Join us as we spotlight various members in the Savvy Authors community. We’ll introduce you to recently published authors from Our Authors, our hard working volunteers, members active in the Savvy writing community, editors, and agents.
This week the spotlight shines on paranormal romance author Rebekah R. Ganiere. Snatching a top 100 spot and rave review right out of the gate, Rebekah has been charming readers with a whole new take on the “walking dead”. Jump into the wild side with us as we talk about sexy zombies, twisted fairy tales and some things to look for if you are planning to attend Comic-Con San Diego this year!
First of all, congratulations! Your debut novel, “Dead Awakenings” hit Amazon’s Top 100 Fantasy Superhero List immediately and is garnering enthusiastic 4 and 5 star reviews. So which one was sweeter, getting “The Call” that you would be published or getting that first 5 star review?
The 5 stars. I know it doesn’t make sense, but the fact that there are people out there, who’ve never met me, that like my characters and their story is very satisfying. Though I adore my editor Nancy Cassidy as well!
“Dead Awakenings” meteoric rise seems easy, but it’s a story that was four years in the making. Tell us about the history behind the novel, and what made you stick with it?
Dead Awakenings birth started out as “Horrible, gross, no way could I write a zombie romance!” And stuck in my head like the zombie virus until I had an idea and wrote it down. I originally wrote it in 30 days and it was 150,000 words. I tend to be long winded. So it took a lot of cutting, editing, and fine tuning to get it submission ready. Also a lot of prodding. My husband and critique group had to tell me for a couple of years to try and publish before I started looking into it. I never intended on publishing anything I wrote more than just to have one copy printed to sit on my shelf and look at. I stuck with it because before I knew it I realized that I had more than one story in me. I have currently written seven books, two more are half done and I have over three dozen more yet to be written.
The word zombie conjures specific, rather unappealing images, but you wrapped a solid romance around two dead people and made them sexy! Do you think that with the right twist, just about any creature and/or concept can be made into hero/heroine material?
I think with the right twist just about anything could be made into hero or heroine material. Dreamworks did it with ogres! There are some creatures I can’t conceive seeing. Minotaurs for example, I don’t know that someone could pull that one off. I think spiders and roaches are undoable though.
Are you a plotter or pantser, and what are your strongest and weakest points as a writer?
I am a plotzer! Ha-ha. I plot out the major points of a story but how my characters get there is up to them. I never know what they’re going to say in every scene. I rarely even know what they’re going to do until they do it! My weakness is trying to explain my writing. If I’m asked what my theme is, or my character’s motivations, I rarely have a good answer. Mostly because I feel like they write their stories and so it takes a lot of analyzing for me to figure it out. I’m pretty good at pitching and query letters, but I tend to get bogged down when I do a synopsis. I never know what to add, and what to leave out.
“Red the Were Hunter”, first story in the Fairelle Series, is a new twist on the Red Riding Hood fairy tale. Tell us where that story is in terms of publishing and a bit about it.
Red was a lot of fun to write! I just got word that it came in second in the Hook, Line and Sinker contest, so I am pretty excited about that. I’m going through it one last time and then I’m going to submit it to a couple of places, and if I get no bites, I’m thinking of publishing it myself.
Red the Were Hunter is the first story in my Fairelle Series. They’re all Fantasy Romances that cover one group of people that live in Fairelle. Fairelle was split apart a thousand years before the series began. When the land was split into different kingdoms by the sons of the original king, nine prophecies were found that when completed would heal the lands and bring them back together.
Redlynn is a Sister in the Order of Red. Charged with protecting her village from the Werewolves, she defies the Head of her order and goes out in search of the Weres to avenge the dead of her best friend. Little does she know that the Weres are not the problem, worse things lurk in the woods. Adrian, reluctant King of the Wolves has a problem. Girls from the Sisterhood have gone missing. And a beautiful redheaded hunter, hell-bent on killing him, has just landed in his bed. It’s up to him to save both her and her village.
The Fairelle Series will have nine stories. “Snow the Vampire Slayer” is the second story in the series; “Zella and the Tower” the third. Can you give us a peek at these stories?
Well, each of the stories is a stand alone, but they all go together. The characters move from book to book through relationships with each other. Sage, my deposed Vampire Prince and Hero from Snow the Vampire Slayer, is a part of the first book Red the Were Hunter. And the Hero from Zelle and the Tower is related to Snow, my heroine.
Snow is sick of taking care of her seven brothers while they get to have all the fun going out and slaying vampires. But her life changes when she happens upon a wounded vampire who makes her body yearn for more than his death. Sage has gone over fifty years without drinking human blood, but something about Snow is different. Her blood and the blood of her brothers makes Sage want to renounce his vow and drain them all. Can Snow and Sage band together to save Fairelle from the real evil sitting on the Vampire throne? Or will their passion for each other tear them apart?
Zelle has known nothing but the inside of her tower her entire life. Locked away by her father, she possesses a power that could destroy the entire face of Fairelle. But when a sad and broken Hero manages to get into her tower her life is thrown into turmoil and she finds that both she and her powers are not what they seem. Only he can save her and return her to her true home, but in doing so, he’ll lose her forever.
After Zelle, we’ll travel to Cinder the Fae 🙂 Stay tuned for that one as well!
You have a countdown meter going for July 23, the opening day of Comic-Con San Diego. As a second time attendee, tell us what its like to be at such a huge event, what are you looking forward to the most and do you have any particular “must own” acquisitions you plan to purchase this year?
Oh man! Comic Con is the ultimate Nirvana for me!!! I’ve always LOVED Comic books, Star Wars, Star Trek, Dr. Who, video games and been a Role Playing nerd! Going to Comic-Con this last summer was like being in heaven! I absolutely loved every minute of it and cried when it was over. My daughters loved it so much they are already saving their allowance to go.
This last time I discovered an artist named, Rick Fortson. He had drawing the most amazing prints of Thor, Iron Man, Hulk, Loki, Ghost Rider, and Captain America. We got them all and I put them in my living room. I’m praying he’s there with more Comic Book drawings. There is also an artist my girls fell in love with named Mitch Foust. I appreciated his artwork because he made both the Marvel and DC females strong and sexy, but not scantily clad. My daughter spent her own money on several of his drawing for her wall. As a Romance writer and especially a Paranormal Romance writer I really love Kick butt heroines. But mine don’t kick butt in a bikini. So I loved that his don’t either! I can’t wait to see him again. Super nice guy!
I’m also hoping to get the Comic Con special edition Monster High doll. I got one this last year with all the artist’s signatures on it. That was pretty cool. Yes, I’m as obsessed with Monster High as my three daughters.
As a member of Savvy Authors, what would you tell beginning writers about the importance of community and making connections with other writers, and what is the most important thing you’ve gotten from your time here?
Oh man, Yes, Yes, Yes! I find making friends, helping other writers, joining communities and author groups is the most important thing you can do. The classes at Savvy are by far the most affordable I have found and have been top notch as far as quality. I’ve made friends on Savvy that have gone passed the classes I’ve taken and actually become friends, critique partners and champions.
The best advice I can give is, be active. Help others, volunteer, make friends and promote them, be happy for their successes and help their through their learning phases. The staff at Savvy are also the most generous, hardworking and helpful women out there! I just love that I found Savvy Authors. My work, editing, pitching, plotting, and everything else has exploded since joining Savvy.
It’s hard being a lonely writer. Locked in my room with my Teavana and two baby tortoises for company as I write is my happy place. But being a writer is about so much more than that. It’s about sharing your dreams with others and experiencing other people’s dreams as well. It’s about going to places you never knew were out there and that can only be done by making friends. And I do say, making friends. Not using others for self promotion. You have to really want to help other people. My helping other people has added to my success a million times over. I love promoting other people’s work! First, it makes me feel good. Second, when I see them succeed I know it’s possible for me as well.
So the best thing I’ve gotten from Savvy is the friendships. I love everything about Savvy, but that really is my favorite thing.
Rebekah grew up on both the east and west coasts and currently lives in the Los Angeles area. From “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein to “The Stand” by Stephen King, Rebekah immersed herself in other people’s made up worlds. She began writing in junior high and then found she liked pretending to be other people’s characters in high school. Lettering in drama she went on to study theater in college as well. After college she continued acting till becoming a mom. Ultimately, she ended up going back to writing her characters down instead of acting them out, so she could stay at home with her kids.
Rebekah is a member of Romance Writers of America and is a board member of both the Fantasy, Futuristic, & Paranormal and her local Los Angeles chapters. When she isn’t spending time telling the lives of the characters constantly chattering inside her head, you can find her with her husband and four children; reading comic books, gaming, at the movies or taking care of the menagerie of pets. A dog, a rabbit, two bearded dragons, and three tortoises. Wonder woman, the escaped snake, has yet to be located.
Evaine, a struggling New York theater student, enters an unsanctioned drug trial in an effort to pay bills. She awakens in a derelict hospital, chained to a bed with no memory of who she is, or how she got there. A band of pale skinned men, led by the gorgeous Luca, burst in, whisking her away to safety. Once at Haven House, Evaine is introduced to The Family. Like them, she has become A Deader, a reanimated Undead.
Luca is hell-bent on stopping the experimentations, and killing those responsible. He has no time for a Newborn who is struggling to control her rages, hunger, and powers. Nor does he have the desire to deal with the feelings she’s awakening within him. Despite their best efforts, Evaine and Luca find their connection intensifying when suddenly, she remembers not only who she is, but also her fiancé, Tristan; who is still looking for her.
Torn between her first love and her new heart’s desire, Evaine runs back to Tristan putting everyone in danger. When a rogue faction of Deaders, called Feeders, attempts to kidnap her, Luca suspects Evaine is the key to the experiments. Can everyone band together to keep Evaine off the cutting table of those she escaped from? Or will second death tear her away from everyone, for good?
Ria Boulay writes contemporary and paranormal romantic comedy as well as dystopian YA/NA. With Savvy since 2011, she is the Editor of the Spotlight On column. Spotlight is dedicated to acknowledging the work of our member authors and volunteers, as well as informative interviews with editors, agents and publishers.