Hello, this is L.M. David. Today I am interviewing Rebekkah Ford, author of Beyond the Eyes. Before we begin, I’d like to warn her that I recently did an interview with a vampyre in this building down the hall from this room and am told he’s been lurking around offering people money for their blood. Please do not indulge him. There is a strict policy against solicitors. As soon as I am able, I plan to go to my computer and remove that nasty habit from of his one track minded personality. Now, let’s get our interview:
Q. Welcome Rebekkah! Let’s start with you telling us a little bit about your background.
A. I grew up in a family that dealt with the paranormal. My parents, Charles and Geri Wilhelm, were the directors of the UFO Investigators League in Fairfield, Ohio, back in the 1970s. They also investigated ghost hauntings and Bigfoot sightings in addition to UFO’s. Growing up in this type of environment and having the passion for writing is what drove me at an early age to write stories dealing with the paranormal. At one point in my life, I thought I wanted to be a journalist, and although I enjoyed writing articles, I quickly discovered my real passion was writing fiction. My fascination with the paranormal is what led me to write the Beyond the Eyes series.
Q. Growing up the daughter of parents who investigated paranormal activities, what would you say was the fondest memory you had about their investigations? And did you ever participate in these ventures?
A. I have quite a few actually . . . My parents used to hold meetings at our house, and although I was a young child, I enjoyed sitting in on their meetings and listening to them. My dad used to take my sister and I to his radio interviews, and I was fascinated by it. Another fond memory I have was when my dad came back from one of his Bigfoot hunting trips. He brought back a plastered footprint. I took it to show and tell, and my classmates were in total awe when I presented it to them. My teacher, on the other hand, was her rolling her eyes. LOL. But I didn’t care. I thought it was cool, and I was a rockstar that day. 🙂
Q. Have you had any paranormal experiences? And would you please share them?
A. Omigod. I had so many. Where do I start? We lived in a haunted house when I was three and four years old. My sister is four years older than me. One night when she was in bed, she saw a hooded figure float down the hall towards my room. Shortly after, I went to her room and crawled into bed with her. She asked me what was wrong, and I told her I saw a witch. Honestly, because of how young I was, my memory is a bit foggy with that particular incident; however, I do remember seeing something dark and creepy and crawling into bed with her. Also, in that same house, my parents being paranormal investigators ran a tape recorder one night, before they went to bed. They did that because of the strange occurrences we witnessed in the house. For example: a couple arguing about their teenage son, covers levitating off the bed, the oven working when it was unplugged, etc. The next morning, my parents played the tape back and it sounded like there was a party going on in our house.
Q. What research did you do to get material for your book, Beyond the Eyes?
A. The only research I did was on King Solomon and the myths that surrounded him.
Q. There is a second book to this series called Dark Spirits. When will this be released and how many more books will be in this particular series?
A. Dark Spirits will be released sometime next month. The third book in this YA paranormal series — The Devil’s Third — will hopefully be out at the end of this year. This will be a trilogy, unless it gains a huge following and readers want more.
Q. As a self-published author, why make that decision and what has been the hardest part about going through the publishing system doing everything yourself?
A. I was going to take the traditional route, and I even had some agents interested in it. However, it didn’t float the way I wanted it to. Now don’t get me wrong. I respect agents, but for some reason, that wasn’t my path. I did a lot of research on self-publishing and discovered quite a few authors who had taken the traditional route was abandoning it in favor of self-publishing. The reason why was because they got to keep all their rights, the royalties were higher, they had complete creative control, and so forth. So I went with my gut and took the plunge into self-publishing.
I think the hardest part is marketing, which I’d have to do anyway if I were to have taken the traditional route. Also, formatting my book is a pain in the butt. I don’t like that at all.
Q. How long did it take to write this book, start to finish?
A. It took me three months to write, three months to rewrite, get it critiqued and professionally edited, then another three months dinky around with whether to publish it traditionally or self-publish. Not to mention researching the literary world in order to find out how it works.
Q. Talk a bit about Paige Reed, your main character. Does her personality reflect parts of you and if so, which?
A. In Beyond the Eyes, Paige is emotional because she’s finally dealing with all the shit she’s kept bottled inside of her since the age of four. She’s also stubborn and makes poor decisions. But there’s a reason for it. She’s 17 and had to basically raise herself. I made her character that way to give her room to grow, which she does in book two. Parts of Paige’s personality do reflect mine. I didn’t intend it that way, but nevertheless, it does. Paige’s stubbornness . . . me. Paige’s love for coffee . . . me.
Q. What is your favorite moment in the book?
A. I have many. LOL. One of them is when Paige receives a devastating blow because even when I read it now, I still get choked up.
Q. If you could choose any actress to play Paige, who would that be and why?
A. It would be an unknown actress — somebody who wouldn’t be associated with any other role.
Q. With all the competition in today’s book market, what about your book stands out to attract readers?
A. I think what’s attractive about my series is it’s fresh. What I mean is, nothing has even been written — that I know of — like my story. I also would like to think the concept is plausible.
Q. Why did you choose YA to write and what helped you make that decision?
A. I love YA. It’s a no brainer. I may be such and such years old, but I still feel like I’m 17.
Q. When writing, what do you do to get your creativity going?
A. I write to entertain myself and hope in the long run, it’ll do the same for others. The things that makes me happy and interest me is what fuels my creativity.
Q. What advice do you have for unpublished authors as inspiration?
A. Don’t give up! Keep writing and reading. Write what makes you happy and excites you. Believe in yourself. If you really want to write a book, do it because you love it without any preconceived ideas. I’m not going to lie to you — it’s scary to put yourself out there. But if you did your best and you love your story, be proud of yourself. You rock!
Rebekkah Ford’s Bio:
Rebekkah Ford grew up in a family that dealt with the paranormal. Her parents’ Charles and Geri Wilhelm were the Directors of the UFO Investigators League in Fairfield, Ohio, back in the 1970s. They also investigated ghost hauntings and Bigfoot sightings in addition to UFO’s. Growing up in this type of environment and having the passion for writing is what drove Rebekkah at an early age to write stories dealing with the paranormal. At one point in her life, she thought she wanted to be a journalist, and although she enjoyed writing articles, she quickly discovered her real passion was writing fiction. Her fascination with the paranormal is what led her to write the Beyond the Eyes series.
Reviews for Beyond the Eyes:
“A thrilling, wholly satisfying first book to a new young adult series. It will keep you wanting more.” –Valentina Cano, Carabosse’s Library
“Beyond the Eyes is haunting yet passionate. This breakout novel is quick and hip, a saucy must-read.”–Charles Land, Judas Pistol
Blurb from Beyond the Eyes:
Paige knows evil exists in this world, but she never imagined it would want something from her.
After a ghostly voice whispers a haunting message to seventeen-year-old Paige Reed, Paige’s life takes a nightmarish turn. Unwilling to tell her friends about the supernatural occurrences happening in her life, Paige feels more alone than ever–until she meets Nathan Caswell.
Nathan is not only hot, but seems to peer into Paige’s soul, evoking a magnetic energy between them that cannot be denied. But he’s no ordinary guy. He tracks dark spirits, and becomes alarmed when they set their sights on Paige.
And then there are the two power-hungry dark spirits who believe Paige can find King Solomon’s magical ring for them, because when her father was alive, he was close to finding it. If Paige doesn’t comply with their demands, they’ll kill her.
Paige is forced to dig deep into her father’s past and unearths shocking secrets about him and his bloodline. With the past and present colliding, Paige is only sure about two things in her life: she needs to outwit the dark spirits to stay alive, and she’s completely and helplessly in love with Nathan.
Links for Rebekkah Ford: