Sunday, April 24, 2011

Guest Author Interview - Rebecca Rasmussen

Today we are pleased to introduce you to Rebecca Rasmussen.

Rebecca is the author of the new novel, The Bird Sisters, and she is here today to talk about her book, writing, and how she went from there to here.

Tell us about your book that is about to hit the stands!

Welcome to my novel:

When a bird flies into a window in Spring Green, Wisconsin, sisters Milly and Twiss get a visit. Twiss listens to the birds’ heartbeats, assessing what she can fix and what she can’t, while Milly listens to the heartaches of the people who’ve brought them. The two sisters have spent their lives nursing people and birds back to health.

But back in the summer of 1947, they knew nothing about trying to mend what had been accidentally broken. Milly was known as a great beauty with emerald eyes and Twiss was a brazen wild child who never wore a dress or did what she was told. That was the summer their golf pro father got into an accident that cost him both his swing and his charm, and their mother, the daughter of a wealthy jeweler, finally admitted their hardscrabble lives wouldn’t change. It was the summer their priest, Father Rice, announced that God didn’t exist and ran off to Mexico, and a boy named Asa finally caught Milly’s eye. And, most unforgettably, it was the summer their cousin Bett came down from a town called Deadwater and changed the course of their lives forever.

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? How did you go from wanting it to actually becoming a published author?

I actually wanted to be a lawyer when I was a girl – I had big dreams of helping mediate divorces and make certain children were taken care of properly. I am a product of divorce, which made that vocation make a lot of sense to me when I was a kid. After I grew out of that phase, I wanted to be a great track runner. It wasn’t until I got to college and took my first creative writing class that I fell in love with writing as an art form and a means for self-expression. During those years, I am certain I wasn’t very good at writing, but I had a very strong will and was determined to get better. I wrote every day for the next decade or so and here I finally am today with a book.

What has been the best part of your novel journey and what has been the most difficult?

The best part of my novel journey was finding a way to honor my grandmother (the novel is based on her life to some degree). The moment I finished the book I could sense her smiling at me from above, which made me very happy and proud of what I had accomplished. The hardest part, I think, has been the road to publication. It is tough to have no control over whether or not your book sells to a publisher and then whether or not it does well in the marketplace. Having faith in your story is so important, and it has lifted my spirits time and again. I also have a wonderful family who supports me every step of the way and is proud of me regardless of sales figures.

Book or ebook?

I love to hold hardcover books in my hands, but I don’t begrudge people who love ebooks. My husband adores his Kindle and that’s actually how he is reading The Bird Sisters right now!

What are you reading right now?

I am so excited to be reading Susan Henderson’s novel Up From The Blue – it is a touching story about a young girl who is trying to survive the circumstances of her family. I am also reading books by Melissa Senate and Claire Cook, and I have been perpetually re-reading Beth Hoffman’s Saving CeeCee Honeycutt. All gorgeous books!

Who is your biggest literary inspiration?

Carol Shields. She is a wonderful Canadian writer, who very sadly passed away after a long battle with breast cancer several years ago. Her books are meaningful to me because they take ordinary life and somehow, through her clean and clear prose, make it extraordinary. I adore her sense of humor, too. Her lightness. Her heart.

What do you wish someone had told you before you started on the journey to becoming an author?

I wish someone had told me how good I would need to be to myself. I think writers are some of the most sensitive people around. Of course not everyone will love my book, but it is always a difficult thing to hear no matter where you are along in the process. My motto is ‘have a good cry then let it go.’ Breathe deeply. Enjoy your accomplishment.

Any advice for the writers of The Red Dress Club?

Work hard. Write a lot. And no matter if you publish a single sentence, take the time to be proud of yourself. Take the time to find joy in the process. And again, give yourself lots of hugs and maybe a chocolate or two!

Thank you so much, Rebecca, for sharing with us! You can learn more about Rebecca by visiting her website, liking The Bird Sisters on facebook, and by following her on twitter.

You can also purchase her novel here.

Today is your lucky day!

Rebecca has GENEROUSLY offered to give away a copy of her novel to one of you!!!

All you have to do is comment on this post about what your favorite novel is.

Want an extra entry?  Tweet the giveaway and come back and tell us you did.

I want to win a copy of the new novel @thebirdsisters by Rebecca Rasmussen from @thereddressclub #giveaway #trdc
This giveaway will be open until 4pm EST on Thursday, April 28.
The winner will be chosen by
Legal stuff:  Rebecca Rasmussen is providing the spoils for this giveaway.  No compensation was made to The Red Dress Club, Katie, Nichole, or Cheryl.  We just love giving you guys stuff when we can! 

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