Interview with Rebecca Reid, author of 'The Coop'

Rebecca Reid was withdrawn from school due to illness at fourteen. Being limited in the things she was able to do, she wrote all the time − poetry, stories, feelings, thoughts. At 16 she had her own page in the local weekly newspaper, the Bangor Spectator, in which she covered anything and everything: fashion, beauty, film, teen issues etc. At 17 she became a model, doing catwalk, photographic work, and TV. In 2008 she graduated in English from Queens University, Belfast, and she was awarded an Arts Council writing grant in 2009. Married in 2007, she lives in N. Ireland with her husband and their three daughters.  

The Coop is her first novel, and part of the Thickets Wood Trilogy.

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Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life! Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process. Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning? Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

It may sound strange, but it found me. I can’t speak for other authors but for me the process of creation is terribly unpredictable. It’s a feeling, an urge. I simply follow it. Therefore I know very little of what’s going to happen before it happens. Certain things may occur that then force me to manipulate the story at times but it lives as it fills the page.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

The hardest thing for me was coping with the bursts of narrative in my head. Whole paragraphs would come charging at me, sometimes at the most inappropriate of times. If I don’t capture them there and then, they are lost, so I quickly learnt to carry a notebook everywhere. Now I would never be without one. You never know when something will jump out at you.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I self-published through KDP.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

I think to begin with the size of the project in its entirety was very daunting. There is a whole world out there that I am trying to reach and screaming at them from some mountain top in Ireland isn’t going to be much use. Getting the book Kindle ready was probably the smallest task I had, publicising it was the biggest. You have to fight tooth and nail to get an e-book noticed in the world so to have the media give it a second glance, you’ve a hell of a fight on your hands. But I can be an alley cat when I want to.

Q: Can you describe the feeling when you saw your published book for the first time?

It was like that moment when you realise Santa really did manage to get you that gift you always wanted. The realization that something so amazing exists. I guess you could say I was drunk on life.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be

THE COOP is book 1 in the Thickets Wood Trilogy, book 2 and 3 are written and awaiting editing. I hope to release Thickets Wood in April 2013. In the mean time I intend to move onto writing the latest story that has been bubbling away for the last few months.

Q: Fun question: How does your book contribute to making this world a better place?

It opens your mind to the idea of something else, helps the reader see something they so naturally accept from an alternative perspective.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

That things aren’t always what they seem.
Q: Thank you again for this interview! Do you have any final words?

I hope you enjoy it!


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