Today it’s my absolute delight to interview Rebecca Howie, author of The Game Begins.
Q: Congratulations on the first anniversary of your book The Game Begins. Tell us more about the book.
A: Thank you. I’m still trying to get used to saying that I’ve published a book, and that it’s been a year since decided to just go for it.
The book is about Sam Beckett, who’s in her final year of school when her nightmares come back and she realises that she still hasn’t accepted her dad’s crash and the questions surrounded it.
Her friend suggests she takes a PI course to distract herself, but the first case they get becomes a whole lot more complicated than they expected it would when a woman is killed and her husband accused of her murder, and somebody starts sending threatening messages to Sam’s phone.
Q: Are you writing another book?
A: I’m trying to. I started a sequel a few weeks after publishing The Game Begins and have at least three different versions because I was never happy with them or where they were going.
This one I’m writing now is at the 20k mark, and already has its cover and title waiting for me to get the story done, so all I have to do now is finish it.
Q: What does your writing day look like?
A: It depends how much time I have to write and how inspired I’m feeling when I get out of bed.
If I have the whole day ahead of me, I’ll try and get a few hours of writing done, but I usually get distracted by the internet or my blog and waste the time I should be writing by doing anything but.
Sometimes I’ll reread what I’ve written so far and try and plan the next few chapters, and sometimes I just watch those police forensics programs and call it research.
Q: Where do you get your inspiration from?
A: Anywhere. The idea for Sam came from the BBC’s modern adaptation of Sherlock and the plethora of fanfiction on the internet (and I’ve read quite a lot of it), because there were a lot which focussed on Sherlock as being a teenager and how his abilities to deduce would have affected him.
I liked that idea because being a teenager is difficult enough without being so observant to the point of being able to tell someone their whole life story just by looking at them, and although Sam isn’t that observant, she’s determined to get answers and is as dedicated to her work as Sherlock is.
Any non-Sam related stories come from conversations I’ve overheard on the train or in shops, and the scenes they inspire usually grow into longer works (but never a full length novel. Yet.)
Q: What is the hardest part of writing?
A: Editing, because I could do that for the rest of my life and still not be 100% happy with what I’ve written. I finished The Game Begins last year and had it published in February, but by March I was embarrassed by the typos I’d somehow overlooked and spent the next few months editing it from the beginning.
That’s the hazard with self-publishing, because you can go back to it as often as you want and nobody’s going to tell you not to.
Q: How much time do you spend promoting your book?
A: I did a lot more promoting around Christmas than I had after publishing the book because I was beginning to accept that The Game Begins was the first full-length novel I’d written and that nobody would have read it or liked it if it was as bad as I had convinced myself it was.
I didn’t know that a blog was crucial to getting your story out there, so I’ve been catching up on that, and social media, too, but I know that writing is just as important as marketing and having a few books in your name will look better for potential-readers than just having one so I’ve been concentrating on that.
Q: What do you do when you’re not writing?
A: Trying to talk myself into writing.
Q: What is your favourite book and why?
A: That’d probably be Atonement this month, because I love that it’s told from different characters’ perspectives and that the ending brings it full circle. It starts with Briony’s play about to be performed and ends with it, and that her old house is now a hotel and golf course and that she’s staying as a guest made me sadder than I’d like to admit.
Q: On your home page you mention you’re a procrastinating author. How do you stop procrastinating?
A: When the internet connections gets so slow and I have no patience left is when I stop procrastinating. It’s one of the downsides of living in the middle of nowhere, but it’s good for my writing because it deters me from getting side-tracked so easily.
Rebecca can be found on Twitter @rebeccaLH97
Check out the cover reveal for the sequel to The Game Begins! Looks great!