Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday Feature Rebecca Mascull

This is a brand new regular series featuring authors of historical fiction which I hope will introduce new authors to blog followers and provide essential writing tips to all aspiring authors. First up is the lovely Rebecca Mascull author of The Visitors.



Photos coutesy of Rebecca's website and The Grimsby Telegraph

About Rebecca
I've been writing seriously for about 13 years. I left full-time teaching to take a Masters in Writing in 2001 and have been working towards trying to get published ever since. I wrote three novels before "The Visitors" that weren't published. I secured my agent Jane Conway-Gordon on the strength of the third novel and when we couldn't get a deal on that one, she told me to get on with the next one. I did and that was "The Visitors". Within a week or so of it being sent to Hodder in 2012, we had a publishing deal. It took 11 years to get there, but it was worth it in the end! "The Visitors" has been nominated for the Edinburgh International Book Festival First Book Award readers can vote for it here: https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/first-book-award/vote?book=4911

I attended the festival too and had a wonderful time here's my report on my website http://rebeccamascull.tumblr.com/post/95728118968/edinburgh-bookfest-report As you can see my partner Simon and daughter Poppy are very involved in all my writerly doings and we had such fun.

My Questions

Question 1. What are you working on at the moment?
Right now, I've just received the copy edit from my publisher for my second novel "Song of the Sea Maid" which is due for publication next June. This involves looking at the many coments from the copy editor that analyse the language and facts of the latest draft. It's a time consuming process, Mostly I just feel honoured that professional people have spent so much time looking at my work, and together we can strive to make the book the best it can be. Once that's done, I'll be starting work on my third novel for Hodder & Stoughton, which will be set in the early decades of the twentieth century.

Question 2. Your top five writing tips?

1. Persevere. It tool me over a decade to get to the point where my work was worthy of being published. Along the way I sent my work out to around 50 agents each time I submitted, and for each of those I only got interest from 1 agent. So you must suffer the slings nad arrows of outrageous fortune, as dear Hamlet once said, and keep trying!

2. Read. I feel very strongly about this one. I do believe writers must read the greats if they wish to write great books. Read the canon, from the 18th Century to the present day, different genres, both genders, read, read, read. Find out what works and why.

3. Be organised. Keep notebooks, files and boxes of notes. Writing a book is a big project and should be treated as such.

4. Check your facts. If you're writing anything based on real events, such as historical fiction, try to ensure you get your information from at least two sources for every fact. Be thorough and don't be satisfied with shoddy research.

5. Love your subject. If you're bored by some aspects of what you're writing, then your readers will be too. Follow your heart and write about what grabs you and what you love.

Question 3. Your five favourite books?

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles


Thanks so much Rebecca,  and don't forget to vote for The Visitors at the link above. The Visitors is available from Hodder in paperback and e-book now.

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