Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Grinding the Gears with Rebekah McAuliffe

I met Rebekah McAuliffe at Imaginarium last year. She had perhaps more enthusiasm and energy for writing than any of the rest of us ol' has beens in the room. And that is why you need to meet her.

Tell us a bit about your latest work.

My latest work is Gears of Golgotha, a steampunk/dystopian novel.  In the far future, Earth is united under a one world government, New Pangaea, and society is divided into two strict class systems: Chemists (scientists) and Mages (those who practice magic).  The work of New Pangaea revolves around the Gears, which are large machines that orbit the Earth, powering and protecting the planet.  However, when Erin meets Dr. Makswell Sharpe, the lead Chemist in charge of the Gears (or its government codename: the Golgotha Project), her entire world changes forever. There's romance, intrigue, action, and mystery.

What are the themes and subjects you tend to revisit in your work?

I discussed this during the Writer's Roundtable on theme, so I'll be brief.  I tend to write a lot about those who are oppressed, and sticking up for them, no matter the cost.  As someone who has had first-hand experience (and second-hand, as well) with this topic, it is an issue that is very close to my heart.

What would be your dream project? 

Honestly?

I'd love to one day write a screenplay for my upcoming novel, ALPHA, and see it turned into a movie starring Chris Hemsworth as the protagonist, Howard Turner.

If you have any former project to do over to make it better, which one would it be, and what would you do?

When I was younger, I had written a young adult novella called Runaway Fate, about two warrior princesses who must overthrow an evil prince.  The story was very dark, as I wrote the novel back in sixth or seventh grade, to the point where it almost frightened me how dark it was.  To kind of, shall we say, tone down the darkness, I gave Runaway Fate a cop-out ending, in which a warlock grants their wish that none of the events of the story had ever happened.  I'd love to give it a new ending, one that isn't afraid of the darkness of the story.  Alas, I had written the novella on an old Windows 95 desktop which has since broken, so if I ever wanted to work on it again, I would have to start from the beginning.  Luckily, I have a vague outline of how the story goes still in my head, so it shouldn't be as hard.

What inspires you to write?

I write about what I see around me.  I live in the heart of the Bible Belt, but having opposite views as my neighbors can be tough at times.  I want my stories to be a voice for those who don't have one.  Whenever I write, whether it be poetry or novels, it almost always ends up being a statement about what happens around me, whether it be the poverty of the more rural areas of Kentucky, or the oppression of minority groups.

What writers have influenced your style and technique?

Most of the books I have read throughout my lifetime were classics.  The darkness of my stories was heavily influenced by the Bronte sisters, but the style and technique of the writing itself is much more modern, mostly inspired by authors such as J.K. Rowling, John LeCarre (especially in ALPHA) and George Orwell.  To be quite honest, I've never really thought about this question before; I just mostly write whatever comes to mind.  It's like my fingers do the writing, and my brain just kind of follows behind, reading along as the words come up.  For example, whenever I wrote my first death scene ever, I was thinking, "Okay, okay, this is good... wait, wait, what are you doing?... NO, NO STOP THIS IS NOT OKAY..."

Where would you rank writing on the "Is it an art or it is a science continuum?" Why?

I believe that writing as a whole is an art, but the individual parts of the story, such as sentence structure, grammar, spelling, etc., is part of a science.  In a way, the science comes together to create art.  Think about celestial bodies.  The individual parts are all part of science: the formation and life cycles of stars, the collision of galaxies... but when you look at them through a telescope, all of those parts come together to create a beautiful work of art.

Any other upcoming projects you would like to plug?

Well, obviously I want to "plug" Gears of Golgotha. You can find it here.

I also want to bring up ALPHA, which is my newest novel coming soon from Hydra Publications.  Think the Bourne saga meets Manchurian Candidate.  A soldier named Howard Turner comes home from Afghanistan, and is recruited into the notorious MK ULTRA.  Fans of conspiracy theories and spy and political thrillers will thoroughly enjoy it.