Rebecca Jepson is a homebody who loves a good book, a cup of freshly ground coffee, and all things autumn. In addition to her debut novella, she has been published in Clubhouse Magazine and currently writes sports articles for The Dalles Chronicle. She has traveled extensively, to places that inspire her stories. Her favorite destinations included Russia, New England, and the Alaskan wilderness. She lives in sunny Reno, Nevada with her software engineer husband, Mike.
Visit her online at www.rebeccajepson.com
Savanna: Welcome to the blog, Rebecca. I’m so excited to have you here today. Congratulations on your first publishing contract and novella in The Lassoed by Marriage Romance Collection!
What do you love most about your hero and your heroine in this story?
Rebecca: I like how Henry, formerly a black sheep, steps up and fills his brother’s vacated shoes. He does it with a competence his family didn’t think him capable of. Underneath his prior, couldn’t-care-less exterior, there’s a beating heart, an honesty with himself and others that runs deep. With Katie, I love the way she sticks to her guns. By nature she’s a gentle soul, but there’s a point where she draws the line and won’t be pushed past it. When she reaches that point, I smile—especially when she reaches it with Henry. Sometimes I just want to give her a fist-bump and say, “What a burn!”
Savanna: Haha! Love it. 😉 When did you first start writing A Highbrow Hoodwink and how long did it take you to finish it?
Rebecca: I wrote the first chapter in May of 2014, when my agent (Joyce Hart) sent it to Barbour for consideration. I was offered the contract that August, and started on the rest of the manuscript then. I’m not sure when I finished the actual draft, but I know I sent the polished product off in March of 2015.
Savanna: Can you share with us a little bit of the journey of how you first got connected with your agent?
Rebecca: When I first became serious about writing, I’d read about Joyce and think, “She’d be a dream come true for me.” The clients she represented, the stories they wrote, the soft spot she seemed to have for romance—it all fit perfectly with me and my writing. I wrote a contemporary romance novel and sent proposals to a lot of agents. I targeted less-established agents at first, thinking they might be more likely to work with a newer author. There was some interest, a few requests to see more, but no offers. This went on for months. Then one day, after saying a desperate prayer, telling God I was this close to giving up, I decided to send an email to Joyce. She responded in only three days, asking to see the full manuscript. About a month later, I could hardly believe my eyes when she offered me representation.
Savanna: That is so cool! Who is one of your favorite authors? It’s okay if you want to name more than one. 😉
Rebecca: L.M. Montgomery is my favorite author—I just can’t get enough of Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe! Seriously, my copy of Anne of Green Gables is tattered, dog-eared and underlined to the point where I’d be embarrassed to lend it to anyone. Of the more modern-day storytellers, I would say Liz Curtis Higgs is my favorite. I love her books set in Scotland.
Savanna: If you could go back to any place in time and meet anyone, where would you go and who would it be?
Rebecca: I’m sure everyone says this, but . . . Jesus Christ! No question. Even if I didn’t say a word to Him, or Him to me, I wouldn’t be able to breathe, getting to see His face and hear His voice. My top pick for a place to visit would not, however, be the Middle East, so I’ll add that I’ve always been fascinated by American history, and would love to attend a ball at Mt. Vernon and meet George Washington.
Savanna: I know! Can you imagine how beautiful His voice must be?! 🙂 (I’m not talking about George Washington, fyi!) haha!
Rebecca: I’m working on a historical romance novel set in the 1880s. It revolves around a fisherman’s-daughter-turned-nurse and her entanglement with a wealthy family who used to summer near her childhood home. The tagline is: She faces caring for the expectant wife of the man she never stopped loving—at the request of the man who’d kept them apart.
The only other thing I’d like to add is that I’m grateful to be featured on Savanna’s awesome blog, and want to take this opportunity to encourage anyone who, like myself—and Rapunzel, haha—have “got a dream.” The route to its fulfillment will probably be different than we’d pictured, God’s timing and ways often being different than our own. I have no secret formula for the journey, just . . . cry out to Him, friends! When we’re at a loss, He knows about doors and pathways we never would have imagined. Jeremiah 33:3 says it best—“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things which you do not know.”
Savanna: Thank you for sharing that. God has been reminding me of His perfect timing lately as well. It gives such peace to hold on to. I can’t wait to follow your stories from here, Rebecca. Have a blessed 2016!
Rebecca has graciously offered to give away 1 copy of The Lassoed by Marriage Romance Collection to one lucky winner. Enter below and it could be you!
Thanks for entering! Contest ends January 12, 2016. The winner will be notified by email. Happy Reading, everybody!