So right after I read When You Were Mine, I knew Rebecca Serle would be one to watch. Her book is full of awesomeness, and there are even rumors that a movie may be in the works! And guess what…she’s super nice, too! Here’s a little bit about her:
Rebecca Serle is a full-time writer, which means she gets to wear pajamas to work. She went to the University of Southern California, then got her MFA from the New School in NYC. (She likes New York much more than LA, but don’t tell anyone that.) Rebecca loves shiny hair, coffee, yoga, and pretending to be British. She, too, experienced heartbreak once. It worked out okay, though, because she turned the experience into this book. When You Were Mine is her first novel.
See? Now you can proceed to read this interview of epic proportions!
Where do your ideas come from?
I have no idea! I'd be a much happier and calmer writer if I did, I imagine. But I will say they come when I let them. When I'm finishing up a first draft of a book, that's usually when I start to look ahead. And that's usually when ideas come. They float in. Then I have to try to capture them before they disappear!
Why did you choose to retell Romeo and Juliet from Rosaline’s perspective?
When You Were Mine was born out of my own heartbreak. I, too, had felt like the girl who got left behind.
Which was your favorite scene to write? Least favorite?
Honestly-- I think both of these questions have the same answer: the school dance scene. It was heartbreaking and cathartic. To me it is the most devastating scene in the book. Nothing that Rosaline goes through quite compares to that moment. Hope and anticipation turned to disbelief and despair (but that's just my opinion!)
How long did it take to get When You Were Mine published?
I wrote the book in about seven months, submitted it to my agent in August and we had a book deal by the end of October. This one was a little bit of a fairytale, but I have an electronic drawer filled with rejections and dead ends.
What’s the first story you can remember writing?
My parents sold our house two years ago and in the process of packing up I came across I story I wrote when I was probably like eight. It was about a man named Deminicous and the many adventures we go on--- specifically this one plane ride to a place called Tartanland (Thailand? Scotland?) He was imaginary. It was epic, obviously.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Write. Honestly, bottom line. Just do it. Make time for it. Practice it. Study it. And love it. It has been my experience that most writers write because they have to. We are compelled to the page. So listen when you're asked to work. The rest will unfold as it should.
You get to choose any of your characters to go out to lunch with. Who do you pick, where do you go, and what do they order?
AWESOME question. Well, Charlie, because despite the fact that she's a mean girl, I really heart that chick. And I created her, so she'd be nice to me (right?). We'd go to Urth Cafe on Melrose in LA. I'd order their signature salad and we'd whisper about all the celebrities sitting outside pretending not to notice everyone staring. And then she'd take me shopping.
What are 3 words that best describe your personality?
Caring. Impatient. Sensitive.
You are trapped on a desert island, with no way to escape. What 3 books would you bring?
- Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
- Past Perfect by Leila Sales-- because she is one of my closest friends, and I'd like to have her voice with me, even if she was not.
What is your all-time favorite fairy tale?
The one about the girl who wrote a book and someone bought it and they printed it, bound it, and started selling it in bookstores the world over!
Now leave Rebecca some love! She deserves it!