Monday, July 30, 2018

Rebekah L. Purdy Author Interview

Photo Content from Rebekah L. Purdy 

Rebekah was born and raised in Michigan where she spent many late nights armed with a good book and a flashlight. She’s lived in Michigan most of her life other than the few years she spent in the U.S. Army. At which time she got a chance to experience Missouri, Kansas, South Carolina, and California.Rebekah has a business degree from University of Phoenix and currently works full time for the court system. In her free time she writes YA stories, anything from YA Fantasy to YA Contemporary Romance. Rebekah also has a big family (6 kids)—she likes to consider her family as the modern day Brady Bunch complete with crazy road trips and game nights.When not hiding at her computer, Rebekah enjoys reading, singing, soccer, swimming, football, camping, playing video games, traveling, and hanging out with her family and gazillion pets.


Defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer.
As a kid, my family moved around A LOT as in I think I went to like 7-8 different schools. In 4th grade we moved to a small town called Fremont, which would change my life. Here, I had this really awesome teacher, Mr. McGrath who used to read to our class every day. One of the books that he’d read to us was Where the Red Fern Grows. I remember just being consumed by the book and the fact that my teacher made me feel so welcome to my new school. But also, this same year, I met two new friends Kristin and Jenny who would invite me to hang out with them and help me to delve further into books. They were both avid readers and introduced me to The Babysitter’s Club.

These books made me fall in love with reading, which in turn made me want to write. Because we moved a lot, we were only in Fremont for a couple of years before we moved again. It was always hard to be the “new girl.” And it was hard to always have to start all over and make friends. But no matter where I landed, I seemed to always gravitate toward the people who loved to read. Since we moved so much, I started to create stories. Sometimes using people I’d met as characters, other times, just using it as an escape. I soon realized, I loved telling stories and creating my own worlds and characters. Once I started, I couldn’t stop.

I actually still have most of the stories I wrote as a child/teen. One of which, I ended up cleaning up and selling as an adult J

What fiction most influenced your childhood, and what effect did those stories have on LEGEND OF ME
I read pretty much anything I could get my hands on. But I think some of my first books, Where the Red Fern Grows, The Babysitter’s Club, Tuck Everlasting…those are the books that made me want to write. As a writer, I want to give my readers that same magical feeling of getting lost in a “book world”….

Has reading a book ever changed your life? Which one and why, if yes? 
Again, I’d have to go back to my 4th grade year when the books I read were kind of my catalyst into the world of writing.

Which character have you enjoyed getting to know while writing LEGEND OF ME
Ahhh, such a hard question. But probably the 4 main characters. Brielle, Rhyne, Raul, and Kenrick. I think it’s because they all had interesting backstories. Things that made you love them (or hate them LOL) even more. Raul, though, was probably the one that grew on me the most because of his tumultuous back story.

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to have a life in writing? 
Have thick skin and know that it can take time to become a published writer. So be patient and always work on honing your craft.

What were your inspirations for the character development? 
Probably the world around me. I like to observe people and it helps with writing “real” characters. Try it once, go to the mall or a football game and just listen to the people around you.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author? 
Don’t give up and be prepared for a long journey.

Your Favorite Quotes/Scenes from LEGEND OF ME
OMG there are so many! But I think for me, I still love my tagline the most (hahaha). Death, blood, and bones. No one should go into the woods alone. It kind of just sums up the book atmosphere. And some of my favorite scenes I can’t share or it will spoil stuff in the book (hahaha).

  • Raul was never supposed to be a main character.
  • Rhyne was originally supposed to be a love interest.
  • There had been talks about possibly making this a series, but in the end we decided not to (although I can never say never).
  • I rewrote this book like 7-8 times.
  • I replayed the song Don’t You Remember by Adele like 9 million times for a really sad scene I had to write.
  • I also listened to a lot of Kpop during my edits for this book (shout out to GOT7 for making edits more enjoyable).
  • I might’ve cried while writing this book…
  • My crit group was fighting over Raul (hahaha)
  • I really want to tell more of Kenrick’s backstory 
  • The backdrop of the story (the setting) I took pieces of from a place in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where I camp (Fayette) as the woods up there are very “fairytaleish”
I normally do most of my writing on my work breaks. I always scour baby naming books when looking for names (hahaha—and I look at their meanings). And I normally like to drink iced coffees and have a pre-built playlist.

BRIELLE: Has long blondish hair. She’s a healer. Very independent (and stubborn). She’s an outsider in the village and often times has rumors flying around about her and her Gram. She lives with her grandma as her parents passed away when she was young. She’s very intuitive and trying to find a way to locate the beast and kill it before it hurts anyone else in the village.

RAUL: Has dark hair, some tattoos. He’s Roma and is a tinker. He does a lot of traveling. He’s also an outsider. The people in the village treat him poorly due to his Roma/Gypsy lines. He likes Brielle and goes out of his way to do things for her. He’s trying to help her figure out what’s going on with the beast.

RHYNE: is actually ½ Roma/Gypsy (on his mom’s side). He’s also an outsider and is close friends with Brielle. He’s a flirt and gets in trouble for running his mouth. He’s also Raul’s cousin. His dad has forbidden him for associating with his mom’s family, but he goes behind his back to learn about his heritage etc.

KENRICK: Is a Knight of the Crowhurst Order. He is hunting the beast…he’s certain that it is around Dark Pines. He likes Brielle and talks her into helping him research the beast. Problem is with the order he’s in, they’re job is to get rid of evil and sometimes that can cause witch hunts in the villages they visit.

Your journey to publication
It took me 6-7 manuscripts before I landed my first book deal. I’d decided to go small press for my first book, then after that I landed my 1st agent. I was SO excited as I’d been trying for years to get my foot in the door. But not everything is perfect in the publishing world and my agent and I parted ways after 1 book. I then found a new agent, who went on to sell a few more books for me, however, she left the company, and so I then had my 3rd agent (who I’ve now worked with for a few years). But I’ll never forget my first book sale…and then books I’d previously tried subbing went on to sell later on (so hang on to your old stories).

My family was excited for me and were also my first “buyers.” Hahaha. They’re definitely a support system for me when I need to bounce ideas off them…

No one should ever go into the woods alone.

Brielle has grown up listening to tales of a beast that attacks humans, leaving behind only a scattering of bones and limbs. It’s probably the elders’ way of keeping little children in line, but it doesn’t explain her grisly premonitions of blood, claws, and severed heads.

But when Brielle finds a mangled body in the woods, she begins to wonder if the grim stories may actually be true. Soon, Lord Kenrick, Knight of the Crowhurst Order, arrives asking questions about the legendary monster. Brielle’s attraction to him is immediate and undeniable. She volunteers to help him search for clues to the creature’s existence, despite her suspicions about his timing.

As her seventeenth birthday approaches, Brielle’s nightmares worsen and more villagers go missing. If Brielle doesn’t figure out the connection between Kenrick, the beast, and her visions, more people will die. As Brielle falls deeper in love with Kenrick and deeper into the snares of the abominable beast, she’ll become part of a legend so great, no one will ever question its validity again.

You can purchase Legend of Me at the following Retailers: