Brought to Book: Rebecca Reid on incest, American noir and writing under the duvet

‘Never write what you think people want to read. Write what is inside you and follow it through every time, because that’s where the essence of true writing comes to life’

Rebecca Reid is the author of Thickets Wood (published on May 1st by Liberties Press), a psychological thriller, the sequel to her self-published e-book The Coop, which was hailed as 'brilliant' by Colin Bateman.

What was the first book to make an impression on you?

Flowers in the Attic. I was 12; the incest really got me.

What was your favourite book as a child?

The Witches or The BFG. Anything by Roald Dahl really.

And what is your favourite book or books now?

The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson. It was my first real taste of American noir and since then I haven't looked back.

What is your favourite quotation?

To be honest, I don’t really have one.

Who is your favourite fictional character?

Almost anything created by Tim Burton. That man's a genius.

Who is the most under-rated Irish author?

Probably me! Can I say that? I really don’t know.

Which do you prefer: ebooks or the traditional print version?

Traditional all the way. There is nothing like the scent of freshly printed pages or the feel of the paper in your hands.

What is the most beautiful book you own?

My father's copy of Lord of the Rings.

Where and how do you write?

I write everything on my laptop, in bed, wrapped up in a duvet because it is so cold up there. Things aren’t so bad in summer, thankfully. I could never write anywhere else – that room is my mental safe zone.

What book changed the way you think about fiction?

Stephen King brought fiction to life for me. He creates unrealistic worlds and puts them in your reality. That is just mesmerising.

What is the most research you have done for a book?

For the third novel in my Thickets Wood trilogy, I had to do some horticultural research. To this point, I haven't needed to do much research at all – thankfully.

What book influenced you the most?

Different books have influenced me in different ways. I wouldn’t like to think any book has actively influenced my writing, but if a story grips me emotionally, it would encourage me to be the best I can be. To push as much realism into my characters as possible.

What book would you give to a friend’s child on their 18th birthday?

Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Everyone needs to experience that magic.

What book do you wish you had read when you were young?

I wish I had grown up with Harry Potter.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

Never write what you think people want to read. Write what is inside you and follow it through every time, because that’s where the essence of true writing comes to life. That’s when you get lost in the story and it writes itself.

What weight do you give reviews?

That depends. If it’s good, a lot of weight. If not, it lines the cat tray.

Where do you see the publishing industry going?

I imagine e-books will become the mainstream and only the best of the best will be printed in paper for collectors.

What writing trends have struck you lately?

Sex and vampires are done. Magic and gothic, both of which I adore, are back.

What lessons have you learned about life from reading?

To make the most of every day. Fight for the things worth fighting for and walk away from everything else.

What has being a writer taught you?

Dedication is essential. Be prepared to fight and then fight some more because if you don’t believe in your writing, nobody will.

Which writers, living or dead, would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Roald Dahl. Jim Thompson. Stephen King and JK Rowling. What a party that would be.

What is the funniest scene you’ve read?

I don’t tend to read funny books so I haven’t a clue.

What is your favourite word?

Pants. When you’ve got three kids it covers a multitude of sins.

If you were to write a historical novel, which event or figure would be your subject?

The true story of Sigmund Freud.

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