Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Spotlight: Another Summer by Rebecca Stevenson (Spotlight/Interview)

About the Book


PLANO, TX – Freelance editor, former teacher, and emerging author Rebecca Stevenson has taken the concept of romance and added a juicy plot twist with her debut novel, Another Summer.

A Solstice Publishing release on June 15, Another Summer centers on the story of literary agent Tracy Ratcliffe, who meets aspiring novelist Nathan Norsworthy during a summer trip to Maine. While Norsworthy shows a desire to help Ratcliffe deal with the mystery of her mother’s past, the question on Ratcliffe’s mind becomes whether Norsworthy has beguiled her due to genuine affection, or because of his desire to get published. In addition to the romance, Stevenson states this work also focuses on the relationship between mother and daughter and the question of forgiveness. She adds the story is enhanced by local color provided by her many years of traveling to New England.

“I can’t imagine writing a story that’s not set there,” Stevenson states.

In a recent interview, Stevenson stated that her book’s love scenes approach passion from a different perspective. “I enjoy writing love scenes, but my love scenes aren’t steamy sex scenes. My plots ride along on the emotional involvement of the hero and heroine.”

Rebecca Stevenson lives in Plano, Texas, with her husband, but she noted that New England will always be their first love and that they make frequent trips back for rest and recuperation from daily life. She says that when she isn’t writing, she is busy editing and spending time with friends and family.

Another Summer is available in both e-book and paperback on Amazon.com and e-book on BarnesandNoble.com.

Contact information for Rebecca Stevenson:

Website: www.rebeccastevensonwriter
Twitter: @becki_stevenson
Facebook: becki.stevenson.3 and rebeccastevensonwriter
Email: beckistevenson@gmail.com


Solstice Publishing is an independent publishing house based in Missouri. They have released titles from authors around the world, including Joy Redmond, Olivia Gracey, KC Sprayberry, FJ Thomas, Alison Dormaar, Tell Cotten, Gary Winstead, and scores of other emerging authors. Their website is www.solsticepublishing.com

Author Interview

Please tell us about your latest book.

My recently published book, Another Summer, was conceived when my daughter and I were playing around with the idea of a catalog-writing, aspiring-novelist hero. I had him in the back of my mind for a few months. Then one day I was reading a book by a famous romance novelist, and the idea popped into my head: I could do that. So I sat down at my computer, and the ideas started flowing. I honestly don’t know where they came from. I didn’t plot or plan. The book just seemed to write itself.

What can we expect from you in the future?

My new life seems to be freelance editing (gotta make a living some way since I just quit my job as a high school English teacher), promoting Another Summer, and writing my WIP, which I hope to have finished in about six months. I’m also working on a couple of short stories.

How do we find out about you and your books?

Website: www.rebeccastevensonwriter
Twitter: @becki_stevenson
Facebook: becki.stevenson.3 and rebeccastevensonwriter
Email: beckistevenson@gmail.com

Why did you decide to write romance novels?

I write romance because I like to read romance, but my books will always involve something besides just the love story. Another Summer incorporates a mother/daughter relationship, and my WIP is a poignant story about a terminally ill child, the brother of the heroine, who befriends a guy who has lost his way. My stories will always be about relationships.

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

The only personal thing I incorporate in my writing is my love of New England. I can’t imagine writing a story that’s not set there. When my husband and I got married, he was in the Air Force stationed in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. We fell in love with New England then, and although we moved back to Texas, we left our hearts up there. We go back for a couple of weeks every year.

When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms?

I’ve been thinking about writing all my life. A friend and I co-wrote part of a novel when we were in seventh grade. I taught high school English for thirty-three years and creative writing for a few years. I started Another Summer about ten years ago (when I was teaching creative writing) and worked on it off and on…mostly off. A friend found out about it a couple of years ago and urged me to get it out, dust it off and finish it. After it was finished, submitting it seemed to follow naturally.

Generally, how long does it take you to write a book?

Ten years for the last one (see previous question), but I hope to be finished with my current WIP in about six months.

Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?

I go with the flow, but I have to get in what I call my writing zone by having a good amount of time and tuning everything else out. I like to write in coffee shops, libraries and bookstores. I can “tune out” better there than at home because there’s always something I can think of that needs to be done at home.

What is your writing routine once you start a book?

I have it all in my head. I don’t make notes unless I run into a plot problem. I don’t really have a routine, though. I just write when I can grab a couple of hours.

What about your family, do they know not to bother you when you are writing - or are there constant interruptions?

My husband is extremely supportive. He’s my best encourager and first reader.

What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?

I go to New England once a year to recharge my batteries. When I’m at home in Texas, I like to watch old movies with my husband, deadhead my roses, and read. Photography is also a hobby I enjoy.

Where do your ideas come from?

I have no idea…really!

What are your thoughts on love scenes in romance novels, do you find them difficult to write?

I enjoy writing love scenes, but my love scenes aren’t sex scenes. My plots ride along on the emotional involvement of the hero and heroine.

What kind of research do you do?

I call my visits to New England research. Does that count? 

Would you like to write a different genre than you do now, or sub-genre?

I think my novels will always be considered romance and/or women’s fiction.

Do you have a favorite author? Favorite book?

My favorite book (although it’s considered literary fiction rather than romance) is Peace Like a River by Leif Enger. The prose in that book is beautiful and inspiring. I used to teach it and never get tired of reading it.

Another book I’ve enjoyed recently is Blue Lake Back Home by Joy Jordan-Lake.

Which comes first, the story, the characters or the setting?

So far it’s been the setting and the characters. When I have both of those, the story comes to me.

What are the elements of a great romance for you?

Emotions in relationships, characters that people can either identify with or at least care about, settings that make you wish you were there

What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?

Hearing that someone got pleasure from a story I wrote

If you weren't writing, what would you be doing?

Editing. In fact, I should be doing that right now. I’m behind on a deadline. 

Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?

I guess this is advice rather than encouragement, but these things are important.

1. Make sure you have a polished manuscript. Revise until it sparkles. Most of the time an editor is helpful here.

2. Don’t worry about trying to find an agent. Find some good, established, professional small publishing companies, write a killer query (find some examples online), and start submitting.

3. But before you do numbers 1 and 2, start building your platform. Website, Facebook, and Twitter are essential. Have fun with those by interacting with your friends and followers. These are the people who will not only buy your book but will also tell their friends about it.

As far as encouragement goes, if I can do it, anyone can. If you need to polish your craft, take a creative writing course or get a coach. Just don’t give up. Keep plugging. Your hard work will pay off.

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