I'm excited to introduce you to our author today. Rebecca James was born in Sydney and spent her twenties teaching English in Indonesia and Japan. She currently lives in Armidale, Australia, with her partner and their four sons. She has been kind enough to sit down and do a Q&A with me. Please make sure to return on July 21st when I feature and review Rebecca's book "Beautiful Malice".
Please tell us a little about yourself.
Hello! My name is Rebecca James and I am the author of "Beautiful Malice", a psychological thriller due for American release on July 13. I live in rural Australia with my partner, our four sons, two dogs and an irritable cat.
In one sentence, describe "Beautiful Malice".
"Beautiful Malice" is a story about friendship, love, murder and betrayal.
What inspired you to write this novel?
I originally wanted to write about a toxic friendship. I find dysfunctional relationships fascinating - Why do so many of us have them? And why do we stay? Why do we tolerate people who make us feel bad? I started with this initial idea and let the story grow from there.
Who or what was your biggest influence in your decision to become a writer?
I started writing about seven years ago when my four sons were young. I was feeling a little smothered by the demands of motherhood and needed a creative outlet. My sister, who is an established author, read my first pieces of work and said that I should persevere, that I had talent - and because I admire her writing and trust her judgment that was enough encouragement to keep me going!
If you could spend one day with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?
I would just hang out with my family - I have never had any desire to meet anybody famous - gosh, what on earth would I say?! And if I could hang out with someone dead I suppose I would choose my grandmother. I would tell her about everything that has happened since she died and about all the new people in our family that she didn't get to meet.
I know some authors have strange rituals when they write. Some have to have a certain food, lock themselves in a room, only work at night, etc. What's yours?
I don't think I have any strange rituals although I do like to get out of my pajamas and get dressed so that I feel like I'm officially 'working'. I don't dress nicely though - I usually wear something very comfortable and loose and unflattering!
How does writing work with family life?
It is working very well now that I have a book deal and am actually getting paid to write. My partner has taken the year off to be Chief Domestic Officer (CDO - almost like being a CEO!), so I am in a very privileged, supported position right now. But things were quite different when I was writing "Beautiful Malice". Back then we had a small business together (which closed down due to the GFC literally the day before I got my first offer on "Beautiful Malice") and I always felt like I was neglecting either the business or the housework when I sat down to write. I had no idea if "Beautiful Malice" would sell to a publisher (let alone all over the world), and so writing always felt like a self-indulgent pursuit. It made me feel quite guilty.
Now I feel guilty when I’m not writing!
What things do you enjoy doing when you aren't writing?
I wish I could say that I enjoy adventurous things like parachuting from planes or bungee jumping but the truth is that I enjoy quite dull things. I like walking, reading and watching movies. I like hanging out with my family on the weekend. I like swimming in the surf when the waves are perfect and the water sparkling and clear. I like going to bed early on cold evenings with a hot chocolate and a good book. When I'm feeling inspired I enjoy cooking. I always enjoy eating.
Tell us about your next project.
I'm just about to finish the first draft of my next book. It's called "Cooper Bartholomew is Dead" and is another psychological thriller.
I would like to thank Rebecca for being brave enough to be my first Q&A "victim". For me, it was a great honor to be able to talk with her and learn more about her. Thank you so very much, Rebecca!
If you would like to learn more about Rebecca or her book "Beautiful Malice" you can visit her online at http://www.rebeccajamesbooks.com/.