Author Crush Friday with Rebecca Ross
Glitter girls, you have pressing questions for your favorite authors and we have their answers. Welcome to our weekly segment, Author Crush Fridays.
We love asking questions and we love the answers from some of our favorite authors. Today we’re talking to Rebecca Ross, author of the page-turning fantasy YA, The Queen’s Rising (February 6, 2018; Harper Teen). Thank you for talking to us today, Rebecca! We’re honored!
GLITTER: Tell us five things that people might not know about you.
REBECCA: 1. I played the cello for three years in high school.
- The oddest nickname I have ever had was “Daisy.” I acquired it when I worked at a dude ranch in Colorado, because there were already multiple Rebeccas among the staff. I don’t remember the reasoning behind it, but one of the wranglers dubbed me as Daisy, and the name stuck.
- I pass out every time my blood is drawn. I’ve tried to give blood and can’t even make it past the finger pricking. Which means nurses are my heroes. I am in awe of them!
- I was raised by a single mom until I was 7, when she married an amazing man who adopted me. I think this is why adoption and family in general play a vital role in my stories, because it made such an impact on my life.
- I love dogs. I have an Australian Shepherd named Sierra who has made me an expert Frisbee thrower.
GLITTER: How would you describe The Queen’s Rising to a new reader?
REBECCA: The Queen’s Rising is a story about a girl named Brienna who joins a secret revolution to overthrow a usurper king and put the rightful queen back on the throne. It’s an adventure—there’s everything from castles to hidden identities to a bloody battle. And, of course, there’s also a little spark of romance.
GLITTER: How do you find the emotional truths in your writing?
REBECCA: This is a very interesting question for me to think about because I feel like I write with a lot of emotion in the first draft, then edit most of it out in the second draft, and then weave it back in during the third draft. I have to really know my characters to be able to unearth their emotions and to make sure they are building to something. I often sit back and ask myself “what is this character feeling in this scene, and why are they feeling this way?” Desire drives a story, so I have to figure out what emotion is connected to each character’s desire, whether that’s anger, worry, envy, love etc.
GLITTER: What one question sparked the whole plot?
REBECCA: The very first scene I imagined was of Brienna sitting in a library with Master Cartier (her handsome yet strict teacher). And Brienna said to me, “The summer solstice is in eight days, and I have yet to master my passion.” And I was like, “Wait…who are you and what are you talking about!?” I grabbed a sheet of paper and began to write down the answers as to who she was, why she was worried, and what this passion was. And the story bloomed from there.
GLITTER: Do you have any particular writing rituals?
REBECCA: I must have a drink with me. I often have multiple at one time: coffee, water, tea, and kombucha.
GLITTER: What character do you relate most to?
REBECCA: Brienna. We’re both easy going and introspective. If I ever got thrown into a secret, dangerous revolution, I would sincerely hope I would be as brave and selfless as her (although…let’s be honest, I probably wouldn’t be!).
GLITTER: What was the first book that you ever wrote, even if it wasn’t published?
REBECCA: The very first book I ever wrote was a retelling of Beauty and the Beast when I was 6 years old. I couldn’t even spell all the words, but I clearly remember sitting my mom down and dictating the story to her, having her type it out for me so I could illustrate it, and then I stapled it all together. From there, I never stopped writing. I wrote a few short stories and a novella as a teen and eventually wrote a full-length (really bad) fantasy novel months before I drafted The Queen’s Rising, which taught me a lot about how to structure a story and how to plot and develop character arcs.
GLITTER: Do you have anything that you love to collect?
REBECCA: Do shoes count? 🙂 But seriously, I have a boot problem.
GLITTER: Did any of the authors you read in high school affect how you write now?
REBECCA: Yes, absolutely. Tolkien was the greatest influence of my teen years. I was obsessed with Lord of the Rings. He continues to inspire me with his world building and battle sequences. Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw was my favorite book of all time as a teen. McGraw’s writing is so rich and lovely, and she also masters political intrigue and dynamic characters, which are elements I always strive to have in my stories.
GLITTER: What are you passionate about in life?
REBECCA: Friendships. Sisterhood. Stories.
GLITTER: What are you working on right now?
REBECCA: I’m working on the sequel to The Queen’s Rising.
Rebecca Ross received her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Georgia. In the past, she has worked at a Colorado dude ranch, as a school librarian, and as a live-time captionist for a college. She resides in northeast Georgia with her husband and her dog. The Queen’s Rising is her debut novel. Visit her on the web at www.rebeccarossauthor.com or on Twitter @_RebeccaRoss.