What was your favorite part of the convention and why? Imaginarium was my first convention, so when I first arrived, I was pretty nervous. The book not only sold out before the launch party with Missy Goodman and Amy McCorkle (who are both awesome, by the way), but I had three different publishing houses offer me contracts to write more books. I signed with Hydra Publications.
What is one of your favorite moments from your time on the panels? While I was on two of my panels, “Paranormal Reality” and “To Exterminate or Not to Exterminate,” there would always be this awkward silence when I was expected to speak. I’d then perk up and say, “Oh, wait, it’s my turn? Okay!” I’m not used to being a guest at anything; I’ve always just been an attendee, so it was a big change.
What’s the funniest thing that happened at the convention? Oh, God. Okay, so I was at the launch party with Amy and Missy, and I was giving away a mug with the cover of my book Gears of Golgotha on it and a Toblerone bar (a.k.a. Swiss chocolate heaven). I didn’t get raffle tickets, so I just had everyone there pick a number between 1 and 100. One of the guests there was a little boy, no more than four years old. He was sitting there with his family, and he was pretty shy. I asked him, “Would you like some chocolate, little boy?” Just when the words left my mouth, I realized how wrong they sounded. I apologized profusely and sank into my chair while everyone else laughed (including the child’s mom, thank God). I’m not a creeper, I swear! But apparently, Frank Hall has promised that moment will go down in Imaginarium history.
What is the one thing you learned from the convention? Never underestimate yourself. Like I said earlier, I was extremely nervous when I first arrived at Imaginarium. I felt intimidated by the other authors and publishers there (especially because my table was right across from Imaginators Dan Jolley, Jeffery Reddick, and Maurice Broaddus), but I was terrified of the reception of my books. I’ve really never let anyone read my stuff outside of school or writing competitions or Academic Team; my fiction was just that… mine. I was scared of letting that part of me out to the public, especially because writing Gears was a very cathartic process for me; it was a way for me to cope with and release the demons that had been haunting me for years. But people loved it. I sold out of copies of my book. I accepted a contract from an awesome publishing house. It seemed like everyone wanted to talk to me.
What surprised you the most about the Imaginarium Convention? Honestly, how close every author and publisher is to each other. Every person treated one another as if they were old friends. You’d think that writers would constantly be at each other’s throats because they were “competition,” and would only put on smiles while attendees were around. But there’s this camaraderie among writers that I hadn’t expected and seen before. It was like one big family.
What’s the best writing advice you learned? Keep writing. No matter what, keep writing.
What’s the best writing advice you gave? Don’t let anyone knock down your goals, dreams and ambitions.
Is there anything you would have changed about the convention and if so, what would you change? Nothing. Well, add a screenwriter from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic to the list of Imaginators (and bring back everyone else, too!), but that’s just my personal bias.
Can you talk about your WIP? God, I’m actually really busy. I’m rereleasing Gears of Golgotha through Hydra Publications with new editing, new material, new everything. I’m also working on a brand new military/spy thriller trilogy called The ALPHA Trilogy. It’s about a Marine who comes home after a tour in Afghanistan and is recruited into MKULTRA, a department in the CIA responsible for conducting brainwashing, interrogation and torture experiments on American and Canadian citizens during the Cold War. It was officially shut down in 1973 after the Watergate scandal. ALPHA toys with the idea that they’re still around and still conducting experiments today. It forces readers to ask themselves what the true meaning of loyalty is. I actually wrote an entry about it on my blog; I go into much more detail there.
In your books, who is your favorite character and why? Charly from Gears of Golgotha. She’s just this ball of sunshine that always seems to make everything better.
What’s your favorite made up word? I really don’t make up words all that often, but the term Instragram as a verb. I don’t know. It just makes me laugh.
What’s your favorite curse word? Shit. Definitely. I think that word became my best friend while writing Gears. If anyone wants to count how many times that word appears in Gears, be my guest! Haha.
What’s your favorite ice cream? Chocolate chip cookie dough. Or Drumstick. I don’t know. I just go with whatever I’m in the mood for.
If God meets you at the gates of Heaven, what do you want him to say? Um… I’m really not sure. I guess something along the lines of “Come; I will give you rest.”
Rebekah thank you so much for being part of the after the Imagunarium Convention interview! 😀 Huge hugs ❤