Tuesday, August 23, 2022


I want to thank Rebecca Conrad for taking the time for this interview!


Public education day job. Former fanfic writer. Romance fangirl. Anthology author. Unitarian universalist. NF1. ADHD. she/her

When and how did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I had written a little fanfiction back as a teenager in the mid 00s, and after reading Tamora Pierce’s Circle of Magic books and watching Avatar: The Last Airbender, I attempted to write a grand fantasy series about a bunch of teenagers with elemental magic. 

It never went anywhere, but after I got my own laptop for college, I started writing a story where I was in a two-girl group with my best friend and we went on tour with some band and one of the members fell wildly in love with me. 

I went back to fanfic for the rest of college, and then, deep in some post grad blues ten years ago, I started writing a Snow White retelling. 


Did you have any influencing writers growing up?

Meg Cabot definitely had an influence on me. I was constantly reading and rereading her books in middle and high school. 

There was this book series called Once Upon a Time (no relation to the ABC series) that had a handful of different authors all writing fairy tale retellings. 

I can definitely see echoes of Cameron Dokey, the author of some of my favorites in that series, in my own work at times.


Are any of your characters based on people in real life?

Not in a 1 to 1 way where they can look at one of my characters and say “this is definitely me.” 

A character might say something a friend once said that’s stuck with me or they might have a habit like playing with their necklace or a favorite karaoke song.


Where do you draw your book inspirations from?

Inspiration comes from various places. Jokes between my friends and me, posts on social media, driving across Houston listening to music and thinking too much about song lyrics.


Do you use a basic outline when starting a new story or do you let the characters lead the way?

I cannot think of a time I’ve ever successfully used an outline. I am a chaotic pantser through and through. I write out of order, jotting down thoughts on post-its, scribbling entire scenes onto a legal pad at work, sitting at my computer and trying to assemble it all together.

I suppose the characters are leading the way, but I can usually get them where I need to.


When you are picturing the characters in your book, do you have a cheater photo for inspiration?

Very rarely. I definitely have “character inspiration” Pinterest boards for a couple of projects but I haven’t done one for anything I’ve written this year.


Many people read as a form of escape and relaxation.  What is your favorite way to sit back and relax?

Reading is definitely a given, but I also love to cook, especially if it involves a lot of chopping or something like rolling out biscuit dough. 

There’s something really soothing about the tactile nature of those in particular. Beyond that, I love playing video games like Stardew or Animal Crossing.


Who are your favorite current authors to read?

I feel like I’ve barely read this year since I was under so many deadlines, but I blew through Jeannie Lin’s Pingkang Li mysteries this spring. 

I’m also looking forward to Beverly Jenkins’s newest novel coming out in a couple days. I have never been disappointed with one of her novels.


What are your favorite books by others?

Radiance by Grace Draven, Teach Me by Olivia Dade, and a Duke By Default by Alyssa Cole all have a certain something in them that really resonates with me.


Do the locations in the stories have any meaning to you?

Well, I do work in education like the characters in Teach Me.


Do you write in single or multiple POV?

Typically multiple. I have one story out now that had a really tight word count, so I kept that one to a single POV.


What do you find to be your best research tool?

Depends what I’m writing. I’ve found the Medieval Life books by Joseph and Frances Gies to be helpful when I’m working on that Snow White novel.


Do you write under a pen name?  Also, do you write under more than one name?

Yes, Rebecca Conrad is a pen name, currently my only one.


What genre do you write and why is this your preference?

I write romance. I might not know how I’m going to get to the ending of my story, but I always know how it’s going to end. 

I love writing about people figuring out how to communicate with someone else and feeling seen by them.


Tell me something about yourself outside of writing.  Jobs, accomplishments, family, quirky trait...what led to you being you?

I took four years of Latin in high school because I loved it so much.


What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

You can’t edit a blank page. 

Even if you think it’s crap, at least you can fix crap. 

You can’t fix something that doesn’t exist.


How do you deal with and process negative book reviews?

I don’t read them. It’s not really a problem for me to avoid negative reviews, since I’ve only been in a few anthologies.


What is the most difficult part of your writing process?

Usually finding the time to write. 

Occasionally my fly-by-the-seat of my pants tendencies leaves me without a way to get out of whatever corner I’ve written myself into, but if I go back a little and try again, I can fix that.


What do you need in your writer’s space to keep you focused?

A little background noise, the lacrosse balls I roll back and forth with my feet, a big tumbler of water and a few snacks.


What is your schedule like when you are writing?  Do you have a favorite writing snack or drink?

I like ice water (the colder the better) or Dr Pepper. For snacks I like chips and salsa or Kit Kats.


Do you listen to music when you write – what kind of music is your favorite?

I listen to a lot of Taylor Swift, Florence + The Machine, Fleetwood Mac, and Kacey Musgraves


What is your kryptonite as a writer?  What totally puts you off your game?

I have a tendency to get too in my head at times. Everything I write will sound terrible, I’m uncomfortable sharing it with others for feedback, and I start feeling guilty that I’ve put off other things to write.

But I’ve turned in all my stories for this year, so now I can be a lot more relaxed in my writing, which is good because I have some goals outside of writing that need attention.


How do you celebrate after typing THE END?

Make my partner take me out for fajitas and tres leches


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