or well off, but they always tried to do what was right. Jake is headstrong. He’s a great leader and he will do whatever necessary to protect his family. Unfortunately, that means he can be a bit of an ass at times. Jamie is also pretty headstrong, and she can come off the wrong way occasionally, but she does have a big heart and an even bigger secret.
Kye’s Japanese roots have always taught him to be disciplined, even when he was bullied for being such a scrawny “different” kid in a southern town. Kye learned to control his temper and control his body. He’s strong physically and mentally. Still, he’s only twenty. He has no clue what happened to his family and he’s trying to balance being best friends with Jake and in love with his sister, Jamie. Sometimes Kye’s immaturity and snark can get the best of him.
What motivates you to write?
This is a tough question. I think in the beginning, it was just a longing to tell stories and be heard. I have always been a bit more on the shy side, so I needed an outlet to express myself. As I aged, this reason held true, but it went deeper as well. I had some pretty dark and scary times and I wanted to tell those stories. I wanted to be able to help others heal through my writing.
Now, its still a combination of these things, but I’m also trying to prove to myself that I can do it. For a long time, I would doubt myself and my abilities. So now, I’m constantly fighting to prove to myself that this dream of mine is attainable.
What is the hardest part of writing?
Finding time and trying not to be discouraged. I have two young kids, another job and a husband that take up a lot of my time and attention. My writing time tends to be when the kids lay down for nap and bedtime, or when I have a cancellation in my work schedule. That means that there is no real writing routine for me and I’m typically dead tired by the time I sit down at my laptop.
I also tend to be a perfectionist who is rarely ever perfect. I have a bad habit of self-editing over and over before I’ve had a chance to finish the first draft, which tends to be discouraging and time consuming. Self-doubt can damage all of the hard work you’ve done.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Yes. I’ve learned that I have to stop getting in my own way. Let the first draft, be a first draft. Its okay if its messy, just get the story out. Then work on fine tuning. You’ll probably change a few things along the way anyways.
Where do you get your ideas?
My ideas typically come through dreams, whether that be form of sleeping, lucid dreams, or daydreams.
Occasionally, I pull from real life situations or people. Once I even pulled from a quote, I read on a dump truck.
Inspiration can come from anywhere; you just have to pay attention.
What does your family think of your writing?
They are all extremely supportive of me. They have known this has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. I am incredibly lucky to have such an awesome support system.
What is the best advice you would give to inspiring authors?
Do your best to just get your whole story out there first. Write that completed first draft! Once you’ve got it all written, take a break from it. Go back a few weeks later and read it through without doing a single edit. Make some notes to yourself at parts that you think you could improve upon, plot holes, development, etc. Take those notes and write your second draft. Editing is a lengthy process so make sure you are getting in some good self-care, so you don’t go crazy.
Lastly, have a good support system. Whether that’s family, friends, or other writers. Having someone who believes in your writing will make all the difference. I would have never submitted my manuscript had it not been for an awesome author and friend, Marie F. Crow. She believed in me more than I believed in myself at times, and I am so grateful for an amazing friend like her in my life. Get yourself a Crow in your life.
What book are you reading now?
I’m currently reading a nonfiction book “Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind” by Yuval Noah Harari.
Hope you enjoyed checking out this new author! Review coming soon!