After reading The Forever Girl by Rebecca Hamilton I had the privilege of getting to know her. Aside from being intelligent, clever, and downright riddled with awesome, she was kind enough to answer some of my lingering questions about her, and her kickass book.
Hey Rebecca! You are awesome for taking the time to do this, I really appreciate it! As you know I loved your first novel The Forever Girl. Why don’t you give a brief summary of the story?
Thanks for having me here, Jess :) I think YOU are the awesome one. And thank you so much for the compliment on The Forever Girl.
The Forever Girl is about Sophia Parsons’, a young Wiccan woman cursed with a hissing noise in her head that makes it hard for her to concentrate. She’s shunned by the town she lives in and, in many ways, even shunned by her own mother. She thinks a Wiccan spell might silence the static shhing through her skull, but instead the noise turning into whispers. When this leads her to look into her family history, she discovers an ancestor was hanged during the Salem witch trials and that the body went missing before burial. This sets Sophia off on her adventure to find out what really happened, in hopes that solving the mystery will end the family curse. Instead, she discovers a world full of vampires-like creatures, shapeshifting elementals, ghosts, supernatural grim reapers, and children ruled by the element of fire. Charles, an elemental with a dark past and many secrets, remains by her side as she clings stubbornly to her goal to unveil the truth about her ancestor. At first, he only wanted to help her, but soon he caves into his desires to do more than that. In the end, Sophia’s discoveries only thrust her further into this strange, dark new world.
Your book centers on the Wiccan Religion. Are you Wiccan, or did you do intense research on the subject for your novel to get such accuracy?
I’m not Wiccan. I was when I was younger, if that counts, but I’m non-religious. I think there is a lot of beauty in many religions, but there are a few religions (such as Wicca) that are painted in such an inaccurate and poor light, which is why I wanted to draw from that for this book (and most of this series). With all my books, I hope to help readers uncover the truth and beauty of the unknown. And that’s really what it comes down to. People don’t know what Wicca really is, and their assumptions are so far from the truth it’s scary. Hollywood doesn’t help with that. I guess they think the only way Wicca can “sell” is if it’s some dark evil craft. I say boo to that.
The Forever Girl takes place in a very small town. Did you grow up in a small town?
I didn’t grow up in a big city, but not really a small town, either. Maybe you could say I grew up in a big town?
Did you write a lot of yourself into the main hero Sophia?
Sophia has some traits similar to me. For example, reasoning things to the point of being unreasonable. Over-thinking things. Not always saying what she’s really thinking. In other ways, we’re not quite the same. I prefer coffee to tea (actually, my coffee tastes more like hot cocoa…). I’m also not as brave as she is and I’m decidedly lazier. I’d say every character I wrote has a piece of me in them, whether it’s a trait they got from me, or I used a trait within myself to create an opposite trait for them, or even if it’s just a trait I’ve observed in someone else at some point in my life.
If you could be one of the characters in your book, who would it be?
Are any of your characters based on the personalities of real people in your life? (Supernatural abilities aside of course)
As I said before, I think all my characters reflect something I’ve experienced in some way or another, so in that sense, yes. I don’t think I really wrote any of my characters with anyone in mind, though.
What is your favorite book? What books have inspired you?
The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard: This one challenged me to think outside the box on a story-level. The way the plot is woven together is ingenious and the occasional “rolling POVs” (that’s what I call them) break the rules in all the right ways. It goes to show that writing can still be creative and effective. It doesn’t have to be some color-by-number approach that we see when writers try too hard to stick to the newbie writing advice people like to shove down writers’ throats. Though this does mean that because I’ve intentionally opted to use these techniques, I occasionally get people who throw the “rule book” at me for my “newbie mistakes”. I just smile, though. The reader who reads for the sake of reading…they don’t have this problem.
What made you interested in writing Fantasy over another genre?
No idea. It just happened. And it’s fun to write. But I still have major interests in Horror and Literary Fiction (which make peek through my fantasy writing sometimes, too).
When writing, do you ever picture particular actors/actresses playing certain parts? If so, who?
No. My characters come to me as their own person. I have to “cast” them after the fact (when people ask me this) and it’s always hard because I’m thinking … well, they’d be great at playing themselves LOL. Problem is they don’t really exist. I have noticed, however, that it’s most fun to imagine all my male leads as Jensen Ackles.
What do you find to be the most difficult part of the writing process?
Rewriting. I know it needs to be done and I don’t mind having to do it. It’s the actually doing it part that I struggle with. I feel like my brain has to remember the whole story all at once, every step of the way, in order to rewrite. It kills me. Now, revising, editing, all that jazz? I don’t mind. I’m not married to my words or my story, but it’s easier to break up with the wording than it is to shuffle around and break up with and make new connections within the story. Brain hurts just thinking about it.
You are very active on Twitter. What is your favorite part of the Twitterverse?
Meeting cool people :) There’s so many friendly and talented people out there, and Twitter as opened up the world to me so that I can find more of them.
When can we look forward to the second book in The Forever Girl series?
The actually second book in the series? I’m aiming for January 2013. And with three kids and a full time job … I’m just hoping I can pull that off.
What was your favorite scene in The Forever Girl to write?
*****SPOILER ALERT KIDS, SPOILER ALERT*****
The Samhain scene, with Thalia and the rest of her Cruor coterie in the alley on Basker Street. I really enjoyed meeting Thalia in that scene. It was the first time I met her and I totally fell in love with her there, even if she is a baddie!
Thanks Rebecca! As you can see, she has excellent taste (especially about Jensen Ackles) Look for her on Twitter and pick up your copy of The Forever Girl today!