Hello and welcome to the next author interview of 2021! This is the third year for the Five Question Interview series here on anotherhartmanauthor.com (to read past interviews, click here). Today’s spotlight is on author Rebecca Conaty Bruce! Let’s dive in.
If that book has been swirling around in your mind forever, write it down. It is quite an exhilarating feeling to accomplish your goal, so just keep writing, and never give up. Even if it takes you twenty years to finish like my first novel, just keep going. Finish it.Rebecca’s advice for other writers
Let’s start at the very beginning with your writer’s story. I’m looking for the who/what/when/where/why and how. Why do you keep writing?
My mother and I decided to take a trip to Ireland after doing some family research in 1998. During that trip I entered an old cottage that supposedly belonged to a distant ancestor. I longed to know more about their story, struggles and daily life and why they left it all to come to America.
That night I had a dream, more like a movie that played over and over in my head. It continued for years until one day I started writing it down. It took me twenty years to write that story. Life always got in the way until one day it was finished and it became my first Novel IRISH BONES. I was so excited to see it published!
I wrote a sequel of their life after leaving Ireland, IRISH BONES II. Once that big achievement was accomplished I again started dreaming of crime stories with a strong female heroine.
Now, being retired, I started a new series titled Esther Valentine chronicles. I have four books in that series so far. It seems a little crazy but all my novels have come to me in a dream, I just write them down. My husband says I am a dream writer. I have very vivid dreams!
Of all your books and manuscripts, what was the “easiest” to write? The “hardest?” Which one took the longest? What lessons did you learn from those experiences about writing itself?
IRISH BONES was the longest and hardest. I struggled with the format because there are so many characters, twists, and historical events in the book. I finally chose to present each character in their first point of view so the reader can see into each character individually. With the crime series, Esther Valentine just flows out of me on to the page. There is a little of me in Esther.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? Does this place hit all your “author writing zone” notes?
If I had the resources, I would live part time in Ireland and part time in the states. My husband and I traveled in an RV for two years visiting all the states we could. We never made it to all 50. With covid I may not make it to all of them but the ones we did visit only made me want to come back again someday.
We have a beautiful country right here. I spent my early childhood in Texas; Esther Valentine solves her cold cases in Texas. I have visited Ireland twice. Irish Bones focuses on Ireland. The places you know the best, inspire you to write and dream.
If you could write any genre other than what you already write, what would it be? Do you enjoy reading stories of that genre?
All of my novels have a little romance in them so I would possibly try romance in the future possibly. I do love a good mystery and my books center around a mystery, a little history, and a good twist at the end. Books that have always caught my attention were mystery novels or historical fiction.
Do you prefer writing series or stand-alone books? If you were to write stand-alone novels, would you still want to have them all be connected in some way?
I did not start out writing series but that is how it turned out. I enjoy knowing more of the story with a continuing character. Searching for another book after you just finished one that grabbed you can be hard, so I like a good series. Sometimes I wish they would never end. I am thinking of a children’s book next after Esther Valentine Chronicles and that will be a stand alone.
What are your feelings on the “traditional vs self” publishing arguments currently going around on social media? Should authors/readers feel any differently about how a published work is put out so long as it’s done well?
There are so many talented writers with great novels, it is a shame to have to wait and hope that someone loves your book enough to publish it. Traditional publishing has a place in the world but I am all for the self publishing Author. I say go for it. I have seen okay books that get published by big publishing companies just because the author was a celebrity.
That just takes away a spot for a really great author who could have been discovered. It is my opinion of course, but I say write the book, tell your story, have it published, and share it with the world.
And now for a bit of fun! Answer with the first thing that comes to mind with these Either/Or questions:
Chocolate or Peanut Butter: Peanut Butter
Lobster or Clam Bake: Neither
Coffee or Tea: Coffee
Train or Trolley: Train
Snow or Sand: Sand
Cafe or Bakery: Cafe
Spring or Summer: Spring
Real Plants or Fake Plants: Real, of course
Ninja Turtles or Regular Turtles: Turtles!! No matter where they are, they are home and comfortable on their own shell
Fuzzy Blanket or Silk Sheets: Fuzzy blankets
Many thanks once again to Rebecca Conaty Bruce for her Five Question Interview! I’m really looking forward to meeting more of you through Spring 2021.
Check back next week, Wednesday, April 21st to meet the Grammar Girl herself, Mignon Fogarty!
Rebecca is a retired Respiratory Therapist after twenty seven years of hospital work. She now lives her life writing historical fiction and crime series from her home in Florida, where she retired with her husband John. Writing novels with strong female heroines and about the places she has visited is what works best for her. Growing up, Rebecca spent her early childhood in Texas before moving to Florida. She has traveled extensively throughout Europe and hopes to travel again soon. She and her husband bought an RV a few years back and traveled visiting many states for inspiration and to expand her knowledge. Rebecca has five novels already published and is working on number six with no plans to stop writing any time soon. Her novel, IRISH BONES, inspired an article and promotion in an Irish newspaper in 2020.
There is a little piece of Rebecca in every book she writes. She is always inspired by her three daughters, her husband, and the places she has traveled to in her life time. She firmly believes that education and knowing the world around you is the key to life.