Friday, January 27, 2012

REBECCA YORK: Become A Writer? No Way!

My guest is USA Best Selling romance author, Rebecca York. Those of you who have read her wonderful stories know she writes, romance, suspense, and paranormal. Very talented lady. Rebecca has written a new detective series, Decorah Security. I have the opportunity to read (Squeee!) and review these three stories. Dark Moon is the first in this series and where I'm starting. So stay tuned for them. I love the touch of paranormal in these.

As prolific an author as Rebecca is, there was a time the idea of writing the stories playing out in her head was an impossibility in her mind. Why? I'll let Rebecca tell you about that.

Welcome, Rebecca! I've enjoyed your books over the years. I'm so glad to have you visiting today!

Sia, thanks so much for having me.

I’m the person who thought she could never become a writer.  Since I’m dyslexic, I had a hard time learning to read (partly because they were only teaching the memorize-the-whole-word method), and I’m a terrible speller.  Stories buzzed around in my head, and I acted them out with my dolls, but I never thought I could become a writer because I got slammed for my deficiencies by so many teachers.  (I’m the kid who was called up to the front of the room so the teacher could yell at her in front of the whole class.)

Kids react to that kind of treatment in various ways.  It hurt, but it also made me stronger and determined to succeed.

After I got married and had children of my own, I wanted a part-time job.  When I took a seminar at my local community college aimed at women who looking to enter the work force, I kept coming out high in writing interest.  Also, one thing they emphasized in the seminar was that if you wanted to work part-time, you’d have to go out and dig up a your own job.

Which led me to my idea of writing a newspaper article about the seminar.  Luckily for me, my husband volunteered to correct my spelling and typos.  And luckily for me, he’s been proofreading for me ever since.

It took me about twenty-five hours to write that article, but I sold it to a local paper and went on to write hundreds more articles.  I read some of them in a writing seminar at the same community college.  Other people in the class were writing novels, and I wanted to try one, too.  But the idea of working on such a large project scared me.  I told myself that a chapter of a book was no longer than the articles I’d been writing.  At the same time, I decided to make sure I could plot at least a quarter of the story before I started writing.  Even back then, I was more comfortable outlining before I jumped into the writing.

I wrote my first book, a children’s science fiction novel called INVASION OF THE BLUE LIGHTS (now available as an e-book), in that seminar.  I read chapters in the class and revised.  Then I revised a lot more before I sent the book out.  It was rejected four times, until an editor at Scholastic held it for nine months before sending me a two-page single-spaced revision letter.  I was smart enough to know that was a good letter and revised the manuscript according to her suggestions (adding some new scenes of my own). She bought it, and I became a published author.

I’ve been writing actively for the past–um–40 years.  And I’ve been very lucky in my career.  I went from kids’ science fiction to romance, to romantic suspense, to paranormal romantic suspense (with a significant side trip into cookbooks).  Recently, I’ve also written a couple of fantasy historical novellas for Carina Press.  DARK MAGIC was out last year, and SHATTERED MAGIC will be out in late summer.

I can see the publishing industry changing.  There’s more opportunity for authors to follow their own bliss rather than write to a publisher’s specifications.  In line with that observation, my most exciting recent project has been a new detective series called Decorah Security.  I’m putting the stories out myself on Amazon, and other e-book outlets

I wanted to launch with three titles.  While I was writing two Harlequin Intrigues (SUDDEN INSIGHT, out in January, and SUDDEN ATTRACTION, out in February), I wrote a Decorah novel, DARK MOON, a novella, CHAINED, and a short story, AMBUSHED.  They’re all tied to a security agency run by a crusty old Navy Seal, Frank Decorah.  His agents have paranormal powers or take on paranormal cases. (Each of them are linked to Amazon where you can read the blurb and purchase) 

All three are available wherever e-books are sold.

I’m also currently working on an exciting new romantic suspense series.  Because it’s still under wraps, I can’t say much about it yet.

  • How do you feel about the e-book market?  
  • Are you trying out some of the books available electronically?

Sudden Attraction 
They were never supposed to meet. Hidden on a New Orleans plantation were secrets Gabriella Bodreaux was never supposed to uncover, either. And after Luke Buckley saved her life, she couldn't get him out of her head...and she couldn't get out of his. 
At the slightest touch, they established the most intimate connection of their lives. So vulnerable, so right. Now they knew everything about each other—almost. 
He came with a secret identity, but wasn't the type of man who would run away from trouble. He could keep her safe. But when being together meant exposing themselves to more danger than either could prepare for, they had to reconsider just how "chance" their meeting really was....Excerpt 

Do check out  Sudden Insight and read the excerpt.

Buy: Amazon  Barnes and Noble, eHarlequin


Ever since she can remember, Rebecca York has loved making up stories full of adventure, romance, and suspense. As a child she corralled her friends into adventure games or acted out romantic suspense stories with a cast of dolls. But she never assumed she could be an author because she couldn't spell. Her life changed dramatically with the invention of the word processor and spelling checker--and the help of her husband, Norman Glick, who spots spelling errors from fifty paces away.

She and her husband live in Columbia, Maryland. They have two grown children, Elissa (a librarian) and Ethan (a Foreign Service Officer), and two grandsons, Jesse and Leo. Rebecca holds a B. A. in American Thought and Civilization from The George Washington University and an M. A. in American Studies from The University of Maryland. She heads the Columbia Writers Workshop.
Find Rebecca: Website (which is worth checking out1) Facebook, Twitter.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sia and Rebecca .. I love hearing how people with dyslexia overcome - and yours is heart warming story, Rebecca. Excellent news - sheer determination .. with wonderful supportive help from your husband.

Congratulations - we can if we wish to .. go where we want.

Loved this - thank you .. enjoy the weekend .. Hilary

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Loved this,
Have a wonderful week-end.


VA said...

Inspirational, Rebecca. I was in need of one.

Another fabulous interview, Sia.

Thanks, ladies.

Tonya Kappes said...

That is wonderful! I'm an early intervention therapist (for day job), and I work with children with dyslexia. It's such a great feeling when they accomplish the smallest tasks! You are very inspirational!

Rebecca York said...

Yes,at 18 dumb little me had the sense to pick the right guy. He's been so supportive of my career.

One thing I taught him is that spelling has nothing to do w/ intelligence--as so many of my teachers thought.

And because I can't spell, I developed handwriting where you can't tell an e from an i or an o from an a.


~Sia McKye~ said...

I loved the comment in your bio about Norman, "who spots spelling errors from fifty paces away."

Your story is an inspiration, Rebecca, on not letting preconceived ideas get in the way of what you want to accomplish.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's a amazing she overcome such a challenge.
And yes, I purchase eBooks exclusively now.

Anonymous said...

Rebecca, it's inspiring to hear how you've been able to pursue your writing even though you have dyslexia. On the questions, I still like reading hard copy books, since I spend all day working on my computer at work.

Rebecca York said...

Norman spots the spelling mistakes. But when we're in the woods he says, "Now which is the poison ivy." Poison ivy leaps out at me the way spellos do for him.

Jo said...

Just shows, anything can be overcome with the right incentives.

I just bought three Decorah Security novels from Amazon for my Kindle.

Rebecca York said...

Thanks so much, Jo. I hope you like them!

Mason Canyon said...

Rebecca, enjoyed learning how your came to write. I love the fact you never quit and became more determined.

Sia, thanks for another introduction to an intriguing author.

Thoughts in Progress

Renee said...

Wow! Your words melt like butter on your tongue. I love it!