This week we welcome author Rebecca Forster of Foreign Relations a Finn O’Brien Thriller (Book 2)
What got you into writing?
Over 30 years ago I was a supervisor at an advertising agency and my client's wife was no other than Daniel Steele. I didn't know who she was, but when I found out I uttered those fateful words, "I bet I could write a book." My secretary dared me to do just that and now I have over 35 books to my name. I have written romance and women's fiction, but thrillers really called to me. I've always been fascinated by the justice system - could be because my husband of forty years was a federal prosecutor and is now a superior court judge. It's nice to have my research department at home. I am a mom to two grown sons - Eric Czuleger, a fantasy/sci fi author and Alex Czuleger who owns a talent management firm in Hollywood.
Wow, 35 books, that is quite an accomplishement! When you pick a book to read which do you prefer print books or ebooks?
Print when I'm home and ebooks when I travel.
Have you been given any helpful advice over the years?
I'm given helpful advice every day from my editor, my coach, my husband, my mom (she's 93), my kids - but that doesn't mean I always take it. All of them have helped me in my writing career.
Currently, what are you working on?
Book three of the Finn O'Brien series. There is Severed Relations, Foreign Relations and . . . I can't wait to find out what the title of book three will be.
Coming up with a few words to catch the attention of readers can be quite challenging but also very rewarding. Can’t wait to see what you come up with.
How did you decide on what to title each book?
Because I write about the law and police work the titles are often taken from the vernacular of the justice system. Each title always has a double meaning to me. Any one of them can be interpreted strictly within the system or in terms of how the characters interact with one another or as a comment on their motivation.
Share something with us not a lot of people know about you.
I hate talking on the phone but I love talking to people. I just prefer email or face-to-face.
With 35 books under your belt, how do you promote your books? Any tips you can share?
I do a combination of advertising, promotion and trying to make each book better than the last. I think an author's book can be the best advertising. My rule is that I spend ten percent of my income on advertising and promotion and I keep very close records of what works and what doesn't. Sometimes an advertising opportunity sounds great but you don't get a good return on investment.
What is the easiest part of the writing process? What is the hardest?
The easiest part is coming up with an idea; the hardest part is turning it into an actual novel.
What was your biggest challenge when writing? Did you have any writer’s block?
If so, how did you work your way through it?
I think all authors have writers block now and again but I think of it as being tired. When you've spent six to nine months focused on one story it's hard to start the next one. I usually take a month off between books. The best way for me to get over writers block, though, is to do something physical. Playing on a tennis team is perfect. The completion and the camaraderie seem to jump start my imagination.
What are your hobbies aside from writing, if any?
I love to sew and quilt. Our family's main entertainment is having dinner parties and entertaining. Travel is huge on my list. I was in China in 1983 and recently lived in Albania for a few months. I love adventure.
In your novels, which character is your favorite?
Hannah in the Witness Series and Cori in the Finn O'Brien Thrillers. In my standalone books it would be Tessa Bradley. In my romance, I adore Bailey Devlin.
Which is your favorite book?
I don't know that I have a favorite book, but I have one that I hold dear. Before her eyes is a thriller with elements of fantasy so that the reader isn't quite sure what is real and what isn't. The twist is on the very last page. The reason this book is so special is because it was written while both my dad and my father-in-law were very ill. They passed away within three months of one another and this was inspired by the time I spent with them.
What advice would you give someone who is considering publishing? Should they consider traditional or self-publishing?
I've done both and both options have pros and cons. Research, research, research and then ask yourself where you really fit in and where you think you'll be happy.
Any last words?
For authors, reach out to those who have gone before with your questions. The writing community is open and giving. For readers, each time you write a note or a review you make an author's day. I still write to my first fan (pen pals for 33 years). Writing makes friends no matter where you put your words.
Pen pals for 33 years that’s amazing. Thank you so much for sharing with us today. Check out Rebecca and more of her works at any of the below sites.
Foreign Relations (Amazon)
Newsletter sign-up to receive my starter library free (HOSTILE WITNESS AND HANNAH'S DIARY). http://rebeccaforster.com/starter-library/
Twitter: @Rebecca_Forster (https://twitter.com/Rebecca_Forster)
Subscribe and get my 2-book starter library: http://rebeccaforster.com/thriller-subscribers/
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