RED CARPET DAY
New Beginnings by Rebecca Emin
When Sam meets a different group of people who immediately accept her as a friend, she begins to feel more positive.
With her new friends and interests, will Sam finally feel able to face the bully who taunts her, and to summon up the courage to perform on stage?
I am so pleased to welcome Rebecca Emin to the Red Carpet today. Rebecca is here to tell us a bit more about her novel ‘New Beginnings’.
Alberta: This is a novel for children and is your first adventure into this sphere. I wonder what inspired you to write for the age group – late childhood, early teens, is that right?
Rebecca: Having a teenage step daughter and a nine year old daughter, as well as younger sons, has made me naturally spend a lot of time with children. Also my children are avid readers so when books for children are constantly being put in front of you, you get in that mind frame without even really thinking about it.
Alberta: Did you find writing for this age group more of a challenge or did it flow easily?
Rebecca: I find it quite easy to mentally take myself back to when I was that age and recall all the emotions and feelings I had back then. Also, again, I think having my daughter and her friends around me a lot helps with this.
Alberta: The book centres on that difficult time in a child’s life that of starting at ‘big school’ – from known territory to the unknown. To a certain degree it continues into 1st jobs, moving house etc. Was there any particular spark of an idea that inspired the setting?
Rebecca: Personally, I have always been quiet and not particularly confident, so I know how hard it can be to have a fresh start of any type. It was having conversations with others who also struggled with these scenarios that led me to believe it was a story worth telling, as many people would be able to relate to it.
Alberta: There are, as in all good stories, multi strands interweaving throughout but the central theme is that age old one of bullying. Did you have to do much research in the subject, talk to many parents, teachers, and children?
Rebecca: I had first hand experience of bullying at school and I drew from my own experiences to write the book. But over the years I have got to know a lot of other people who have been bullied for various reasons and in various places, so I didn’t feel I needed to research this topic much at all.
Alberta: It seems that children are reluctant to take problems such as these to authorities or even parents, why do you think this is?
Rebecca: Children who are being bullied to any extent will already be feeling under confident and sadly most likely thinking it’s their fault that they are being bullied and that telling anyone will only make the problem worse. The sad thing is, sometimes even teachers bully children, so it can be hard to know where to turn. I was delighted to see, when I did a little research online, there is a lot more access to help via the internet now, and that is why I am donating 10% of any profit I make from the book to the charity Bullying UK, who help people who are being bullied for whatever reason. They are also mentioned in the book.
Alberta: Other themes concern that of a girls awakening awareness of ‘boys’, of the importance of friendships and the development of self confidence. It is easy when we have grown and hopefully sorted out these problems to forget how real and difficult they are at that age. You have obviously, judging by reviews, especially from children, found just the right voice to explore these issues. How difficult was it to find Sam’s voice?
Rebecca: I found Sam’s voice quite easily, and that again is due to the fact that I drew from my own experiences. I based Chloe (Sam’s best friend) very roughly on my best friend from school and thought about our times together and how I felt at the time. We are still very close friends, so I told her about this when I gave her a copy of the book; I haven’t heard what she thinks of it just yet! I thought of the ridiculously plentiful unrequited crushes I had (they never lasted long with me!) and as for the self confidence side of things, I wrote about what I would have liked to have happened to me in my dreams! I am personally nowhere near as confident as Sam turns out to be.
Alberta: New Beginnings has garnered some splendid reviews and it becomes apparent that the children at least are hoping for some more of Sam. Do you have any more for them? Do you plan to write more for this age group?
Rebecca: I will never, ever tire of hearing from people who enjoyed my writing. It’s a massive honour to do something I love and for people to say they enjoyed the result.
I am definitely planning to write more about Sam, but not just yet. I did start working on a sequel, but that is on hold at the moment. I have a second novel already complete so I am hoping it won’t be too long before that is published. I am currently working on a collection of short stories for children, and my plan is to have the first story in the collection about Sam and her friends, and the last story about characters from my second novel, to give a taster of both. I am very conscious that young readers read a book and if they like it, want more from the author pretty quickly, and I don’t want to disappoint them, so yes I will definitely be writing more for children.
Alberta: Rebecca thank you so much for coming here today and sharing some insights into Sam’s story. I am sure everyone wishes every success for New Beginnings and your future career.
New Beginnings on Amazon.co.uk http://www.amazon.co.uk/New-Beginnings-Rebecca-Emin/dp/190837506X
New Beginnings on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/New-Beginnings-Rebecca-Emin/dp/190837506X/
Rebecca Emin lives in Oxfordshire, with her husband and three small children. Her debut novel, ‘New Beginnings,’ will be published by Grimoire Books on 23 January 2012. Rebecca has finished her second novel ‘When Dreams Come True’ which is also for older children.
Rebecca enjoys writing flash fiction and short stories and has had several flash fiction stories included in fundraising anthologies. ‘A Knowing Look and Other Stories’ is a collection of Rebecca’s short stories which was published in November 2011.
Rebecca is also an author for Ether Books who publish short stories and essays to mobile devices via the Ether app.
Rebecca can be found