Author: Rebecca Weller
Published on: 1st January 2016
A fantastic find of 2016, Rebecca Weller! Her bubbly personality jumps out of the page even in an interview 😀
Don’t believe me? Just read on…
How long did it take you to write this book?
Hleo is a series of four books, they took me six years to write. I can’t exactly remember when the first one was finished and I moved onto the second. They’ve always been so intertwined with each other in my mind it’s hard to separate them into their own unique spaces. Part of that six years also includes getting the guts to put it out into the world, I wanted it to be perfect before letting others read it. That might be the hardest part of writing, sharing it with others.
We all need a hero! Tell us about your protagonists? Was there a real-life inspiration behind them?
Hannah and Ethan. Where do I even start, at this point they’re like my children, haha. Hannah is meant to be like you and me, just going merrily on her way through her normal life when BAM, she’s thrust into all this chaos, and what she thought her life was turns out to be completely fabricated. She questions things, and feels lost and confused, and fights to rise above and gain control. I like to think people reading will relate to her reactions to the situations she ends up in. Ethan, hmm. He’s meant to be the quintessential hero. Strong, brave, the consummate gentleman, he embodies everything I think people, especially girls, want in their heroes. But, although he has all these qualities, he’s also flawed and just a little bit tortured and broken. His past has scarred him in ways that show themselves throughout his time with Hannah, and in some ways help her to relate to him better. Plus he’s just beautiful.
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
I always see writing like putting together a puzzle, some of the pieces are really clear and easy to see where they fit, and you build those sections quickly. For me those are always the big plot twists, the arguments, the climax that sort of thing. The other areas are nothing but clear blue sky and making them fit together takes lots of shifting around, these are the joining pieces, how do characters get from point A to point B in a logical, compelling and believable way.
What would you say is an interesting writing quirk of yours?
Embarrassing to say, but as I write I immediately turn my words into a someday movie. I’m not sure if other writers do this, but I always think, what if it made it to the big screen. And I love music, so as I write I create the score in my head. The music that fits the ‘scenes’ I’m creating. Hleo is filled with songs by Band of Horses, Shakey Graves, Meiko, Jack White, and so wrapped up in Mumford and Sons they’re the band playing at the Masks Gala, in my mind that is.
What do you like to read in your free time?
Writers begin as readers. I think before it can dawn on a person to sit down and type out thirty chapters of creativity they first have to have an appreciation for the written word. Loving books always came easy and getting drawn into different storybook worlds only made me want to be a storyteller of my own. As far as my reading tastes go, they’re pretty eclectic; Jane Austen is my hero, I can always go for a good mystery – a Mary Higgins Clark, and a well-crafted fantastical world like Cassandra Clare’s makes my heart happy. Ultimately I want a fairytale ending though; a conclusion where we leave our characters with all being right in their worlds.
If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be?
Literacy and education are powerful tools. It’s why I chose to donate $2.00 from every book sale to Because I Am A Girl, a global education initiative to help girls have safe learning conditions and protect them from abuses like child marriages. If I could do one thing to change the world it would be in this arena of trying to bring more literacy and education programs to developing nations.
What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you?
Facebook, Goodreads or my website are all great ways to communicate with me. My email address is on all of them, but very accessible on the website.
Find out more about Rebecca Weller and “Hleo” on hleoweller.wordpress.com