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Tag: The Game Begins

A Chat with Writer Rebecca Howie

RebeccaHowie

Welcome, everyone, to the first ever interview on Cookie Break! ^-^

Is this exciting or what! 😀

The writer I’m introducing to you this month has just released her début novel, The Game Begins, earlier this year in February! I’ve started reading her book this week, and while I’m not very far into it (and despite it not being my usual kind of book) I’m enjoying it so far. There’ll be a review coming up, too, but why not head to Goodreads and take a look for yourself in the meantime? All important links are at the bottom of this page 🙂

Hi Rebecca, and welcome to Cookie Break! Congratulations on publishing The Game Begins. Releasing your first novel into the world is a huge achievement!

Could you tell us a little about your book? No spoilers, please! 😉

RebeccaHowie CoverThank you. I’m just glad I finished editing! The book is about a teenage girl who is struggling to come to terms with her father’s death and so when her friend suggests she gets closure by taking a PI course, she decides to do it. When she gets her first case and starts to look into it, she realises that there’s more to her father than she first thought.

Would you mind sharing an excerpt with us, or a favourite quote? 

“You can buy me a box of chocolates and we’ll call it quits.”

Do you remember what sparked the idea for The Game Begins?
There wasn’t really a eureka moment for it, because I always used to just sit and write stuff whenever I had the time and then one day I was writing about a female version of Sherlock Holmes and it got me thinking about what could push someone to that, what could make someone so withdrawn and calculating and untrusting. So I started to write about a teenager who’d had a lot of bad things happen to her and everything else just followed on from there.

What are you working on right now?
I’m going between two novellas at the moment. One is a sequel, which I definitely hadn’t planned on, and the other is a sort of prequel/ alternate version of The Game Begins which gives some more details to Marshall and what his deal is.

What draws you to the genre you write in? Have you always been drawn to it?
I guess I have always been drawn to crime and mystery novels, because I was never really interested in the typical teenage books, the ones filled with love triangles and whether the protagonist will get invited to the dance or not and I was trying to find the right genre. I can’t remember the first mystery novel I read but you can’t find a book in my room which isn’t about a murder or crime now.

Who/what is your writing inspiration?
That’d probably be JK Rowling, because I admire that she didn’t let her unemployment and lack of money stop her from doing what she wanted.

What do you do if inspiration just won’t come?
If it doesn’t come, I look through the notepads I have with old prompts and stuff in. Any time I get an idea which I could write about, I’ll make a note of it so I have books filled with them for when I have one of those days. And if those don’t help, I listen to music or look at one of the TV shows I’m emotionally invested in and try writing something with those characters in to try and get myself over my lack of inspiration.

Which part of the writing process is your favourite, and which part do you dread?
My favourite part would definitely be plotting, because I like coming up with ways to push my characters and seeing how they deal with those hurdles. Writing about situations I wouldn’t want to be in or horrible things I wouldn’t want to happen, are the things I like writing about most. They’re interesting to pick apart and analyse and create a reasonable reaction to.

The part I dread is the editing. I remember getting the first formatted version of The Game Begins back and just wanting to cry at the thought of having to go back over it to make sure there was nothing I wanted to change, because it took me months to come up with 70 thousand words and string them all together in the right way to get Sam’s story across the way I wanted.

What is your number one distraction?
The internet. That’s an easy one. I always get to a part of the story and I’m convinced I need to do research and then four hours later, I’m doing a quiz on what my writing says about me or reading about why Scotland Yard moved buildings. Sometimes it is genuine research, though, but most of the time, I’m reading completely unrelated stuff that has nothing to do with what I’m writing about.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’d be lying if I said I was one or the other, because I’m a bit of both. If I’m writing just for something to do, I’ll make it up as a I go along, but if that story becomes something I think I can write an ending for, I’ll start to plan it out.

Tea or coffee?
Tea if I feel sophisticated, or else it’d be hot chocolate.

What are the most important three things you’ve learned about writing, editing or publishing (or all of the above!) since you started your journey?
I’ve learned so much since I decided to make writing a career rather than a hobby, but I think the most important thing would be that it isn’t as solitary as people suggest. There are publishers and editors and cover designers to talk to, as well as the people you ask to help with research and the obscure little things you can’t find on the internet.

Another is that editing is tough, because you’ve got to be brutal. You spend months writing these scenes and exchanges and then you have to decide what ones to cut out because they’re irrelevant to the thing or don’t fit the story. And because you’ve got to reread stuff you’ve looked at a thousand times.

What’s your favourite quote on writing?
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit at a typewriter and bleed.”

-Ernest Hemingway

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
Write something you want to read.

Where else can we connect with you?
My blog at WordPress and Twitter or my Facebook page

You can find The Game Begins on Goodreads here.

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WWW Wednesday 1st June 2016

WWW 01062016This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

WWW WednesdayI’M BACK! 😀 You’d think I’d have finished more since the last time I took part was one month ago, but I’ve only finished one book! I’m also reading two books right now, so as you can see things are wild here 😛

This meme will be categorised together with my book reviews. All links will get you to the book’s Goodreads listing, as always 🙂

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What I’m currently reading

TheMakingofGabrielDavenportThe Making of Gabriel Davenport

I know Beverley from Twitter as well as her blog, and because she’s such a lovely person and because that cover is stunning I had to buy her book. It’s not my usual read and I wasn’t sure what to expect from it, but so far it’s got me hooked and I’m looking forward to reading more. I’m really glad I decided to give this a go, and I’m enjoying it a lot! It’s a fast read, so I expect I’ll be done before the week is over. A full review will follow in a few weeks 🙂 (that cover is hand-drawn, people! hand-drawn!)

Blurb:

In a house built on truth something lays hidden.

Beth and Stu Davenport moved to the English hillside town of Meadowford Bridge to give their young son, Gabriel, an idyllic, rural childhood. But in a single evening, the Davenports’ dream is shattered by a hidden, ancient darkness– and their lives are forever changed.

Years later, Gabriel Davenport, now a capable, curious young man, makes the ill-fated decision to go looking for answers about his mysterious past. As soon as he begins his quest, his life becomes a place of shadows. The people he loves and trusts are acting abnormally. The strange woman who lives upstairs is even more haunted than usual. Even his most trusted friend seems to be hiding something.

As one fateful night deepens, and the line blurs between darkness and light, Gabriel must confront the terrible events that destroyed his family all those years ago. He is faced with a choice: continue living the life that was never his to begin with, or give himself over to a terrifying new reality more sinister than anything he’s ever known.

The darkness is watching.

The second book I’m reading is this:

RebeccaHowie CoverThe Game Begins

I’m interviewing Rebecca here tomorrow, and really wanted to read her book before that. Sadly I’ve only just started it and am not very far into it, but it’s intriguing so far.

Because I’m only a few pages into it I can’t say very much about it, but as I’ve just mentioned the author herself will be here tomorrow to chat about her book, so watch this space 😉

Blurb:

Four years after the car crash which took away her father, Samantha Beckett is still struggling to move on with her life. There are so many questions plaguing her since she woke up in hospital. Deciding to try and make peace with the past, her nightmares return and moving on seems impossible.

When a series of break-ins are brought to her attention, Sam begins to investigate with the help of her friend, in the hope of taking her mind off her father. She soon realises that the case isn’t as simple as it first appeared after a woman is killed and her husband is accused of her murder.

With threats, deception, and murder making it hard for Sam to know who to trust, she has to solve her case before somebody else is killed.

It isn’t long before she realises just how dangerous her world really is.

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What I recently finished reading

WWW040516.1The Wise Man’s Fear

After The Name of the Wind I had to read the sequel. I know I’m in for a wait for the final book in the trilogy (November, was it?), but this one I had to have now. If you’ve seen my review for The Name of the Wind, you’ll know that I wouldn’t have cared if it had a thousand pages – this one actually has a thousand pages (994, to be exact) and I don’t care. Usually long books like this intimidate me, but these two are exceptions.

I’ve enjoyed this so much – my only tiny criticism would be that it might have been better off as two books – and I’m itching for the final novel in this trilogy. My full review will follow next week.

Blurb:

“There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.”
My name is Kvothe.
I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trehon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.
You may have heard of me.

So begins the tale of a hero told from his own point of view — a story unequaled in fantasy literature. Now in The Wise Man’s Fear, an escalating rivalry with a powerful member of the nobility forces Kvothe to leave the University and seek his fortune abroad. Adrift, penniless, and alone, he travels to Vintas, where he quickly becomes entangled in the politics of courtly society. While attempting to curry favor with a powerful noble, Kvothe uncovers an assassination attempt, comes into conflict with a rival arcanist, and leads a group of mercenaries into the wild, in an attempt to solve the mystery of who (or what) is waylaying travelers on the King’s Road.

All the while, Kvothe searches for answers, attempting to uncover the truth about the mysterious Amyr, the Chandrian, and the death of his parents. Along the way, Kvothe is put on trial by the legendary Adem mercenaries, is forced to reclaim the honor of the Edema Ruh, and travels into the Fae realm. There he meets Felurian, the faerie woman no man can resist, and who no man has ever survived…until Kvothe.

In The Wise Man’s Fear, Kvothe takes his first steps on the path of the hero and learns how difficult life can be when a man becomes a legend in his own time.

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What I think I’ll read next

Since the two books I’m reading now are outside my usual genre I’ll probably read a fantasy book next, but I haven’t decided which one 🙂 I’ve got more than enough on my book shelf to chose from! Both of my current books are short, so I imagine I’ll pick one later this week 🙂

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Have you read any of these and would like to chat about it? I look forward to hearing from you if you do – just leave a comment below and we can get this book club started!

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