I'd like to thank Rebecca Scarberry, author of the popular children's series Jumper for taking some time out of her busy day to sit down with us.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Rebecca: My husband and I wrote a screenplay many years ago. I didn’t start writing fiction again until 2009. I posted two short stories on my blog in 2011, and many told me I should improve them and self-publish. I haven’t stopped writing since. Before I started writing again in 2009 I was an artist. I made a lot of extra money selling my scrimshaw.
. Who or what inspires you?
Rebecca: Reading fiction is what has inspired me to write ever since I was a child.
. Who’s you favorite author?
Rebecca: Nelson DeMille
. Do you have a favorite time or place to write?
Rebecca: I don’t have a favorite time when I like to write. I live on a secluded farm in the Boston Mountains of Arkansas. My favorite place to write is by my waterfall. I usually have at least three cats by my side, and often read my work in progress aloud to them. They make a great audience. They never criticize and I can hear them purring as I read to them. Ha!
. Do you have a favorite food or drink while you write?
Rebecca: I’m usually snacking on cheese flavored popcorn. I think I’m addicted to it. I drink Fresca with it.
.What do you do to relax?
Rebecca: When I’m awake, I never really seem to relax. I’m either writing, marketing my books, cooking, cleaning, or tweeting. Even when I go to town I’m meeting new people, and usually end up handing them one of my signed book markers.
. As writers, we all have to deal with writer’s block, what do you do when that happens?
Rebecca: I delete a portion of what I’ve written last, and take the story in a new direction. Adding a new character helps me too.
. If you could ask one question of any writer, who would it be and what would you ask?
Rebecca: Since you haven’t specified whether the writer is dead or alive, I would ask William Sydney Porter (O’Henry, the famous short story author) if my twist in Rag Doll surprised him.
Now that we’ve got the easy stuff out of the way, let’s talk about your book.
. Would you like to share something from you latest project with us?
Rebecca: After self-publishing five books in four different genres (mystery, crime drama, children’s picture books, and romance), I’m very excited about continuing to write my children’s picture book series. My most recent release, Jumper Bounces Back is book two in the kidlit series, and I’ve already started writing book three.
. Where do you draw your artistic inspiration from?
Rebecca: This is a very tough question for me to answer. To sum it up I’d have to say that my artistic inspiration comes from my desire to write stories about places I’ve never been, people I’ve never met, and have my characters do and say things that I never would do or say.
. Of all your characters, who is your favorite?
Rebecca: Without a doubt that would be Henry. Henry is a hero homing pigeon, trying to save his owner from death by the hands of her kidnapper. I’m aware that many people don’t like pigeons, but readers have told me that after reading Messages from Henry; they like them a whole lot more.
What authors have had the strongest influence on you as a writer?
Rebecca: People might find it shocking, but three self-published authors had the strongest influence on me as a writer. Those authors are Des Birch, Micheal Rivers, and Scott Bury. Des Birch was my writing coach/mentor for a while, and then Scott Bury was my writing coach/mentor for Messages from Henry. Micheal Rivers is now traditionally published. All of them taught me how to write fiction properly by my reading their books, and listening to them. I’m not certain any of us authors feel we’ve learned every trick in the book. We learn more as we read and write.
. Do you use an outline or do you let the story emerge as it goes along?
Rebecca: After I wrote my debut novella, Messages from Henry and my short story, Rag Doll without an outline, I started using one.
. Are you traditionally or self-published?
Rebecca: I’m still self-publishing. I don’t really see many advantages to being traditionally published.
. What has been your biggest challenge?
Rebecca: My biggest challenge was learning to write what the reader would like to have my characters do and say, not necessarily what I wanted. Readers like characters in a book that they feel are believable and entertaining. What might be entertaining and believable to an author isn’t always the case.
. What have been your greatest rewards?
Rebecca: All of the rave reviews I’ve gotten for all of my books, and children begging me to send Jumper to TV producers. Wow! To write children’s books that little ones find that entertaining is a huge reward!
. If you had one professional wish, what would it be?
Rebecca: To win a prestigious award for one of my books.
That wasn’t so bad was it? But before we go, do you have any last words of wisdom to offer those reading this?
Rebecca: If you’re a new writer, use beta readers as often as you can. Be sure to listen to them. Don’t allow what they tell you to get you down. Their feedback is invaluable. And the more fiction you read, the better you’ll get.
Thank you so much! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed answering your questions, and I wish you the best.
Jumper Bounces Back: http://tinyurl.com/pjylxzo http://tinyurl.com/nluhk3q
Messages from Henry: http://smarturl.it/58as19
Rag Doll: http://smarturl.it/9qb5qq
Where Love Takes You: http://smarturl.it/jjmlsa