We are so excited at Glass House, because we've just signed on an amazing new author! Her book is scheduled to come out Fall 2018, and is steampunk meets fairy tales ... with conspiracy theories mixed in for awesomeness, and of course a kickass heroine!
Our new author Rebekkah recently sat down and answered ten questions (plus a bonus round), including things like what one thing she's not afraid of--that most people are--and what she likes to munch on when she's writing. For a little insight into the new member of the family, read on!
1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I feel like I've always created stories in my head, but it wasn't until I was 11 or 12 that I started writing them down. It started as pretending that my consciousness would travel to another world at night, and every morning I'd write down what adventures happened there. (Does anybody remember the lego toys Bionicles? Yeah. I was a new character: Toa Galru.)
It was a few years later that I started writing original content: a series about a girl who was actually a dragon in human form... but it wasn't until my late teens that it actually hit me to publish. It took me a few years to really query seriously (college takes all your time, you know), and then I ended up putting my dragon series on the back burner for the series GHP is publishing, simply because it's better written and is a little more marketable.
2. What is your favorite genre to write?
Definitely fantasy. Not only have I always had a love for it, but there's just something that's found in the speculative genres that satisfies something deep inside me. Also, fantasy (reading and writing) was something my dad and I used to talk about and connect over. So there's a big nostalgia part there too.
3. What 5 words would you use to describe your new book?
I suppose it would be... Girl Changes Supernatural Politics Forever.
4. Tell us about your book.
This book is set in an alternate reality, very Steampunk-esque, in a world where magic is considered a conspiracy theory and relegated to fairy tales. Fairian, my cranky heroine, is determined to find the truth about magic--because years before our book starts, she and her sister were kidnapped by dark creatures, and her sister was killed. Fairian knows there's more to it than anyone is telling her. At the beginning of the book, her family has moved to a new city, and she ends up discovering one of the most powerful creatures on the planet. She's convinced that he has the answers she seeks--but he won't tell her anything. And the battle of wills begins.
Of course this is fiction, though, and he fails that battle. Eventually--eventually!--he starts letting her in and teaching her. From there... well, Fairian is set to change the course of supernatural power politics forever. And you'll just have to read the book and find out what that means!
And if you're curious about how this book came to be ... well, that has an interesting backstory.
This series actually started as an interplay between my two characters, Fairian and Daimyn. I was about 14 when they first showed up, and I had no idea what world they were in or what their purpose was. But I couldn't stop writing their interactions.
Then my father challenged me by saying that all characters had to have a weakness. So I set out to create a character with no weaknesses (thought now in the book I'm pretty much building him his weakness, but we won't talk about that). And that's how Daimyn began.
Fairian developed almost without me having to think about it. She got my love of conspiracy theory, learning, and understanding how things work. I wanted to create new and interesting things and really get into the thick of it--but through her eyes rather than my own.
The world they're in started from several points. One, I've always been fascinated by the disappearance of magical creatures in the Middle Ages. Since the time I was small, I've always created stories about where they went (my first series I wrote had them creating a parallel universe to jump to). For this one, I decided ... let's have a mass exodus of them all, maybe to another continent! Say, one where they can make a deal with the local inhabitants to shield them from the incoming invaders if they can stay?
From there, I discovered a theory that if the Americas hadn't been discovered when they were, then the rest of the world would have plunged into environmental distress due to overpopulation and disease. So I ran with it, creating an environmental collapse about a hundred years before my story takes place.
Then I ran with the theory that there's only so much social power that one generation can use at a time. If all of the energy and change used during the Civil Rights Movement was dedicated to restoring the environment and learning to collaborate, would the Civil Rights Movement have happened at all? I decided for the hell of it, that no, it wouldn't. In the face of disaster, people cling to the familiar. So in this alternate history, people have healthy, sustainable ways of living--but women's and minority rights are dismal. Perceptions are only just starting to change, and that's a big theme in the story.
And that is my book and its history in a nutshell.
A very large nutshell.
Yeesh, I write a lot.
5. Do you have any quirks when you write? Eat a certain snack? Listen to a certain type of music?
I have a hard time keeping anything the same while writing. Location, position, music style, snacks--I usually have to switch things up every few writing sessions, or even sometimes during a writing sessions. I'll end up in the most bizarre positions to write!
6. What is your favorite TV show at the moment?
Oh, crud. This one is hard. Excluding my all-time favorites ... and shows I will love forever because of nostalgia ... and shows I've recently gotten into but haven't stood the test of time ... probably Sherlock. Excellent characters, great mystery, quirky fun, fun plot, women power, guys that are easy on the eyes--what more do you need? (Besides more of the actual show, dang it.)
7. If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Buh. This one is impossible! But probably ... How to Train Your Dragon.
8. What is something that most people seem afraid of, that you aren't?
Heights. Spiders. Over the summer my family and I were rebuilding a house, and I'd always volunteer for the high ladder jobs. My mother, fiance, and best friend would stare at me and shudder as I hung out awkwardly about 20 feet in the air to get that one thing... yeah. Heights don't bother me at all.
Also, spiders get escorted out of the house, and I think some of them are actually pretty cute. Especially jumping spiders. They're so tiny, with their tiny little legs and big eyes! The other day, however, I did come across a GIANT spider. I had no idea how it got into my house, and it definitely wasn't a daddy long-legs. I did feel a little shudder for that one, so I think I understand what it feels like to not like spiders!
9. Halloween was last week. Did you dress up?
I did! But not actually on Halloween. A weird quirk of the universe made it so we didn't do anything then. But a few nights before, we went to a show for a local band, and I dressed up as a dragon in human form. Ergo, I put on everything that I own with dragons on it. Which is actually a lot.
10. What is your favorite color?
Blue. All of the blue! Though green follows pretty closely, and then red and purple... I despise yellow. And light orange. Dark orange is fine.
BONUS speed round:
Dogs or cats -
Goats! (They're like cat-dogs. It works, I swear.)
Past or future -
Winter or summer -
Crap. Spring? Oh fine. Probably summer. The leaving of the light really kills all my energy (it's kicking my butt this year!).
Scary book or funny book -
Funny, definitely funny. I don't need more nightmares! (I have the most impressionable mind ever, ugh.)
Halloween or Valentine's Day -
Shout out to one person who helped you in this publishing journey.
Only ONE!? That's like saying shout out to one food that keeps us alive. Eek!
... But if I have to, I think I'd have to say my fiance. Not only is he incredibly supportive, but over the past year he's given me the time and ability to really focus on my writing, building an author platform, and querying. It's because of how hard he works that I was able to make this all happen.
R.K. Brainerd has been writing since her pre-teens, mostly in the realm of fantasy and sci-fi. Her characters are pretty much always clamoring for attention in her head, and if she doesn't listen to them, they plague her with insane dreams and nightmares until she does start writing. She also raises dairy goats, the evidence of which can be found on her Instagram. She's just recently began her foray into the writing world, and looks forward to it all with devilish glee.