Wednesday, July 22, 2015

New interview with romance author Becky Wicks

Return visitor Becky Wicks is here today. She’s on tour with her newest novel, The Day of the Wave.

You can find her first interview here, where she talks about Before He Was Famous.

During this tour, Becky will be awarding a lucky randomly drawn person with a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

Bio:
Becky Wicks is mostly powered by coffee. She had three travel memoirs published by HarperCollins before going the indie route. Her first book in the Starstruck Series, Before He Was Famous recently reached #1 in Amazon's Coming of Age and New Adult & College categories. The second in the series, Before He Was Gone, and the third, Before He Was a Secret are both bestsellers and The Day of the Wave, is now out.

Becky blogs most days at beckywicks.com and always welcomes distractions on Twitter (especially if you have cat photos)


Welcome back to Reviews and Interviews, Becky! Please tell us about your newest release.
The Day of the Wave is based around the catastrophic tsunami that crashed through 14 countries and affected 5 million people on Boxing Day 2004. It's a love story at heart, but it's more than boy meets girl, loses girl and wins her back - it's about healing and opening your heart again after you've lost what feels like everything.

What inspired you to write this book?
The idea actually came about last November when I was on vacation in Sri Lanka. It felt like everyone we met who worked and lived there had a story about that day, and what happened afterwards. It really got to me.

I was in Sri Lanka for a month and in some places you can still see the effects of it, ten years later. It was heartbreaking.

I had so many dreams while I was there, about tsunamis crashing into me and the house I was in, and I started to feel a bit haunted by this story, which was growing in my imagination, about a guy and a girl who’d known each other before the event, who were torn apart and then reunited.

I started to wonder how I might incorporate the tragedies and the stories of hope and reconstruction I was hearing, into a work of fiction. I knew it would have to be quite raw and emotional but not all dark. A lot was born from the wreckage, too.


Excerpt from The Day of the Wave:
'Don't I have to get a boat, if I go over to Phi Phi?' I say.

'Well, yeah, it's an island.'

I bite my lip, watch the water drip from Ben's hair onto his shoulder blades. Coming here was one thing; going to Phi Phi too, that was never part of the plan. 'I'm not sure I can go on a boat,' I say and he shakes his head at me.

'You've already been on the beach, Izzy. You stepped in the water. You rode a scooter! Come on, you can ride a speedboat. It's not even that far. It's less than an hour from Phuket.'

'All valid points, but...'

'Focus on the prize. You'll feel great for riding the boat, like I know you do about the bike. And you need to catch this asshole, Alan,' he says, 'get your passport back. And your notebook! You need the notebook to finish your book.'

'I need it to start my book,' I admit as Justin lets out a Tarzan cry and crashes into the waterfall pool again. 'Ben, what if it's not even him who took my stuff? Or what if he leaves the island and we can't find him?'

'What if, what if, what if,' he teases. 'What if the cops on Phi Phi keep an eye on him? They will, Izzy, trust me, they love this stuff. Catching dumb tourists out, it's their favorite thing.'

I laugh. I can't help it now. I can see that sixteen-year-old-Ben again; the way he was when we met. There was always another adventure ahead. Something else exciting. In just eight days Ben managed to turn my holiday into a trip through some kind of magical wonderland. I can feel my resolve weakening already. My life is so boring now. Boring and safe and gray. I think of Colin again. One shade of gray. It's all been very far from fifty, actually.

'What about Kalaya? Will she come?' I say, feigning indifference. My stomach knots as I say it but I already know she wouldn't exactly be thrilled about us going off to an island together on some mission.

'I'll ask her,' Ben says. I can't read his voice.

'What are you guys plotting over here?' Justin says, walking back over to us from the water. He drops himself down on his haunches, pulls the bottle of water back out of his backpack and swigs it back. It drips down his chin.

'The police found a guy on Phi Phi who might have Izzy's stuff,' Ben tells him.

'Really? I'm heading there next, are you heading over there?'

'I think so.'

'Is your girlfriend going with you?' he asks Ben. 'Or did you forget you had one?'

We both snap our heads to him at the exact same time. Justin laughs, screws the bottle top back on and shoves it with his shirt back into his backpack. 'Come on mate, I can see two people falling when they're right in front of me.'

I make a choking sound. 'Falling... what...'

'In luuuurve. Any more sparks between you and you'd be starting a bloody forest fire. I hope it rains if you do... it's too fuggin' hot as it is. Right, I'm going now.'

'You're going?'

'I'm heading back, I need a nanny nap,' he says, getting up. 'I'll see you lovebirds later. Thanks for the tour.'

We both watch him leave. My cheeks are blazing hotter than ever. I stare at the waterfall and so does Ben and neither of us says anything for ages. Awkward, awkward, awkward.

'You know what?' I say eventually, getting to my feet. 'I do want to jump off those rocks.'

'Really?' Ben springs up after me.

'Yes, I'm going to do it.'

'Well, wait, I'll come with you!'

'Come on then.'

He follows me back up to the wet, grassy ledge, clambering up rock after rock after rock till we're as high as we can get. I look out at the croaking, chirruping landscape and down at the water. He takes my fingers as I walk to the edge and take a deep breath. 'OK, Izzy, are you sure about this?'

'Yes.'

'Then on the count of three,' he says. 'One... Two...'

'Three!' I yell. And with Ben's hand holding mine, I'm falling.


What’s the next writing project?
I'm working on a bit of a secret non-fiction project right now, about my travels in Nashville and Vancouver on a certain kind of mission, can't say much more than that. I'm also writing a couple of romance novels - I can never decide which one I like best so I just write a bit of both, depending on how I feel!



What is your biggest challenge when writing a new book? (or the biggest challenge with this book)
The biggest challenge with writing The Day of the Wave was actually doing all the research because it was a big responsibility, getting all the facts together about the tsunami and making sure my story made sense and flowed properly. I wanted to do the locals justice, as well as Isla and Ben, so I spent a lot of time reading and watching everything I could on the Boxing Day tsunami.

Nice segue. If your novels require research – please talk about the process. Do you do the research first and then write, while you’re writing, after the novel is complete and you need to fill in the gaps?
I do the research first, because often more ideas stem from what I find. This usually involves reading articles online and watching YouTube clips and documentaries. I actually enjoy this process as much as writing usually!

What’s your writing space like? Do you have a particular spot to write where the muse is more active? Please tell us about it.
I can pretty much write anywhere because I stick my headphones on and zone out to the sound of white noise or jungle sounds. The frogs and cicadas are a throwback to when I did most of my writing in Bali, in a little town called Ubud. I was able to churn out four books there, it was just so inspiring and peaceful.

What authors do you enjoy reading within or outside of your genre?
Too many to list! Diane Chamberlain, Clare Mackintosh, Lucy Robinson, Sarah Alderson... all amazing, all different genres. I love to dip into different genres but I'd say a good romance is probably my usual sidekick.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers today?
Thank you so much for your support! The journey from traditionally published to self-published author is a continuous adventure but readers, reviewers and bloggers make it so much more rewarding! Read on, and read what you love, and don't let anyone stop you.

Links:

Thank you for coming back to Reviews and Interviews!



14 comments:

Nikolina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nikolina said...

Great interview, really enjoyed reading this! :) :)

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Mai T. said...

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in this book?

patrick siu said...

I have enjoyed learning about the book. Thanks for sharing it.

Victoria Alexander said...

Great excerpt and interview! Thanks for sharing them I really enjoyed reading your post and learning more about this book. I'm looking forward to checking it out :)

Rita said...

I liked the interview.

Anonymous said...

It's a great excerpt!

--Trix

Amber Ag said...

If I ever wrote a book I don't know if I could do the research first. I'd be to excited to write the idea down, but it seems like a good idea to do first, especially if it gives an author even more ideas for the novel. It will save them from possibly having to correct some parts too.

Thanks for the excerpt and interview! :)

Lisa Markson said...

Looks really good

Lisa Markson said...

Looks really good

Betty Woodrum said...

Great excerpt and interview! This sounds like an amazing book! Thank you for sharing!

Ally Swanson said...

Great post! I really enjoyed reading the interview! Looking forward to reading the book!

Ree Dee said...

I enjoyed the interview. Thank you for the post and the giveaway!