Interview of Rebecca Lerwill, author of Relocating Mia
questions by ellen george
I had the pleasure to ask Rebecca Lerwill a number of questions...
ellen - Rebecca, thanks for taking time to talk to us about your work! Can you tell us about your first novel, Relocating Mia?
Rebecca - Relocating Mia is a romantic story with drama and suspense. The smart combination of adventure and romantic intriguing caters to both male and female readers...Our heroine, Mia Trentino, is a young woman with an odd job. As a Relocating Specialist, Mia is sent to Siberia, Russia to relocate a Russian Oil Company. On her new assignment she not only gets paired with a new partner, Douglas Farland, who turns out to be a handsome threat to her career, but also she quickly encounters secrets and lies, danger and love, and the fight for her life.
ellen - How did you come up with the idea for the book?
Rebecca - Good question, ellen! I didn't, really. When I began composing Relocating Mia, I wanted o write a romantic novel. But my characters, especially Douglas took over rather quickly, meaning he developed a strong role as more than just the romantic hunk he was intended to be. As you know, I grew up in Germany before the cold war was over. To me Russia has always been a very intriguing place filled with mysteries and secrets. And that's how the story came about. Siberia is such a beautiful, yet adventurous spot on this planet. I decided it to be a perfect place for a romantic story with a suspenseful backdrop. However, once I sent Mia into this unfriendly and rugged terrain, the suspense part of the story developed stronger than what I had first planned and suddenly Mia found herself endangered by drug smuggling ex-KGB agents and the Russian Mafia. I guess my point is that I didn't just come up with the idea for Relocating Mia and wrote it down - the plot developed as it was in the works.
ellen - Mia is a strong woman - was it important to you to have portrayed someone like her?
Rebecca - Being an avid reader of suspenseful romance I sometimes see the leading lady being portrayed as 'under potential'. It was important to me to have a mentally strong personality as my heroine. The fact that Mia is sensual and a bit naive at times, portrays her as being not a perfect woman, which I think adds to the believability of the book.
ellen - I know you are working on the sequel - The ACRONYM -
Rebecca - You are right, ellen. The Acronym is in full swing. As the sequelton Mia, of course it picks up where Mia ends which I don't want to discuss in detail here. But let me just say that in The Acronym the reader will find the secret from the U.S. government supported agency the book is named after, and the reader of Relocating Mia has already gotten acquainted with. Also, we will meet again many of the characters the reader has learned to like (and hate) in Relocating Mia - plus a goofy addition: a German import who seems to be an agent but could also turn out to be a traitor - A surprising second plot entwined in the existing story - More shady business from our Russian friends - and of course, more LOVE.
ellen - You are also known for your poetry, which is lyrical, mystical, fun, and a number of other things - what drives you to write poetry?
Rebecca - Ohh - ellen - I don't know...but I can tell you that I have been a member of AuthorsDen since July 2007. Ever since then, the writing of my books has suffered, not qualitative - but time wise, because I find myself drifting off and composing more poems...It is such a release for me to let out steam, its unreal! No matter what the topic is, there is always some rhyme that pops into my head. You know, they tell us authors to be out there and blog...Well, I'd rather curl up here and rhyme. I guess I have this from my mom - She is a poet and I remember when I was little, she drove us nuts sometimes because so often she would speak in rhymes, which made everything she said 'flowery', if you know what I mean. Now I can appreciate that gift very much now and I am thankful for having inherited at least just a little bit of her magnificence.
ellen - What does your writing mean to you?
Rebecca - If I'd say everything I would lie. But a great deal of my day goes into it. My writing, no matter what it is, seems to be a big part of my destiny. I have found many special people I keep close to my heart because of it. I may never sell the desired million copies of my book(s), but as long as the good Lord wants me to, I will always write.
ellen - You live in Utah, and are a native of Germany - how different are your worlds now?
Rebecca - How much room do you have here for my answers, ellen? I'm kidding, but I can't even begin to describe the difference. I don't think it's just the geography which changed so many things in my life. You see, I was only 24 when I came to the U.S.. I like to believe that I'm a little wiser now as I slowly creep toward the big hill, (laughing) So let me just say that there is a non-fiction book in the back of my head which will do your very interesting question much more justice. I haven't even begun writing it yet, but it'll be called 'Becoming American' and it will explain many aspects of the differences between here and there.
ellen - You travel with your husband as he tours in his sport - can you tell us about it?
Rebecca - Troy's work is really more a job than a sport, even though rodeo is considered a sport. (To me the toughest one out there) We travel all over the U.S. and Canada and work about 120 performances a year. I've seen well over 20 individual states so far and we just returned from an international bull riding event at the Gold Coast of Australia. Our travels are very inspiring to my writing, because of the diversities I get to experience in land and people. Please let me clarify something, though. My husband Troy is a rodeo entertainer. At least that's the official title of his job. He's a clown, barrelman, the funny man entertaining the crowd during rodeo performances. He used to 'fight bulls' and nowadays the 'clowns' want to be called bullfighters. They save lives, and when I met Troy, he still fought bulls - protecting cowboys as they jump off the bull, or get bucked off after or during their 8 second ride. I have actually witnessed Troy many times as he grabbed a bull by the horns to get the bull's attention, and turning him away from the bullrider which would have otherwise been trampled or hooked. So, Troy has saved lives which makes him my hero. (ellen's note - These guys are my heroes too - anyone who has seen their work is amazed at their bravery)
ellen - You are an avid rider - your horses mean a lot to you, don't they?
Rebecca - They sure do. Just recently I lost a very special one much unexpectedly. It's painful, but I'm sure many people here have lost horses or pets of any kind. I have to add that even in those first hours after we had to put her down I was in shock, but still was inspired to write a poem in her honor. A few of my close friends on AuthorsDen have also composed some very lovely work in her honor, which I much appreciate. Horses have always been in my life and when I don't rodeo around with my hubby, and I put down my pen for a while, I'm out there training and riding as much as I can.
ellen - What do you think is an author's responsibility to the reader?
Rebecca - Excellent question! You know, I'm not that kind of person who 'reads' things into every story or who tries to read between the lines. I guess I'm not a philosopher. Of course, poetry is different but fiction novels are done to entertain. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but where I come from, every (adult) person is responsible for their own actions. Therefore I don't really think I have a huge responsibility to my readers, at least when it comes to the content of any fiction I may write. Of course, non-fiction books and material intended to educate are a different story.
ellen - What advice would you give to someone who has a story to tell and wants to write a book?
Rebecca - I'm thrilled that you think I have what it takes to give advice! If being asked I'd say - If you believe in yourself and your story - write that sucker! (laughing) Okay, I know there is more to it and I also know that things happen for a reason. If you are supposed to be an author and you find your way through the labyrinth of publishing and book marketing, you're going to be successful.
ellen - Is it hard to get published now?
Rebecca - I'm just a greeny, ellen. I only published one novel so far but from what I've learned in the last 18 months or so I'm in this business...it's not hard to get published. Everybody can self publish. There are many discussions out there regarding self-publishing. A lot of folks are debating whether it's a god way or not. I quit talking about it, because so many different circumstances play a role. You can't always duplicate what your neighbor might have done. (Or your favorite A-list author) A few years ago it was nearly impossible to get published without an agent, now all you need is the Internet and a paycheck. Of course we all dream of being discovered and we want New York to call for a book contract, but in the end, be true to yourself. If you think it's worth your time - do it, whatever it takes!
ellen - Do you see Mia becoming a movie?
Rebecca - Do you have Spielberg's number? ha! Yes, well, that would be nice. No let me re-phrase: that would be totally awesome! Actually Rambles.net wrote in their review of Relocating Mia "...vivid description of action scenes offer the reader a movie-like book..." So there you go. I guess anything is possible!
ellen - What do you want to do in your career?
Rebecca - That's easy - I'd like to continue to write novels, compose poetry, do justice to (to both of) my countries in my non-fiction story, train as many wonderful horses and never run out of the pleasure of being in good company - in 'real' life or here on the Internet.
ellen - How can your fans and those interested in your writing contact you? You are on AuthorsDen of course, and do you have a website?
Rebecca - Sure do. www.rebeccalerwill.com gets constantly updated.
Thanks Becca - you are a talent and a joy!
Rebecca - And you are too kind ellen. I think I speak on behalf of many others when I tell you that we appreciate very much what you're doing here! (ellen's note - thanks to the excellent writers I have the pleasure to speak with - what talent!)
Rebecca Lerwill's work (including her wonderful poetry) is featured on AuthorsDen.