Today we have a guest blogger with us, author Rebecca Rode. I hope you enjoy getting to know more about her and her recently published debut novel How to Have Peace When You’re Falling to Pieces with Cedar Fort Publishing. I am so excited for you to go out and buy this book. I am almost done and I cannot wait to put my review up. If this tells you anything, I plan to buy this book for my friends and family.
What is your favorite punctuation mark? The em dash, and I use it way too often. It just looks so much prettier than a semicolon, you know?
When you write do you have a favorite drink or something to eat by your side? If so, what are they? In my idealic world, that would be water and apples or carrots. In the real world, I snack on my kids’ leftover Easter candy. They’ve kind of forgotten about it, so someone needs to eat it, right?
Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what do you listen to? It depends on what I’m writing. When I was writing How to Have Peace When You’re Falling to Pieces,I listened to soft, quiet music. But right now I’m writing a YA novel, so I turn on music like Adele, Train, and Five for Fighting.
What was the inspiration for How To Have Peace Without Falling to Pieces? It was more of a need than an inspiration, but when I hit a point when I needed a little peace, I went looking for a book on finding peace amidst the chaos of motherhood–and it didn’t exist. So I did a little research and talked to other moms and was surprised to hear that we were all going through similar things. That research turned into a book.
Tell us about one effective method you have with your children and household for finding peace? It’s hard to narrow down seven areas of motherhood into one thing, but probably the most effective method for me is in the Purpose of the Task chapter. When I remind myself that my family is the reason I do everything, it throws everything back into perspective. Suddenly getting the laundry done by my own set deadline or being late to school–again–doesn’t seem like such a devastating event. Sometimes I’m tempted to put “Remember the Purpose of the Task” up on my wall in cute vinyl lettering or something.
Did you always want to write a nonfiction book? Do you want to write in other genres and if so what are they? I never thought my first book would be nonfiction. I do read a lot of inspirational books, but they’re all by moms who have a zillion kids or people with PhD’s, so it was hard to have the confidence that anything I said would be worthwhile for other women to read. It makes me so happy to hear other moms say that it was refreshing to read such a brutally honest and uplifting book from another typical mom.
But I’m getting off course. I’m revising my first novel, a YA science-fiction, and I also have another nonfiction book in the works. It’s nice to switch off and keep my mind fresh.
Do you think critique groups are essential to a writers life? How have they helped you in your writing process? Yes, yes, and yes! My critique group saved me when I wrote this book. They gave me advice about content, helped me see things from a reader’s perspective, and polished what would have otherwise been a very rough final draft. They’ve also been very supportive during the publishing process. One of them published a book right before mine, so she was able to hook me up with several contacts I wouldn’t have otherwise known about. I consider my critique group some of my best friends.
They say that you need to read a lot if you want to be a writer. How has reading helped you become a better writer? I think that even reading for fun is research, because you’re comparing writing styles and plot twists as you read. I’ve read several books that sparked ideas for other books, as well. But it also helps to see what’s being published in order to find a niche in the market.
Are you working on something new? Can you share a little about it with us? Like I said, I’m revising a YA sci-fi novel right now, and all I’ll say at this point is that my alpha readers are very excited about it. If you’ve read Divergent, Matched, or Hunger Games, you’ll probably love this one. 🙂
Now that you have been published, is there anything that has surprised you about it? Good or bad? I thought the work was done after I turned the book in. I had no idea that publishers expect authors to do nearly all of the promotion as well. That part has been tough for me. Since I went through a smaller publisher (Cedar Fort) they didn’t have the manpower to do much more than give advice about what I should be doing. But they did a great job with the cover design, editing, and distribution, so I’m still glad that I went the traditional publishing route.
Any advice you have for aspiring writers? Have confidence in yourself. If you don’t believe you can do it, an editor won’t believe it either. Join a critique group, go to Writer’s Conferences, and ask friends to read your work. Have the confidence in yourself to do your best and then tweak and polish until it’s ready to be revealed to the world. I can’t help but wonder what additional wonderful literature would be out there if writers had had enough confidence in themselves to put it out there.
Here is your chance to pitch your book. Why should people buy How to Have Peace When You’re Falling to Pieces? I’m not conceited enough to say that everyone should buy it, but if you’re a mom and you feel stressed and scattered, or if you’re just not enjoying motherhood anymore, this book is for you. It has short chapters that can be read in pieces throughout the day, and the advice can literally change the way you look at being a mom. The best payback in the world is when readers come back to me and say, “I loved your book! I’m buying one for my sister and my mom.” It makes everything absolutely worth it.
Genre: Non-fiction, LDS
Description: How can I have inner peace as a mother when I feel so stressed and scattered? For mothers who feel they are constantly juggling multiple demands, How to Have Peace When You’re Falling to Pieces is packed with uplifting stories, poems, quotes, and scriptures that instill fresh perspective on the work of a mother.
About the author: Rebecca Rode won awards for her writing in high school and college, eventually publishing an acclaimed personal essay about Romanian orphans in Brigham Young University’s literary publication, Inscape. She received a bachelor’s degree in Child Development and a minor in English in 2004. She also wrote for Schooled Magazine for two years. In 2011, Rebecca became a contributor to Deseret News in Salt Lake City and KSL.com, a Utah broadcasting network website. How to Have Peace When You’re Falling to Pieces is her first book. Rebecca and her husband are raising their three children in Utah County.
My Good Things Utah interview (5 Tips for Moms):http://www.abc4.com/content/
My Fresh Living interview (Mom Guilt): http://www.kutv.com/