- a neurodivergent dyslexic who somehow became an author and publisher
Readers, let’s give a good, hearty welcome to this week’s guest!
Rebecca Mikkelson has been writing fantasy stories since her early teens for fun and was thrilled to turn her dream into a reality when she was published for the first time in an anthology. She currently lives in Hawaii with her husband of nine years where they enjoy not going outside and avoiding the scare ball in the sky.
In her free time, Rebecca likes to cross stitch and embroider to relax when her cats aren’t hogging the embroidery floss. She also enjoys reading a wide variety of books, ranging from non-fiction biographies of historical figures and families to high fantasy.
As well as being an author, Rebecca works as the Chief of Business Development at Authors 4 Authors Publishing, which she helped start in 2018. She also works as an editor with several of the A4A authors.
Rebecca, thanks for agreeing to be here today. Most interviews start off with the boring stuff, but I know what readers REALLY want to know.
If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?
Am I boring? I think I’d just stick with my cats. Other than one, they pretty much leave me alone and cuddle me when I need it. Everything else just seems like too much hassle.
Though if I knew of a creature that could clean everything to soothe my OCD, I’ll take two of those.
Catticus would like to commend your choice. Although, an OCD soothing pet sounds like a very useful thing.
What do you write? And how did you get started?
I write historical fantasy for the most part, but I have started to dip my feet into higher fantasy and romance because my uncooperative brain won’t stop coming up with ideas for books even after I’ve told it multiple times I have too many books to write already.
I’ve been writing from a fairly young age for fun and for friend’s entertainment, but I really didn’t get started writing with any serious intent until I lived in South Korea with my husband for his work. I couldn’t get a job with any of the English-speaking companies while I was there, and I was too scared to go out and explore on my own. (I’m very directionally challenged—I can get lost in a grocery store if they rearrange stuff.) I had to do something with my time. There were only so many ways I could clean our tiny apartment (I could walk end to end in ten seconds, no lie), so I thought I would give writing a chance. What did I have to lose?
Ahh, the ‘all the story ideas’ problem, I hear it’s pretty common amongst authors. So glad, even if it was environmentally encouraged, you found your way back to your words!
What do you like to read?
It’s hard to tell what my favorite is, but I usually stick to either speculative fiction or non-fiction. I take a lot of inspiration from history in my novels, so anyone who’s looking out will be able to find little easter eggs from several historic moments.
An excellent selection, *eyes her own shelves*.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you.
Write every day.
I hate it, and definitely can’t do it. My life is too busy to write every day, or I generally don’t feel well (I’ve got chronic migraine) enough to write, or my ADHD is running wild with whatever shiny thing it spotted three hours ago and just remembered. And honestly, I’d love to see this advice go away. I think this advice just makes a lot of people feel bad about themselves because life is chaotic, or their scenes need to ruminate to get it down on paper.
More power to the people who can actually do it, though. I applaud them.
Completely understandable. I can make it work during NaNoWriMo, but it’s not sustainable for me.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that they can pry out of your cold, dead hands.
Avoid detailed descriptions.
I don’t know how popular this one is, but avoid writing detailed descriptions. This doesn’t necessarily mean to be scant on your detail, but it means don’t be superfluous with your detail. In other words, don’t be a Tolkien.
I’m a very firm believer in this one. I absolutely adore The Lord of the Rings movies, but I was more than done with the books when Tolkien took pages and pages and pages to describe a field. I just don’t care. If I wanted to be bored, I’d go back to college, not read a book. And I don’t want my readers to feel like that either, so I keep the description where it needs to be and don’t run away with it.
Ha! My critique partners have definitely seen me write “I started skimming here. Can you add some action or dialogue in here to break up the description.”
Shameless Self-Promotion time!
The Anatalian series will have six books in it, starting with The Anatalian Soldier that drops November 21, 2021!
Liam Fulton wants to see the world beyond the vineyard his parents live and work on. The only option he sees is the Anatalian army. Shortly after he joins, war breaks out, where he discovers a treasonous plot. Will he come away unscathed, or will his actions during the war irreparably change his life?
Margaret is just learning to fit in at court when her father falls gravely ill. The other courtiers start to pull away from her family, thinking they’re cursed by God for reaching too high. Her mother, unable to handle the pressure of scrutiny, abandons them. Can Margaret figure out how to care for her father on her own?
(And on Books2Read)
I also have a short story, which is a retelling of “Princess and the Pea” called “The Measure of a Princess.”
In this short Princess and The Pea retelling, Princess Adelena is summoned with the other princesses on the continent for Prince Anders to find a bride. He wants to test each princess to find the one of the highest worth, but Princess Adelena is going to be testing him to see if he is indeed worthy of her.
(And on Books2Read)