As someone who seemingly has unceasing dreams and aspirations, I can honestly say I understand the drive, the passion and the insanity that a big dream, or even a calling, can inflict upon the poor soul who dared to have it in the first place.
In 2012, my mother, Rebekah, was inflicted by such a calling. She called me and told me she had an idea for a story, maybe even a novel. She outlined the whole thing for me and then laughed as she told me I should write it for her. To her shock and dismay, I turned her down. “That’s the thing about a dream, Mom. It has to be lived out by the person who has it. Nobody else can do it for you.”
“But I don’t know how!” she replied. I reminded her that my first film was made with little more knowledge than that. But I learned along the way, and there was one thing I was certain of. If I could do it, she could do it. While I knew it would be scary for her, I also knew that there was no replacement for the euphoria she would feel when she finished. Even if, as she said she feared, no one ever read it, it would be her own personal scaled mountain.
And the view would be glorious.
Once she realized I was serious when I said I wasn’t going to write it for her, she decided she would tackle that mountain. On December 27th, 2012, she began her story.
Now, December 27, 2014, exactly two years, and hundreds of hours of writing, researching, and rewriting later, not only does she have a completed book, but she has a SECOND book fully drafted. On November 1st of this year, she entered NaNoWriMo, which is short for “National Novel Writing Month.” The goal is to draft a 50k word novel in 30 days or less.
She finished in 21.
Back in July, I asked her to sit down and answer a few questions about the book. I told her I would publish them when the book became available. This is that interview.
“One Life” Q & A with Rebekah Raymer
1. Where did you get the idea for the story, “One Life?”
Actually it just came to me. All of a sudden I saw the whole first chapter playing like a movie in my head. Since I had never written a movie, I told Ashley about it and asked her to write it down. She declined since, at the time, she was way too busy. She told me to do it. I have never been more terrified than when I sat in front of the computer the next day staring at that blank screen. I did a lot of praying and finally typed the first paragraph. Honestly that is how the whole book went. Pray a lot, type a little.
2. What was the easiest part of writing your novel?
There were no easy parts! It was scary from start to finish. Since I had no prior experience I searched everywhere for more information on writing. I happened to go into my local library one day and out of the blue the lady behind the checkout desk asked me if I was interested in taking any free classes. My heart stopped for a second. Classes! Free! In what? She explained that the library paid for them and that you got credits, etc. I went home and checked them out. It turns out that the classes were in writing, criminology, grammar, etc. I felt like I had discovered a gold mine. So along with ordering books on novel writing from Amazon, I also took close to twenty classes on different things relating to the novel.
3. What was the most difficult part?
The most difficult part was having the faith to continue. It was so much work. Every Monday, all day I spent writing a book that I didn’t know if anyone but me and a handful of others would ever read. I knew that the subject matter needed to be addressed, but I didn’t think anyone else would be interested. Again, prayer helped me to see it through.
4. Do you have a favorite scene?
There are several favorites. When Daniel and Jess are on the street corner in the rain and Jess is trying to get him to go home, when they go to the church and everyone stands up when Daniel is introduced, and of course, the epilogue.
5. Do you have any ideas for another novel?
(Reminder, this was in July. Her November Book is actually a different plot, so once drafted, this would actually be her THIRD book.)
Yes, and they are totally different. I have one started about a lady who has just an awful life and gets mixed up in all types of problems. It’s southern and funny but there is some truth mixed in that I think a lot of people can relate to. And I want to put my Clever Girls articles into book form. A lot of young women today have no idea what it took to get them the freedoms they now take for granted. I want to write about women of courage who changed laws, raised the bar, and made a difference in history through pure grit and gumption.
(www.ThoseCleverGirls.com is a sister website with content written by a group of women friends/family).
6. What advice do you have for aspiring novelists?
The one bit of advice that seemed to follow me everywhere was, “Never give up.” I would see that phrase in books, online, everywhere! I felt it was God’s way of saying keep going. That, I guess, is what I would have to tell anyone else who has a dream to become an author, painter or whatever, don’t give up!
7. What do you like to do in your spare time? Hobbies?
I have very little spare time but when I do get a break I have several hobbies I enjoy including gardening, painting, cooking, reading and watching movies.
Rebekah’s first novel is now available on Amazon as a softcover and an e-book.
As far as her fears that no one would want to read it, I can tell you since it’s official release on Nov. 1st, 2014, she has gone through two shipments of softcover books, and on Christmas Day, she reached #38 on the bestseller list in her category (Christian Suspense & Mystery).
My brother and I are beyond proud of her. For years, she supported every crazy dream either one of us had. She pushed us to be the best and brightest we could possibly be. And now, we are more than grateful to be able to return the favor and lavish her with praise. She scaled an incredibly daunting mountain.
And the view is glorious.