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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Special Guest Interview by Patti Roberts of Rebecca Weinstein

Up Close & Personal with Author - Rebecca Weinstein

                                                                                                                                                                    Where were you born and where do you call home?
New Jersey. For both. Oh, and I'm nothing like anyone on The Jersey Shore, Real Housewives, or Jerseylicious.

How long have you been writing? And is writing your full time occupation? What or who inspired you to write?
I have been writing since the seventh grade, when my English teacher gave us a creative writing assignment I really liked. The topic was “How to Fit an Elephant Through a Keyhole.” I'm a very creative individual. I love to write and paint. All of my work tells a story, whether it's a novel or a painting. I have so many stories to tell! I wish writing was my full time occupation, but I'm a high school teacher, moderator, and coach by trade.

What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 30 or less words, what would you say?
My latest book is Seraphim, a YA novel about Serafina Jones, a private school girl who meets a transfer student who seems too good to be true.

If you gave some of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?
I'll speak on behalf of Nashoga, the main character from the book of the same name. He is a timber wolf. If he was able to speak to us humans, he'd be outraged at aerial gunning and slaughter of wolves in the midwest and Alaska. It's not hunting, it's murder. No matter what the fairy tales suggest, wolves do not attack humans, so humans should not kill wolves. They're an important part of the ecosystem.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I am currently finishing the last edits on a new novel, due to be a series. I am also working on Redstone Series #2.

How did you come up with the title and cover design?
As an artist as well as an author, I create the cover work for all of my books. Nashoga's cover started as a class example for my students (teaching high school art is my day job) to teach them the chiaroscuro style of oil painting. Coincidentally, I had already written Nashoga, so the two were a natural pair. Seraphim's cover has a different story. The book came first, and I turned to Photoshop to create the cover. Originally, the wings on the cover were white and I had spray-painted cerulean blue specks all over them, to make them “tinged with blue” as in the book. Then I turned off the white wing layer to see something for a moment, and I realized it looked so much better that way.

Have you based any of your characters on someone you know, or real events in your own life?
Sure have. Some elements of Serfina and Katie, best friends in Seraphim, are based on myself and my sister. We're best friends. There are also a few events in the book that really happened to me.

What books have most influenced your writing most and why?
I'd say J.K. Rowling, Jim Butcher, Neil Gaiman and Stephen King. They're both great authors. King had great advice in his On Writing book, and Rowling, well; she's just so darn clever! Think about it. She cleverly disguised tidbits of information in say, the first book that becomes relevant in the fourth! Now that's incredible planning. Butcher on the other hand, is really great at getting rid of dialogue tags in favor of action. He does it seamlessly. I'm jealous. Gaiman spins such fantastic stories, and yet, they're so believable.

Is there an Author that you would really like to meet?
Let's go with Butcher or Gaiman. I'd love to meet Rowling, but in a crowd, I'd probably never get close.

Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?
My favorites are paperbacks. I love to hold them, feel them, smell them. There's nothing like the smell of a book, new or old. My second favorite are ebooks. I like having access to an entire library without taking the whole building with me.

Where do you prefer to buy your books?
Personally, I like to borrow books from the library. I think they're highly underrated. If I'm purchasing, it's Barnes & Noble. There's no more Indie bookstores where I live, and that's a shame.

Have you ever read a book more than once?
Of course! I've read the Gunslinger series by Stephen King two or three times and the Harry Potter series twice.

Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version?
Hmmm. Let me see...Stephen King's The Mist's ending was completely different than the book. I liked the movie ending better.

What book are you currently reading and in what format (ebook/paperback/hardcover)?
I'm reading Katie McAlister's Holy Smokes in paperback, and And Come to Dust by Drew Bacigalupa in ebook.

What book do you know that you will never read?
Anything by J.D. Salinger. If this question was what book do you wish you hadn't read, it'd be The Catcher in The Rye! I know it's critically acclaimed, and so many people love it, but I hated it. It was a whole lot of nothing. I'm waiting for all the hate email I'm going to get about this.

Are there any new Authors that have grasped your interest and why?
David H. Fears is not necessarily a new author, having a few books out, but he's new to me. I finished his novel, Dark Blonde, and loved it. His character's voice was so rich. It was refreshing! I'm about to read his newest, Dark Idol.

Is there anything you would change in your last book and why?
I'd have them professionally edited. I know I'm not perfect. I can't be author, cover artist, editor, and marketer all rolled into one. A few typos are bound to slip by.

Who designed the cover of your book?

Do you have a book trailer? What are your thoughts on book trailers?
I have a book trailer, I don't think it's the best, but it's definitely not the worst. I'm on the fence about trailers. When I think trailer, I think mini-movie. Something to pique my interest and make me want the whole thing. When I see some of these trailers out there, they seem pretty bad. I don't like the fact that the majority of them are a bunch of typed words over a few pictures that might have something to do with the book, and set to music. I don't find that very appealing. If we did that for movie trailers, no one would go to the movies. So how do they sell books?

Do you have any advice for other writers? What is the best advice that you have ever been given when it comes to writing?
My advice for other writers is write, write, write, and read, read, read. You need to read the genre that you write. The best advice I was given is that explanation kills fiction. Another spin on the show, don't tell advice.

Do you ever write in your PJ’s?
Isn't that the best part?

Cats or dogs?

White wine or red?

Coffee or tea?
Oooh. Tough one. I used to drink tea all the time. Nowadays, I drink more coffee. Huh. And I used to hate coffee. Go figure.

Favorite food?
Another tough one. Let's go with everything. I'm a foodie. I love to cook. But if I really have to pick...Risotto Primavera with Shrimp.

Vanilla or chocolate ice cream?
Mint chocolate chip. Ha! Coloring outside the lines again.

What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?
I've been lost without Lost. The Killing on AMC has slowly filled the gaping hole that Lost has left. I'm religiously devoted to All My Children. And I can't wait until Community starts its new season. That show is downright hilarious.

Where can your readers follow you?

Facebook page: I have a private profile, but a public fan page for Nashoga at http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Nashoga-Book-1-of-the-Redstone-Series/147811008613786

Twitter: www.twitter.com/rweinstein6 or @rweinstein6

Other sites of mine include: www.theredstoneseries.webs.com and www.authoropportunities.webs.com (just started for contests and other ops)

Is your book in Print, ebook or both?

Rebecca Weinstein

Rebecca Weinstein lives in central New Jersey with her husband, daughter and two pesky rabbits, Cream and Double Stuf. When she isn't writing, she can be found painting, cooking, or at her day job: teacher, moderator, and coach.

More about Weinstein and her work can be found at:



*~*~*Special Thanks to Patti Roberts for Interviewing  Rebecca and to Rebecca Weinstein for allowing that interview to be shared here at After The Book!  We are grateful to have had you stop by. 

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