Sunday, January 24, 2010

Author Interview with REBECCA CANTRELL

Rebecca Cantrell decided, at the age of 7, to be a writer.  Well, she's done it!  Here's her story...

The bio on your website says that you quit your job, sold your house, and moved to Hawaii to be a writer because, at the tender age of seven, you decided to be a writer. Surely there’s more to the story than that?

There is always more to every story, isn’t there? My husband and I fell in love with Hawaii and planned to retire there, and one day I decided not to wait that long. We talked it over, panicked a bit, and took a chance. We packed our belongings into a container and flew over. It was a challenging transition, but I’ve never regretted it. Once I was here and taking a breather from my regular life, I started a novel set half a world and seventy years away.

Tell us about what prompted you to set your novels in Berlin in the 1930s?

The late 1920s and early 1930s were, for Berlin, a time of intellectual and social freedom mixed with grinding poverty and violent protests. The city was a center for modern art, cinema, writing, and music. By 1934 it would all vanish: the artists fled, in camps, or in hiding. In a few short years, an incredibly vibrant part of a modern European city vanished and was replaced by the horror of the Nazis. How could such a time of transition NOT be fascinating?

You also write award-nominated screenplays. Tell us about that.

After I wrote A TRACE OF SMOKE I wanted to do something completely different, so I took a course in screenwriting at The Maui Writers Conference and wrote a screenplay about vampires set in modern day Hawaii called THE HUMANITARIAN. It was a nice change to research the undead instead of the dead. Learning to tell a story that consists only of what we see and what we hear also helped me as a writer.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer?

Before I got published, my problem was persistence. I didn’t take the writing seriously enough until I moved to Hawaii and started treating it like a job. Now my biggest challenge is finding enough time to be a mother, write, and promote.

What is the title of your most recently published book? Briefly tell us what it’s about and let us know where we can buy it.

A TRACE OF SMOKE will be released in paperback on January 19, 2010 (it came out in hardcover in June 2009). It’s about a crime reporter named Hannah Vogel who searches for her brother’s killer through the nightclubs and Nazi hangouts of 1931 Berlin.

In June 2010 the sequel, A NIGHT OF LONG KNIVES appears in hardcover. After being zeppelin jacked back into Germany, Hannah Vogel must solve one murder among a thousand to find her son in 1934 Berlin.

I also have a short story in the anthology FIRST THRILLS, also in June (busy month, June). All of my books will be available at bookstores everywhere and online.

What are you working on now and when/where do you expect it to be available?

I’m working on the third Hannah Vogel novel. It is called A GAME OF LIES. In this one, Hannah Vogel investigates her mentor’s murder and unravels a Nazi conspiracy during the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin. It’s set to come out in June 2011 to bookstores everywhere.

Writers, especially new writers, are always looking for tips and helpful information. What is the single most important “tip” you can give to a new writer?

I used to say persistence, which is very, very important, but now I’m moving toward: have fun! Forget the myth of the tortured artist and love, love, love what you do.

Are you a member of any writer’s organizations? Why? Why not?

I’m a member of The Author’s Guild, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers.

Do you have any upcoming book signings or appearances? If so, give us all the details.

I don’t have anything booked yet, but I will be touring in California and New York this summer. I’ll post the details on my web site at

FUN QUESTION: Television or radio, and why?

Radio. My TV isn’t hooked up to an antenna or cable, so I only watch movies. These days I mostly listen to music and love Pandora.

What are the addresses of your website(s) and blog(s): and

No comments:

Post a Comment