Interview with Rebecca Beattie

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up on the high moor on Dartmoor, which is a very remote part of England. It is famous for its very bleak prison, its mists, and it is most famously captured in books like 'The Hound of the Baskervilles'. It is very atmospheric, and very beautiful. Although I moved away from there when I was a young adult to go to University, Dartmoor always stays with me. As my granddad once told me, 'Dartmoor gets in your blood'. This means it is there in everything I write.
My first two novels, 'The Lychway' and 'Somewhere She is There' are both partly set on Dartmooor.
When did you first start writing?
As a child. Living where we did, you had to make your own entertainment. I spent most of my time walking on the moors, watching old Hollywood films, and writing. I have always been a journal writer, and then when I reached my late twenties, I started to write fiction.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The latest book is a little sad, but it has a very inspirational ending (honest!) I lost my Mum to cancer a few years ago, and in the early days of my mourning, someone told me to write letters to her as a way of prcessing my feelings. This felt terribly one sided, as my Mum and I talked a lot when she was around. It felt selfish and strange to write what I was feeling, and not ask her what she was up to. One day I started to wonder what she would write back to me if she could send me letters, so I sat with a pen and paper, and what came out was 'Somewhere She Is There'. The novel is made up of letters I wrote to her, and her letters back.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The freedom it gives me. In my early twenties I was an actor, and it always bothered me that I couldn't use my creative energy until someone else told me I could. For acting you needed an agent to help you find the work. I prefer writing to acting as I can use my creative energy whenever I want to. Publishing as an indie means I am not reliant on someone else telling me 'It is time'. I have the control over who can read my work and how.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords is great as it enables you to reach out to more readers. As long as a reader has an e-reader, then Smashewords will help you to reach them.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I am very much a believer in inspiration, and the creative process being a sacred act. I don't feel I am alone when I am writing, I am creating something of significance, with the divine, whether you call that being God, Jehovah, Allah or Ra Hor Achty, it doesn't really matter.
Making that connection, and being inspired to write feels like flying, and through it, it is possible to reach so many different people and share something that is uniquely human - our ability to love, and learn from each other.
When I write, I feel like I am fulfilling my purpose in life.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. Without people reading my books, I may as well be talking to myself in a cave in the middle of a forest!
What are you working on next?
At the moment, I am working on a number of things. I am currently researching Mary Webb, an early Twentieth Century writer wh has largely been forgotten. The research is for a PhD. I feel immensely privaleged to have the opportunity to do this, as she has been my favourite writer since I was fifteen.
I am also working on a series of articles for Moon Books on nature mystics: http://moon-books.net/blogs/moonbooks/category/work-in-progress/nature-mystics/
Who are your favorite authors?
My tastes are very eclectic, but I tend to connect to female writers more:

Mary Webb, Margaret Atwood, Robin Hobb, Jane Austen, Emily Bronte, Harper Lee, JK Rowling.

The list changes on a daily basis, but those are my core favourites.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Writing! I write early each morning before I get to work (usually on my commute into central London) so early morning is when I am at my best. On days when I am not writing or working, I get my creative kicks from other things like jewellery making.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Most of my spare time is spent writing or reading. As I work full time to support my writing and research, all my spare time is taken up with this. I do however love walking in nature (even in central London I can find little patches of wilderness) and also doing other creative things like designing jewellery with semi-precious beads.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Mostly by recommendations - either by word of mouth, or facebook recommendations, or I will actively seek them. I tend to prefer e-book to paper these days (although there is no substitute for the beautiful smell of an old book) so if I want a particular book, I will seek it out on e-book first.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was probably in my english class at school. Most of the stories I wrote then reflected what I was reading, and there were an awful lot of stories that sounded a lot like the Famous Five or the Chronicles of Narnia. (But with my dog Henry substituting for Timmy the dog).
What is your writing process?
I like to reflect a lot, and also do things that inspire me. Creativity is like a battery - you have to put something in to get something out. I refill my creative batteries by walking a lot, going to galleries or museums, and thinking a lot. I also write a journal, and that is often the source of most of my stories.
When it is time to write, I find being on the move works best for me - all of my books have been written on the London Underground, believe it or not! Perhaps there is something in the movement of being on a train that helps the words to flow...
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I started reading as soon as I was old enough. Again, living on Dartmoor meant I spent a lot of time reading. For me reading was transformational - it carried me away to other worlds, and showed me magic exists in the world.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My i-Phone!
Published 2013-08-26.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Softness of Water
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 40,750. Language: British English. Published: November 3, 2012. Category: Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy tales & fables
A collection of short stories and fairy tales for the young and the young at heart based on the wisdom of the Tao te Ching.
The Lychway
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 51,910. Language: British English. Published: November 3, 2012. Category: Fiction » Women's fiction » General
Switching between late eighteenth century and modern day Dartmoor, and London, the story mixes legend with reality and contains many elements of folklore. The two main characters must try to find their way through the tragic circumstances of grief and personal loss, and ultimately life itself.
Somewhere She Is There
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 60,450. Language: British English. Published: November 1, 2012. Category: Fiction » Inspirational
A novel of life, death, grief and life after death. When Charlotte loses her mother to cancer, her whole world falls apart so she begins to write letters to her. Margaret may be gone, but she is never far away from Charlotte. She tells her side of the story, in the hope that Charlotte will learn to hear the truth of what has happened, and slowly the tale of both women starts to unfold.