Jay Welcome, Becca! I am very happy to have you here, and a little nervous, because I have loved your stories since I first started reading M/M pairings and erotica about ten years ago. I always go back and reread them, both the fanfiction and the original fiction. You are my muse, the reason I ever thought of writing such stories myself, and I am very privileged to have you as my blog guest today. Thank you for accepting my invitation!
Could you tell us a little about yourself? When and why did you start writing?
Becca: Since I was a kid. My mom enjoyed writing and, like most daughters, I wanted to be just like her. Usually, we grow out of that stage, but I never did. There was a long period between my early teens and college years when I went back and forth between art and writing. Writing finally won.
Jay What genre(s) do you write and why?
Becca: I write what I read, which works out to be, pretty exclusively, science fiction and fantasy. Escapism has always been my motivation for curling up with a book, so the further from reality, the better. I prefer reading stories with good plots, action, fully thought-out, believable worlds, and a strong thread of romance running through it all. Most of my pairings these days fall under the category of homoeroticism, but I occasionally write het, as well.
Jay What are your current projects?
Becca: I’m producing four chapters a month for SL Publishing Group’s subscription site (http://slpublishinggroup.com/shop/): Daggersphere 2: The Sacred Core and a sequel to Cethe, Dreams of Fire. I’m supposed to be working on Daggersphere for publication next year. That one is going slowly since I’m completely reworking it. Anyone who read it on the subscription site will find it very much changed when it reaches book form. I gave a more general fantasy romance in the works, as well – with both a het and gay couple. I’d like to try my hand at an urban fantasy, but who h as time?
Jay I had heard of this publishing system, where readers can follow along as the writer creates the story. I think it’s fascinating! Tell me, what do you find particularly challenging about writing?
Becca: At this point – original plots. I have favorite themes I gravitate toward and have to consciously move away from them. Pacing is another challenge, especially when working with subscription fiction. There is no going back and re-writing, so you have to have a fairly good grasp of what’s going to happen and when as you go along. For someone who’s accustomed to stopping and starting, deleting and rewriting, that can be tough.
Jay Are character names important to you? How do you name the characters in your stories?
Becca: Pick ‘em out the air, mostly. If I want a name to have a particular flavor, I’ll sometimes Google a country and skim through their English-language newspapers until I find a cool-sounding name. One thing I do – and should guard against – is latch onto names beginning with the same letter.
Jay I know what you mean! Most of my characters’s names start with “J”. What inspires you?
Becca: Random stuff: scenery, television documentaries, someone passing with a strange expression on his face, riffing on weird ideas with my friends or crazy sister (who has the misfortune of living with me). Weather, dreams…
Jay Which was your favorite story, ever? (could be one of yours!)
Becca: My favorite story is actually a series – the Morgaine series by CJ Cherryh. Love it. For years, I would read all four books once year, just to remind myself how a real writer does it! The hero was young, tormented and angst-ridden (who landed in a few slashy situations); and the heroine a tormented, kick-ass, angst-ridden woman, older than the hero and very much in charge. It’s also a series that reads like fantasy, but is, at its heart, science fiction. Yum.
Jay Marking it on my to-buy list then! Can you tell us a few words about any (or many!) of your stories/novellas/novels?
Becca: At the moment I have one novel, Cethe, published. It’s available on my publisher’s website. http://slpublishinggroup.com/shop/ (It’s also on Amazon, but those sharks take a big percentage, so support your dedicated yaoi/slash bookseller online!) You can read the first two chapters on http://beccaabbott.com/original/cethe01.php .
The original fic site also has a complete, free novel: Reifu Rising.
Next year, Daggersphere is scheduled for publication. That book is science fiction and the first in a projected series. It will be tied loosely into the Reifu Rising Universe, although I can’t go into exactly how. There will be indentured slaves, assassins and mystery. And smut.
I have one more site, http://becca.slashcity.net/index.html, that houses most of my fanfic (Highlander, Queen of Swords, Dr. Who [Paul McGann's Doctor], Gundam Wing, Moonchild, and Ai No Kusabi).
Jay Note to all readers out there: Don’t miss these stories! They are simply amazing – both original and fanfiction and Reifu Rising is among my current favorites – until I go and subscribe to Cethe, that is. Becca, do you have any advice for other writers?
Becca: Yep. Write. Write all the time. Write when you feel like it; write when you don’t. Even if the muse has deserted you and all you come up with is crap, keep going. It’s the constant writing that pays off in the end. Also, remember that writing is as much a craft as it an art. Raw talent only gets you so far. Grammar, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure – these things do matter. Learn the rules before you break them.
Jay Becca, thank you very much for this interview. I am privileged to have my personal muse on my blog today. You’ve been the greatest influence on my writing. Thank you for writing.