Welcome to Author Interview Thursday hosted by the Never Too Old for YA and NA Books group on Goodreads. September is our Indie Author Interview month and we're very excited to share it with you!
Today we welcome Becky Wicks!
Standalone sequel to Before He Was Famous (out now!)
Sometimes, you have to get lost to find yourself...
When her rock star boyfriend breaks things off out of the blue, Alyssa applies to hit reality TV show Deserted and to her shock she gets through. Abandoned on a remote island with a bunch of strangers and none of the luxuries she’s become accustomed to, it’s not long before an undeniable attraction to the mysterious Joshua starts complicating things even further.
Joshua's different to everyone she's ever known - a traveller, a man with no plan, a world away from the celebrity life she's left behind. As a series of challenges test their wits and weaknesses, things start heating up in paradise, but in a game designed to break people down, it soon becomes clear that Joshua is hiding a painful secret - one he won’t risk anyone finding out.
Struggling to know where she belongs, Alyssa will have to choose - a life she once loved that wants her back, or a brand new reality that heartbreakingly may just have its limits.
***Warning: this book contains graphic language, sex, and mature situations. Not intended for young adult readers.***
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else?
Hi, thanks so much for hosting me! Well… when I was a kid in England I used to want to be a lollIpop lady. They stood on the sidewalk and helped kids cross the street near school. Then I realized they didn’t actually have lollipops and everything changed. I pretty much always knew I’d write though. I used to fill a kid’s notebook a week with stories about talking animals. They turned into hot guys when I was about sixteen….
How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
That depends on the book. I had a deal with HarperCollins when I was 30 to travel Dubai, Bali and South America, writing three travel memoirs and those took a year each because I was writing on the go. With fiction I can usually get a first draft down in 6-8 weeks, but I always allow a month to get it right, and to edit. Then it goes to the beta readers and I edit again. I’d say 3 months all up is pretty good going.
How do you come up with themes for your stories?
Inspiration is everywhere. A lot of the characters in my books are based on people I met on my travels, and also experiences I either had myself, or heard about from others! I worked with a lot of celebrities in my job at a radio station in Sydney, which is kind of when I got the idea of writing a series based going behind the scenes of that world. The Starstruck books focus on how fame can change people. I had a lot of fun researching that.
Do you have a schedule of when you write?
A thousand words minimum a day, no matter what! Of course, there are days I just get lazy and just want to watch chick-flicks all day, or procrastinate madly on the frets of my guitar, but at the end of the day I write something. ANYTHING. Even if it’s just a blog post.
How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?
Sometimes it’s tough because I think any writer will tell you we never really switch off. When we’re not bashing at our computes, we’re writing scenes in our heads. I live in Bali though at the moment, and the people here are all about balance. They worship the good and bad, and I like that. I try to apply balance to my life by taking lots of time out and most of the time, that’s when inspiration strikes!
What elements do you think make a great story line?
I think there should always be suspense. That’s what keeps people turning pages, right? You should also have likeable protagonists, unless there’s a very good reason for them to be hideous beings. No one cares about characters they hate! Also, I think chemistry between your leads in a romance is essential. There should be a build up to the fireworks exploding. No one really has sex the second after they meet, do they? Unless I’ve been missing out…
What was the hardest thing about writing a book?
Putting it out to the good people of the world and hoping they like it. Getting bad reviews sucks but we all get them. In the end they make us stronger and I’ve gained a lot from constructive criticism, but eventually you also have to accept that some people are just mean. When you put yourself out there, you will always have to fight a few trolls. The key I think is to keep on writing and improving all the time, and just stay true to yourself.
How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite?
There are 5 that I’ve published, three by HarperCollins on my globe-trotting (Burqalicious, Balilicious and Latinalicious) and 2 in the Starstruck Series: Before He Was Famous and Before He Was Gone. I also published a book with author Sarah Alderson called The Extraordinary Life of Lara Craft (not Croft). I think it’s the funniest of the lot, kind of Bridget Jones meets Jackie Collins deal, but we haven’t really done any marketing yet.
9Do you have a favorite character?
I love Alyssa in Before He Was Gone. She’s very strong-willed, doesn’t take any crap from anyone and goes after what she wants. I think she’s kind of an exaggerated version of the way I wish I could have been at 23.
Where do you write?
At the moment I write in Ubud, which is in Bali. It’s actually where Elizabeth Gilbert wrote a lot of Eat, Pray, Love but don’t hold that against me! It’s just a great place for a freelancer – very calm and inspiring – plus the coconuts are delicious! I spend a lot of time in cute cafes using free WIFI, and also sometimes on the beach. Beaches have WIFI now – amazing!
When deciding on how to publish, what directed you to the route you took?
Well, after my contract for travel memoirs with HarperCollins ran out I knew I wanted to write fiction. But I’d been reading a lot about the self-publishing world and I really wanted to give it a go. I’m so glad I did. I’m having such a great time meeting all these new writers and readers. It’s an awesome community. I wrote an article about it here actually.
Have you gotten feedback from family about your book(s)? What do they think?
My mom reads all my books but I’m never exactly sure she tells the truth about what she thinks because of the sex in them. Actually, even writing that makes me feel awkward. Let’s move on…
What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?
I’m a big fan of scuba diving! The islands in Indonesia are beautiful and I used them as inspiration for Before He Was Gone. But when you’re down there, looking at the fish, breathing out bubbles, it’s the most relaxing feeling ever. Sometimes I have really good ideas down there in the deep. I’m working on a book about a merman (Sssh).
What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing?
Write. Just write. Don’t let procrastination or self-doubt become your enemy. Even if you start with a blog, or a notebook, just put pen to paper, or fingers to a keyboard and start. If you want to write to sell, however, do your research and know your audience before you start.
What is your favorite book? favorite author? Do you have an author that inspired/inspires you to write?
I get asked this a lot and the name that always springs to mind is Enid Blyton, because I get these flashbacks to when I was really young, getting totally lost in her books. I’d walk down the street reading them and my mom would be annoyed in case I fell over! The Wishing Chair, The Magic Faraway Tree – all of them. Without a doubt she fired up my imagination and made me want to write for a living.
Do you have any go to people when writing a book that help you with your story lines as well as editing, beta reading and such?
Call it a twist of fate, or destiny but through a mutual friend in London I met author Sarah Alderson when I first moved to Bali to write my travel book. She writes YA and NA (S&S / Pan Macmillan) and we started writing together. Now we’re each other’s go-to for all things book related. We learn a lot as we go. I’m so grateful for her support!
Are you working on anything now?
I’m busy scribbling Stephanie’s story for Before He Was A Secret (Starstruck 3) and I’m having to take myself to Nashville every day on Google. It’s quite fun, but I’m thinking I’ll have to go there in the end, before it’s published! I like to be able to describe places properly. I’m also working on a new adult fantasy called Moon Burn. I’ve been editing it for a while but I’m excited to get it out there!
Thanks so much for being here today, Becky! It was great having you!
Thanks so much for being here today, Becky! It was great having you!
Hey guys! So, the Starstruck Series is my new adult romance offering to the masses. Before He was Famous follows Noah and Chloe's struggle to handle the fame Noah finds through winning a TV talent show. There's plenty of steamy sex and suspense in there, (ah, the thrills of when best friends become lovers). Before He Was Gone follows Chloe's friend Alyssa onto a Survivor-style reality TV show. I love digging behind the scenes of celebrity culture - I used to work for a host of glossy mags, so it's kind of my secret obsession.
I've also written three funny travel books about my time in Dubai, Bali and South America (HarperCollins). My first book, Burqalicious - The Dubai Diaries, my second book, Balilicious - The Bali Diaries and my third, Latinalicious -The South America Diaries are out now as ebooks - go ahead and make your feet even itchier.
I've also written a comedy romance with author Sarah Alderson under the name Lola Salt, called The Extraordinary Life of Lara Craft (not Croft) which should raise a giggle or two... think Bridget Jones if Jackie Collins had written it!
Feel free to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter at bex_wix. Thanks for reading!
Becky’s latest new adult romance, Before He Was Gone is up on Amazon now: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MR3HOMA
Follow her on her blog at www.beckywicks.com and on Twitter: @bex_wicks
I’m giving away ten e-copies of my newest novel Before He Was Gone (Starstruck 2).a Rafflecopter giveaway