Rebeccah Giltrow: Author Interview
Today I present Rebeccah Giltrow, an author who has not yet found her niche.
My Interview with Rebeccah
What is the title or working title of your current book?
My current novel is entitled Lexa Wright’s Dating Sights.
Please provide us with a brief synopsis of your book.
Lexa Wright’s Dating Sights is a romcom with a bit of mystery. Lexa is 30 years old, single, and lives in her deceased grandmother’s bungalow with her 3 year old shih-tzu, Beryl. Although she doesn’t like being single, Lexa wants to meet a man by chance, like they do in films. Lexa’s best friend, Louise, is an avid internet dater, and sends her an e-mail invitation to join the dating site. She joins and goes on a date with Gregory, a good-looking gym owner. The day after the date, while walking Beryl through the park, she bumps into William, an unemployed artist, and subsequently dates him. Dating both men, she realises she has to make a choice. But who does she choose? The man that she met on the internet, or the man she met by chance, like they do in films?
During her down time, she sits at her computer in order to write a book, but being a procrastinator she finds herself organising her kitchen cupboards, cleaning out her bathroom, and attacking her jungle-like garden with an uncooperative lawnmower. During her cleaning sprees she unearths letters, photos, and a diary, which all lead to Lexa discovering some interesting and unexpected information about her grandmother’s youth. She uses this as inspiration for her novel.
What genre does your current book fall under?
It’s a chic lit romcom, with a hint of mystery.
Do you always write for the same genre?
I haven’t yet found my niche, so at the moment I just write whatever comes into my head. If I had to say anything, I’d say that I wrote ‘real life’ fiction (if that can be classed as a genre). It’s real enough so that people can relate to it, but obviously fictionalised so that it’s not just a boring story of someone’s trip to the supermarket!
Who or what motivates or inspires you to write?
Real life inspires me. I think the world outside the window is fascinating. There are always interesting people on the bus or at the gym or in a cafe who find their way into my stories.
Tell us about your writing background.
I used to write stories when I was younger, and then I moved on to poetry in my teen years. I gave up writing for a while, until I went to university. In my final year of studies, I took a creative writing module and realised that I could write and that I was good at it. After I graduated, I took a year off and then went back to do M.A. Literature with Creative Writing, focussing on the work of the Oulipo. Since then I’ve written articles, poetry, interviews, and children’s stories for a local magazine, The Kessingland and Broadland Times, as well as writing a full length novel, Lexa Wright’s Dating Sights, and two collections of short stories. The first one is a collection of 26 lipogrammatic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lipogram) tales, entitled Betwixt The Cup and The Lip. Each one is voiced by a different character, but the stories are connected as each character appears in at least one other. This collection is currently unpublished. My second collection is called 12 Days of Kirsta May Rose, and it’s twelve stories about the life of Krista, all taken from various Christmases, inspired by the traditional song, The Twelve Days of Christmas.
I have many other poems and short stories floating around on my computer that I may tidy up and put them out in the world, or I may just leave them where they are!
How long does it typically take you to write a first draft?
The first draft of Lexa Wright’s Dating Sights took 37 days to write, with an extra couple of weeks added on for editing. I was determined to write a novel, so I refused to move away from the computer until I had a complete manuscript. Other things can take any time at all. I’m quite good at starting things and not finishing them.
Do you employ an editor to assist you in your writing process?
I edit my work myself. I spend a lot of time with a hard copy of my manuscripts and a red pen, going over and over them until I’m happy. I then give a copy to my parents who take control of the red pen. My dad checks grammar, spelling, punctuation, syntax, and vocabulary, and my mum spots plot holes and inconsistencies. I also have a friend, who is a fellow author, who looks over my work for me.
Are you self-published or represented by an agency?
Lexa Wright’s Dating Sights and 12 Days of Krista May Rose were both published through Createspace for Amazon. I would like to have my work represented by an agency, but it is becoming increasingly difficult. I have sent my work off to agents, but have only received rejections. I will continue to do this, but I want my books to be out in the world so that’s why I chose the self-publishing route.
Do you have future projects we can look forward to?
In 2012 I participated in National Novel Writing Month, where you have to write 50,000 words of novel in 30 days. I managed to get that done, but I haven’t yet finished the story. It’s called Here We Find Ray and it’s about a young boy who falls in love with an older woman, but as he grows up his innocent infatuation turns into an unhealthy obsession. I think I know how I want it to end, but it could go off in any direction, so I’m looking forward to finishing it. I also have a sequel to Lexa Wright’s Dating Sights in my head, so at some point this year I will get that down on paper.
Do you have any tips or advice to offer fellow writers?
Writing is a craft, and you need to train to be able to do it well. You must read and learn how to write, and that takes practice. Invest in good reference books and use them as tools for creating your masterpiece. The last thing you write will never be the best thing you write. It can always be worked on, edited, rewritten, and improved.
Is there anything else you would like to share with your potential readers?
Thank you for reading, and please make contact with me. I don’t bite. I promise! As an independent (indie) author just starting out, I would love to hear from my readers, even if it’s just a review on Amazon, or a comment left on a blog post, or a retweet on Twitter. I write for the readers; without the reader, is there much point in the writer?
Tell us how we can connect with you in the world of social.
I have my finger in a few social internet pies:
Amazon Author: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rebeccah-Giltrow/e/B00A9Q3BY2/