Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Interview With Rebecca Boschee

by Mona Ingram on 7/13/2011

Rebecca Boschee’s second book for Avalon, Last Resort, was released in June.

Rebecca, please tell us about Last Resort.
Last Resort is about a laidback water-jock, Jackson, who takes off for Florida to avoid the thriving business he’s inherited and to get over his father’s death. And it’s about Lila, who’s thrown into the alien world of Florida resort life when her ex-boyfriend steals her tuition cash and she’s laid off from her job. Both are hoping to bide time while running from internal demons. Of course, it’s only a matter of time before the demons catch up.
 Against their will, Jackson and Lila are increasingly attracted to each other, but complications ensue that challenge their greatest fears and threaten to tear them apart. Lila is presented with circumstantial evidence that indicates Jackson betrayed her, while Jackson’s business concerns demand his attention—and time away from Lila. Meanwhile, a colorful cast of characters aid in creating obstacles and misunderstanding to add levity to the story.
 In other words, for Jackson and Lila, paradise is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Jackson sounds delicious. How did you create him?
I wanted someone Lila would misunderstand and tend to show prejudice against based on who he was on the outside—in other words, someone incredibly talented, good-looking and popular. But inside, I wanted him to be someone with the qualities that would win her heart in the end—sensitive, intelligent, ambitious and honorable. Of course, that meant he had to have a pretty big flaw to overcome, and that’s where I came up with his inner insecurities and his avoidance attitude. Until he not only faces but also embraces his responsibilities, he won’t be at peace with himself or win Lila.

 Was there one spark that prompted you to write this story?
The seed of this story came from the ‘write what you know’ theory. When I was much younger I stumbled across an opportunity to work for an all-inclusive resort for a season after being laid off from my office job. The role forced me far outside my comfort zone (many authors are introverts at heart), but I jumped in and absorbed the behind-the-scenes world of resort life. What I loved about the concept is the idea of so many people of varied backgrounds and talents thrown together in a gorgeous setting. Good friendships are formed and, of course, it’s ripe for romance. Last Resort is based entirely on fictional events and people, but it wouldn’t be a stretch to see any of it happen in that environment.
Does location play a big part in your stories?
In this book, yes. Given the dramatization of some of the events, and the unruly behavior of some of the characters, I wanted to write about a place I knew fairly well to ground the story. I’ve visited Florida on vacation or business a dozen times and even lived there for a short while.

 Aha! That’s why it sounds so real.
What’s your favourite scene in Last Resort?
 I like the scene where Jackson and Lila are walking home from the Crab Shanty late at night. The undertones of their attraction and the potential danger lurking in the dark create nice friction, but it’s more than that. I feel like there’s a little break-through in this scene where the honest conversation has Lila beginning to understand who Jackson is beyond her prejudices and his smooth exterior.

I like the names Jackson and Lila. How do you usually choose the names for your characters?
Thanks! The answer isn’t as romantic or fun as one may think. The truth is I have a laundry list of names I like, and I chose ones that work best with time and place (contemporary time and the American south, in this case). Then, I look at the length of the name, the way it sounds, and the letter it begins with to be sure I have some variety. Otherwise, I subconsciously wind up with everyone’s name containing two syllables and starting an ‘M’ or something!

 While you’re writing, do your characters ever surprise you by saying or doing things you hadn’t planned?
They do! And it’s pretty darned scary when that happens because I’m a major outliner. When it happens, I tend to let it go as long as it fits with their character profile (needs/motivation/personality), because I figure my subconscious probably knows more than I do. An example of this in Last Resort is when Jackson showed a jealous streak by approaching Lila at the nightclub and accusing her of hating men then went on to try to make her jealous. Where the heck did that come from? But I thought it worked, so I kept it in.

Do you write every day?
Yep. Every single day unless I’m out of town on vacation or something. I may not write more than a few hundred words, or I may spend the time editing, but it’s the habit of sitting down and making progress on some aspect of my writing career that’s important for me to keep up with daily.

 What’s your favourite part of the writing process?
The very beginning of a new novel. I love doing character profiles and coming up with the inciting incident (the event that changes the main characters ordinary world into something story-worthy). Those first 30,000 words are so much fun to write. It’s when I get to the middle that the honeymoon phase wears off, and it starts to become serious work from there on in.

I see by your website that you might be working on a paranormal romance. Can you tell us about it?
I’ve completed one YA paranormal romance—a sort of a ghost story—and an adult paranormal romance. I’m also into my third round of intensive edits on my second YA paranormal. The latter two involve a twist on zombie lore than has more to do with chemistry than horror. I love writing paranormal romance because it allows me to stay true to my first passion in writing (romance) while getting to ‘write outside the lines’ in a not-quite-normal world. It’s a lot of fun. Right now, I’m working with my agent on getting the adult paranormal romance out there, so the YA books may take some time to follow.

How do you spend your time when you’re not writing?
Reading. Sometimes traveling. Enjoying time with loved ones. Desperately trying to balance work and life.

Thank you for taking time out to talk to us. It’s been fun.


Gina/Katherine said...

Great interview! I'm always fascinated to learn the details behind a story. Thanks so much for sharing, Rebecca, and best of luck with your sales!

Sandy Cody said...

Rebecca, your story sounds like fun - nice cover too. I admire your discplined approach to writing.

Mona, good job asking the right questions so that we could get to know Rebecca and her writing better.

Thanks to both of you.