Rebecca McCray is one of the authors I met through the wonderful miraculous world wide web. After reading the first part of her fantasy series, I was interested in her work. Here is an interview with one of many promising authors. Fantasy fans, enjoy it!
1. What fantasy creature (your own creation or other) are you most like, or you’d like to be, and why?
My story includes a species with wings, the Gaelae. Whether it’s this particular one or another similar species / creature, the ability to fly intrigues me. Being able to soar over cities or mountains offers a sense of freedom that appeals to me. Not to mention that it’s an excellent way to escape if the zombie apocalypse ever happens.
2. What was the starting point for the idea behind your book The Miyran Heir? How much time did it take for you to envision their world and your characters? Did it all develop as you wrote or did you have a planned layout of it before actually writing?
When I started writing my series, I had developed the main species, the Miyrans, and had a loose concept of the storyline. Simply put, I’m not a plotter. As a result, the first book consumed more time than it might otherwise as I was building out the world, the characters, and the story arcs for the whole series at the same time I was writing. I prefer the freedom of creating as I go along, though at this point, I do have detailed out the key plots for each novel. I could write the last chapter of the last book today.
3. Who is your favourite character and why (try to avoid spoilers)?
I love so many of my characters; I really don’t have a favorite. However, I do find two characters particularly interesting: Natal (right-hand man to the major bad guy) and Kenrya (one of the marked with a less than pleasant attitude…and she stinks). They’re both complex and have ‘good’ and ‘bad’ traits. There’s more to their stories that I can’t share, but you might just warm to them as the series progresses.
4. How do comments and reviews affect you? How much is motivation and how much confirmation? Are you vulnerable or thick-skinned?
Many of the reviews posted to date include thoughtful opinions. If I see something mentioned several times, I’ll take it into consideration as I continue writing. However, in the end, not every book appeals to every person, so negative reviews go with the territory. I think something productive can be taken from both positive and negative reviews, though of course, I love when someone loves my story.
5. What do your friends and family think about you as a writer? Do you tell people you are writer when you meet them?
I hear less about me being a writer from family and friends and more questions about when the next book will be ready. They seem quite eager to read it. In regards to whether I tell strangers I’m a writer / author, it really depends on the situation. As more people enjoy my story, I have found myself sharing this fact more broadly and it’s fun to see how people react…usually, it’s positive.
6. What message do you want to send through your writing? Do you already know how the Miyran Heir will finish or have your characters not told you yet?
The end could change slightly as I suspect some characters may die that I don’t necessarily intend to lose now. With that said, the big picture ending will be the same. The key message focuses on valuing unique qualities and how each individual can make a difference even if he or she doesn’t ‘fit’ a particular mold.
7. Would you like to try writing in a different genre? Which and why? What can’t you see yourself writing?
Perhaps mystery or travel writing. Those are the two genres I read if not fantasy or sci-fi and I do love a good puzzle to solve. However, I enjoy ‘living’ in alternate worlds and realities as it allows my imagination more flexibility.
I could also write a graphic horror novel, but I can’t ‘live’ in that world. My imagination tends toward the dark and if I let it have its way…well, I prefer to focus more on the light moments. While my story has a darkness to it, I balanced that with little snippets of humor.
8. What is the most difficult part in the whole writing process for you? How meticulous and merciless are you when you edit your work or somebody else’s?
Editing my own work is difficult. Not because I think it’s perfect, but simply because I’m too close to it. As I distance myself from my own writing, I uncover the little edits that likely don’t bother readers, but nibble away at me. While I try to be easier when I edit someone else’s work, that’s not always helpful to the author. If a writer asks for honest feedback, that’s what I give, regardless of how hard it might be for someone to hear and I prefer nothing less in exchange.
9. If you could interview any famous fantasy character or creature, who would it be and what would you ask? Where would the interview take place?
I’m not sure I’d class her as famous, but I’d like to interview Angela from the Eragon series. While Christopher Paolini wrapped up many loose ends, this one still felt open to me. I’d like to ask my questions about who she really is and what she’s capable of doing.
10. Are you happy to have started writing? Are there days when you just want to give it up? What keeps you going?
I simply can’t give it up. Writing settles and relaxes me. I love escaping the ‘real world’ and diving into my fantasy world. My characters fascinate me and I enjoy learning about them as I write. Now, marketing the book is a slightly different story. That part I could hand over to someone else, though I’ll always stay involved in social media as I enjoy hearing from fans.
11. Would you like to add anything about your current work or send a message to the readers?
I recently attended a writers’ conference and am making some changes to book two as a result. I’m still targeting late 2015 or early 2016 for its publication. Book two covers the experience of the marked youth at the warrior camp as they’re discovering and developing their abilities.
If you’re anxiously awaiting the next book, check out my website (link below). I’m slowly posting short pieces of information on various species and characters from book one. Please feel free to send me questions if you have them. As long as the answer isn’t a spoiler, I’m happy to include it in a post.
As well, I love seeing depictions of the characters. I’m not an artist and while I may have mine sketch some of the other species / characters, it’s fascinating to discover how readers picture them. I do have an instagram account and while I’m not too active just yet (still finding my way around), feel free to connect with me.
Thank you for your time, Rebecca! Best of luck with ‘the marked’! Happy writing!