Thursday, September 25, 2008

:INTERVIEW: Rebeca Seitz

I have something exciting for you today! I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to ask the author of the new scrapbooking novel Coming Unglued a few questions.

Not only was Rebeca willing to offer some very candid and interesting answers to the questions I asked, but she also shared a few of favorite layouts with us as well.

Be sure to read to the end of the interview for a special announcement.


I understand that Coming Unglued is actually your third novel which features scrapbooking in the storyline. What made you decide to develop a series of novels with scrapbooking as a prominent part of the plot line?

I’ve been a lover of stories since I was four years old. I’ve been a scrapper for over a decade. Crazily enough, it didn’t occur to me to combine those two loves until an editor at Thomas Nelson Publishers suggested it. She said there were no trade size series novels in the marketplace for scrappers and I just couldn’t believe it! I searched around myself, though, and found out she was right. Thus, my creation of characters who scrap was born.

After having written three novels, do you have a favorite? Is there any particular character that you can really relate to?

Three of my novels are already in the marketplace, but I’ve also turned in the next two in the Sisters, Ink series (Scrapping Plans and Perfect Piece), which don’t release until next year.

Of all five stories, Coming Unglued is my favorite! It’s the one that’s closest to my heart, that I had to fight within myself to write because the subject matter came from my own life experiences and because I so understood how each of the characters felt. There were many nights I sat at the laptop, typing through tears.

In some way, I can relate to all of my characters. I love the artistry of Kendra and the impetuousness of Tandy. But I also like the family support of Meg and the “Martha Stewartness” from Joy. I think there’s a little of me in all of them – which might make one wonder if I’m not struggling with multiple
personality disorder. Ha ha!

As if you are not busy enough, you also own a company called Glass Road. Can you tell us a little bit about the company and why this venture is important to you?

Sure! Glass Road is a publicity firm dedicated to representing artists creating works of entertainment from a Christian worldview. That means we represent books, music, and movies and work to get those products reviewed in the media and the artists interviewed by the media. It’s such a fun gig!

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been a lover of stories since I was four years old. That’s when I memorized “Benji Goes to School” and recited it to my mother. She then called her mother so that I could recite it over the phone. At the time, our family was counting every penny twice (we never had a lot of money growing up) and that call to my grandmother was long distance. I remember thinking how much stories must matter if my mother was willing to endure the cost of that call just so I could recite the story to my grandmother. That’s when my love affair with entertainment began.

Four years later, I wrote my first short story (about a magic cornstalk!).

It wasn’t until I went to work at Thomas Nelson, though, that I got the “permission” to be a lover of stories over sermons. Allen Arnold, publisher of the fiction division, encouraged me to pursue the things I passionately cared for – stories. He and the rest of the publishing team made me feel very unique in wanting to read a novel over a nonfiction book. All my life, I’d thought the “smart” people read nonfiction and the others read fiction. For the first time, I embraced the fact that I simply love and learn from stories.

Unfortunately, most media outlets are very opposed to having novelists on the air over nonfiction writers. I’ve heard all kinds of reasons for this bias – including some producers who say novelists are just putting lies on a page and those who say stories have no place in presenting Christianity to the world. Yet, Jesus spoke in parables. Obviously, there’s an importance to the ability of story to transmit truth.

The more I encountered the bias, the more determined I became to find a way to help get the word out about great works of entertainment.

After a year at Thomas Nelson, I learned I was expecting my first child. I couldn’t fathom spending 50-60 hours a week at the office away from my little one. I simply don’t have that kind of fortitude. When flex-time wasn’t given as an option, my boss suggested I open my own publicity firm. It took some persuasion (Ack! Going out on my own?!), but I eventually figured out that if I wanted to be both a mom and an entertainment publicist, I’d have to open a firm.

Glass Road began as a place only for novelists. In the past three and a half years, though, we’ve grown to include music and movies because those are simply more methods of using entertainment to transmit message. (Oh, and as a quick bit of trivia, Glass Road is the road I lived on when I memorized Benji Goes to School and wrote that short story…)

One thing that really impressed me about you and your series of books, Rebeca, is that you actually are a scrapbooker so, as a writer, you really know what scrapbooking is all about and I believe that comes through to your readers.

Aww, thanks! I love scrapping. It gives me a way to capture the story of my life. When I look back at my older scrapbooks, I can see how God was working to write a story for me. I get perspective on why certain things had to happen in order for me to become someone who could experience the later stuff. And I LOVE
having a hobby I can do while I talk to my girlfriends! I’m a multi-tasker (along with about 99% of women!), so being able to both further my friendships and create a scrapbook is a win/win!

Personally, what is your reason for scrapbooking? What is your favorite subject(s)?Do you have favorite tools, techniques or line of products that consistently show up on your creations?

My main reason is to capture my life story. It’s so very easy to get caught up in the day-to-day stuff, in just living from item to item on the To Do list. Scrapbooking gives me perspective. It also gives me a huge appreciation for the gift of family and friends. When I see all those smiling faces and page after page of my son jumping in leaves or my niece and nephew splashing in the pool or my husband hugging one of our basset hounds or my parents smiling at their grandchildren, I’m reminded that I am so, so blessed to have this much love in my life. There was a time that I wondered if I would – now I know and am thankful for it.

Favorite stuff – it changes from year to year. Last year, I was in love with my Click-it because I went eyelet crazy! I tend to gravitate toward papers from Kaleidoscope and Basic Grey because of the color schemes they have. Both my husband and son are fair-skinned blondes, so I use a lot of browns and muted colors in my scrapping. I’m also a ribbon and chipboard freak. I like the chipboard keychains from Maya Road and have put together a lot of those on different TV shows.

I haven’t bought one yet, but I use my sister’s Cricut shamelessly and – one of these days! – I’ll get one. I was waiting on the larger one to come out, but now that it’s available, I can’t bring myself to spend that much money on a tool. Guess what’s going on my Christmas list, though!

And, of course, I couldn’t do any scrapping without the excellent pictures that my Canon Rebel Ti affords me. I’ve schlepped that thing all over the country and back.
It’s a definite keeper.

What processes have you developed so that you still have time for your hobby with such a busy lifestyle?

First, I try not to put pressure on myself. When I began releasing novels with scrapbooking in them, I routinely told myself I “had” to get into the studio and scrap in order to stay current. It didn’t take long before scrapping became a “have to” instead of a “get to.” So, I took a break. (Gasp! Shocker!)

For several months, I simply looked at all those supplies hanging on my peg board and my paper racks and ink pads and stamps and thought, “Not right now.” After a while, my desire to get in there and create came back!

hese days I’m forced to not scrap because my supplies had to be packed up while we renovate our home. I’m expecting a little girl (Ella Christie – named after my sister) in October and we’re doing major renovations to make way for her arrival. Part of that involved me moving all my scrapping stuff over to my office (about five minutes from my house). Because I can’t lift anything heavy, I’m forced to wait until after the birth to create my new scrapping space here at the office. (I’m working on a quilt instead – gotta have a creative outlet!) I can’t wait to start working with pictures of my new little one, though!! Already, my son (he’s 3) keeps telling me all the things he’s going to show Ella when she gets big enough to come out of Mommy’s tummy. I can just imagine the photos in our future!

I'd like to thank Rebeca for sharing a little bit of herself and her scrapbooking talent with us today and I certainly hope you enjoyed it.


I have a free copy of her new book Coming Unglued to give away to one lucky commenter. Just leave a comment here about what you found most interesting or surprised you the most about Rebeca by Saturday, September 27th at 12 midnight and I'll do a random drawing to determine the winner.

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