After having the opportunity to read and review Becca C. Smith’s first novel Riser, I sat down to talk with the author about her book. Riser is a sci-fi teen novel about 18-year old Chelsan, a girl who has the power to control the dead. Riser is the first book in the series, which takes place in the year 2320. Smith talks about the writing process, and provides insight into the world of self-publishing and self-marketing books.
Is this your first novel?
Yes, this is my first novel, unless you want to count the dreadful novel I wrote when I was 12! I mainly write screenplays and teleplays, but I felt this story needed to be told in book form. I love delving directly into my character’s head and telling the story in first person allowed me to go places a screenplay couldn’t. But overall, I just love to write.
What other projects have you worked on?
I co-wrote the graphic novel, Ghost Whisperer: The Haunted based on the hit TV show and I illustrated and wrote the graphic novel Little Family Secrets based on the true story of my great aunt who murdered her husband when I was a kid. Writing is like breathing to me.
Your bio on your website says you went to film school. Did you have other aspirations besides writing?
My dream has always been to write. Whether it be for movies, TV, books, comics, or any format where I can tell my stories! I went to film school so I could learn everything I could about writing for movies and television. I learned a lot at film school and it really helped me hone my craft.
Can you talk about Riser a little bit, what’s it about?
Riser has been milling around my brain for a quite a while. It started out as an idea for a television series, but the more I fleshed out the story the more I knew it needed to be a book.
It’s about an 18-year old girl named Chelsan Derée who has the ability to control every living dead thing within a four mile radius. Chelsan sees churning black holes in the center of every corpse and she is able to connect to those black holes to bring them back to life. Except they are not really alive, they are more like zombies in that their brains are still dead. Everything they do, even talking, is controlled by Chelsan.