Interview with Rebecca Reid, author of ‘The Coop’ {Win a Kindle Fire HD!}

Rebecca Reid was withdrawn from school due to illness at fourteen. Being limited in the things she was able to do, she wrote all the time − poetry, stories, feelings, thoughts. At 16 she had her own page in the local weekly newspaper, the Bangor Spectator, in which she covered anything and everything: fashion, beauty, film, teen issues etc. At 17 she became a model, doing catwalk, photographic work, and TV. In 2008 she graduated in English from Queens University, Belfast, and she was awarded an Arts Council writing grant in 2009. Married in 2007, she lives in N. Ireland with her husband and their three daughters. The Coop is her first novel, and part of the Thickets Wood Trilogy.

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Q: Thank you for this interview, Rebecca. Can you tell us what your latest book, The Coop, is all about?

The Coop is a darkly compelling piece of psychological fiction in which I manipulate the unsuspecting reader through both the conscious and subconscious mind. The convoluted intricacies of this story build from its gentle beginnings to enthrall the reader through menacing happenings and strange, disturbing characters. It is not based on the realities of life, but rather on the exploration of the multilayered and complex architecture of the mind. The final chapter delivers a totally unexpected and shocking revelation. The Coop is not what it seems − things are never that simple.

A girl, apparently imprisoned in a room, is the thread of mystery running parallel to the tale of Thatchbury village.

Meet Howard and Lilly. They take you on a journey through Thatchbury where Mathew, the child from the coop, shoots Jodie Tiding, and so unravels the history of his loveless raising, her innocence and the dramatic events leading them to disaster.

Q: Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

It is difficult to say much without giving anything away, but I can say this…….There are really three main characters, one I refer to as ‘the girl in the room’, she greets the reader at the beginning of every chapter and is largely the key to the story. Then there is Howard and Lilly. They demonstrate the pleasantries of life while guiding you through the events of the shooting that takes place within the village, leading you to Mathew, the reclusive outcast and Jodie, the young innocent caught up in an unforeseen disaster.

Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

They are initially born within my imagination but the odd one will grow to have traits that I recognize.

Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?

I absolutely discover as I write. The story grows as the words hit the page. It is alive in the moment it is written and takes me on a journey as it develops. At times this forces me to contrive things a little here and there to make sure it all wraps up as it needs to but more than anything, it is entirely unknown to me.

Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

Not at all. I tend to write with no given period or location. I think it is important for the reader to place it where they are comfortable. I think it makes for a better experience.

Q: Open the book to page 69. What is happening?

Lilly is taking Howard on a barefoot walk through the meadow running along side Thickets Wood. She wants him to loosen up and live a little.

Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts?

That wasn’t the only reason she lay by the door.

The thud of steps was echoing through the gap; they were in the distance. She was panicking, her breathing quick and shallow. She just hoped they’d stop short or pass. Stop or pass. Stop or pass. Stop or pass.


He staggered toward the coop, the weight of the girl bearing him down, pushing his feet deeper into the sticky ground; it was quite a distance. Drey stood over the Cauldwell boy for a moment; he knelt rocking in the dirt, the noise of his grinding the only thing breaking the silence, he wasn’t going anywhere. Drey dropped his hold, picking the shotgun up off the ground before pacing after Howard, now almost at the coop.

Q: Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?

I am lucky enough to say no to that question, not yet.

Q: What would you do with an extra hour today if you could do anything you wanted?

I would lie down by the fire and read a good magazine.

Q: Which already published book do you wish that you had written and why?

Oh, do I have to choose just one? I can’t, it would either be, The Killer Inside Me or The Postman Always Rings Twice, because I adore noir and they are such incredibly gripping stories.

Q: What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors regarding getting their books out there?

When you think you have done enough, there is always more.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Rebecca. We wish you much success!

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