Please welcome author Rebekah Lyn

Author Bio:

Rebekah is a sandal-loving native Floridian, growing up in Titusville, Florida, within sight of the Kennedy Space Center. She received her Bachelors degree in Communications from Jacksonville University, Jacksonville, Florida. And her career immediately introduced her into the life of event planning, media coordinator, and client interaction. She has been employed for over 15 years by a Fortune 500 corporation in Orlando.

Rebekah writes character-driven novels, which she hopes will engulf the reader in a great story and leave them stronger in their faith. One Summer Storms reviewer said, “Something about this author’s writing style reminds me of Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove series.” Her first published novel was released in October, 2011, and three of her current books have received solid ratings in the Christian Fiction category on Amazon.com. She has two distinct series developed, with further books planned for each series.

Jessie, the second book in the Coastal Chronicles, available July 20, 2014, is a coming-of-age story of Jessie and his family living in Titusville, Florida, during 1960-1969.  The teen struggles with bitterness born of a difficult childhood and some devastating tragedies.  Published after two years of extensive research and development, Jessie’s release date coincides with the 45th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing mission.


Book title: Jessie: Coastal Chronicles Book 2


Brief Synopsis:

The four Cole boys suffer abuse at the hands of an alcoholic father, while largely being left to their own devices by a heartbroken and overworked mother.  Their adventures on their island home have become a welcome escape, and one of the only things in life the boys can truly rely on. Jessie, the youngest and a dreamer, becomes enamored with US plans for manned space flight and its race to the moon, stirring his own dreams of one day becoming an astronaut. In a strange twist of fate, it is the space program and the momentum it gains that abruptly brings their beloved island life to an end. The family is forced to move to the city and start anew.

Life in town creates new challenges, financial pressure news of the Vietnam War and the impending threat of the military draft for Max, the eldest of the Cole brothers.


Personal

What do you do to relax when you are not writing?  

I love gardening. This year I added sweet peppers, squash and zucchini to my herb and tomato garden. I also have a lemon tree and growing collection of flowers that make me smile every time I look out the window. Watching all of the plants mature and change through the seasons reminds me of the wonder and mystery of nature.


What, or who, inspired you to become a writer?

I’ve loved books my whole life. When I didn’t have a book, I would make up stories to entertain myself. My mom had an old fashioned vanity with a full-length mirror in the middle and I remember sitting there weaving a story about a world on the other side of the mirror. In college I spent most of my time writing and editing the yearbook, but I picked up creative writing again about ten years ago.


Current work

What or who inspired you to write your current novel?

I grew up on the space coast with the Shuttle program and for a short time wanted to be an astronaut myself. In many ways Titusville still has a small town feel that fits with the settings I have envisioned for the Coastal Chronicles and I thought I knew the history of the area well enough to knock this story out quickly. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Everything I knew was only the tip of the iceberg and my research has given me a new appreciation for the place I grew up.


Tell us three interesting facts about your book which are not covered in the synopsis.

1) I developed a bit of a crush on Gus Grissom during my research. He seems like he would have been a nice guy to meet.

2) The adventures of the Cole brothers are very loosely based on some of my dad’s own experiences trekking in the forest and St. John’s River as a kid.

3) I had the chance to tour the original launch sites located on the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Being able to go out on the launch pad where the Apollo 1 fire took place was a humbling and inspiring experience.


What research did you need to do for this book?

Even though I grew up on the Space Coast, I read up on the history of the area, all the way back to the 1800s. It was important to me to understand the big picture of how the whole Brevard County area was developed and the factors that made it an ideal location for the missile launches. I watched hours of videos of launches and news reports, interviewed people who lived on Merritt Island at the time land was being purchased by the government and Vietnam veterans. The historical society was a wealth of information with copies of old newspapers, city directories, high school yearbooks, and photos of Tituvsille through the years.     

Are any elements/characters of your book based on real life experiences or people you’ve met/known?

Some the adventures of the Cole boys are based on stories my dad told me about his own childhood. All of the launch scenes are based on the actual rocket launches and news reports.


Tell us a little about your current work-in-progress.

My next book will be the third in my Seasons of Faith series. I only have a chapter written so far, but a new character has been teasing my brain and I’m looking forward to getting to know him better and seeing what role he will play in this new story. This series follows the lives of five young professionals in Orlando, Florida.


Writing/publication process

What process did you adopt from inception through to the finished book?

I am a panster writer. I did create a timeline of historical events as I did preliminary research to which I added character events as they unfolded. I rarely know what I’m going to write about when I sit down at the computer, I say a prayer that God will give me the words and start typing.


What do you need (or not need) around you whilst writing?

I must have Gummi Bears. Something about the chewing on this fruity candy helps me think. When I don’t have them writing slows to a crawl.


What prompted you to self-publish your current book?

I sent out agent queries on my first book, Summer Storms, but didn’t find anyone that I felt that I connected with, even on paper. My heart kept telling this book needed to get out to the public and I’d been hearing murmurs about Amazon offering publishing services. I talked with one of their representatives who gave me the cost of their editing, formatting, cover design service and I nearly passed out. I was living pay check to pay check and the cost was nearly a month’s salary. When I found out I could do all of that on my own I decided to take the plunge and I haven’t looked back.


What were the three biggest challenges you faced when writing your book?

1) Keeping the timeline straight was difficult. I created a spreadsheet with important dates and events that I had to refer back to nearly every day.

2) Finding details about some of the launch missions was difficult. I would find information on one NASA website, but then conflicting information on another. Also, being true to the technology of the era, searching out what type of cameras, tape recorders, and radios were available and whether or not my characters would have been able to afford them.

3) Deciding where to end this story was difficult since the space program covered more than five decades. When I settled on a stopping point with the idea of a follow up book, finishing the story became a lot easier.


Every author seems to suffer with writer’s block at some point. How do you overcome it?

Sometimes I get up and walk away from the computer, sometimes I just keep writing, knowing that what I’m getting down probably won’t be good and won’t make it in the book, but it keeps my head in the story and helps me get to know my characters better.


What single piece of advice would you give to any aspiring writer?

Write because you love writing, not because you want to be famous or quit your day job. Write because you can’t stop thinking about the characters that come to you in the most unlikely places.


Genre

What genre does your book fall into?

Jessie is historical fiction but could fall into Young Adult as well because the main characters are teenage boys.


How did you get interested in this specific genre?

I’ve enjoyed reading historical fiction since I was young. Knowing that the settings and many of the events really happened makes the whole story more believable and the fictionalized characters seem to make the events more relatable to my own life.


You as a reader

Which three authors have inspired you the most, and why?

1) Terri Blackstock is one of my all time favourite writers. She writes Christian fiction that is real and not afraid to show the struggles that everyone faces whether they believe in God or not. Life doesn’t get easier just because you choose to commit your life to God and that is what I want to convey in my books as well.

2) Morgan Llyweyln wrote a compelling series of historical fiction on Ireland that helped me understand the turmoil that country has gone through and wrapped me up in storylines that made me feel like I was right there with the characters, from 1916 right on through the 1970s.

3) I rarely read anything on the bestseller lists unless it’s Brad Thor or Daniel Silva. Most of the books I read are obscure and not often more than one book by the same author. I enjoy character driven stories or stories where the setting is as much a character as the people.


What was your favourite book as a child?

Mandy by Julie Andrews. I was the shy kid who didn’t really fit in at school and this story about an orphan girl who tries to make a home for herself resonated with me. I must have found it in a used book store, because it was old and tattered when I got it, but I still have it.


What is the best book you’ve read in the last 12 months?

I enjoyed reading Paul Theroux’s book The Great Railway Bazar. He does an excellent job of bringing to life the atmosphere of the train and each of the places he visits.  


What was the last book you recommended to a friend, and why did you think it was worthy of recommendation?

I don’t recommend books very often because I know what I enjoy doesn’t always appeal to the others. However, I did read Barbara Brink’s Frederickson Winery series this year and would recommend them to others. These three books have enough suspense that you don’t want to stop reading, but they also have comedy and tender romance.


Kindle (or other e-reader) or paperback, and why?

I still love paper books. I love their smell, the feel of them in my hand, the sound of the pages turning. However, I have a very full iPad with every reading app there is. Having a wide selection of books at my fingertips with only two pounds of weight is a wonderful thing when I find myself in a waiting room.


Hollywood is calling

You’ve had the call from Hollywood and they want your opinion on who should play the leading roles in the film based upon your book. Who would you choose, and why?

Several of my previous books were written with actors in mind to help me envision the characters, but with Jessie I drew more on people I knew, old family photos, photos from the historical society. I’m not terribly current on young actors and since my main characters are teen boys, I would be hard pressed on who to recommend.


The film of your book is now going to need a soundtrack. Which musician(s) would you want to write and play it?

This is a good question because I love music. Two of my favourite composers are John Williams and Randy Edelman. Jessie is set in the 1960s and there are so many iconic songs and musicians that I would love to see included in a soundtrack.


Favourites

Drink – Coffee or hot tea. Both help me relax and focus.

Meal – Filet mignon, twice baked potato, and roasted vegetables, followed by just about any sweet dessert.

Holiday destination –I spend most of my vacations in the mountains of western North Carolina visiting my family. I’d really like to take an extended tour of Europe like in the old Jane Austen, Henry James novels.

TV programme –Right now I think Nashville is my favourite show. The characters feel real. Most of the storylines feel natural and the writers manage the large cast beautifully.

FilmEver After or Only You. I’m a romantic at heart.

Method of travel – I love driving back roads, seeing the heart of the country, but flying is a wonderful way to get places fast. I wish the train system was more efficient and affordable in the States as I enjoyed that immensely when I visited Europe.  

Sport – If I have time, I enjoy watching pro football. I was in Jacksonville at the newspaper plant the day the NFL Jacksonville had gotten the new team. My group received the very first stickers with the team logo.


How can people connect with you?

Website: Rebekah Lyn Books

Blog: Rebekah Lyn’s Kitchen

Twitter: @RebekahLyn1

Facebook: AuthorRebekahLyn


Where can readers find your book?

Barnes & Noble

iTunes for books




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