Author Interview: Rebecca Guevara
Hi, Rebecca. Welcome to my blog. It’s a pleasure to have you here with us.
Would you take a moment and introduce yourself to us?
Thank you for the invitation. I live in Salt Lake City, Utah, where I’ve lived for most of my life. Currently, I’m continuing to write, but expanding to supplement with ghostwriting, book editing and mentoring for other writers. Really, I’m enjoying it quite a bit. The enthusiasm of other writers for their work is catching.
How long have you been writing?
Like many writers, I wanted to write as a child and dabbled at it throughout childhood. In my early 30s I was just beginning a few nervous, self-conscious steps toward a more substantial career in writing, when my brother passed away and I stopped. It was about ten years ago when I again started. The desire just keeps at me, whether I pay attention or not!
Is Non-Fiction the only genre you write of or have you experimented with others?
My first published book was fiction. The Trading of Ken is a contemporary love triangle and was published by Juniper Press in 2006. It was having that happen that encouraged me to plunge into writing, because I wrote it in a fever of “just needing to write.” When The Trading of Ken was coming out, I was astounded by how many people said they wanted to write and be published. So, my second book was Write Your Book! which is about the process of organizing and writing that an adult writer just beginning can use.
Would you mind telling my readers a little more about your book, Blossoms of the Lower Branches?
Well, the reason I put writing aside in my early 30s was because I was so traumatized by my brother taking his own life, that sub-consciously I could not bring myself to do anything that gave me joy. Blossoms of the Lower Branches is the story of that very long process. In the end, I believe I show a template others can use with the hero’s journey to help themselves recover from a traumatic death of a loved one.
How did you come up with the idea for this book?
It took years to recover, really a very long time. It was only about five years ago that I had a sudden insight, an inspiring moment that connected my eventual recovery with the classic hero’s journey that is embedded in myth and ultimately all stories of human challenge. That moment of insight gave me a deep and very unexpected moment of self-understanding and forgiveness that has helped me since. I would like others to feel it as well.
Your book touches on several topics such as unexpected death, the ability to deal with grief, faith, and religion. How difficult was it in compiling the material for the book itself?
There were moments when the research and necessary memories I needed to write about would overwhelm me and I would find myself feeling as though it all happened yesterday. But that, too, can be revealing and healing. For most of the time, though, I was able to compile the stories and material and feel just fine–even with a little hope that the book would help others and give a new view to themselves and their grief.
What sort of research did it entail?
I kept my ears and eyes open constantly trying to pick up stories and ideas around me. I read books about the mythical hero’s journey by Joseph Campbell, Homer, Hans Christian Anderson, C.S. Lewis, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Edit Hamilton, King Arthur and of course, the failed hero’s journey like Hamlet. There’s much to be learned from the stories of failure, because it is so easy to lose oneself in grief. I also use contemporary stories and wisdom from psychiatrists and psychologists who have also suffered such a loss.
How do you find the inspiration to write?
Once I really latch onto an idea and know I want to write about it, I feel compelled to continue. On a day to day basis, there are days I don’t feel like it, but like exercise, if I do it, I feel better.
What has influenced you the most?
It’s difficult to pick out one thing that has influenced me the most, but if I stick to the topic of writing, it would be … well, now I think about, I’ll say two. One, reading the work of great authors because though our styles are different, there is still much to learn from each one. And second, that little forward-pushing, nagging inner feeling I’ve had since childhood and too often ignored at the expense of my own growth.
A lot of authors listen to music while writing. Others have movies playing in the background. I tend to have both. Do you do the same or do you tend to write to having a sense of peace and quiet within the home?
Usually peace and quiet, but the same thing all the time also makes me stale and a good coffee shop, forest, beach, or hotel lobby can be quite inspirational.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Oh dear, I can come across as such a middle-of-the-road person. I do a little of both. I need at least a shadowy dream world of where I want to be, but I feel stifled by a blueprint.
Do you have any upcoming projects of which you’re at liberty to tell our readers about?
Thank you for asking it that way. It is a liberty to the self, isn’t it? Right now I’m working on a couple of shorter pieces, one an essay I hope to made readable that was inspired by my mother’s recent invitation to join her in a next life as a flower gardener in Africa.
Do you have any recommendations for books that you think the blog’s readers may enjoy?
Yes, anything in a genre they have never read before. Even if they hate it, at least they’ll have a reason why.
Do you have any tips, or thoughts, that you would like to offer to the blog’s readers?
I really would like people to become familiar with the classical hero’s journey. It’s a writing and living template first recorded 4,000 years ago and applies to everyone’s lives. It is a tool that can give us insight, strength and patience.
There you have it, Everyone, a lovely interview with the wonderful author, Rebecca Guevara. I appreciate that you’ve given me the opportunity to feature you on my blog and look forward to the release of your newest book. I wish you the best of success with all you do.
Synopsis: A recovered life is more than a griever’s sorrow, it is a hero’s win. This is an invitation to anyone locked in grief’s grip who would like a more aware and positive look of where they have been, where they are, and where they are going.
Grieving parents, children, spouses, siblings and friends would never choose to travel grief’s hero journey. It is a dark walk through a mythical underworld, living in the belly of whale, facing tasks with Odysseus, seeing life’s threads with the Norse Three Fates, and walking through frightening fairy tale forests. It is a deadly serious journey.
Rebecca is a fellow traveler who made many mistakes as she grieved after her brother’s death. Only after many years did she piece together her story and realize its similarity with the hero’s journey. She tells her story, along with the story of many other grievers, who eventually accept, prepare and make the journey before experiencing a thoughtful return to a renewed life. Grief is not easy or pretty, and not everyone succeeds in finding a way through. The hero’s journey has been in the written and oral traditions of cultures across the globe from the beginning of storytelling, and they all say this: Not everyone who begins the journey is a hero. Only those who finish the lonely journey and face its sorrows become heroes.
About The Author:
Rebecca is a fellow traveller who made many mistakes as she grieved afterher brother’s death. Only after many years did she piece together her story and realize its similarity with the hero’s journey. She tells her story, along with the stories of many other griever’s who eventually accept, prepare and make the journey before experiencing a thoughtful return to a renewed life.
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