Interview with Rebecca Crunden

Hi guys!

How is your day been so far? Mine has been good. I’ve just been knitting loads and getting some writing done.
Today I am super excited because I got to interview a relatively new favourite author of mine – Rebecca Crunden. She kindly sent me copies of both Haze and A Game of Wings and Marks, and then agreed to do an interview so clearly she is beyond lovely. So show her a lot of love because she is so nice and kind to me which is more than I can say for some authors who contact me. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this because I loved seeing all of her answers! Let’s get into this…

Firstly, can you tell us a little about yourself and how you started writing? 
I’m 27, finishing up school, and live in Ireland with my partner. I’m originally from
Texas, but I’ve lived mostly in Ireland since I was eighteen. I’ve been writing pretty
much my whole life, but started properly writing my books after my undergrad. I’m
impatient, though, so I started publishing on my own. I’ve read so many stories of
authors who chose independent publishing and made it work for them (Jamie
McGuire and Hugh Howey, off the top of my head), so I figured I’d give it a try!
Out of all your books what was your favourite to write and why?
I have a very special place in my heart for my first book, A Touch of Death, which is
a dystopian romance series (The Outlands Pentalogy). Writing it was more of a
therapy project than anything, so it means a lot to me. The book that I think is
probably the best that I’ve written – so far – hasn’t been published yet. It’s part of an
ongoing fantasy series that’s far, far from completion. I don’t want to give away the
title, but hopefully it’ll be out in a couple of years.
Who is your favourite character you’ve written and why?
I pretty much love all my characters, so having favourites is really hard. I definitely
find some characters easier to write than others. Of the books that I’ve published, I
think Nate and Thom Anteros, the brothers in The Outlands Pentalogy, have one of
my favourite dynamics that I’ve ever written.
Zev is by far my favourite character, did you always plan for him to be such an
important and beloved character or did he grow on you as you wrote so you
added to him more?

I don’t plan my stories in advance because I get bored really easily. Zev just
appeared in front of me after I’d already written the first couple of chapters with
Octavia. There was actually a whole side plot with Zev and Jack, but it gave away
too much of the final twist, so I had to remove those scenes. Which is a bummer,
because I loved their dynamic. Zev’s actually mentioned in another story I’m working
on, which is a sort of sideways sequel to AGOWAM in that its in the same universe,
but with none of the same characters or plotlines.
How do you keep/get inspired when starting something new or are having
writer’s block? 

Often I just throw sentences or ideas at a story and sometimes go seventy pages in
the wrong direction. A Game of Wings and Marks, for example, went through like five
different genres/backstories before it finally found its footing. I keep my cut material
for myself and there’s about 20K words of AGOWAM that didn’t make it into the final
book. Random scenes, changed plotlines, ideas that ended up not working, that sort
of thing.
I am personally inspired by my surroundings (especially for me as Scotland is
so beautiful) – is it the same for yourself?

Very much so! I’ve lived in Texas, Canada and Ireland, which are all very different
geographically and climate-wise. Definitely helps my imagination!
You are a huge inspiration to me as a writer because you are relatively young
to have published so much, did you always want to be an author? 

Oh yeah. I still remember trying to write a story about a haunted well when I was like
eight or nine, I don’t even remember. Then I started trying to write my own books,
but I didn’t complete my first book until after I finished my undergrad. And I didn’t
publish anything until I’d got the hang of fleshing out scenes, developing continuity,
learning my characters, worldbuilding, that sort of thing.
What did you like and dislike about independently publishing?
I love the freedom of being able to write and release my stories in my own time, and I
love the connections I make with readers. It can be really hard to promote your own
work and convince people to give your stories a chance without the help of a
publishing house behind you, but I’m working on it. If I didn’t love writing, if it wasn’t
something I literally wake up early before work to do, or stay up late cramming it in,
perhaps it’d be different. But writing for me is just something that happens. I can’t not
write. Bless my partner for putting up with me!

Favourite food?
Spinach lasagne for a meal, chocolate cake for a dessert, French toast for a
breakfast.

Favourite movie?
Oooof, this one is tough. Few films will ever compare to The Lord of the Rings. I still
remember going to the theatre as a kid and running out when the Nazgûl showed up.
Serenity is another that I adore. My partner and I watch Paul fairly often as it’s a
classic for us. I do tend to watch shows more than films, though. Nothing pop-culture
shaped my childhood as much as Buffy!

Book other than your own?
Anything and everything by Ken Follett.

Outwith writing and presumably reading, do you have my other hobbies?
I’m currently trying to finish my thesis, which is a tough one! I’m mad into camping
and hiking. Give me books, nature and a cup of coffee!

As a student myself, what was your favourite subject when you were younger
and what do you study now?

History. And history! I love learning about the past, unearthing all the stories. I’m
currently studying the Korean War and it’s insane the amount of stuff I didn’t know. I love finding great stories. Like, I read a serviceman’s memoir and he had a story
about being in the warzone and getting captured. He was almost executed when a
helicopter appeared over him. He didn’t know who it was, but he told his captors that
if they touched him, the helicopter would retaliate. Even without knowing each other,
the helicopter kept coming back until eventually the captors brought the serviceman
to a camp. He lived through the war and years later met a man at his workplace who
was also a veteran. They were exchanging war stories and the man had a story
about flying a helicopter in the war and coming across a man about to be executed.
He didn’t know him, but he kept circling back to check on him. All those years later
and they got to meet! I was sobbing by the end of that memoir. Stories like that are
the best part of history. And that’s barely scratching the surface!

Who would you say was your biggest writing (and non-
writing) inspiration when you were younger?

My mum has been my cheerleader from day one. She raised me in a house of
books, and I’ve kept that bookish love my whole life.

If you could say anything to your younger self what would it be?
‘Take deep breaths.’

Are you working on anything right now?
Oh yes! I haven’t written much recently with the pandemic and trying to finish school,
but I have one book that’s in the final stages and is a fantasy/sci-fi romance (and the
longest novel I’ve written to date!), and I have another one that just got through its
first round of edits. So I’m hoping to have another novel out this year, but we’ll see. I
don’t like to rush. I’m also working on a few others, including a sci-fi space
adventure, an anthology, and a contemporary romance set in Ireland.

And finally can you please tell readers how best to contact you?
My website (https://rebeccacrunden.com) or even my book email:
crundenbooks@gmail.com.

As I said at the top, please go check her out, and if you think you’d like reading some of her stuff check out my reviews to see what I thought about the two I have read. As always, I hope you enjoyed this. I LOVE getting to do interviews so I am definitely going to have to reach out to more authors, so I hope you like them too. I wish you a merry day my chums and I will see you tomorrow.

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