Today I’m excited to have Rebekah Purdy here to help me celebrate my new site. I had the opportunity to sit down with Rebekah in a virtual cafe, where she showed up wearing fairy wings and clutching a wand. What was that? You haven’t had the pleasure of meeting her yet? Well here’s your chance. Everybody, this is Young Adult Author Rebekah Purdy—the awesomeness behind the books Staking Shadows and My Dad’s a Paranormal Investigator: Seeking Shapeshifters. Rebekah, this is…well, everybody! Now let’s get to peeling back the curtain and seeing what makes her tick.
Moira: Let’s break the ice shall we? If you could go on a dream date with three people who most influenced your writing, who would they be?
Rebekah: Okay, as many people know, I have a problem with counting (hehehe). So here are 5 instead of three: Wilson Rawls and Ann M. Martin for capturing my attention in 4th grade and instilling a love for reading. R.L. Stine and L.J. Smith for introducing me to YA Thrillers/Paranormal/Horror when I was in high school and making me want to write books. Lastly, Suzanne Collins for inspiring me to want to be a better writer.
Moira: I said three. Not one for following the rules apparently. Fine. I can work with this…just don’t make it a habit. What genre do you write in, and why?
Rebekah: I write YA Fantasy/Paranormal. I think it’s because I’ve always loved the thought of faraway lands and the fantastic. A place where the obscure is the normal.
Moira: I guess your faux pas is forgiven, but only because I’m a huge fan of the obscure, faraway, and fantastical. How long were you writing before you received your first contract for publication?
Rebekah: Hmmm…like 6-7 years (mind totally blanked out—LOL). But yeah, definitely a few years.
Moira: A few perhaps, but they’ve produced some great stories. Speaking of producing great stories, do you need to be in a specific place or atmosphere before the words flow?
Rebekah: Not necessarily, however, I do tend to write better when it’s dreary and stormy out, or if I’m at the beach, listening to the waves crashing in.
Moira: Ha! When I’m at the beach I’m thinking about drinks with little umbrellas, surfers, and relaxing. What’s the strangest source of inspiration you’ve found for a story?
Rebekah: LOL—um, actually it was a spam email I got. I’m hoping to actually write that story later this year.
Moira: Proof that spam can be beneficial (and no we aren’t talking the canned variety). When you aren’t being inspired by spam or dreary weather, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Rebekah: Watch football, soccer, camp, write, sing, hang with my kidlets, watch movies and TV.
Moira: For a fan of the obscure those are very normal spare time occupiers. Let’s see if we can shake things up a bit. Name one thing readers would be surprised to learn about you.
Rebekah: I spent a few years in the US Army and graduated with Honors from Advanced Individual Training (for both the course work/physical fitness).
Moira: Nope. Not obscure enough…though it is a great accomplishment. Still, I want something more. Do you have any tattoos or piercings?
Rebekah: My ears are pierced, and believe it or not I have a tattoo of a crescent moon/star on my ankle (which I got when I was 17).
Moira: Ears?! I’m trying to get to the deeper darker side of Rebekah Purdy and you give me pierced ears! Sheesh. You don’t play fair Ms. Purdy. Sooner or later I’m going to figure you out. If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would you spend the money on?
Rebekah: What wouldn’t I spend it on? LOL. No, but seriously, I’d buy everyone in my family/my hubby’s family a house (or help pay off an existing mortgage). I’d set money aside for my kids. I’d also send some to my friends as well as donate money to the local schools and libraries in support of literacy.
Moira: Well I can’t knock that. Literacy is definitely an issue I think we can all get behind. Which household chore do you abhor and why?
Rebekah: This is a tough one. But I’d say laundry. I don’t mind washing it, but I HATE folding it. It’s like the socks take 2 million years to pair up.
Moira: Agreed. I always thought they were joking about the dryer eating socks when I was younger. Okay, one last attempt to get some dirt on you to be used at an undisclosed time and place for my own benefit. Do you have any guilty pleasures you feel comfortable sharing?
Rebekah: Crushing on celebrities (LOL): Ian Somerhalder, Johnny Depp, Taylor Lautner…
Moira: You can have Taylor. The other two we might have to discuss. Which of your characters would you most/least like to invite to dinner and why?
Rebekah: I’d probably invite Maggie, Seth, and Ima over to dinner. They’re all funny/quirky characters and I absolutely LOVE a good laugh.
Moira: I can see that as being one rowdy and hilarious dinner party. One author, dead or alive, and you get to have a one on one with them. Who would it be and why?
Rebekah: Suzanne Collins, because I think she’s brilliant.
Moira: Well should you ever get the chance for that one on one, let me know. Might have a few questions of my own to throw into the pot. Every author has a moment of brilliance in their writing world. Something that just strikes a chord with them for one reason or another. Name one scene you go back and re-read often because you like it so much.
Rebekah: This is hard because I have a few. But probably the scene where my main character Maggie is trying to convince the guy she’s had a crush on since elementary school that she already has a boyfriend.
Moira: Ooh, that’s definitely a good one. If you could have one talent besides writing, what would it be?
Rebekah: Ohhh…making movies. Like using real special effects and stuff.
Moira: The Fairy Godmother Files: Cinderella Complex is the first in a series about Maggie Winters. What gave you the idea for the series?
Rebekah: Actually, I was kinda playing the what-if game one day. What if a teen found out she was to become the new Fairy Godmother? What if her first assignment was someone she completely loathed, and on top of that the guy she’s crushing on might be a part of that happy ending?
Moira: The ‘what-if’ game is one of my favorite brainstorming activities. So, is there anything top secret or special you’d like to share?
Rebekah: Hmmm…not at the moment. But I suppose people might like to know that I have several Star Wars songs on my MP3 player (hehehe). May the Force be with you! Oh and I like to do character voices (Yoda, Stitch (from Lilo and Stitch).
Moira: Not exactly what I had in mind there young Padawan. In closing, tell us a bit about your latest release (& share an excerpt for those who aren’t yet familiar with your work)
Rebekah: The Fairy Godmother Files: Cinderella Complex Blurb:
Sixteen-year-old Maggie Winters can’t think of anything more exciting than junior year. There’s her first prom to look forward to, she can drive, and most important Connor Prince has finally noticed her. But unfortunately so has the school snob, Katrina Melville, who goes out of her way to make Maggie’s life a living hell. If that’s not enough, Maggie’s grandma has decided to retire, which doesn’t seem like such a big deal. That is until she finds out her grandma is a Fairy Godmother, and not just any Fairy Godmother. The Fairy Godmother, as in Cinderella, pumpkins, and mice. And she has informed Maggie that she’s next in line to become the new Fairy Godmother.
At first Maggie is excited, the whole getting wings, flying (or rather trying not to crash), and a wand that lets her grant wishes. It’s like being a superhero, without all the action, explosions, and spandex. Then she gets her first assignment, Katrina Melville, her nemesis. And if that doesn’t make her want to poof herself into oblivion, she finds out that part of Katrina’s happily-ever-after is Connor Prince. Life is so unfair. Even worse, she can’t tell her two best friends about any of it and they’re getting sick of her disappearing acts. Then there are the dangerous creatures, called Grimms who will stop at nothing to keep the happy endings from being fulfilled, even if it means destroying the Fairy Godmother responsible. With time running out, Maggie has to make this wish come true or it will ruin the fates of everyone involved, and open the world to darkness beyond imagination. Maggie will soon find out what it truly means to be a Fairy Godmother—and it isn’t all about princes, gowns, and wings, but something much more.
“Now comes the fun part.” Grandma opened the sliding glass doors leading onto the balcony. “You need to learn how to fly.” She tugged a lounge chair next to the railing. “Just climb up here and leap off.”
Not that I didn’t love my grandma, but she’d lost her ever-loving mind. No way in the world did any of my plans include jumping to my death. I took a step back. “I don’t think that’s such a good idea.”
“It’s like riding a bike.”
Maybe now was a good time to remind her how much I’d fallen down while learning to ride my bike. Taking a deep breath, I glanced at the ground below. It was a long way down. My pulse buzzed like a warning bell in my ears. Insane didn’t begin to describe this idea. More like freakin’ idiotic. And yet, I climbed onto the chair, then up onto the railing. I felt like a suicide on the ledge of a skyscraper.
“Think of your wings.” Grandma stood next to me, her hand resting on my calf.
Squeezing my eyes shut, I imagined my wings. The back of my shirt ripped and my wings expanded. Ugh, I loved this shirt. “Okay, I’m up here.” I kept my focus straight ahead. As long as I didn’t see the ground, I’d be all right, or at least I hoped I would be.
Grandma shoved me. I flailed off the balcony. She was trying to flippin’ kill me. In two seconds I’d be splatter on the lawn.
“Flap your wings,” she called.
The ground came at me at an alarming rate. Then, to my amazement, my wings kicked in, brushing air. Like a butterfly, I shot forward, gliding.
“Make sure you’re steering yourself.” Grandma’s voice sounded far away.
My lips tilted into a smile as I flew higher. Cool night air kissed my cheeks and whipped through my hair. I felt so free. I felt so—smack—a low-hanging tree limb whapped me in the face. Ow, crap! My face stung and my eyes watered. Right. Need to watch where I’m going. A strong gust of wind billowed in, catching my wings and tipping me backward. Like an out-of-control kite, I half fell, half glided toward the ground and into the side of a car.
Beep. Beep. Beep. The car alarm blared. I rubbed my arm and head. Now I knew how road kill felt.
“You okay?” Grandma hollered down.
“Sure, just give me a second to pull the fiberglass out of my face.” I stood and wiped myself off.
Grandma laughed. “You’ll get the hang of it. Maybe you should fly home tonight. Give yourself a chance to get used to your new wings.”
Sure, great idea. Then maybe I’d fly into the grill of a semi-truck or a hunter might shoot me out of the sky, thinking I was a big duck or something. And they’d stuff me like a turduken—only I’d be a turMaggen. Yeah, not a great visual. Because either way I looked at it, something or someone was going to be shoved into some place they didn’t want to go.
What had I gotten myself into? Grandma smiled and gestured for me to fly back up to her.
A Fairy Godmother. Me. Maggie Winters. The new Fairy Godmother. And I had no idea what I was doing.
Moira: Well that was definitely a treat! Thanks for letting me torture you Rebekah and hanging out with us today. For all you voracious readers out there, you can learn more about Rebekah Purdy and her books over at http://rebekahlpurdy.wordpress.com/ .
Thanks for stopping in. One copy of Cinderella Complex is up for grabs so ask your questions or just comment!