Sunday, February 19, 2012

Get to Know Author Rita J. Webb

Happy Sunday readers!
Today we have author, Rita J. Webb, joining us to talk about her book, Transcendent: Tales of the Paranormal, and answer a few questions for us.
So Rita, tell us about Transcendent: Tales of the Paranormal;

Transcendent: Tales of the Paranormal is a YA paranormal romance anthology, consisting of 8 stories by some wonderful authors. But why reinvent the wheel? The blurb expresses it best:
Discover the secrets of a siren, fly with a hawk girl over the mountains of Montana, and flee supernatural party-crashers as the décor comes to life in this magical journey through paranormal stories.
Along the way, watch for ghosts in a haunted house, or ride through the moonlight with a stranger. Save a comatose boy who has lost his soul, and don’t forget to bring your garlic and wolfsbane—you never know when the shadows will snag you.
Transcendent includes eight stories of magic, love, death, and choice by some of the newest names in young adult fiction.

Who or what inspires your writing?
I find inspiration in life—and for me books are just as much a part of reality. Every character contains a little of myself in them—my insecurities, my strengths, my perceptions. I pour my soul into my writing.
But it is my children who keep me going. They love to write stories because I write stories, and they have big dreams for themselves because they watch me dream.

When did you know you would be a writer?
While washing dishes as a kid, I’d invent characters and plan adventures, but it wasn’t until my mom read one of my stories in seventh grade that I was hooked. She read it out loud, and her voice savored every word as if I had created a treasure. High school and college, I thrived on writing and reading but, silly me, gave it all up for a career in Information Technology. Facing layoffs after 10 years of dedicated service, I had to decide what I really wanted to do when I grow up.

How long did it take you to write your first novel?
Working on and off for three years, I finally released Tears last summer.

I always have multiple projects in the fire, short stories and novellas and novels, and so it takes a little longer to produce a polished copy.

What is the hardest part of writing for you?
First drafts are excruciatingly painful because I want perfection from the beginning—I have all the techniques and rules and story elements racing through my head. Implementing them all at once is dang near impossible. I grit my teeth and start slamming words down, promising myself there’s plenty of time to fix it when I revise.

Do you have any writing rituals?
Music. Must have music. The music wraps around me and soothes me. Without it, every little noise—or no noise at all—steals me out of the story.

Have you written any thing else?
I have one novel (Tears) and short stories in three anthologies, but I’m also currently finishing up a few projects. This summer, Daughter of the Goddess, a fairy tale novella with echoes of the Greek myth Eros and Psyche, will be released. I am also co-authoring a short story and a novel with my husband. He shores up all my weak points as a writer, and working with him has been a dream come true.

Any advice to aspiring writers?
I recently read a list of things not to give as advice for aspiring writers, and the first in that list was to “Never give up.” The creator of this list said that some people just aren’t any good at writing and will never/should never make it to publication. I sooooooooo do not agree with this.
I am 37 years old and I do lots of things I’m not good at. Example: for the first time in my life, I’m learning ballet. Most people who know ballet learned as kids; some of those continued to follow the discipline of dance into adulthood.
With no training, no flexibility, no talent, little coordination, and only a smidge of strength for keeping my balance, I have attended my class faithfully. Determined to beat this challenge and to even excel, I have added three other dance classes to my weekly schedule on top of my ballet class. My progress is slow and I’ll never be a professional performer or instructor.
But giving up due to some vague concept of “success” is ridiculous. The benefits that dance gives me far outweighs perfection. In the same way, the art of writing benefits any writer, regardless of whether they can make it to the status of “professional author.” You learn self expression and creativity and discover adventures and depths and meaning inside you that you never knew you had.
And nobody can bring to dance the emotions and passion that I have. Nobody can express my heart and soul in dance form.
So my advice: Never give up. Nobody can pour your heart and soul into a story other than you.

Who are your favorite Authors?
The favorite above all favorites is Patricia Briggs.

What are your favorite books, or which book has impacted you the most?
I have favorites within every genre, and favorites for each year. But the ultimate favorite would be impossible to decide. So I will say instead which book impacted me the most: Reading Golden Fool by Robin Hobb is what spurred me to write. Her story crawled into me, and I knew I needed to put my own story to paper.

What are you currently reading?
Dangerous question!
Current audiobook for my car rides to work: City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
Current paperback for my own guilty pleasures: Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton
Current read with my oldest daughter: Princess Curse by Merrie Haskill
Current read with my middle daughter: Kaya, an American Girl book
Current read with my youngest: whatever picture book she brings me.
Current read with my husband: Hexed by Ilona Andrews and other various writers

How do readers find out more about you?
I always love chatting about books. You can find me just about anywhere on the internet:
rita@ritajwebb.com
afantasyfiction.blogspot.com
goodreads.com/RitaWebb
Facebook.com/RitaWebb
Twitter @RitaJWebb

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