Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Author Interview: Becca Ritchie


Becca Ritchie
Website | Blog | Facebook

Becca Ritchie's Books
Wynter Chelsea: The Legacy [Buy]
Wynter Chelsea: The Sublimity [Buy]


What made you decide to write a novel at the age of fourteen?
When I was 10, I had a contest with my twin sister to see who could read the most YA books. I read more as a kid than I could even imagine doing now. There was no deadline, and it went on until I realized that finding a YA book that held my interest proved to be a challenge. So at 12, I wrote a 300 page book. The story was absolutely horrible. But I kept writing, and two years later my sister asked me to write something supernatural for her. And so Wynter Chelsea was born purely for my sister’s entertainment. It’s basically everything I wanted to find in a book as a fourteen-year-old YA nut.

Being so young, did you find it very challenging to get published?
Extremely. I debated putting my age in the bio section of the queries I sent. I figured agents would laugh and think I wrote some silly illegible story. But I read and watched TV so much that I understood plot and structure enough to create something entertaining. It took three years before I finally published Wynter Chelsea: The Legacy. That time span alone illustrates what kind of work it took just to see this book in print. I could have given up after a couple months, but I just fought for it.

Could you tell us a little about Wynter Chelsea?
Wynter Chelsea is about two families, the Wynters and the Chelseas who fight demonic beings that other people in the world know nothing about. Amanda Chelsea vies to become part of this legacy of invisible heroes, but since she’s the first girl born into either family, she’s guarded and protected all her life and shoved out of the one thing she wants most. But when both sets of parents go missing, Amanda joins her older brother and two lifelong friends on a journey across the United States. Along the way, they run into a slew of demonic horrors, and buried family secrets surface. Amanda has to confront the reason she’s living as well as her growing affection for her best friend, Dustin Wynter. I'm not very good at pimping out my book, so you can probably find a much better description at Goodreads.com or Amazon.com.

Your book is packed full of creatures and history. Did you have to do a lot of research, or was most of this just from your own mind?
I went on MapQuest to see how far away cities were to have an accurate travel time frame. And all the demons are from demonology. But that scared me so much as a kid that it became hard for me to sleep at night, so I started making up different supernatural beings like creatures and half demons. That being said, I did not consult demonology for the sequel. Wynter Chelsea: The Sublimity is all from my mind.

One of the things that I absolutely loved about this book was the deep friendship between Amanda and Dustin. How did the idea of their relationship come about? Did you always know they would be that close or did it develop as the story went along?
This is going to be embarrassing. I can’t believe I’m going to admit this. But I had a crush on my older brother’s best friend. I said it. Wow, I hope he doesn’t read this. So at 14, I guess I just loved the idea of these two people having a connection rooted from a young age. This guy that Dustin is kind of modeled after lived down the street from me for as long as I can remember. I knew from the beginning that Dustin and Amanda were going to be close on a deeper level since they grew up together, and making them best friends just seemed natural as the book progressed.

How many books do you plan to have in the Wynter Chelsea series?
Currently I have five in mind, but as I write, things always change.

Do you have any upcoming projects that we should know about?
The sequel, Wynter Chelsea: The Sublimity was just released, so there’s no excruciating wait to jump from the first to the second. I’m touring middle schools and high schools to speak about writing and promoting the book as well, and if anyone wants to see me at their school, go to my website www.beccaritchie.com and shoot me an email or comment on my blog. The third installment is currently in the works.

Any final words?
I am absolutely obsessed with comic book superheroes. And movies this summer are littered with capes, powers, and just pure superhero lust. So, I’m going to plug X-Men: First Class even though I’m not getting paid or any recognition for this. I just simply love X-Men like a person loves a domesticated animal. Go to the midnight premiere of X-Men! Dress up! (You don’t have to dress up) Go! I’ll be there, probably in civilian clothes but pretending on the inside that I’m a mutant.

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