The days are definitely getting colder and darker. That’s the best time to curl up with a good book–especially a mystery. This month’s featured indie author is Rebecca Howie, writer and blogger of For The Love of Fiction. Definitely check out her website.
First things first, what’s the name of your current book?
It’s called A Woman Scorned, and it’s the second instalment in the Sam Beckett Mysteries.
New ideas are always cropping up. Give me your best book title that doesn’t have a story.
I actually have loads of titles which don’t have stories yet, but two of my favourites are ‘Retribution’ and ‘Trial by Fire’. I have no idea if I’ll ever use them, but I liked the sound of them when I thought them up, so I might try and write a story for each.
Words are kind of our thing. What’s your favorite word?
I like ‘mellifluous’ and ‘ethereal’ and ‘denouement’ because they sound nice, but my favourite word is ‘defenestration’ because I never expected its meaning to be what it is.
Some people need the light of day to function and others prefer the quiet of night. When do you write?
I used to write whenever I had the time, but since I found it difficult to get focussed on A Woman Scorned, I made myself write for a few hours every morning, and that’s become my routine.
Names really help set a mood. What’s your process for picking people and place names?
Character names have to feel right for me, and I can waste a lot of time trying to pick one. They need to suit the character, and they also have to fit in with the story’s setting, so it takes me a while to name new characters.
Luckily I didn’t have to spend too much time naming the main characters in The Game Begins and A Woman Scorned, because I’d already written them in other projects, or their names just came to me while I was writing.
Even finishing a scene feels like a reason to throw a party. Have a favorite way to celebrate finishing a project?
The first thing I do as soon as I finish a project is to switch my laptop off, and I’ll either watch a film, or go out a walk. I like just being able to take a break and getting to clear my head, although when I finished writing A Woman Scorned, my break took about three months, and I didn’t go near my computer once during that time.
We know writing is primarily a creative endeavor. Tell me something you never expected to get from writing.
I never planned to publish anything I’d written, so seeing my books being for sale on Amazon and Waterstones was unexpected. It’s still strange, and I haven’t quite wrapped my head around the fact that I’ve written two books and that other people have read them and enjoyed them, although it’s almost been three years since I started writing The Game Begins.
Beta-readers are our first fans and critics. If you could pick any writer, past or present, to be your beta-reader, who would you pick?
I’d quite like to know what James Oswald thinks of my writing, or Ian Rankin. I love their writing, so it would be amazing if they even knew of my existence, although I’d be terrified if I thought they were reading my books.
Tell the truth. How many notebooks and journals do you own?
Too many to count, and I don’t think I want to ever attempt it. You can’t move in my room for notepads and stationary.
Writers keep their eyes open for inspiration, which makes us notice a lot more than most. What random piece of everyday beauty do you love?
I love watching life happening around me, whether it’s people going about their day, or just nature running its course. Overheard conversations on public transport are a great source of inspiration for me, as are local newspapers, and living in the countryside means I get to see lots of birds of prey and wild animals in their element, which is always calming to see.
As much as we love to write, some parts of being a writer can be a chore. What’s your most tempting distraction?
The internet. I spent a lot of time researching things for my writing, and I can fritter away hours Googling things which only have the faintest relevance to my writing projects.
We indies need to stick together. Any indie writers on your radar right now?
I made it a resolution in January to try reading more indie novels, and I’ve read a few including K.J. Chapman’s Evo Nation trilogy, Suzanne Rogerson’s Visions of Zarua, and Ian Gregoire’s Exercise of Vital Powers.
The great thing I love about trying new authors is that I’m reading books in other genres, so I plan to keep finding more indie authors with even more stories to pass my time with.
It was great getting to know you better as a person and a writer, Rebecca! Thanks for participating in MAIAM.