In case you aren’t aware of this already, I am a huge fan of author Rebecca Clare Smith. We met many years ago through Twitter, and she soon became one of my favourite bloggers. Her flash fiction was something I looked forward to every week, and her entries for writing challenges I created were always superb. When I met Rebecca she was working hard on writing her novels, and today she has released two novels – both of separate series – and is currently in the process of editing another.
I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was when she told me she’d finally released Preying on Time. Having been a fan of Rebecca’s writing, I knew that she wouldn’t disappoint me, but I did not expect to finish reading Preying on Time in just one sitting! I could not put the book down.
Preying on Time drags us into a dark, and frankly terrifying, future where nothing is as it should be. The world is full of seers, necromancers, werewolves and more. From the first page to the last it’s excitement and nervousness and intrigue. I never wanted to put the book down because I just had to know what was going to happen next.
I can’t begin to praise this novel enough, Rebecca’s writing style is utterly unique, and she draws the reader in with it. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in dystopian futures and magical creatures. Five out five!
And, of course, what’s a review without a word or three from the author? Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Ms Rebecca Clare Smith!
Rebecca! First of all, tea and cat cuddles please. How are you?
I’m okay for the most part. A little weary, but aren’t we all? Always a pleasure to talk to you, though. And, by the way, the cats are just fine.
What are you doing right now?
I’m enjoying the view of my new illuminating kettle (because tea!) and eating biscuits with one of my furry boys. Soon I’ll be back to writing, though. Tea breaks are just essential.
I’ve been reading your writing for, like, forever. What made you want to write?
There isn’t just one thing that kick started me and it was crowd funded either. I’m so funny. Not. No, writing was never one of those things where I had some kind of whimsical day where it clicked and a story idea appeared. Writing is just living. Living is just writing. I can’t do without it and if I’m forced to it usually incurs low periods during which I am listless, unfriendly and unlikely to open the curtains. So I can’t say that anything made me want to write. I just do. Like breathing.
Where and when do you do your best writing?
At night. Unequivocally, at night is when I do my best writing. Especially if it’s raining. I’m not entirely sure why those specific things help me get into the zone, but they do. It’s my thing like other writers need whiskey or a library corner or whatever I need darkness and rain. Cheery. I don’t really have a where, though. This is mostly because I can’t afford a where. At the moment it has to be the sofa because I have no garden and our only desk space is taken by my other half’s monster computer that is probably too clever and gadgetified for me to touch. It’s also not red. And I like red things. My laptop is red.
Do you listen to music? What kind of music do you listen to while writing? Do the cats sing along to it?
The cats don’t sing along to the music. I’m not sure they really sing at all, to be honest. Mostly they make choked miaows when it’s close to feeding time because they’ve never really got the hang of being cats. They are mini peoples with fur and tails who like to climb in the fridge, drink from the washing up bowl and attack the mattress until they’re let out at 4am every night. I’m not a cat (unless you ask my other half who thinks I’m turning into one), but I do like to listen to music whilst I write. The type usually depends on the mood of the piece. Breaking Cadence was usually a mixture of Birdy and The XX whilst Preying On Time was totally and completely the ‘Lungs’ album by Florence + The Machine.
Preying on Time is rather magical (haha) what inspired the tale?
I think I was listening to Howl, actually, by Florence + The Machine at the time that I came up with the idea, which pretty much suits the book down to the ground and is why I used it in the background of my book trailer for Preying On Time. I’d been reading a few books with necromancer types around then too, such as No Humans Involved and Lirael.
I knew that I wanted to write a necromancer story. Ideas had been slowly forming about their different abilities, which I’d been scribbling down in my little black writer’s book every chance I got. When I thought of these powers combined together Violet came suddenly and fully formed, but what story could I put her in? Certainly nothing I was writing at the time. Then I was sitting on the bus one day, a journey to university for a course I wasn’t sure why I was doing, and the idea of time travel in a supernatural mutant future struck and Preying On Time led from there.
Are any of the characters based on people you know?
In Preying On Time? No. I wish I could be exciting and say there were some, but if there are then it’s been unwittingly done.
I think I’m love with Specs. Who’s your favourite character?
Ha ha. Specs is awesome, but sadly not my favourite. Without question, Violet is my favourite, but that might be because she displays a lot of my stubborn side. She’s a character that can be both easy and really difficult to write. It’s like she has a blocker for certain characters, too. If they aren’t to do with her case or her family then she doesn’t need to understand their motives or bother with their feelings. As somebody who finds it hard not to overanalyse other people and the way they react to me, I guess it’s kind of refreshing to create somebody like that.
Who was the most unruly character to write?
Logan! Of course, Logan. He’s hot headed and stubborn and clearly still on the cusp of being a teenager in his head. He’s what the literary world describes as new adult. And in the sequel, Logan has a lot to learn.
Who did you enjoy writing most?
I enjoyed writing Violet most, obviously, but the most fun was with Rhiel. I can’t help but enjoy writing really angry, villainous characters. I’m pretty sure he’s going to appear further ahead in the series, but not in Baying For Blood.
Tell us about the sequel ‘Baying for Blood’?
Firstly, I’m loving it. Summer stalled its progress, yet I’m so close now that I can taste it. I switched the point of view in this one because it felt better written from first person so you can really get inside the character’s heads. And we’re not just following Violet. The chapters move between her and Logan as he’s discovering just how hard it is to be a werewolf, especially as he’s been accused of murder!
And just to make it worse, the murderer is a werewolf serial killer of necromancers. Who’s better to find the beast behind the attacks than a necromancer like Violet? However, nothing is as simple as that. Can Violet find the killer before he strikes again or will she become his latest victim? And will Logan be proved innocent or is he the mindless beast the police believe?
When can we expect it?
I am hoping to release it before Christmas 2014, but that means a lot of scurrying around and finishing off first.
Tell us about the self publishing process?
Well first I write it. Then I edit the hell out of it so it’s much better for human consumption. After that we get started on the cover, usually. This involves me inundating one poor lady at Katarr Kanticles Press with what is usually a million images that ‘might look cool’ together. After she’s probably screamed at the screen a zillion times, she sends me some versions and we tweak them here and there until it’s more like what I had in mind. Then she gets to line read too and tell me if I’ve missed any typos or such. After that it’s formatting and away we go!
What’s your superpower?
Invisibility. Not really, though, which is sad. It’s probably partly why I made necromancers able to become invisible, at least to living beings.
What are your favourite books?
What a rubbish question. Joking aside, though, I don’t know how you expect me to answer. I have lots of favourites. Like parents don’t have a favourite child… do they? I hope not. I guess if I had to name some then it would be Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series. It’s one of those where I literally couldn’t stop myself from reading into the night and waaaaay on past dawn. Oh well. Who needs sleep?
Who inspires you?
Life inspires me. Everything and anything I see gets mentally noted in some sort of story warehouse in my head and sometimes I wheel it out and go, hey there let’s try you today. Mostly I get ideas from dreams, though. A dream is where Breaking Cadence started amongst many snatches of other tales.
Describe your writing style in one sentence?
My writing style is a bit quirky with some stop starts and a flourish of description here and there. I think.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever written?
Hmm… I write a lot of weird things, as you know. I suppose early pieces from when I was much younger and hadn’t really honed my craft would be the weirdest. A lot of them had no real plot and were written basically because I had a lot of free time on my own.
And lastly, if you could be anywhere in the universe right now, where would you be?
Probably in my own little housey (that we own instead of rent) with Mr Bear, our two cats and a raven that looks like a writing desk for company.
Thanks so much for joining me on Vorax Lector – is there anything else you wanna tell our readers?
Stay in school kids! No. Not really. Nothing as cliché as that. I just hope you guys decide to take a hit on my books and enjoy them if you do. And also, thanks muchly to you for this interview and the amazing review!
Where to find Rebecca:
Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Goodreads
Buy Rebecca’s books on Amazon Kindle and Smashwords