Rebecca Strong Interview
Posted on 24 August 2007. © Copyright 2004-2024 WriteWords
WriteWords talks to first-time author Rebecca Strong
Tell us something about your background.
Iíve written my first novel, Here or There, which was published by Legend Press on 28 July 2007. I have always loved words, language and literature, and wrote many poems from a young age as well as some short stories. This was my first attempt at writing a novel, and it was as satisfying to prove to myself that I could do it as it is to have it published. Iíve also written various articles in the past, and currently Iím focused on my first publication so Iím not writing fiction.
I currently work for an intellectual property company that owns the rights to various literary estates. I work on the legal and rights side of things, so itís not such a creative role, but it is very useful for learning about copyright and protecting your work.
How did you start writing?
I canít really remember when I first started writing but Iíve loved literature for as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest memories are of my father telling me stories, and this inspired me to be creative with words. I used to write a lot of poetry and this is my first attempt at a novel.
Who are your favourite writers and why?
I prefer contemporary literary fiction, though again I try to read works from a range of authors and not stick to one type of writing. Writers I admire include Lionel Shriver, Bret Easton Ellis, Zadie Smith and Margaret Atwood: I love the way they develop characters and the psychology of relationships in their work.
How did you get your first agent/ commission?
I first got to know Tom Chalmers, MD of Legend Press, in 2005 when he wrote an article for the Society of Young Publishersí magazine, InPrint, which I was editing at the time. Having dabbled in writing in the past, I showed Tom some of the short stories Iíd written, and received some positive feedback. After I expressed an interest in writing a novel, Tom and I devised the challenge for me to write one within a year, and agreed on deadlines. Not only did this motivate me to write Here or There, but I also received invaluable feedback from Tom along the way, and I was thrilled when he eventually confirmed heíd like to publish it this summer.
What's the worst thing about writing?
Not having enough time to write, or having the time and wasting it.
And the best?
Seeing your characters develop as if you were documenting their lives rather than controlling them.
Tell us what kind of responses you get from audiences\ readers.
I have had very encouraging responses from those who have read extracts, but I look forward to more comments. I think as a writer, as in any job, you should always look to progress and develop, so Iím sure I would take any constructive criticism on board for the future Ė although ideally there wonít be any!
What was your breakthrough moment?
I think there was a series of breakthroughs Ė deciding to write a novel, completing the first draft, finding out it was going to be published, and no doubt the launch next week will feel like a breakthrough. Thatís why writing is so enjoyable Ė it feels like a string of milestones, as if every paragraph you write is an achievement.
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