Monday, November 26, 2012

Interview with Rebecca Reid, Author of The Coop

Rebecca Reid was withdrawn from school due to illness at fourteen. Being limited in the things she was able to do, she wrote all the time − poetry, stories, feelings, thoughts. At 16 she had her own page in the local weekly newspaper, the Bangor Spectator, in which she covered anything and everything: fashion, beauty, film, teen issues etc. At 17 she became a model, doing catwalk, photographic work, and TV. In 2008 she graduated in English from Queens University, Belfast, and she was awarded an Arts Council writing grant in 2009. Married in 2007, she lives in N. Ireland with her husband and their three daughters. The Coop is her first novel, and part of the Thickets Wood Trilogy.

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Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I am just shy of thirty, happily married with three children and embarking on the scariest, most exciting venture of my life.

Where did you grow up?

By the sea in Northern Ireland.

What is your fondest childhood memory?

I was lucky enough to have teachers for parents, lucky in the sense that they had prolonged holidays, so as a family we spent our summers traveling around Europe. We would set off for months, staying with my grandfather who lived in the south of France for a few weeks before moving on. I adored my summers. They were magical.

When did you begin writing?

I fell ill at just fourteen years old, forcing me to be withdrawn from school. At such a young age, I needed a vent for all the thoughts in my head. Writing was it. I created a life for myself on paper and never looked back. It showed me that something good could come from the hardship in your life.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

As I have three children I have to be very strict about my writing time. With Granny day care and school, I work three mornings a week, 9am-1pm. At that rate it takes me around six months to complete a manuscript.

What is this book about?

The Coop is a darkly compelling piece of psychological fiction in which I manipulate the unsuspecting reader through both the conscious and subconscious mind. The convoluted intricacies of this story build from its gentle beginnings to enthrall the reader through menacing happenings and strange, disturbing characters. The Coop is not what it seems − things are never that simple.

It follows two very different storylines; that of a girl, apparently imprisoned in a room, which is the thread of mystery running parallel to the tale of Thatchbury village. There, Howard and Lilly take you on a journey through Thatchbury where Mathew, the child from the coop, shoots Jodie Tiding, and so unravels the history of his loveless raising, her innocence and the dramatic events leading them to disaster.

What inspired you to write it?

I had a fleeting thought about how life would feel if it was hopeless. It was nothing more than a flicker. As time grew that notion began to nag in the back of my mind. It irritated me. I knew nothing more than that one thought but this constant drone told me I had to write, that there was something more. That eventually became The Coop.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

It is available to download on Amazon worldwide.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

If a thought comes to you, capture it before it is gone forever.

What is up next for you?

Books 2 and 3 of the ‘Thickets Wood Trilogy’ are already written, awaiting their final edit. Once I have done that I intend to begin on what will then be my fourth novel. As yet I have no idea what it will become but the nag is there, it has been for a while now.

Is there anything you would like to add?

If you are reading The Coop, I hope you like it.


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