I’m a passionate (and some would say, overly enthusiastic) person. I learn by doing (and have been burned more times that I’d like to admit), but I will always throw my entire self into whatever I do – fail or succeed.
I think this is evident when I write, leaving nothing behind and spilling it all out on the pages. I give it all to my readers – love it or hate it.
The path I’m on is very often my own, veering off the beaten path at the sight of something more interesting or captivating, getting caught in the vines and thorns in order to experience the beauty and intrigue others often pass by. And I always meet the most interesting people along the way…
What and who are some of your favorite books and authors?
I was a huge fan of horror as a teen. Stephen King was a big influence of mine. He writes such vivid imagery and evokes such fierce emotion. It’s something I definitely aspire to as a writer. And one of my all-time favorite books is His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman. I love the message it contains about the beauty of the human spirit.
Who is your favorite book boyfriend?
Besides Evan, who is pretty much my perfect guy, I would say Wil from Slammed by Colleen Hoover. I would get in an argument with him anytime just so we could pull stars from a jar…
What are you writing now?
Right now I am plotting out The Burning Series, a trilogy centered on Jonathan Reese, who first appeared in Barely Breathing. Inside Jonathan’s head is an extremely dark and twisty place. It’s not the most comfortable mind to possess, but he has a powerful story to tell. It’s going to be gripping. I’m very excited to be writing again!
Does music influence your writing? If so, what type of music do you listen to?
Yes. Yes! Absolutely! Music probably influences my writing more than anything else. “Girls Like You” by The Naked and Famous was what started the whole idea for What If. The title of Reason to Breathe was inspired by “Believe” by The Bravery. I am a HUGE music fan. Going to concerts is a favorite pastime of mine. For me, music is essential for setting a mood and immersing myself in a moment. I’ve created lengthy playlists for each book that I’ve written. You can find them on my website: www.rebeccadonovan.com.
Do your characters resemble someone you know, have met, or any events in your life?
My real life can be found all throughout my writing, but in more subtle ways than you would think. No one character is based on a specific person I know. But many of the characters have done things that I have done. Climbing trees, eating frosting straight out of the container, writing for the school newspaper, rappelling down the face of a rock: those are all things I’ve really done. That’s one of the fantastic things about being a writer. Every new experience is “research.” And I love new experiences!
What book are you currently reading?
When I’m writing, I don’t read too much. And I definitely try to stay away from anything within my genre. I don’t want another author’s voice influencing my own. So right now, I’m reading City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare. I have a strong affection for YA fantasy and dystopian novels.
What would you say is an interesting or funny quirk that you have?
Hmm… where do I start? I have a weird thing about winking. It really creeps me out for some reason. It’s something my character Emma (from The Breathing Series) and I have in common. And I like making wishes when the clock reads all the same digits, like 4:44 ~ Make a Wish!
What comes first when you are writing– the idea for the book or the character’s story?
It’s different for each book that I write. The Breathing Series started with a night of insomnia. I tried to force a dream, and all of the sudden that moment in the art room was in my head—a boy, a girl with a secret, and an amazing kiss. And when I was listening to the song “Girls Like You,” I found myself wanting to tell that girl’s side of the story. What was behind the “perfect”? But I think the idea for the book and the characters are intertwined. My stories tend to be character driven, centering around real life issues.
What has been the best experience so far on your journey as an author?
I love being able to change the way my readers look at the world. The Breathing Series and What If both have strong messages about life. Reason to Breathe is about hope and not giving up. What If is about choosing the life you want and realizing that you control your happiness. When I interact with fans on social media, and especially when I get to meet fans in person, I can feel that the underlying meanings have resonated with readers. The books become more than just “stories” to them. It makes me feel like writing is exactly what I was meant to do. And it’s one of the best feelings I’ve ever had.
Tell us something we may not know about you?
When I was younger, I was a tomboy – except, I also loved wearing dresses. So I’d run off into the woods, play acting my favorite story with my imaginary friends, collecting frogs, climbing trees and making birdhouses with my tool set, while loving to dress-up in frilly dresses. Scraped knees and lace are not the best combination.
Which of your characters is your favorite? …Why?
That is a really tough question. I suppose at the moment I really have a soft spot for Nyelle from What If. I love that she is so much more than she appears to be. I love the way she embraces life and enjoys the happiness in even the smallest moment. She follows her own path and doesn’t worry about what others may think. She’s inspiring. (Although, a little crazy – ha!)