Ask the Author: Rebekah Phillips
What would you like readers to know about you?
My love for creating stories (both written and illustrated) began by hearing books read aloud. I’m fortunate enough to have a mother who took the time to read to me, bringing the characters and images alive through emotive storytelling. Listening to stories told in this way allowed my young imagination to soar, and gave me the desire to create my own stories. It was her love of books that ignited my love of books—and has shaped my world ever since. With all the advancements in technology, I believe that there’s nothing that can replace the quality time of reading a book to a child.
What is your book about for those who haven’t read it?
My newest series, Farlee and Friends, focuses on the meaning of true friendship. In the series, readers will meet a group of very uniquely different characters who all have preconceived notions about one another. They end up forming an incredible bond—realizing their differences are their strengths. The series consists of five books, all of which focus on the Farlee and Friends Friendship Pledge:
- Friends love at all times.
- Friends help each other be the best that they can be.
- Friends have the courage to stand up for what’s right.
- Friends accept you for you.
- Friends have fun!
Two books are currently available in the series: The Friendship Promise and The Grand Cheese Giveaway. The remaining three books will be released in 2020. Once all five books have been published, the friendship pledge will be complete!
The Friendship Promise – Book 1
Seeing a mouse might not seem unusual, but in the town of Debonshire, it’s unheard of! Legend has it that when mice first appeared many years ago, every last one was chased out by the dogs who feared the tiny creatures. So, imagine Farlee the Airedale terrier’s surprise when a fall from his bike lands him face to face with a mouse named Cornelius. What develops is a tale about finding friendship in unexpected places.
The Grand Cheese Giveaway – Book 2
Farlee, an Airedale terrier, and Cornelius, a tiny, orphaned field mouse, are becoming the best of friends after meeting unexpectedly. Cornelius, who spent most of his life alone in the forest, is enjoying all the comforts of a proper home beneath the stairs at Farlee’s house. There is just one problem: Farlee’s mom is terrified of mice—and she nearly spotted Cornelius during one of his late-night visits to the kitchen! After Cornelius decides to lock himself away in the safety of his mouse house, Farlee begins to miss his new friend, and devises a plan to tempt him out with a delicious cheese sandwich. One sandwich leads to many more—and to unforeseen adventures with some very fancy new friends!
What has been your inspiration for writing it?
The happiest memories of my life were the carefree summers spent with my friends growing up. Before technology was so mainstream, we spent our days riding our bikes, building forts, and going on fantastic make-believe adventures. Nothing seemed impossible for us in the “land of pretend.” I wanted this series to reflect the true meaning of friendship, and how sometimes the greatest friendships are the ones that grow slowly over time—if we can just give each other a chance.
What was your favorite scene or part of your book to write?
I really enjoyed exploring the different personalities of the characters. I’d have to say my favorite character (when it comes to writing dialogue) is Haddie Cat; she is headstrong, sassy, and full of surprises!
What books or authors inspired you to become a writer?
I love the poetry of Shel Silverstein, the quirky characters of Roald Dahl, and books that invite you to live inside the pages like My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. For artwork inspiration, I was inspired by Graeme Base and John Howe—anything that had a realistic, detailed look.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors who want to write a book?
I would map out your ideas and just start writing! Get it down on paper. You will make hundreds of changes as you go, so the freedom to write without the pressure of it being perfect is so important! If you wait too long to get started, sometimes your initial vision can get fuzzy.