MT: Do all of your novels have a general theme and tone?
Rebecca Nolen: No. One if for adults and the other is a middle-grade. I plan to do more novels that will go with my two published novels. I’m working on a novel called Deadly Haste that takes place right before Deadly Thyme. It is a stand-alone, too.
MT: Why should people buy your novels?
RN: My children’s novel The Dry is a great adventure story for children ages 9 to 99. It’s a fantasy that involves giant bugs and also, for the science nerds like me, each chapter heading starts with a wasp fact. The wasp facts have nothing to do with the story.
Adults who love discovering a great story to keep them up reading at night, will love Deadly Thyme. It is not a paranormal, nor a romance, but there is a hint of paranormal and romance. I would characterize it as psychological suspense, as in a bit scary. If you love Ruth Rendell, you would love Deadly Thyme.
MT: How would you describe all of your novels in just two words?
RN: Fantastically suspenseful
MT: What movie have you seen the most in your life?
RN: I didn’t mean to tell on him, but I’ve watched Godfather more times than I can count because I love my husband…
MT: Was being a novel writer something you’ve always dreamed of doing?
RN: Yes. I wrote my first novel at 16 years of age. And you know that question they ask you for yearbook in high school about what you want to be? I want to write and illustrate children’s books was my answer. Yeah, that was over 40 years ago, *sigh* so there you are.
MT: Do you have an all-time favorite novel? Have you read a novel more than once?
RN: I have read a few novels more than once (Agatha Christie) but I’ve also found that there are so many treasure yet to be unearthed so I constantly read new novels looking for another gem. I love so many novels I can’t name them all. Have you read The Language of Flowers? One of the most powerful and understated books I think I’ve ever read. Also, The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. What about 13 Reasons Why? So so many great novels…I can’t say just one of them is a favorite. What about a favorite of the week? My favorite of this week is Martha Grime’s novel Vertigo 42. I’m about mid-way through. Her’s are just so much fun.
MT: What motivates you to write?
RN: Writing is a sweet obsession. I can’t sleep well if I haven’t written something that day. Ask my husband, he will tell you. Or my children. No, don’t.
MT: What artist would you love to have dinner with?
RN: I was just thinking I’d love to have dinner with Ruth Rendell. She writes such deeply disturbing novels about seemingly ordinary people. I’d love to talk to her.
MT: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
RN: Gardening, my grandchildren., my puppy who isn’t a puppy but still thinks he is.
MT: Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
RN: If you are writing don’t stop. There is a reason writing drives you, find the reason and stay on the train. Writing is re-writing. If you’ve written that first chapter over a dozen times it’s because it is likely a second chapter. If anyone tells you your writing is a mess, find out why and fix it and keep writing. Some people just like to rain on your parade, others are truly trying to be helpful, learn to discern between the two, and don’t stop writing.
Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go tohttp://www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.