1 of 4 "COVID Diaries" Author Interviews: Meet Rebekah Rodda
R. J. Rodda is the Author of Stray Dog Love in the collaboration eBook, COVID Diaries.
Rebekah's a kid wrangler, Aussie expat and Jesus follower. She loves reading stories about unexpected friendships and occasionally writes them. The Crux anthology contains one such story - 'Chosen for the Fox-dance'. Her work can also be found on Wattpad where the story of the Hattavah continues in 'The Vixen-Trials'. She also has a true story in the 'Three Dummies in a Dinghy and Other Stories of Life' anthology.
Where are you from? (Or where do you live?)
I’m Australian but currently living in the country of Georgia, near the Turkish border.
What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
I used to live in Tokyo, Japan. I absolutely loved the sheer number of people there, and didn’t even mind being squished up against others on the train. I woke up everyday happy to live in such a bustling metropolis.
What are your favorite hobbies and activities outside writing and reading?
I enjoy taking walks on the boulevard at the Black Sea and experiencing new restaurants. I also really enjoy designing digital book covers. I don’t claim to be any good at it, I just really like doing it.
About Your Writing
What genre do you write?
Mainly fantasy, but also contemporary romance and some non-fiction.
What inspired you to start writing?
I always used to tell stories to my younger siblings. Their enthusiasm for my epic night-time tales was certainly the beginning.
If you write fiction, where are your books set?
My contemporary stories are usually based on real life places. ‘Stray dog love’ in this anthology is based on rural center I lived in when I first came to Georgia.
What's your favourite part of the writing process? What's your least favourite?
I enjoy writing captivating stories in my head the most. Getting them down on paper is much harder. Partly because I don’t have a lot of time to do so, but also between my thoughts and the computer something seems to happen!
Is there a common theme to your books? What is it?
I tend to write about people who don’t believe in God, meeting Christians and then in a moment of crisis, trying out prayer and having an encounter with God. I like to show God on the page how I experience him working in my own life.
What would you like readers to say about your books?
That they encouraged them to pray themselves or helped them understand God a bit better.
What book inspires you to be a better writer?
The Bible. Jesus so often connected with people by telling them stories. Those stories seem simple but have such depth. I’d love to be able to convey theological truths so well in such an interesting way.
About Christian Writing
Who are three of your favorite Christian authors?
Tricia Mingerink, Kerry Nietz, Jaye L Knight. All of these do an excellent job of having a compelling story with a clear gospel message.
How do you feel the Christian fiction or non-fiction market has positively changed over the past five to ten years? What do you see for its future?
I think there has been an increase in people self-publishing. There are pros and cons with this. I’ve read some good stories by indie authors that would struggle to pick up a traditional publishing contract, stories that are worth being read and shared. I’ve also read some books that I feel have been released into the world before they are actually ready. I see this growth in self-publishing continuing.
What I would like to see is more books like ‘Amish Vampires in Space’ which achieved the dream as I see it – significant secular promotion and readership for a book that has a very clear presentation of the Christian faith.
What advice would you give to someone before they wrote their first book?
Even though you love what you have just written, please don’t be in a rush to publish it. Wait. Stephen King recommends putting your manuscript in a drawer and not looking at it for at least six weeks. After you’ve written something you can’t read it with any kind of objective perspective. Trust me, I wish I hadn’t been so quick to give my first attempt at a novel to others to read.
What marketing strategy has worked best for you so far?
I helped my sister market her non-fiction Christian marriage book ‘That Book for Wives’ and we found Twitter to be surprisingly effective in getting readers from other countries. I’m less keen on marketing my own work.
Or on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/rjroddaauthor