Rebekah L. Purdy is a Young Adult author who after years of querying has finally become a published author. She is the author of the amazingly hilarious first book in The Fairy Godmother Files Series: Cinderella Complex
My name is Rebekah (waves hi).
I live in Michigan with my kids and hubby. I’m a tad bit obsessed with Star Wars and Vampire Diaries (amongst several other movies/tv shows). I love soccer, football, writing, reading, camping, swimming, and woofing down chocolate.
Can you tell us a little about your book?
Sixteen-year-old Maggie Winters can’t think of anything more exciting than junior year. There’s her first prom to look forward to, she can drive, and most important Connor Prince has finally noticed her. But unfortunately so has the school snob, Katrina Melville, who goes out of her way to make Maggie’s life a living hell.
If that’s not enough, Maggie’s grandma has decided to retire, which doesn’t seem like such a big deal. That is until she finds out her grandma is a Fairy Godmother, and not just any Fairy Godmother.
The Fairy Godmother, as in Cinderella, pumpkins, and mice. And she has informed Maggie that she’s next in line to become the new Fairy Godmother…
Describe your favorite place to write
I love writing on the beach where you can hear the waves crashing. But most of the time, I have to use my office at work, as I do most of my writing during my lunch hour.
Here do you get the inspiration for The Fairy Godmother Files Series?
I adore fairytales and thought it’d be fun to kind of explore some “what ifs”. Like, what if you inherited this legacy to be THE Fairy Godmother—but it meant giving up a lot of things/people you care about. Then throw into the mix having to deal with “real” things like high school etc.
Which of your characters do you relate to the most?
Probably Maggie. She’s kind of awkward, but funny. She’s someone who puts it all on the line.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think the first time was when I sent my first ever query letter out (OMG that was around ten years ago now).
When did you start writing?
This is such a cliché answer, but I’ve pretty much always written. I remember entering stories in the Young Author program when I was in Elementary/Middle School.
Why did you start writing?
I think a lot of it had to do with my love for reading—it kind of just poured over into writing. I love to tell stories and there’s something fun about creating fantastic worlds.
What is the best piece of constructive criticism you ever received?
Phew, that’s hard. I’d probably say back when I first started I had a crit group that let me sub with them for a few months. They taught me how to really pay attention to my characters and their reactions.
How do you come up with character names or book titles?
Titles come to me before my plots (LOL). But the titles come in all kinds of strange ways. I’ve come up with one based off a spam email I got (the subject line was cool). As far as names go, there are times when I’m at sporting events for my kids and will hear some of the names or see them on the rosters. I also have a character naming book.
Was there ever a time when you lost hope in your writing abilities/gave up on being a published author?
I think it was probably year 3 or 4 after I started querying. I had so many close calls with agents, but just couldn’t seem to find the right combo with my stories/timing etc.
How did you overcome your doubts?
I read several success stories about writers who it had taken several years to get agents. The point was to keep writing and keep subbing. It took me like 8 years before I landed my first agent. But the thing is I NEVER stopped writing or finding ways to improve my craft. I entered contests, had a published mentor, and joined a FABULOUS crit group.
Are you a full time writer?
Sniffles. No. I wish I was. But I work full time for the court system as an Enforcement Officer. At some point, I’d love to be able to write full time, but I’ll likely wait until all my kidlets are out of school (or maybe sooner—LOL).
If you could have breakfast with anyone dead or alive, who would it be and what would you eat?
Oh my gosh. Do I have to pick just one? Hehehe. Abraham Lincoln or Jane Austen. I’d have eggs, fried potatoes, wheat toast, and bacon. Oh, and orange juice.
What is your favorite book…why?
Ahh…I seriously have SO many favorites. Not sure if I can narrow this down, but probably The Hunger Games, The Summer I Turned Pretty, and The Secret Circle. The Hunger games because it is just fabulous and draws you right in and makes you root for the characters. The Summer I Turned Pretty is a contemporary and really makes you think back to your own summers and what it was like to fall in love for the first time. The Secret Circle because it was one of my favorite books as a teen and really drew me into the whole wanting to be a writer.
Who is your favorite author…why?
I have so many—this time I know I can’t pick just one. There are several from my teen years that really got me into wanting to be a writer: L.J. Smith, R.L. Stine, Christopher Pike, Joan Lowery Nixon, Lois Duncan. As an adult: Suzanne Collins, Jenny Han, Richelle Mead, Charlaine Harris, O.R. Melling, Robin McKinley—I could seriously just go on and on.
What is the next book you want to write?
Actually, I’m in the midst of writing book 2 to a series that my agent sold this year to Entangled Publishing. The first book is called The Winter People. This is the follow up to it. I also have been jotting massive notes on a YA Contemporary I want to write at some point.
You are writing your memoir…what is its title?
Rebekah-A Long Time Ago, In A Galaxy Far, Far Away…
What is some advice you would impart to aspiring writers who want to be published?
I’d tell aspiring writers to never give up and never stop trying to hone your craft. Enter contests, find people (outside of your family and close friends) to critique your stories, and have thick skin. Work time in to write as often as possible. And if you get a chance talk to other writers (they’re all over twitter/blogging sites). I used to go on Query Tracker all the time, which is a site for writers (and it has great info on what agents are out there etc).
Do you have any last words?
Thanks so much for having me! It’s been blast hanging out.
Please visit the website of Rebekah L. Purdy for more information on her and her book(s) : http://rebekahlpurdy.wordpress.com/
Follow her on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/RebekahLPurdy
Friend her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rebekah.purdy.7
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