On the cusp of adulthood, Rebecca Grey has no idea where her life is headed. Like many of us, she struggles to build a sustainable identity, a task made even harder by the fact that her mother is engaged in an extended breakdown and her absent father has another family to worry about. Dealing with their problems leaves little time for her own, and pretty soon, something has to give. As she toils under the weight of a tragedy that was never hers to begin with, Rebecca faces the impossible task of carving out a future for herself, all the while shadowed by the mistakes of her parents. Told with an experienced voice through the eyes of three characters, Another Rebecca tells the story of one family’s moving inability to let go of the past.
Meeting author Callum Wilde is the catalyst that turns Marianne Fairchild's fragile sense of identity on its head, evoking demons that will haunt two families. She is seventeen and has spent her life fighting off disturbing memories that can't possibly belong to her. His twin sister Marion died seventeen years ago. When Cal and his older sister Sarah spot Marianne in the audience of a TV show that Cal is recording, they are stunned by her uncanny resemblance to Marion. They have to find out who she is, but they both soon come to regret the decision to draw her into their lives. Events spiral out of control for all of them, but whilst Cal and Sarah each manage to find a way to move on, Marianne is forced to relinquish the one precious thing that could have given her life some meaning. The book is set in a haunting estuary landscape of mudflats, marshes and the constant resonance of the sea. The Last Time We Saw Marion is the story of two families - but the horrible truth is that two into one won't go...
Author of Another Rebecca
Q. What inspires your writing?
A. Everything. Feelings about everything. I’m amazed simply by the fact of being alive, always have been since I knew I was alive. It’s perplexing and phenomenal. I’m better at coping with feelings now than I was when I was young though, and they’re what make me a writer. But anyway, what inspires me is the human condition and all that. Especially motherhood. And sex. Being connected in the deepest ways to other human beings. (And animals and nature – so back to ‘everything’ then.)
Q. What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
A. The joy of creation. You create worlds through writing. It’s a privilege to have this gift, and I mean it in the sense that it feels like someone gave me a present: the ability to invent lives and events and bring places to life through the power of description. As a writer you’re also (mainly) in control of your own life and it’s entirely up to you whether the work gets done. I like that. A dedicated writing space is important to me (mine is my shed) because when I go in there I’m telling myself the serious work starts here.
Q. What is the toughest part of being a writer?
A. Having other stuff to do. Every night when I go to bed (due to lack of ability to keep eyes open any longer) I tell myself I’ll be out in the shed first thing. But then there’s the kitchen to wipe down and the evening meal to prepare and the toilet to clean. Before you know it, it’s no longer ‘first thing. It’s really down to self-discipline.
Q. If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?
A. Before writing full-time I worked as a visual artist. But if we’re talking something completely different I’d be a maker of some kind and hopefully someone with more business sense than me would help me create a viable business. I once designed a baby-carrying sling and sold a few of them. I also came up with an idea of dolls with a background story told through an interactive website. Other than something creative, I’d work with young people, hoping to improve lives and inspire.
Q. What would the story of your life be entitled?
A. The One Inside. That just came to me, so I’m not going to argue with it.
Q. What is your favorite book of all time?
A. I’m going to have to say Wuthering Heights. For its sheer vitality and massive passion. I get you, Emily Bronte.
Q. Which character from ANY book are you most like?
A. I’m probably a bit of a Jane from Jane Eyre. Probably. It’s hard to give an objective assessment of myself.
Q. What character from all of your book are you most like?
A. Difficult because my characters are often young and I’ve got more mature since I’ve got older (luckily!) But Rebecca from my current novel is the most like the young me, and Sarah from The Last Time We Saw Marion is more like the me when I first wrote it. I do have a character in a future novel who is most like the me that I am now.
Q. Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?
A. I’d like to spend a weekend at the Goldman household in Brother of the More Famous Jack by Barbara Trapido. It’s full of chaos and make-yourself-at-home and intelligent (if noisy) debate and home-grown vegetables and children. And I’d like to be young again for this weekend, amazed and entranced by this experience of family life as is Katherine, the main character of the novel. (If I hadn’t put Wuthering Heights as my most favourite novel ever, it would have been Brother of the More Famous Jack.)
Q. What do you want to be remembered for 100 years from now?
A. My novels. To have moved people with their telling.
Q. What is your favorite season?
A. Spring. For the obvious reasons, everything feels so fresh and new, I love the physical symbols of hope and rebirth.
Q. What inspired your book cover(s)? Or what is your favorite book cover and why?
A. The cover of Another Rebecca is a photograph I took of ice on the back window of our home. You can just see the outline of a brick house through the pattern of ice which looks like feathery trees. It feels like being trapped behind the ice. It made me think of my dual female characters, both trapped within their own lives behind a semi-transparent barrier.
Q. Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
A. I haven’t really got anything funny but I can tell you something. I took a sketchbook with me for a book-signing. It was a great way of drawing (no pun intended) people over to my table. And if they wanted to talk about my sketches or get advice about drawing that’s what I did. They usually ended up buying my book anyway, which was lovely.
Q. Are you working on something new?
A. I’m polishing up the sequel to The Last Time We Saw Marion, entitled Of His Bones. It works as a stand-alone novel but also ties up the loose ends of the first one. The two books were very much inspired by the great passions of Wuthering Heights and I hope I’ve achieved a kind of contemporary parallel in writing them.
Q. Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
A. *Blushes* Hello, and thanks for stopping by and hopefully sticking with me until this point. It’s been great reaching out to you. I love a chat, so if you feel like checking out my links, and especially reading my books, I’d love to hear what you think.
Thank you very much for having me J
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