Interview with Rebecca Lange, author of “Heavenly Bodyguards: Trainee in Action”

What makes this particular genre you are involved in so special?

I feel it is pretty unique. After so many great books about wizards and vampires I wanted to create a different story. I wanted to create something that is fiction, but could very well be true. I am a very religious person and believe in life after death. I often think about what happens to those who pass on.

How important is research to you when writing a book?

Research needs to be done in some ways when writing about things that are not completely made up. That way it is more believable to the reader and it can help the author picture the story better. Heavenly Bodyguards – Trainee in Action plays in Scotland. I not only used the Internet for some research, I also used my own experience and memories for this book. I lived in Scotland for 19 months as a missionary for my church and some of the events and situations I described are actually things I experienced myself.

When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?

I have always loved writing. Even as a child I enjoyed creating little stories. I started writing more seriously as a teenager, but at that time I wrote pretty much just for myself. It was three years ago when my husband suggested I write a book. After finishing the trilogy, I felt like I wanted to share the story and my creation with the world.

What inspires you to write?

I have a pretty good imagination. Sometimes it’s a thought that I have, sometimes it’s an idea sparked by a book I’ve read or a movie I saw. I get inspired pretty easily. My mom is also a writer and has created a few wonderful books that made me fall in love with her characters. The books were written so lively and real that I could see it happening in front of my eyes.

How often do you write?

It depends really. Sometimes I can write for days and weeks nonstop, and other times I don’t write at all. I have a blog as well and I use that to express myself when I’m feeling a certain way about different topics or thoughts. It’s kind of therapy for me to get it out of my mind and off my chest.

Do you have a set schedule for writing, or are you one of those who write only when they feel inspired?

I don’t have a schedule for writing. I write when I feel like it or have a thought in my head that I just can’t get rid of. And yes, I definitely write when I feel inspired.

How hard was it to sit down and actually start writing something?

It is usually pretty easy to start writing, at least for me. Once I have an idea, the story develops pretty quickly and gets better as I write it down. The hardest part for me is the ending for some weird reason and I get stuck on that a lot of the time.

Do you think writers have a normal life like others?

Definitely, although I think our brains might be more active and work harder in some ways. As a writer I see things with different eyes a lot of the time and can easily create my own dreams if I want to go that route.

Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?

I actually do both. I like to set a plot once I have an idea of where I want to go with the story, but I also like to be flexible in case my thoughts change in the middle of writing the story. It is fun to see how a story goes one way and changes into a total different direction later on.

Have you ever experienced “Writer’s Block”? How long do they usually last?

Yes I have, and it is frustrating. Sometimes it hits you out of the blue and you get stuck for weeks and even months. Other times it is more a boredom thing because you feel burned out, run out of ideas and just don’t feel like writing anymore.

Do you proofread and edit your work on your own or pay someone to do it for you?

English is my second language, since I was born and raised in Germany, and so naturally I do need help with proofreading and editing. I do some of the editing at the beginning, but then I have to have someone else do the rest. At first I asked family and friends to help with the editing, but eventually I realized that I needed to find a professional editor and pay for the services because it wasn’t fair on those around me to use them and their time for free.

Do you read any of your own work?

Yes I do. I write my books in a way that I enjoy reading them myself. I love reading the stories again and again and visualize my characters and what they are experiencing.

Tell us about your writing style, how is it different from other writers?

My writing style is a bit different because I prefer not to have every little detail described. I prefer reading books that give my imagination enough room to picture it myself and to create the story in my head in a way that it means something to me. So my writing style is that way, allowing the reader to picture things themselves. My books normally also have a bit of everything: drama, romance and humor. I like to make the reader think and be surprised. I also try to share some kind of message with the reader.

Do your novels carry a message?

Yes they do. I have a strong faith in God and I share a little bit of that in my novels. It’s not to preach, but to make people think. In my Heavenly Bodyguards trilogy I also address many different hot issues and try to share with the readers that tolerance is important. Tolerance does not mean we have to agree with the other person, but rather respect and accept them and their opinions. I also try to share the message of the importance of kindness and humor and how to deal with difficult situations.

How much of yourself do you put into your books?

I put a lot of myself in my books. Most of the time I picture myself as the main female character simply because it makes it easier for me to relate to her and other characters. I also put in my humor and life experiences. I have a very dry and sarcastic sense of humor and you can usually find that in my books. I have shared different things I have seen or experienced myself and that helps me bring certain emotions across because I know what the person in my book feels or is going through. I am also a very direct and straight forward person and you can find that in my novels as well.

Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?

Yes I have, and I also incorporate places that I have visited. I like doing that because it makes the story so much more real.

How do you see writing? As a hobby or a passion?

I see it as both actually. I write as a hobby, but I am definitely very passionate about the things I write. I just love putting my thoughts into words. I also express myself best in writing. Sometimes it is hard for me to say what I mean or feel, but I can always do that when I write it down.

Is it true that anyone can be a writer?

As long as the person loves writing and has the passion for it, I think anyone can be a writer. I also think a writer needs to have a love and passion for reading and should have a great imagination with the willingness to do as much research as required when trying to make a story as believable as possible.

Did any of your books get rejected by publishers?

Yes they did, and it is a very frustrating and disheartening experience. It seems to me that publishers don’t really give first time authors a chance and that makes this whole process very difficult. Remembering that many famous authors were rejected too at first, keeps me going and stops me from giving up.

Do you reply back to your fans and admirers personally?

As a first-time author, my fans and admirers so far are mostly friends and family and a few others who have read my books. I love keeping in touch with people though, and so I would definitely take the time to reply to fans and admirers and thank them for their support. I think becoming prideful or forgetting fans is not a good move because without readers you couldn’t be a successful author.

Did the thought to give up writing ever occur to you?

Yes. When you get many different rejections, and you just know that the publishers didn’t even look at your work, you do come to a point when you just want to give up. I have had several times when I thought it is no use and I should just stop.

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