I just quickly want to take a moment and thank Nichole from YaReads.com for putting together this huge debut authors bash. This has been happening since 2013 but my first time hearing about it so after hearing about it I quickly signed up. There was 112 debut authors taking part and its happening all this month. You can check the tour schedule by clicking THIS.
This is day 10 of the Debut Authors Bash and today I am going to talk with Rebecca Christiansen author of Maybe In Paris. I will be reviewing her back as well.
About the Author:
Rebecca Christiansen tried to study creative writing at university, but kept skipping classes to write YA novels in the library, so she decided to pursue that instead. She loves boy bands and diet soda and suffers from incurable wanderlust. Rebecca lives with her boyfriend in a house packed full of books in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
I have to thank Nichole for arranging this and to Rebecca for taking the time out of her busy schedule to do this interview with me.
Cindy: What inspired you to become a writer?
Rebecca: I’ve always been a writer, since I first learned to write. But two people in particular inspired me to “go for gold” and take it more seriously: my third grade teaching assistant, Miss Shillum, who started a creative writing period in my class, and a French author (whose name I can’t remember) who visited my french literature class in eighth grade. She had published a book and told us that it was 40,000 words long — I remember my mind being blown, because I had just put the finishing touches on a fanfiction I had written that was 50,000 words long. I realized I had written a novel-length story, one as long as already-published books. That was when I really decided I wanted to be published someday.
Cindy: What was your favorite childhood book to read growing up?
Rebecca: Harry Potter was big for me, but for a more unique answer, I’ll say EMILY OF NEW MOON by L. M. Montgomery. She’s more famous for writing ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, but the Emily books really awoke me. Emily Starr is a budding poet and writer and an orphan who has just been shipped off to live with her mother’s relatives, who she has never met, at their ancestral farm on Prince Edward Island. It was the first truly beautiful book I ever read, and it was absolutely instrumental to me becoming a writer.
Cindy: I loved the Anne of Green Gables books growing up. I think its time to dig them back out and read more of L. M. Montgomery. Did you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Rebecca: Good question! There are actually a few nods to my favourite musician in MAYBE IN PARIS, Andrew McMahon. The main characters live in Shoreline, WA, a town where Andrew once recorded an album with his band, Something Corporate.
Cindy: Who is your favorite author? What is one book they wrote that you would recommend?
Rebecca: My favourite underrated author is Marcus Sedgwick! He’s a British YA author who has written a ton of books, and most of them win big awards in the UK, but he’s barely known in North America. Most of his books are historical fantasy tinged with horror, but they’re all incredibly unique and well-written. My faves are THE GHOSTS OF HEAVEN, SHE IS NOT INVISIBLE, MIDWINTERBLOOD, and WHITE CROW. His adult novel MISTER MEMORY is also incredible.
Cindy: Every time I am at my local bookstore I always pick up one of his books and end up putting it back but I think the next time I have to pick it up. What was the inspiration behind Maybe in Paris?
Rebecca: In MAYBE IN PARIS, Keira’s family’s lives are shattered by her brother Levi’s attempted suicide. That happened to my brother, too. I was an adult when it happened, but as my brother got better and we had to learn to live with a new normal after his new mental health diagnoses, I couldn’t stop thinking about how I might have reacted if I had been younger and less mature. I wouldn’t have been as good a sister, and I wanted to explore that sibling dynamic as a way of healing in real life. That’s often how I work through issues: I fictionalize them and write about them.
I also went to Paris when I was fifteen and always wanted to write about the city, so I put those two ideas together!
Cindy: My brother in law was diagnosed with Schizophrenia many years ago and we had to learn a new normal when you have a family member like that. Do you have any books in the works that you can share?
Rebecca: Nothing under contract yet, but I’m working on a few different manuscripts that I’m really excited about. Can’t wait to have some real news soon!
Cindy: Oh I can’t wait to hear the news. Fingers are crossed for you. If we were too look at your desk what would we be surprised to find or discover?
Rebecca: I have some cool things on my desk! A beautiful hand painted sugar skull from my trip to Mexico earlier this year, a pair of Eiffel Tower bookends that hold up my author copies of MAYBE IN PARIS, and a framed fortune from a fortune cookie I got at an Andrew McMahon show. The fortune is a line of lyrics from his song “All Our Lives”: it says “Skeletons and plans, you’ve gotta let them go.”
Cindy: What are you currently reading?
Rebecca: Right now I’m reading THE PEARL THIEF by Elizabeth Wein. It’s the recently-released prequel to CODE NAME VERITY, which is one of my all-time favourites. I cried while rereading it on the bus a few days ago! THE PEARL THIEF is very different, but it’s wonderful to get to see my favourite character and what she was like before the war started.
Cindy: Another book I need to get to as I have it sitting on my TBR pile. Who is your all time favorite boy band?
Rebecca: Growing up I loved Backstreet Boys, but oh man, One Direction are my loves. I’m a huge fan, as anyone who follows me on Twitter will know. I love their music, and they’re just the sweetest little cupcakes. Really, the nicest people in show biz.
Cindy: If you want to follow Rebecca on twitter here is her link https://twitter.com/rchristiansenYA What is the hidden jewel that one should visit when they go to Vancouver?
Rebecca: Stanley Park is a must-see — it’s a huge wooded park just steps from downtown, surrounded on three sides by the ocean. It’s home to the Vancouver Aquarium, acres of parkland, a lot First Nations art, and horse-drawn tours. It’s also home to the best concert venue in the city, an outdoor amphitheatre called the Malkin Bowl. Every show I see their ends up being one of the best I’ve ever seen.
Cindy: I have never been to Vancouver but hope to visit there one day soon. Thanks once again Rebecca for sitting down and doing this interview with me.