Please help me welcome today’s guest, Rebecca Brooks…
- When I was eighteen, I took a gap year between high school and college. I traveled to India with a backpack, four pairs of underwear, the pants I was wearing—and no return ticket. Learning to forge my own path has been essential to me as a writer. Plus, it showed me what it feels like to write every day, or as much as I can.
- I feel like it sounds cheesy to say that the choice of where I went to college changed my life, but it did. I went to Wellesley College, an all-women’s college in Massachusetts. I wound up applying there on my gap year (long story!), so it really does feel like my life changed tracks to get me there. Wellesley was the first time in my life I felt truly at home in my skin. It’s a place that will always be a part of me.
- My life definitely changed when I met the love of my life! My husband and I were friends from work before we were making tea in my kitchen and I realized he had every quality I could hope for in another human being. It was seriously like a lightning bolt struck me and I just KNEW. That was seven years ago, and I can’t imagine my life without his friendship, laughter, support, or his amazing editing skills.
- I got a PhD in English, but what really changed my life was my decision not to stay in academia after I finished. I realized that if I became a full-time professor, I’d never get my own writing done, and I’d always feel like I was missing out on my dream. I’m glad I took the plunge into something unknown instead of staying on the path I’d been on. (I’m also glad I kept up freelance writing and editing work so I had another job to fall back on!)
- I actually wrote a novel during graduate school, a YA science fiction novel that is never, ever coming out of a drawer. I was swamped with teaching and scholarship, but I committed to writing it an hour a day, every day, no more than an hour and no less. I didn’t go back and reread what I wrote—I just started at the beginning, and 400 pages later I arrived at something in the same approximate time zone as “The End.” The book is total crap, but writing it showed me how small, everyday decisions add up, and that you write each book one page at a time.
- My first year of high school, I randomly enrolled in a drawing class, where I discovered that raw talent is less important than working at something and learning the skills. I kept at it, and actually became pretty good. It was my art teachers who showed me how to create, how to persist through setbacks, and how to see the world as only I can. I use these lessons in my writing all the time.
- The moment I casually told my husband an idea I had for a novel, and he said, “You should write it.” I said, “But it’s a romance novel. Do I want to write a romance novel?” And he said, “See where it goes.” We were always bouncing around ideas for books, but this was the first fully viable idea I’d had, the outline already in my mind. There are lots of things that led up to the idea that became my debut, ABOVE ALL. But the moment when my husband said, “Write it” is really the moment that launched my career.
- While publishing ABOVE ALL got me started as a romance author, I feel like writing and publishing my second novel, HOW TO FALL, was just as significant. I think some part of me had been afraid my first novel was a one-time thing, like I got lucky once and it wouldn’t happen again. Selling novel number two made me see that luck is only part of it. It’s really about persistence, sweat, and getting my butt in the chair.
- I’d traveled so much in my late teens and early twenties that for a long time I assumed I’d live abroad for at least some amount of time after college. But I moved to New York ten years ago this summer, and I don’t see myself moving anytime soon. I do sometimes imagine all the “what if’s” and romanticize taking off and traveling the world like (some of) my heroines do… But I know that I’m happy where I am, and grateful to have such a home.
- On Sunday, April 12, 2015, my mom called me while I was out for a walk. I didn’t pick up, and ten minutes later, she called again. Somehow I already knew what she was going to say before she said it. I’m coming up on the one year anniversary of my brother’s death, and while I don’t know yet exactly how my life has changed since that April afternoon, I know that it has, and that I’ve changed, too. I wish those changes hadn’t had to happen, but I’m trying to accept them, embrace them, and understand that I will be okay—even if I don’t feel the same. This is a downer to end on, but it makes me think of how open I am to the future and the changes that will continue to shape the person I am, and the one I’m still becoming.
Fascinating adventures you’ve had, Rebecca. Thank you so much for sharing them with us today. And now, about her newest release…check out her fabulous cover!
One week of adventure might just lead to love…
Julia Evans has always put others ahead of herself—her high school math students, her troubled best friend, and her ex. But with New Year’s approaching, she buys a round trip ticket to Brazil. For one week, she can put her needs first. She can meet a stranger in the hotel pool at midnight and dance all night on the beach.
Screenwriter Blake Williams has to keep moving before Oz’s latest scandal catches up to him. But the dark-haired beauty with a backpack and an adventurous streak is messing with his plans. He can’t seem to walk away from her. But secrets have a way of coming out, and when the week is up, Julia and Blake will have to decide if they’re jumping into the biggest adventure of all or playing it safe.
She couldn’t stop kissing him. Literally could not. There could be an earthquake, a fire, an explosion—who would notice? The whole world could come crashing down and it wouldn’t be enough for her to pull away. She’d always wondered what other people were talking about when they got that misty look in their eyes, going on about passion and fireworks and how just kissing someone could make them entirely melt. Now she knew. There seemed to be a direct line from her lips to her thighs, because the deeper Blake kissed her the more she felt it all the way down.
Rebecca Brooks lives in New York City in an apartment filled with books. She received a PhD in English but decided it was more fun to write books than write about them. She has backpacked alone through India and Brazil, traveled by cargo boat down the Amazon River, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, explored ice caves in Peru, trekked to the source of the Ganges, and sunbathed in Burma, but she always likes coming home to a cold beer and her hot husband in the Bronx. Her books are about independent women who leave their old lives behind in order to try something new—and find the passion, excitement, and purpose they didn’t even know they’d been missing.
Read an additional excerpt of HOW TO FALL: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/how-to-fall/