29 March 2011

An Interview With Rachel Ward, Author of Numbers and Numbers: Chaos

Hi!  Today I have for you an interview I had with the author Rachel Ward.  Rachel Ward has written Numbers and Numbers: Chaos.  Her new upcoming book, Numbers: Infinity, will be released soon.  I have personally read the series and I love it, and I can't wait for the third book to come out.  For more information on Rachel Ward you can visit her at http://www.rachelwardbooks.com/

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
I pretty much loved writing all of ‘Numbers.’ The whole book challenged me as a writer and I was excited by the central idea and the two main characters. With the second book, ‘The Chaos,’ it was more of a struggle. I wrote the whole thing from one point of view (Adam’s) to start with which didn’t really work, so then I tried writing the whole thing from Sarah’s point of view, and ended up with alternating viewpoints. It was really hard work, so I’d say I liked writing the last few chapters best because the end was in sight…

How did you come up with the title?
I came up with ‘Numbers’ really early on, more or less as soon as I had the idea for the book. It sums up what the first book and what the whole series is about. Luckily my UK publisher liked it and kept it. They decided the titles for book two (‘The Chaos’) and book three (‘Infinity’). I wasn’t a hundred per cent convinced about ‘The Chaos’ to start with, but now I think it fits the book really well. I love the title ‘Infinity’ and just hope that the book lives up to it.

Where did you get your inspiration for the Numbers series?
Well, I think writing Numbers was really a way of dealing with my mid-life crisis. I found that I was thinking about mortality more than is usual and probably more than is healthy and so I thought I should write about it and try and come to terms with things. Also I’d just read Phillip Pullman’s ‘Northern Lights’ in which the main character had a gift – I wondered what would happen if someone had a gift who was in the UK today and right at the bottom of the heap, someone who would not normally be listened to. I was also influenced by the US TV series ‘Six Feet Under’ which was so creative and mind-boggling in dealing with death and mortality.

If your book were made into a movie, who do you picture playing each characters part?
I think because my main characters are so young that the actors would have to be new and therefore relatively unknown. There is a small part in ‘Numbers’ which I’d be perfect for as I wrote myself a walk-on part towards the end of the book, but I think I’m probably too shy to act.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I’ve learned that I’ve got more persistence than I thought I had. Writing and particularly rewriting and editing is actually quite a hard grind. In the past I’ve been quite good at giving up on things, so I’m proud that I’ve produced 2, nearly 3, books now.

What does your protagonist think about you? Would he or she want to hang out with you, the author, his creator.
In ‘Numbers’ my main character, Jem, does actually meet me when she’s sleeping rough in the fields overlooking Bath. We don’t have much to say to each other and she tells me to ‘eff’ off! Little does she know that when I leave her I’m walking back to my house to finish writing her story. I don’t really have much in common with my main characters, apart from their raw emotions. I definitely draw on the emotions I had as a teenager and use them to fuel my characters. I’m very fond of my characters, but in real life I don’t think we’d get on.

Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
I think writing is about persisting and learning as you go along. I didn’t do any writing courses and I’m not a member of any writing groups. My first two books were rejected by every agent and publisher I sent them to, quite rightly as they weren’t good enough. But I was learning as I wrote them and so they served a purpose. Even rejection spurs you on to be a better writer and prove to everyone that they are wrong. If you’re serious about writing, then I recommend writing something every day, even if some days it’s only a few words. Also, write something that engages you, fascinates you, challenges you or frightens you – write something that you would like to read. Play with your writing. Try different styles and subjects until you find what you’re really good at.


TheBookAddictedGirl said...

Brilliant interview! I've been meaning to read this for ages, and I really really want to know! It sounds amazing. And I loved the writing tips at the bottom: I'd love to write a book too!
Thanks for the great interview!

Anonymous said...

I think you should make it into a movie. And with this year the Twilight series Breaking dawn coming out and The hunger games I think it would be perfect timing. And in the U.S it would make ALOT of money, trust me!

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