TSPR-YAtowerTHE BOOK: The Winter People (and others)

INTERVIEW: Rebekah L. Purdy

AUTHOR WEBSITE: http://rebekahlpurdy.wordpress.com/


When I attended the ALA (American Library Association) this past summer, I had the chance to get an advance copy of Entangled Teen’s Paranormal Romance book The Winter People. A couple of months later, I finally found the time to read it (I admit the gorgeous cover sucked me in). I absolutely loved the novel from start to finish! Purdy’s wonderful world of fairies, romance, and anxiety ridden Salome, really came to life. Afterwards, I knew I would love to have Rebekah for our new YA Tower, to talk about her latest book release. She agreed and here we are! More than just the author of The Winter People, Rebekah L. Purdy has several other books you may find familiar, including The Fairy Godmother Files: Cinderella Complex, My Dad’s a Paranormal Investigator: Seeking Shapeshifters, and The Romeo Club.


Author Pic 1 Rebekah PurdyAutumn: How did you get started as a writer? In what circumstances did you write your first published novel?

Rebekah: Actually I’ve written since I was little. I took creative writing classes in high school, worked on the school newspaper, and wrote short stories in my free time. After I left for the army, I just continued to write—normally starting long hand then typing them. Now, I use my lunch hours at my day job to do most of my writing. My first published book, My Dad’s a Paranormal Investigator: Seeking Shapeshifters was a story I wrote while in a writer’s boot-camp type setting. It made its rounds and was eventually picked up by a small press. A couple months after I signed my contract with the publisher, I found myself an awesome critique group. I’ve been with these ladies ever since.

For those unfamiliar with your latest book release, The Winter People, can you briefly tell us what it is about?

“Salome Montgomery fears winter—the cold, the snow, the ice, but most of all, the frozen pond she fell through as a child. Haunted by the voices and images of the strange beings that pulled her to safety, she hasn’t forgotten their warning to “stay away.” For eleven years, she has avoided the winter woods, the pond, and the darkness that lurks nearby. But when failing health takes her grandparents to Arizona, she is left in charge of maintaining their estate. This includes the “special gifts” that must be left at the back of the property.

Salome discovers she’s a key player in a world she’s tried for years to avoid. At the center of this world is the strange and beautiful Nevin, who she finds trespassing on her family’s property. Cursed with dark secrets and knowledge of the creatures in the woods, his interactions with Salome take her life in a new direction. A direction where she’ll have to decide between her longtime crush Colton, who could cure her fear of winter. Or Nevin who, along with an appointed bodyguard, Gareth, protects her from the darkness that swirls in the snowy backdrop. An evil that, given the chance, will kill her.”

“I had a dream, which was not all a dream,/ The bright sun was extinguish’d, and the stars/ Did wander darkling in the eternal space.” – Lord Byron

The Winter People begins with a beautiful epigraph, a poem by Lord Byron. Did Byron’s poem come first or after you started writing? How did it influence the novel, if at all?

The poem actually came after I wrote the story. But I knew I wanted to begin each season and the book with a poem. And when I read this particular one by Lord Byron, it fit my characters perfectly. The talk of darkness and ice really captured kind of the essence of the story. The fear. The desperation that winter kind of brings for these characters. The thought of death and how everything seems desolate.

One of the characteristics I loved best about The Winter People is your protagonist Salome. She’s not strong physically, but instead suffers from anxiety attacks that really make her more human and flawed.  What was the motivation behind this choice?

Salome is a character that I love. I love that she’s not perfect. That she has flaws, because in real life, no one is perfect. Everyone struggles with something. For Salome, it’s winter and having to be out in the snow, it brings forth so many bad memories for her. Half of the time she thinks she’s crazy because no one else around her hears voices or sees the things she sees. In real life, I know people who suffer from mental illness and various phobias, so it was nice to represent them in a book. And I like the fact that we gradually see Salome get stronger as the book goes on, like she wants to get better and face everything head on.

The Winter People is very romantic, but there are a lot of boys in the beginning and a lot of choices for Salome. Did you know who would really be the main love interest when you started writing?

Without spoiling anything, I have to admit that I am really happy how the book turns out. Actually when I first started writing it, I had a good idea of who I wanted her to be with. But some things changed as I wrote and the characters changed. And then I changed my mind on where I wanted things to go. Partially because each of the characters had a backstory and once those backstories started to take root inside my head, I knew that my original plan wasn’t going to be so cut and dry. I’m glad Salome ended up with who she did, because he truly was all about Salome and her making good choices. Each of the guys had his purpose in the story and not everything was as it seemed (how’s that for a cryptic answer?) LOL.

A strong essence of fairy tale and fantasy are found in much of your work, such as The Winter People and Cinderella Complex. What interested you about the genre? Do you find yourself doing a lot of research on folklore or mythology before you begin writing?

OMG, LOVE folklore and fairytales! I love reading about things that “could” exist but we’re not sure if they do. I got a chance to go to Ireland about 6 years ago and it was one of the best experiences. I loved listening to the folklore and how in one area they moved a whole highway area so as not to disrupt what they thought was a fairy tree. I like to believe that all myths got their start from something in real life—it makes things so much more interesting.

I’ve read books on fairies/fae/fairytale creatures before, but I like to give them my own twist. I think that’s what’s fun about the genre is taking something that people know a lot about and kind of making it your own. You know, creating new worlds.

Out of all your novels, what has been one of the most fun characters to write and why?

Well, I have a book coming out next year, Where There Be Humans, which is probably one of my favorite books I’ve written. There’s a character in it named Pudge that I LOVE. He is so funny and just down to earth—like he could seriously be the kid living next door to you. But he just does the funniest things. I can’t wait for everyone to meet him. But out of my published books, it’s kind of a tossup. I loved writing Gareth in The Winter People as well as Salome, but I LOVE Maggie from The Fairy Godmother Files. I love all my characters—LOL. Even the bad guys. They all bring something different to the table.

One book of yours, The Legend of Me, has a delayed release. Any ideas on a new release date yet?

Ah, I wish I had some news on this front. All I can tell you at this point is that it has a “floating” release date. I’ll basically get like 6-8 week notice before it releases. But as of right now, I don’t have a specific date yet. I SO can’t wait for everyone to meet the characters in this book and it’s killing me just as much as everyone else (LOL). Trust me; it’ll be worth the wait. And I have to say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE the book cover for it!!!

the legend of me

She wasn’t exaggerating!

What writing project are you working on next? Any sequels in the works?

I’m actually working on a couple books right now. One is a “secret” contemporary project that I’m working on with a few other authors. It’s going to be EPIC! By the time this interview comes out, I’m hoping that we’ll be able to announce the news. I’m also working on writing The Winter People book 3 (yep, TWP is part of a trilogy). The second book is slotted to come out in August of 2015, so I’ll be starting book 3 in the next 1-2 months. I already know what’s going to happen and have the plot figured out, just need to get it down on paper. It’ll definitely be a fun ride. I have so many ideas running around in my head and I look forward to wrapping up some of my series so I can work on some new things.

And finally, what advice would you give to other aspiring authors trying to make it, trying to get published?

Okay, this might seem like simple advice, but I stand by it SO firmly. Don’t. Give. Up. It took me seven years to land my first agent. Six years to get my first published book. And ten years to have my first hardcover book come out. I wrote like 8-9 manuscripts. It wasn’t my first or second or even third book I wrote that sold. It was more like my 6th book. If you want it bad enough, you have to keep going, even when the rejection letters are coming in. My agent went on to sell a couple of my books that had originally been rejected so hang on to ALL your stories, you never know when you might be able to go back and clean them up. But yeah, definitely keep pushing forward…Don’t. Give. Up. (See I put that in here twice because it’s THAT important).

ABOUT THE WINTER PEOPLE

TheWinterPeoplecover


BOOK BLURB

“Salome Montgomery fears winter—the cold, the snow, the ice, but most of all, the frozen pond she fell through as a child. Haunted by the voices and images of the strange beings that pulled her to safety, she hasn’t forgotten their warning to “stay away.” For eleven years, she has avoided the winter woods, the pond, and the darkness that lurks nearby. But when failing health takes her grandparents to Arizona, she is left in charge of maintaining their estate. This includes the “special gifts” that must be left at the back of the property.

Salome discovers she’s a key player in a world she’s tried for years to avoid. At the center of this world is the strange and beautiful Nevin, who she finds trespassing on her family’s property. Cursed with dark secrets and knowledge of the creatures in the woods, he takes Salome’s life in a new direction. A direction where she’ll have to decide between her longtime crush, Colton, who could cure her fear of winter. Or Nevin, who, along with an appointed bodyguard, Gareth, protects her from the darkness that swirls in the snowy backdrop.

An evil that, given the chance, will kill her.”


Blog: http://rebekahlpurdy.wordpress.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/RebekahLPurdy

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rebekahlpurdyauthor

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/rebekahg22/

 

BUY HERE:

AMAZON

BARNES AND NOBLE

 

ARE YOU A ROMANTIC REBEL LIKE US? FOLLOW THE SILVER PETTICOAT REVIEW:
Silver Petticoat Review Logo Our romance-themed entertainment website is on a mission to help you find the best period dramas, romance movies, TV shows, and books. Other topics include Jane Austen, Classic Hollywood, TV Couples, Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Romantic Living, Romanticism, and more. We’re damsels not in distress fighting for the all-new optimistic Romantic Revolution. Join us and subscribe. For more information, see our AboutOld-Fashioned Romance 101, and Modern Romanticism 101
If you enjoyed this article, please help us spread the word! Share with your friends or save to Pinterest to read later.