Today we have the award-winning author Rebecca Rode with us.
REBECCA RODE is an award-winning author and journalist. She is the author of the bestselling YA dystopian novel, NUMBERS GAME, and the inspirational book, HOW TO HAVE PEACE WHEN YOU’RE FALLING TO PIECES. Her new book NUMBERS IGNITE is now available for purchase.
Where did the idea for this book come from?
I got the inspiration for the series in a random place—the bank. I was discussing my credit score with a loan officer while buying my husband’s truck. (I have an excellent credit score, for the record. Promise.) I stared at that little number that was supposed to represent me and how responsible I was, and a thought occurred to me. What if that number encompassed more than just financial history? What if it also measured intelligence, or attractiveness, or agility? Social skills? Obedience? And even better—what if someone was manipulating the numbers? Thus the idea for the Numbers Game series was born. (Numbers Ignite is book two.)
Rebecca, what is your writing routine like?
First I draw a hot bubble bath with creamy cocoa and soft music, then get out and curl up in my robe and admire the scene out my window while letting my muse speak to my soul…just kidding. If I waited for moments like that, I wouldn’t have a single chapter written. I write whenever and wherever I can. Usually that ends up being naptime when my toddler is sleeping and between 9-11pm. I do listen to soft music though. My current favorite is the epic film soundtracks station on Pandora.
You are not only an author but a journalist, how do you get the work done?
The journalism thing has taken a back seat to my writing lately, but I still produce articles here and there as the inspiration hits. It doesn’t pay all that well and it takes a lot of time. But I will say that it’s a hundred times easier for me to whip up an article for a newspaper or magazine than it is to write a chapter in my novel. Nonfiction is more structured and voiceless, which takes almost no brainpower. I think that’s why I love fiction writing so much. It challenges me. But anyway, back to your question. With four young kids I have very little time to do actual writing, so much of my day is spent planning and preparing for my writing session. I try to outline the coming chapter in my head beforehand. Often I’ll listen to writing podcasts while I clean the kitchen or maybe my Pandora station. By the time I have a few minutes to sit down at the computer, I’m emotionally ready to jump in.
How much time does it take you to finish a first draft of your books?
Numbers Game took about a year to write the first draft, but it was so messy that I ended up rewriting about two-thirds of it over the next year and a half. It was about three years from start to finish. Numbers Ignite went much more quickly—about five months for the first draft, nine months total. For me, the actual first draft is only about 40% of the work that needs to be done. The revising takes forever.
What is your favorite writing snack?
Carrots and bottled water. Just kidding—I’m not that person. I love Mike & Ikes, those little colorful candies that go straight to your thighs. But I only get them when I’m revising. Those wicked giant boxes of colorful candy are the only reason I have any books out.
Would you rather draft or revise? And why?
Drafting. A hundred times over. The first draft is fun because I’m somewhat of a discovery writer. I outline the main points beforehand but fill in the rest as I go, so inspiration hits and drives the story in directions I didn’t expect. It’s a delight to see things fall into place when I didn’t even plan it that way. But that evil second draft, when I have to actually beat the words into submission, is the spawn of the devil. I really hate it.
Why did you start writing?
I started doing the newspaper and magazine thing first, and I loved it so much that it naturally started branching out into other projects. I enjoy trying new things and challenging myself. I think that’s something all writers should do, actually—try writing in other genres, including nonfiction. It stretches you and sharpens your skills.
Why do you keep writing?
I can’t imagine not writing. Life would seem so colorless without my characters and stories. I get to create new worlds and invite readers in to enjoy them. It’s the best job in the world. If someone forced me to stop writing, my brain would still create stories that would eventually burst out in some form of crazy woman. It’s not something you’d want to see. Trust me.
If you could tell your readers one thing about yourself that they don’t know, what would it be?
I went to Mexico to learn Spanish one summer in college, then went to Romania the next month to work in an orphanage and learn Romanian. The two languages were similar enough that I ended up only speaking Spananian. Or Romanish. Either way, it was a total bust in the language department but really, really fun.
What advice would you give other authors or pre-published authors?
Experiment. If you’re not having success with one project or one genre, branch out. Try something new. Your writing may be generic and dull in the contemporary scene but explode with unique voice and creativity in the fantasy genre. See what sparks your interest. It may be something you never expected.
Are you are working on anything new?
I’m working on book three of the Numbers Game trilogy, entitled Numbers Raging. I hope to announce a release date in the next few months. If readers want to be notified when it’s available, they can join my VIP Reader’s Clan and get a free novella here: http://eepurl.com/bdwUKL
If you want a glimpse at what people are saying about NUMBERS IGNITE, here is a sneak peek:
5 stars – “One of the best sequels I’ve read in the genre. Instead of being a rehash/repeat of events similar to the first book Rode was able to take her characters in a completely new direction while at the same time remaining true to who Treena and Vance had become by the end of Numbers Game. The settings were unique and engaging.
Rode manages to realistically show both strengths and weaknesses in several characters, not just Treena and Vance but several of the supporting cast as well. The ending was well written, surprising, and left me wanting more.”
5 stars – “A very different book than the first, but still held me captivated and wanting to know if Treena and Vance could make their way back to each other. There is a lot going on here, but the love is always front and center and the driving force for our characters to be the best they can be. Highly recommend this book and series and cannot wait for the next book! The lead up to it suggests a lot more adventure and another big scenery change!”
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We want to thank Rebecca for being with us today. For more information about Rebecca Rode and her writing, please visit her here: