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Interview: Rebecca Reid, Author of The Coop

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At the age of 14, Rebecca Reid was taken out of school due to an illness. Being limited in the things she was able to do, she constantly expressed herself through writing, including poetry, stories, pieces expressing her feelings, as well as her thoughts. By the time she was 16, Ms. Reid had her own page in the local weekly newspaper, the Bangor Spectator, in which she covered anything and everything from fashion and beauty to film and teen issues.

At the age of 17, Rebecca Reid became a model, doing catwalk work, photographic work, as well as TV. In 2008 she graduated in English from Queens University, Belfast, and was awarded an Arts Council writing grant in 2009.

Ms. Reid was married in 2007 and resides in N. Ireland with her husband and their three daughters. The Coop is her first novel, and part of the Thickets Wood Trilogy.

Readers can learn more about Rebecca Reid and her work by visiting the following links:

Facebook ~ Amazon Author Page ~ Twitter

Could you please tell us a bit about your book? The story? The characters?

The Coop is a darkly compelling piece of psychological fiction in which I manipulate the unsuspecting reader through both the conscious and subconscious mind. The convoluted intricacies of this story build from its gentle beginnings to enthrall the reader through menacing happenings and strange, disturbing characters. It is not based on the realities of life, but rather on the exploration of the multilayered and complex architecture of the mind. The final chapter delivers a totally unexpected and shocking revelation. The Coop is not what it seems–things are never that simple.

A girl, apparently imprisoned in a room, is the thread of mystery running parallel to the tale of Thatchbury village.

Meet Howard and Lilly. They take you on journey through Thatchbury where Mathew, the child from the coop, shoots Jodie Tiding, and so unravels the history of his loveless raising, her innocence and the dramatic events leading them to disaster.

How did you come up with the title and how much say did you have on the cover design?

Like the story, the title just came to me. One day I awoke and it was there. It felt right. The cover was a fantastic adventure. It occurred to me during the writing process that there was only one man for the job, one artist that could portray the feeling within this book perfectly and that was Shawcross. I brought him a batch of my own home baked brownies and the manuscript and begged him to consider doing the cover art. This process was a first for both of us so we decided to see what images the novel inspired and that is my cover. His first draught.

Do you have a favorite line or excerpt that you would like to share from your book?

That wasn’t the only reason she lay by the door.

The thud of steps was echoing through the gap; they were in the distance. She was panicking, her breathing quick and shallow. She just hoped they’d stop short or pass. Stop or pass. Stop or pass. Stop or pass.

****

He staggered toward the coop, the weight of the girl bearing him down, pushing his feet deeper into the sticky ground; it was quite a distance. Drey stood over the Cauldwell boy for a moment; he knelt rocking in the dirt, the noise of his grinding the only thing breaking the silence, he wasn’t going anywhere. Drey dropped his hold, picking the shotgun up off the ground before pacing after Howard, now almost at the coop.

What are some of your favorite ways to promote your work?

Given the digital era we are living in, Facebook and Twitter appear to have taken over my life during the release of  The Coop. But if and when I get the chance, there is nothing better than a chat, so interviews are fantastic!

What is a typical writing day like for you?

As I have three children my writing time is very limited. I get four hours, three mornings a week. I blast through school and childminder drop offs and charge home to the lap top. It takes me about fifteen minutes to settle into it and that’s me until lunch. Then mummy duty takes over. At this rate, it takes me around six months to write a novel.

What are some ways that you like to relax?

If the Irish weather permits it, I adore walking. Movies and theatre are my other pass times. They are both so inspiring!

What author/s do you think are overlooked in the writing/reading world today?

I feel for a genre rather than any individual authors. Literary fiction appears to have dropped back behind the scenes in recent years. It has become over shadowed by the likes of YA fiction.

What author would you most like to meet and why?

J.R.R.Tolkien, because he created a world like no other. I would also adore a chat with Stephen King because given his novels he must have a fascinating mind.

Do you have any upcoming projects that you would like to share with readers?

This is book one in the Thickets Wood Trilogy, the second of which will be released around April with the third due for release Autumn 2013. Otherwise, watch this space…who knows what could come up.

What is something about yourself that would come as a surprise to many people?

I constantly re-run old eighties movies.

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