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Find An Author Friday: Becca Boyd

Becca Boyd is a best-selling, award-winning author of both romantic suspense and historical action-adventure romance. After careers in youth work, musical theater, and non-profits, she writes novels for both adults and young adults as Becca Boyd and R. L. Syme.

Her first novel, His Wounded Heart, was a finalist in the prestigious Genesis Award, the top honor for unpublished writers in the ACFW. Her first Highlander novel, The Outcast Highlander, was an Amazon best-seller, and the first volume of that series is now complete with Lachlan's Revenge. She is a member of Chick Tales--an author co-op that writes contemporary romance in Somewhere, TX.

Becca is a writer of heroes worth loving and villains worth hating. Lover of cheese (#fancycheese) and binge-watching and strawberries and hope. A Tweeter and Pinner of things. She loves to hear from readers via social media.

What did you do before becoming a Romance writer, and how has it impacted your writing?

Before I wrote romance, I was a reader of romance. I think that’s probably the biggest thing that contributed to me loving writing and getting better as a writer. I also have an undergrad degree in Literature and did an MFA in Creative Writing, but it was really the reading that birthed a love of the genre in me. Studying literature isn’t making literature. It does help build critical thinking skills and knowledge of story structure, etc., but reading fosters a love of the genre. Reading great romance makes you love great romance.

How does it feel to have a book on the USA Today bestseller list?

Honestly, it was surreal. We found out the day before Thanksgiving, which was a release day for me for a different book, and I had the chance to do a couple of live Periscope sessions for the party that night and I just kept saying it out loud, like I was going to convince myself somehow that it had really happened.

Tell us about how you found out you were on the list, and what was the first thing you did when you found out?

I actually got a Facebook message from my friend Krystal, who sent me a screenshot of the list. We both had a moment of squealing, but I was in the middle of release day, so I had to go back to the work I was doing, and then it was so surreal after that. My PA called me about something else related to the release and said, “Why aren’t you more excited about this?” And it sort of hit me then. I should be through the roof. I kept thinking, I’ll be excited after the release is over. And now it’s starting to sink in a little more.

How did you make the decision to become a full time writer?

I actually lost my job. I had been writing part-time and had a couple of books out, and I thought… what could I do if I just made writing my full-time job. And it turned out, I could hit the USA Today list.

How do you determine the setting and characters for your stories? Do you write more than one romance genre, and what are they?

This far into my Highlander series, almost all of my characters have been set for me already, because of previous books. And I have the books (the main couples at least) planned out for a whole series. But I do write Highlander romance, and then romantic suspense. And I’m also writing a series of historical Young Adult mysteries.

How do you manage to switch “voices” from historical to contemporary, to YA?

I usually try to only be actively writing one book at a time, which helps. Plus, these characters are like real people to me, so when I’m writing Marcus Edison (contemporary cop from Somewhere, TX), he has a voice that I hear when he’s narrating, and he has motivations and actions, and I write in deep 3rd POV, so it’s almost like writing in first person. That way, I really hear a person’s voice. So when I’m done writing Marcus and I switch to Valcymer Vanhorn (medieval Dutch pirate), Valc has a voice to me, and he has a humor and a way of looking at the world that is different from Marcus. So, when my characters feel alive, it’s much easier to write one and then the other. Still, I do prefer to only write one book at a time. For my own sanity.

Where can we find your current work?

On my website is probably the most central location. http://rlsyme.com But the books are available at all major retailers. R.L. Syme for the historicals and Becca Boyd for the contemporaries.

What would you like to share about upcoming releases?  

I have a new historical series starting up this winter that will be an “origin” story for Somewhere, TX. Or rather, the first of the origin stories, because there will be a few. We had a set of cursed swords in our worldbuilding for STX that have their roots in the Highlands of Scotland, and that’s the book I’ll be releasing in February as part of the Texas on the Rocks boxed set from Chick Tales. Other than that, I’m hoping to start on my second set of the Highland Renegades medieval romance, and we’ll see from there! :)