Friday, March 15, 2013

ABG Reads Author Interview: Rebecca Rynecki

Today I'm a part of the blog tour for my blog tour company, ABG Reads Book tours and I have New Adult author Rebecca Rynecki here talking about her book, The Secret World of Alaina Downs. 

Title: The Secret World Of Alaina Downs

Author: Rebecca Rynecki

Genre: New Adult/Fantasy

Number of Pages: 252

When Alaina stumbles into a world that she only thought existed in her mind, she is understandably a little bit freaked out. Who wouldn't be? Characters that she had written down years ago are walking, and talking, and telling her that she is the only one who can save the princess and the kingdom of Isleen. Um...okay. As she travels down to the southern kingdom with Sir Gabriel, a really hot knight, she falls off horses, has an interaction with an evil witch, gets attacked by a sea creature, and even falls from lust into love.

How did you come up with the concept for the Secret World of Alaina Downs?
I've always, as most of us have, wished that I could go into another world much like Narnia or Wonderland and when I was twelve I wrote a play about a girl named Alaina who fell into a secret world of her own. It was acted out by my sister and some of the neighborhood kids. The name of the main character was taken from a girl I went to school with. It gradually progressed from that to a "let's throw a young woman into her own fairy tale complete with a hot knight."

Do you have a favorite scene from the book, if so what it is?
I don't have a favorite scene really, but there were a few I truly had fun writing. For example- when Alaina falls out of the tree, Gabriel and Alaina's first conversation upon starting out on their journey, and of course...the Baba Yaga scenes. She was a hoot to write.

What do you love most about Alaina as a character?
What I love about Alaina is that she is not a confident, jump right into it heroine. She doesn't just fall into the world of Isleen ready to kick butt, she makes mistakes, she acts like a brat sometimes, she thinks she's going insane being in a different world and she's uncertain of her and Gabriel.

How does The Secret World of Alaina Downs stand out from other New Adult books?
I think it keeps some of the important aspects of the New Adult genre, such as growing and discovering new things about yourself as you leave some of your old self behind. It's a little different from some other New Adult books in that it happens in a fantasy/fairy tale setting which I've found to be a small sub genre so far. I hope that changes!

Did you have to do any research for the book? If so, what was the most interesting thing you learned?
Yes, I did. I knew I wanted to incorporate fairy tales and folklore through some of the creatures mentioned in the book, but I wanted a twist to it. There's a section where they talk about why the dragons can't fly to the southern part of the kingdom because of the creatures that took up residence down there and I did a lot of research in which I found out that dragons are rarely prey, except for a couple of stories of bird like men in Japanese folklore. I took that and ran with it. I also had a lot of fun revisiting Baba Yaga. I learned a lot about her when I wrote a paper in college about fairy tales and folklore in the Middle Ages and she's a real enigma. It allowed me to put her in some ah...naughty situations in the book.

Who are your go-to authors and have they influenced your writing at all?

My favorite author is Marion Zimmer Bradley. I absolutely inhaled The Mists of Avalon and there are definite influences which you see some of in this book, especially with the names. Her steamy scenes were also a uh...influence. Jane Yolen is another who has an amazing ability to take fairy tales and folklore and put them in different situations. Read her book Briar Rose to see how brilliant she is with that. And I haven't read everything by this author but I go back to Orson Scott Card's Enchantment all the time. It was him using the character of Baba Yaga that started me down the path of learning about her.

What other projects do you have coming up?
Last month I just finished the sequel to Alaina Downs called, The Knight's Ill-Thought Bargain, and I've started work on the prequel which focuses on Astra and Peter who are the Queen and King in Alaina Downs, called The Princess and the Stable Boy. I have plans for two stand alone books once I finish with the tales of Isleen, but that won't be happening until later this year. It's going to be hard for me to say goodbye to this series!

Buy Links:  Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Where to find Rebecca:

Book two: The Knights Ill Thought Bargain
Two years have passed since Alaina and Gabriel left. Forty years have passed in Isleen. The king is dead. The queen's powers are weakening, and an evil sorceress is intent on furthering her own agenda. An agenda that involves a bargain that Gabriel made.

Buy links: