Embracing Love in the New Year:
Bestselling author Rebecca Serle discusses her writing journey and her new book Expiration Dates, a gripping tale of what it means to find true love, in a recent Author Talks event sponsored by the Bellingham Library.
A Heartfelt Conversation with Bestselling Author Rebecca Serle
By Jennifer Russo
In partnership with the Library Speakers Consortium (LSC), the Bellingham Library brings a new program to the community with a series of live, virtual conversations with notable writers and thought leaders called Author Talks. Recently, patrons participated in an engaging webinar with New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Serle, who has released eight novels to date, several of which have been adapted for television and film. With list-topping titles like The Dinner List and In Five Years (which sold more than a million copies), she has captured the hearts of readers worldwide. Her newest work, Expiration Dates, is due to be released in March.
The conversation began with Rebecca discussing what inspired her to become a writer.
“For me, being a writer is who I am…part of my DNA. From a very young age I was always writing. In seventh grade I remember reading Wuthering Heights, and I couldn’t believe that someone could organize words on a page to make people feel something. I thought that was an interesting way to spend your life. So, I entered writing competitions and local poetry workshops, and then studied English and Creative Writing in college and sold my first book When You Were Mine around 13 years ago. I am so lucky that this worked out for me, I really love doing it.”
The publishing of her first novel came about after she took an Editor’s Assistant job with a literary agency in New York. At the time of that role, she was also working on getting her master’s degree in creative writing.
“The best piece of advice I got while I was getting my Master’s was ‘Finish the degree with a book’ and that is what I did. I had drafted a book called The Space Between that will never see the light of day, but I was in New York, which was a real publishing hub at that time and there were a lot of wonderful opportunities there. Two years later, I submitted my first book to an agent I knew from the agency I had worked at, and she liked it,” shares Serle.
In discussing her writing process, Rebecca shares that she usually starts with an idea and thinks about the ins and outs of why that concept would be interesting to readers.
“So far, all of my books to this point have included a twist which is what becomes is that “why” of the book for me. Once I figure out what that twist is, the book comes together pretty quickly. The thinking process for me is quite long and the writing process is quite short,” says Rebecca.
And writing is not something that Rebecca does all of the time, which may sound unusual to some.
“It was one of the biggest things I needed to get comfortable with,” shares Rebecca. “I have many months out of the year where I am editing or working on screenplay versions, and I needed to learn to trust that I would come back to my writing when it was time. And that process is changing as my own life changes. I feel that writing and I have this nice symbiotic relationship now – I trust my writing and it trusts me. It’s like we have made an agreement not to abandon each other.”
When it comes to love, Rebecca shares that she spent a long time being single and looking for the right person to share her life with before recently getting married. Her upcoming book, Expiration Dates, touches on some of her own thoughts while on that journey. What it means to be single and what it means to find love.
“When I sat down to write the book, I sent a note to my editor and said that I really wanted to write about the search for love and that I felt if I wrote it honestly and told the truth about the story, that it was the last thing I needed to do before I found my own. I met my husband three months later,” Rebecca tells the group.
Now that her first novel with the theme of romantic love is coming out, Rebecca answers the question about what she wants readers to know about finding love.
“Be present and trust the timing in your life. See the beauty in the moment you are currently living and understand that what is meant for us is coming. I know it might be easier said than done, but I really think it is the best way to strive to live.”
To learn more about Rebecca, visit her website at RebeccaSerle.com and for more information on upcoming Author Talks events, go to https://libraryc.org/bellinghamma/upcoming.