Today I have the great pleasure of interviewing Rebecca Chisam Author of Guardians of the Neighborhood!
Rebecca is a teenage writer from Massachusetts. She loves telling stories, especially about her furry friend Fuzby. In her free time, she enjoys horseback riding and animating. But enough chatting from me let's hear it right from the author!
What is Guardians of the Neighborhood about? and how did you get inspired to write it?
My official description for the book reads as follows:
”Fuzby is one of many stray cats who live in the Neighborhood, but she's far from neighborly. Unfortunately for the creatures around her, that's just how she likes it. Nothing brings this scrappy cat more joy than being number one!
But when a mysterious short cat suddenly appears and threatens her dominance, Fuzby must team up with a young kitten named Charlie and flee from her home. Together they face all sorts of challenges, fish, schools, and even water! But Fuzby soon realizes that her biggest challenge…
…is dealing with herself.”
If I were to sum up the story in a few words though, I would call it a story of healing and second chances. ❤
My inspiration comes from real life cats! Fuzby, Charlie, and a good many other characters are indeed animals that I see every day. 😄
Just as in the novel, Fuzby (though I love her) is a rather cruel feline who finds it enjoyable to beat up other cats. Charlie is indeed a loveable and adventurous cat who used to follow Fuzby around everywhere when he was a kitten. These two are the in the heart of my story… but they are also in the heart of my cat treat supply! 😉
Ooh! that sounds like a wonderful book, it's always good to glean inspiration from the animals (or people) around you. what was one of the hardest things to write about this book?
Yes, I think so too. 😄
I would say the hardest things about this book to write was the slow changes in the characters. Development doesn’t just happen overnight, so I wanted to make sure their actions were progressing at a realistic rate. I’m happy with it out turned out. 😀
I can relate to that. 🙃 On the topic of characters, which came first for you the characters or plot?
The characters came first for me. I started with Fuzby as the base of my story, and then I wondered, “What sort of event would happen that would shake Fuzby’s world up?” It seemed that her losing control of one of the only things she loved, her power, would give her a real shock. The rest of the story started to fall in after that.
how interesting! when you were writing this story what was one of the most helpful things that you did and why?
Oo good question! Hmm, I would say the most helpful thing I did for this story was make a good outline of what would happen in each chapter. In other stories I had written, I had felt a bit lost, like my characters were walking around but not really doing anything. I wanted to make sure each chapter had events in it that moved the story along well.
*nods enthusiastically* outlines are very helpful! I find that sometimes though they put a damper on my creative fire, have you run into this problem? and if so how have you fixed it?
I have felt that way in some stories, yes. I struggle with trying to keep the balance of making sure my story is moving along at a steady rate, but also allowing new ideas to pop up along the way. I’m trying my best in my current WIP to be a “tour guide” to my characters. I’ll take them to each stop, but I also want to let them explore and have fun on their own too.
that is great! before we leave today what is your number one piece of advice to writers?
I would say the best thing you can do is set your timer, sit down, and just keep writing. Don’t let yourself get terribly lost. Find the next thing that needs to happen in your story and write it the best you can! Changes can always be made later, the most important thing is to keep going! 😄
Thank you so much for joining me today it was a pleasure to get to meat you!
I had a nice time talking to you! Thank you and have a great day!