Rebecca has a richly diverse heritage reaching from the Appalachia Mountains region of Virginia to shores of the Philippine Islands and nesting in the Wisconsin heartland. Her short stories have been featured in books. She is co-writing the middle grade book series “The Tale of Two Sisters” with her daughter, Madelyn, for Little Creek Books. She is a frequent speaker on the creative writing process for students of all age. She’s a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and Vice President of the Wisconsin Screenwriters Forum. For more info, visit her website.
Let the conversation begin!
Anything you’d like to share with your readers?
I LOVE talking about writing. It’s wonderful to get together with a group of writers, from all backgrounds; from people just getting started to people who’ve been writing all their lives. There are so many amazing stories that people want to tell, and I enjoy discussing how they can make their story even more amazing.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
I’ve always had a desire to write family-oriented stories. As a parent, wife, daughter and sister, I think the best stories told are those you’ve experienced. People love to read about characters who seem real to the bone. Besides writing fiction, I also write Family Feature screenplays.
How do you recharge your creative batteries?
I look forward to taking writing retreats, once maybe twice a year. It’s a long weekend spent with other writing friends. We bounce ideas off each other about our projects, we share meals and we lock ourselves away to write, write, write. Another way I recharge is by getting outdoors. By just taking a walk to hear the sounds of nature, it gives me a much needed break away from my laptop.
Can you tell us about the book you’re working on? Is it coming easily or have you run into road blocks?
The middle-grade “Tales of Two Sisters” series my daughter and I worked on came pretty easily. After our first book, Sara Jane is a Pain was published, the ideas for rest of the series moved forward. With the recent release of the second book, Life According to Liz , we’re focusing on the final book Moving Out and Moving On which is scheduled for publication in 2013.
Is any material in your books based on real life experiences or purely imagination?
It’s a mixture of real life and fiction. Being a sister, I drew on my experiences with my own family. My daughter, Madelyn, came up with realistic scenarios from her middle school career. There’s a lot of humor and craziness in our books, that’s where the fiction comes in.
Planner or a procrastinator? Example?
As writers I think we all are both. Yes, you have to plan out a project at first, make up an outline, develop characters; maybe do research on your topics. After you get all that work done, ugh, then the real writing begins, and BOOM! That’s where the procrastination sets in. You need to gather your strength from within and move forward with the project. One thing that keeps me going is deadlines. I LIVE for deadlines.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
I feel very blessed when it comes to being published. I know this is a very difficult industry to break into. I had sent submissions all over the place. I was already feeling pretty low from all the rejections, then my Dad passed away. Months later, I happened across a publisher who was located just 20 miles from where my Dad grew up. Can you say “divine intervention”?!? My Dad was always my biggest supporter when it came to my writing aspirations. It was like he was saying, “here, try this.” So I did. I submitted a short story and three weeks later I had contract. My relationship with my publisher has been remarkable, like I said, I feel truly blessed.
Howdid you celebrate your first book being published? Has the excitement worn off with each book you publish?
With each book, I anxiously await the launch date. When the paperback copy arrives in the mail, I do a happy dance. My whole family takes an honorary trip to Dairy Queen to celebrate. And now that we have a Facebook Fans page, I like to share the good news with our readers and fans. You can check us out at Fans of Spindler Writing on Facebook.
Will you have a new book coming out soon?
Moving Out & Moving On, our final book in the “Tales of Two Sisters’ series will be coming out in 2013.
I’m also working on fiction novel entitled A Walk Beside Me. It came from a short story I had published years ago about a young woman from Appalachia who gets an opportunity of a lifetime with a full college scholarship, but she needs to find the courage to leave the only place she’s ever known, the only boy she’s ever kissed, and a family who’s endeared her to God.
Are there certain characters you would like to return to?
Madelyn and I really like creating the story line of Liz in our book series. Madelyn would like to write more about this character as she grows up. Maybe later on, she will write her own books in another series.
Any advice to share with aspiring writers?
Keep at it. If you have the passion to write, then it’s your duty to go where that passion leads you. Be the best writer you can possibly be, and never give up. Your talent will show through your writing, and one fine day someone somewhere till take notice.
Do you collect anything?
Pens. I have about 3 in my purse, 5 in my car and about 100 of them strewn around my house.
Do you come up with your book titles?
Yes, it’s an important part of the process. I really can’t begin a project until I have a title attached.