Do you write every day?
I think it depends on the definition of writing. I definitely don’t put pen to paper daily for my next novel (but feel I should do!), but I do craft blog posts and am active on social media as it’s essential to engage with my followers. I consider that all a form of writing. And I’m always jotting ideas down too, waiting for the time when they’ll flow more coherently!
Do you write with or without music?
It depends. I quite like peace and quiet, especially when I’m on a roll. But if I’ve the radio on quietly in the background (usually to keep the cats company) and one of my favourite songs comes on, I get distracted enough to either sing to it, maybe even dance! But hey, we all need to take a break and get some exercise once in a while, so it’s probably a good think.
Word that you overuse?
I’m trying to avoid using adverbs in my novel writing. It’s a sign of laziness (so my editor tells me in big red pen marks) and really, there’s no need to say ‘He banged angrily on the door’. I’m trying hard, and smiling happily whist doing so (oops!)
Any writing rituals? Prayers?
I was one of these people that was never comfortable with a 9-5 routine or routine in general, although now I’ve decided to write full time, it’s weird just how much I miss the routine of having to get up and out of the house by a certain time every morning!
I’m pretty new to the full time self-employed writing game, and actually, am finding lack of structure in my day quite disconcerting and this is something I’m struggling with – so any advice is welcomed to a newbie like me! Prayers? Well, I pray that I find a writing routine that works for me. Maybe that involves going to the local library to change my environment, or setting myself deadlines. Like I say, any help is appreciated!
What are you reading right now? Watching on TV?
I am a prolific reader and love reading psychological thrillers. I’ve just discovered a new British author called C.L.Tayor who’s written some great psychological thrillers…really keeps you up at night. Jonathan Coe – another British author who tends to write political satires, which are frighteningly accurate – is another favourite. And ever since my friend introduced me to the “Hunger Games” trilogy, I have become hooked on dystopian Y.A. fiction. I think it’s particularly pertinent in this period of time we’re living in.
TV? I don’t tend to watch a lot of TV – but when I do, it’s to indulge myself usually in U.S. television series such as Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal – the latter I find very clever and well scripted. I would love to one-day sit in a room with these scriptwriters.
Netflix series such as Stranger Things and House of Cards has really wowed me, as has HBO’s Homeland. Once again, put me in a room with the scriptwriters please!
Book that you would read over and over again.
I try not to read books over and over – although I have to confess: I do love coming back and reading A.A.Milne’s Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner. I find reading them as an adult, you gain a completely different perspective and see the adult messages in the thought processes of the woodland animals. Pooh really was very Zen, and I do think we can learn a lot from him. Everyone needs to re-read Pooh as an adult…the world would be a better place.
Biggest challenge you face as a woman who writes.
I don’t like to emphasize too many gender differences, in writing or in general as I feel it’s almost positive discrimination. I assume men also experience the difficulties I face when writing too; guilt that you come up against a brick wall and are letting your fans down, fear that your next book won’t ever get written…or maybe men are less inclined to suffer guilt. Who knows? Do correct me if I’m wrong.
If you weren’t a writer, you’d be …
I trained as a TEFL teacher and still dabble in it because I don’t want to completely remove my contact with other people. Writing can be a lonely process, and teaching in a classroom is the exact opposite! So it’s nice to balance the two.
What inspires you?
I’m lucky enough to divide my time between the UK and Greece, plus I love travelling to other countries and experiencing different cultures, so travel for one thing definitely inspires me. My family live in the countryside in the UK, so I love green rolling hills and valleys, that’s always a source of inspiration, and I equally love being by the sea on a Greek island. Oh, and my cats. I have two rescue cats and sometimes, just taking time out to watch them play and interact is inspiration enough.
After reading Girl Gone Greek, you hope that the readers will…
I’d written Girl Gone Greek as a novel based loosely on my experiences teaching English in Greece in a remote village. I really hope readers will be inspired to come and visit this beautiful country and see beyond the negative headlines about the financial crisis, see the country for her people, for their beauty (not just the aesthetic beauty, although of course Greece is stunning in that aspect too). I hope readers will, on some level, question what they see in the media; reports that Greeks are lazy, not willing to work, etc.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR – REBECCA HALL
After extensive global travels, Rebecca left the UK to return to the country she fell in love with–Greece, where she teaches English, writes and wryly observes that the chaotic nature of her adopted country actually suits her personality very well.
She travels for and is a Rough Guide co-author (Greece and Portugal) and has contributed to numerous publications including Let’s Go for RyanAir, the Daily Telegraph Travel Section and her container ship voyage from Athens to Hong Kong caught the eye of NPR National Radio in the United States, where she was interviewed twice. She’s also a Huffington Post contributor.
When not writing, you’ll usually find her drinking coffee with her friends, or sourcing a new place to eat baklava.
Rebecca now divides her time between her beloved Greece and her home country of the UK, which she’s grown to view with new eyes and new appreciation due to her travels.
Find her online @
Huffington Post: www.huffingtonpost.com/rebecca-hall