Saturday, 18 April 2015
Rosie Morgan welcomes Rebecca Ferrell Porter
I'm delighted to welcome Rebecca to my blog. She has just won a silver medal from The Wishing Shelf Awards for her second book - Cairn: A Dragon Memoir (Legends of the Aurora ~ Book 2).
I threw quite a few questions at Rebecca and have been fascinated to hear her answers, you're in for a bit of a treat here folks :).
Maybe you haven't read any books about dragons, if not I suggest that you start here!
Well Rebecca, maybe you can start by telling us what started you off on your writing journey.
I’ve always been a creative person, but writing wasn’t on my radar until a few years ago. My passion at the time was photography, and to stretch my visual wings, I volunteered to “photograph” a troll as he moved around my hometown. Long story short, the editor loved my idea, but only if I could write a story to introduce the troll. I panicked, but within a week I had what I thought was a short story about how a blue-eyed troll ended up in a small town in the center of America. What I didn’t realize was the story I imagined was a complete trilogy. After I zoomed past ten thousand words and then twenty, I realized I was writing more than an article so took on the fictional role of the Stoughton Press reluctant troll reporter. I’ve been writing what I affectionately call the Creature Feature for three years now.
And where do you prefer to write?
My perfect writing day begins with a walk in the woods. I’ll sling my camera over my shoulder and tuck my laptop in my bag. I choose different locations to suit the mood of what I’m working on at the time, but I would have to say my favorite place is perched on a flat stone overhanging a musical stream. The water blocks out all but my inner voice and the words start to flow.
Tricky one this - best film EVER?
If you had asked me that question when I was a child, I would have said Wizard of Oz (although the book is much better), but my tastes have changed over the years. I went through a Dances with Wolves phase, but today, my absolute favorite film is AVATAR! I dream of building a world as dynamic as Pandora. Each time I watch it, I find something new. It’s amazing.
And do you have a most treasured possession?
This is a tough one because I’m not a material person. It might be my fossilized fern stem (its 25 inches around), or maybe my Celtic wedding band, but honestly, I think it’s my memories. I’m a human sponge soaking up the weird and wonderful.
I'm guessing that you like animals, which is your favourite?
As I sit her typing, my dog’s hot breath is warming my ankle. I love training dogs. Their little faces light up when they finally understand what I am trying to say. But if I could choose a mythical creature, dragon wins. I like to say I write to soothe my inner dragon.
If you could chose one book from your childhood, which one would it be?
Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White. I remember sleeping with it clutched in my arms.
Can I be very nosy and ask what you're working on at the present?
The final book in the Legends of the Aurora trilogy is my current obsession. I wrote the final chapter during the editing of the first book, and I’ve tweaked it a bit, but I must get my characters to that scene. I would be cruel to leave them (and my fans) swinging.
Any plans for your literary future?
I have notes on a conversation I had while waiting in line at the druggist. An old man began to lament his greatest regret in life. When I asked what it was, his words made my scalp tingle. His children had forced him to give up his elephant. How could I walk away from that?
(That's an amazing piece of conversation - a little bit of serendipity maybe?)
And lastly, perhaps you have some thoughts we haven't covered so far. Some insights into your writing.
When I’m preparing to write a book, I go through a compelling series of dreams. It’s as if I’ve stepped into the middle of a film. I’ll see a character step forward. He or she may have never entered my imagination before, but by the time I wake up, I know everything about them. Gaven was like that in Blue on the Horizon, and Aurora appeared in her cave behind the waterfall with her long, golden hair reaching toward the loom the summer before I wrote Cairn: A Dragon Memoir. If I close my eyes, I can still see the sunlight on Aurora’s face, feel the soft texture of her skin as she lays her hand on my arm, and smell the honey perfuming her dress. It’s a powerful experience. Other times, a character steps forward as I’m writing as Kes, the dragon Scribe, did in this scene. She is preparing to inscribe Troika, think of it as a dragon tattoo, only more painful.
“Your inscription is elaborate. It will take time. I may tire and stop to rest, but once started the inscription must be completed.” She raised her hand to reveal a flight feather, stripped to the tip where a flake of diamond winked in the light.
He was shaking despite his best effort to control it.
“Some have died, but only a few. You are strong … your heart, pure. You will survive, and I will be remembered as your Scribe. I thank you for this opportunity.” He felt the pressure of her hand resting on this throat.
Just get it over with, he thought.
She inserted something under a delicate scale at the base of his throat, and began prying it up. The pain was excruciating, but he focused on his breathing. He would not cry out. One by one, his scales were lifted, dozens of them until he thought she was removing them all. He felt her carving away just enough scale before she would gently press the remains back into place. He tried to ignore the stream of blood that grew into a river as even more scales were ripped away.
I’ll share one last thing with your readers. I grew up in a small town called Mineral Point, Wisconsin. It was settled by Cornish miners in the 1820’s. The hills around town are dimpled with hand-dug lead mines, and your readers may find it interesting to know that Mineral Point is twinned with Redruth Cornwall. To this day, my family often celebrates with pasty.
It's fascinating just how many people have their roots in the Cornish mining community, especially in the US or in Australia. If you're in mining country you can be fairly sure that a Cornishman has been there digging his way beneath the earth's crust.
Cairn: A Dragon Memoir has been honored with a Silver Medal in the 2014 Wishing Shelf Independent Book Award.
And now you can click here, on the titles, to be taken to Rebecca's books on Amazon:
Rebecca's blog: http://trolltails.blogspot.com
Rebecca's website: http://www.gnarledroots.com
Rebecca's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/rebeccaferrellporter
Rebecca's Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com