Episode 13 – Becca Wicks – The Heathen King

Overview

Becca is a mother with 2 teenage sons and drives a truck as her day job. She’s also a musician along with being a writer.

She started writing in he rteens and has recently written several books including her The Heathen King in her Chronicles of Chaos series.

Website

You can find her website: https://www.beccawicks.com

Book

You can find her books at:  https://books2read.com/beccawicks

Favorites

Her favorite books are:

Her favorite authors are George RR Martin, Tolkien, and Oscar Wilde.

YouTube

Transcript

Stephen 0:52
Hello, and welcome to a great new episode of discovered wordsmith. Today, I’ve got Becca wicks. She is a mother with two teenage sons. She also likes to play guitar and is creative with music along with her writing. And recently, she’s worked on a series called The Chronicles of chaos. And her first book, the heathen King just recently came out. So sit back, listen, find this new author to discover in the fantasy genre. And if you like the podcast, it would be great if you could go leave a review, it would help other authors and other readers discover these authors. And if you think Becker’s book sounds great, go check her out. she’d love to see some clicks, and some people with her book, so please, enjoy. Alright, well, Becca, welcome. Thank you. I appreciate you taking some time to talk with me today on the podcast. I hope you’re having a great day so far. Looks like a good weekend coming up. Yeah. It’s great to be here. Thank you. So tell us a little bit about yourself outside of writing what you like to do a little bit about who you are.

Becca 2:01
Awesome. Okay, well, um, believe it or not. Besides writing, I work full time. I’m a truck driver. So I mean, not anything crazy. I don’t drive like this monster Big Rig or anything. But I actually drive kind of like a enlarged version of a tow truck. So I just transport vehicles all over the state of Oklahoma. It’s it’s actually really fun. People always look at me crazy. Um, other than that, I am a mom. I’ve got two teenage boys, which is extremely as scary as it sounds. I’m married, I have pets that I take care of. Other than all the domestic type things. I love music. I always did when I was younger, I played guitar, I play drums I sing. And it’s not something that I do a whole lot anymore. Just, you know, time constraints and whatnot. I would love to start playing again. But

Stephen 2:58
that’s funny, because I was going to ask that, because I’ve been finding a lot of authors also play some sort of musical instrument seems like creativity needs to come out in multiple ways.

Becca 3:09
Oh, yeah, definitely. I mean, like I said, I have guitar that it basically hangs on my wall in my living room. And it looks more like a decoration piece. And it does anything, which is really sad, because I got it a couple years ago, and I played it a lot at first, and then I just got busy with life and work and everything else. And my husband asked me not too long ago, he was just like, Why do you still have that if you’re never gonna play? Maybe one day?

Stephen 3:40
Yeah, it’s very difficult to get rid of instruments. I play bass, and I pulled out my five string. And I kept getting all messed up because I wasn’t used to the five strings. I wasn’t used to four strings anymore, let alone five.

Becca 3:52
Oh, wow. I can’t even imagine. Well, when I was younger, I played bass. So now it’s my electric guitar that I have. I was like, I’ve got to re learn all everything all over again. So at first I was like downloading apps and stuff like that to kind of just relearn where all the notes were. Were and then it just kind of went out the window. And I’m like, one day, maybe? I don’t know. We’ll see what happens.

Stephen 4:23
Right, but you just can’t get rid of it. Yeah, I feel the same way.

Becca 4:26
Oh, I can never get rid of instruments. I mean, my parents still have my band instruments from when I was in high school. I graduated in 2000. If that tells you how old I am.

Stephen 4:37
Well, my four string bass is the bass. I bought my senior year of high school and that was 89. There you go. That’s pretty cool, though that you still have it. And that worked well. Yes. And it’s amazing how well it stays in tune. Even through the years. Yeah, so Okay, so you’re on A truck driver, and you’ve got a family and all that. Why did you decide you wanted to do some writing?

Becca 5:07
I’ve, you know, I started writing when I was 1415 years old. And high school I was kind of this angsty, depressed teenager, ordeal like most are. And I started writing poetry a lot. And actually, I was songwriting and music writing a lot in high school as well. But I’ve always had this like crazy active imagination. And it wasn’t till probably my mid 20s that I had this really wicked crazy dream one night, and I woke up and I was like, that would be the coolest horror novel novel ever. And so that’s kind of where book writing started, even though, you know, the novel is self published, but it’s quite terrible, because I didn’t know what I was doing. But now I’m just the type of person that I can always sit down and watch like, a movie or a TV show. And then my brain just starts trailing off until its own little imaginary world of how I could write something like that. Pretty crazy.

Stephen 6:13
Okay, so like a lot of authors, you have, again, this creativity, you needed to get out. The Book of yours that I found was the heathen King. Tell us a little bit about that, what it’s about and what made you want to write it.

Becca 6:28
And the Haven King it is actually book one in a trilogy that’s gone. It’s called The Chronicles of chaos. And this book is basically about it’s a it’s a fantasy fiction set and kind of like a medieval era. It’s not necessarily based in a real world type of location. But it’s, it’s about a prince named Sebastian. And he learns in the story that he is. What do we call descended from ancient gods. So he is the demigod chaos, which in the story is the god of fire and destruction. He’s very angsty, a little sinister has terrible self esteem. He’s a loner, he’s got 12 siblings. And it’s, it’s just this crazy, wild adventure. The biggest twist, I think, in this medieval story is that this is Sebastian’s gay. So that’s not something that you see in a lot of stories set in that timeframe. And so that causes a lot of a big Rift, I guess, like in his family and his lovers family. And so Sebastian’s father gets really, really ill. And he passes on the crown of the throne to Sebastian rather than smash his older brother. And then older brother goes crazy. He gets just mad with hatred, jealousy tries to kill like his whole family. And then Sebastian has to he basically gets outcasted by his brother, and he has to go and learn about his powers and about, you know, how to stop being kind of just selfish and stuck in his own head, and how to come back and save his family save his kingdom. The story kind of was developed, I watched Game of Thrones for the first time, about two years ago, I watched the entire, how many seasons are eight?

Stephen 8:40
Yeah, I think so.

Becca 8:42
And I really fell in love with the story after about like season two. And so the story kind of like branched off from that minus the dragons. And I know, I was actually asking me advice the other day for my 16 year old on some of like, the magic parts that I can put into my story, you know, because he does have these powers. And we were talking, I was like, I want this idea, this idea, this idea of minus dragons. And he was like, so you mean to tell me there’s no dragons? And I’m like, Yes, there’s no dragons. But yeah, it was kind of just like, I always love Lord of the Rings. I always loved Harry Potter. And I always and you know, I fell in love with Game of Thrones. And I’ve always loved like, the old movies like Robin Hood and King Arthur and all that. And, yeah, that was just something I always wanted to write a story about. I just never knew exactly how to make it a little different than everything else that’s on the market. And so that’s kind of where this started out. And book one. I finished it just a couple of months ago, actually. So I’m now working on book two. Okay,

Stephen 9:55
I was going to ask, Do you have plans for a book two, and then maybe a book Three are what’s your plans for the whole series,

Becca 10:03
I plan to make three total. Book Two, I am about probably a quarter of the way into the writing Book Two starts out where book one left off. And it’s kind of this entire different storyline. It’s not based in the same country. It’s not this, I mean, the main characters the same, there’s a few of the characters from story one in there. But there’s a lot of brand new characters, there’s a lot of character development. So it’s a lot it’s going to be a lot darker, a lot more. I guess chaotic. So people know dragons, do it. Still no dragons. No, you know, I, I don’t think dragons are gonna come out in the story, unfortunately. And I love dragons. But I just thought I would stay away from it.

Stephen 10:58
And I must say, I really love the cover. Because it’s very attractive. It’s has some almost Japanese anime tone to it, maybe some of the old Japanese paintings to it. So it’s very intriguing cover that you’ve got the flowing of his sash around his waist or whatever coming. And I just thought the cover looked really intriguing. Is that your main character then on the cover?

Becca 11:25
Yes. Yeah, now I actually have changed, I changed the cover probably five times. And I was just trying to find like that kind of a, a similarity to that would reflect kind of his appearance. He’s just kind of, you know, dark, he’s got, you know, black hair, he part of his powers that he can produce fire. So you know, the fire coming from his hands was important. The red eyes were important. But I never I never intended on it to be like, you know, kind of anime looking. But whenever it came together, I was just like, holy crap. That’s it.

Stephen 12:06
Yeah, it’s nice.

Becca 12:08
I really fell in love with it. So I was like, I’m never touching it again. Because if I do, it’s gonna change again. And it’s to be happy with it. And it’s funny, because like asking advice, you know, for my 16 year old about magic and the ways to portray magic and battle. He referred me to animate. So we sat down and watched a ton of anime the other day. So he’s like, here’s the best way to get ideas on how to use like fire and lightning powers and stuff. So I was like, Oh, well, I guess this to actually come together a little bit more than I originally expected it.

Stephen 12:48
Right. So So what did you watch with them?

Becca 12:51
Oh, we watch some seven deadly sins. Oh, Lord, what? I’m trying to think of what the other ones were. I think Naruto, and I can’t do the other one. But yeah, no, it was it was interesting. And, you know, it’s a little different watching anime than trying to like write a medieval book, but just kind of the techniques that they use and how they you know, conjure it kind of really helped out because after the end of every episode, he’s like, do you have ideas yet? For me watching anime with him, like it’s all in Japanese. So I was kind of laughing the whole time. So, right, yeah,

Stephen 13:33
my all my kids are into anime and various shows that I keep hearing different shows tossed around. But they they watch things totally different than we do. You know, I used to watch Saturday morning cartoons watch an episode, a week type thing, but they’re like, Oh, look, all seven seasons. I’m gonna watch it this weekend. And that’s like, they consume it completely different. And they they treat them differently. They get, you know, oh, look, here’s the 500th anime that I really, really love. And there’s so many of them out there. So it’s, it’s hard for me to keep up but I do have a few. I like watching my wife watches a couple also with the kids. So other than this series, what are some other future writing plans? Or have you thought that far ahead?

Becca 14:22
I you know, I’ve kind of thought about it here and there. I thought about writing. You know, granted, this is gonna probably be a few years out but more of a modern day dystopian type story I like I like writing fantasy. I like writing sci fi. So I’d like I don’t know anything about what the story would be about. But I would love to write like a sci fi dystopian, maybe modern day edging into the future kind of book. I just don’t know yet. We’ll see what

Stephen 14:54
that sounds interesting. So when you’re working on these next books, Is there anything you learned from writing your first book, or your first couple books that you would do differently if you went back or that you are going to do different with these next books?

Becca 15:09
Oh, yeah, I mean, the very first novel I ever wrote that horror novel. I wrote it, I think six years ago. And I really never researched anything. I never really understood anything about editing and whatnot back then. And so after writing the heathen King, I mean, I, I’ve probably spent, oh, let’s see the month of May in June, going back through it over and over and over and over again, editing and editing and editing and rewriting parts of it. And so, learning, learning how frustrating all of that has been how stressful and time consuming. That’s been, once I get through the next book, book two, which is going to be called the witch King. I’ll be more mentally prepared on how to properly be, you know, ready to publish, I won’t be so anxious and eager just to throw it on the market like I was with the first one. But even my last books that I’ve written in the past, between the horror novel saving anna and i also wrote a self help book about drug addiction recovery, called a sober girls Guide to the Galaxy. I’m between writing those. And this first one, I think I’m a lot more mentally prepared on how to go about properly publishing, self publishing, or traditional whatever happens. And, you know, not being so eager to get on the market not doing anything until it’s 100%. Ready.

Stephen 16:52
Gotcha. So to accomplish that, when you’re writing, are you a big outliner? You spend a lot of time in detail the outline? Or do you like to sit down and just start writing straight through? Or do you write scenes? What is your, I guess, procedure on how you handle writing?

Becca 17:09
I mean, I am very, I just sit down and just start writing and writing and writing. And usually after I write a chapter, I’ll go back and reread over it. And, you know, obviously, I’ll find parts of it that I’ll chop out and say, oh, okay, this just sounds like I’m rambling on and on and on and on. And but now I like to write out everything that comes to mind at one time. And then I don’t you know, as I you know, I spend a lot of my day driving around, obviously, in a truck. So that gives me a lot of time to kind of plan it out in my head plan scenes out in my head. So that way, when I get home, I can jot down anything that I can remember. And but I mean, it works good for me may not work well for others, but it works. It works. It’s best for me because I can spill everything out of my head at once.

Stephen 18:03
Got it when you’re driving around throughout the day, do you ever dictate like record yourself record part of the story and then turn that into typed up words later?

Becca 18:13
I don’t I mean, we’re, since we are do t regulated, you know, we’re not allowed to have our personal like devices like phones or anything that honest. So a lot of it is just remembering. And I have a terrible memory. But for some reason, when it comes to my writing, I can tend to remember a pretty good amount of, of what i what i thought up. And a lot of times, it’s just like, trying to find the hard parts to write about, like scenes, or just kind of like the background stories. Because I mean, I can write the scenes as I go like dialog and stuff as I go because it’ll just pop in my head, but just all the extra and filler is it takes a lot extra.

Stephen 19:03
Right. So when you do get home, what software are you using to write?

Becca 19:08
Mostly, I just use Microsoft Office, Microsoft Word. It just it it has all the tools and like some editing and, um, yeah, I tend to type really quickly so it fixes everything that I screw up. But as far as like editing, I actually discovered some new software from somebody I was speaking about on Twitter the other day called auto crit. And I’ve never heard of it before, but I ended up using it a couple of weeks ago and I was really impressed by it, about how how it really triggers every little detail of your book. So I’ve been using that a lot lately for editing and it basically tells you if you’re overusing more And I realized that I was overusing the word then. Yeah. 8000 was like, Oh my gosh, I say them way too much.

Stephen 20:12
Yeah, I found a few words that I overuse quite a bit.

Becca 20:18
Yeah, I was like, Man, I’ve. So now that now that I know that I’ve been sitting with the next book, and I’m writing and I go to write like, comma, then and I’m like, nope.

Stephen 20:28
Right. And that’s what a lot of the software they’re good for. And I’ve been hearing a lot more lately, people using those to get their manuscript into shape, as much as possible before sending to an editor. So the editor is not spending as much time and maybe not charging as much. So these automated software’s are starting to help. And I’ve been trying to work with kids a bit. And I talk about those, but I caution them not to blindly use the software and then just accept all the changes, because sometimes it’s really not the best for what you’re writing. Do you find that you’re learning from using those as much as you are getting things corrected?

Becca 21:14
Oh, yeah, I’m definitely learning because it’s, it’s changing a lot of the way I the way I think, or the way I speak. And so the first thing that popped out to me on it, the first time I used it, it says my sentences alone, were way too long. And so I go back and reread some of the sentences and I’m like, Yeah, one sentence could be a paragraph. So it’s definitely taught me a lot about just how to properly polish up a good manuscript and make it look clean instead. Now the only thing I if I find the software that can’t, sometimes I’ll be writing, and I’ll write the word, if instead of is or something like that, like, man, if I can find something that can fix all of those little mistakes, we’d be in heaven.

Stephen 22:05
Right. And I know that Joanna pen has been talking a lot about AI. So I’m wondering, wondering if we’re going to be able to get some of this software that not only can find all the mistakes, but also learn your personal style, and figure out sometimes what you meant to say, or suggestions, like, you know, you’ve said this like this before, I wonder if we’re gonna reach a point like that, where it’s really knowing us personally.

Becca 22:36
That would, that would be incredible. And, you know, I don’t I don’t doubt if there’s not somebody out there that’s working on it. But, and I think a lot, I think a lot of that would benefit from not just from somebody typing it onto the computer, but maybe like, verbally, you know, verbally speaking it and it writing it down. So it kind of understands our tone, as well as just our writing style alone. But yeah, that would be a miracle. Because it’s like, every time I go back and reread through, like a couple, a couple of chapters, I’ll see just one little error and and always just like one or two like words that are out of context. Or I put, you know, his instead of this, because I missed the team thing. And that’s like, oh my gosh. Like, how many times can I reread the story?

Stephen 23:33
Right, and you miss things? It’s always good to try and get somebody even if it’s automated sometimes.

Becca 23:39
Oh, I know, when everybody’s always like, get somebody else’s eyes on it. Because your eyes are tricking you. And I’m like, I know, I know. But I’m so stubborn. I’m one of those people that I’m like, I want it to be perfect before anybody else sees it. Right?

Stephen 23:55
Yeah. And I think sometimes that can kill us because we don’t realize how good it can be as it is now. It’s It’s something I’ve heard a lot of people once they’ve published them, they come back with Well, I should have done that sooner.

Becca 24:12
Oh, yeah. All the time. I mean, I I jumped the gun when I published the the heathen King the first time around, because I actually put it out on the market back in April. And then I went back and just for No, no good reason. I just went back and re read it. And I was like, Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, wait, we got to take that off sale, off sale off sale. Like, I cannot believe that. I’ve missed all of these little things here in there. So I spent a couple of weeks fixing it. And it’s funny because I happened to glance over something. Like just one chapter of it yesterday. And I found I found a word that was like I said earlier it was supposed to be I think it was supposed to be four, but the word was F. And I was like, Oh, I was like, I can’t do any more. Right.

Stephen 25:09
I just had a book two of the series I’m working on right now. And I’ve had a couple beta readers go through it. And then I had a developmental editor go through it. And she suggested some changes. I was making those. And I discovered a huge error in the whole book, where the two main characters were visiting a town. And they asked where the head guy was. And you know, they get directed to the head guy. And I’m like, Wait a second. The head guy is the father of one of these kids. Kids grew up in this town, he wouldn’t be asking, and nobody caught that. Oh.

Becca 25:47
Now, I did the same thing. I had a I had a lady that Read, read through my book. And she came back and told me she was like, I really enjoyed it. She’s like, but there was just one thing that just kept hitting me through the whole story. And it’s about Sebastian’s father passing away. And she was like, it was a very sudden, mysterious illness. She goes, I kept waiting and kept waiting for you to elaborate on that on what it actually was that killed him. She’s like, but you never did. And I was like, I did it. It’s like, oh, oh, so I need to go out of that. Because I thought, you know, for me, it’s in my head. So I’m thinking I put that down. I know I did.

Stephen 26:27
Right. And I think sometimes if you’re writing over weeks and months, you forget what’s in there, what’s in your head, what you’ve changed, and sometimes escapes you, and you don’t realize it?

Becca 26:40
Oh, no, not at all. I mean, I, before I sit down and start writing, I always go back to like the beginning of the last chapter I’ve worked on, and just reread through that just so I kind of remember, okay, this is where I’m at right now.

Stephen 26:55
Right? So, shift gears just a little bit. What authors or books have inspired you? Or what are some of your favorite authors and books,

Becca 27:06
I will start I mean, obviously, you know, it’s going to be the same as my my movie interest I love, you know, the Game of Thrones books. I love the Lord of the Rings books. I knew when I actually started reading that I’m really, really enjoying quite a bit, and I haven’t read through all of them yet is the Shadow and Bone books. And they actually have a Netflix show that’s coming out eventually. I don’t know because of Corona. But I started reading it. I’ve read through book one, I’ve read parts part of Book Two, and I’m really enjoying the story about I mean, it’s very, it’s also really different than a lot of the fantasy fictions. And so that’s, that’s something that I’m liking a lot. But I’ve always loved Tolkien and JK Rowling. And those are always, you know, good. Go to books.

Stephen 27:57
Yes. And I agree with those. I also had a favorite fantasy series dragon Lance, when I was growing up that I loved. Oh, yeah. Though. I’ve read them now IRL, in more recent years. And I’m like, Huh, this isn’t quite as good as I remember.

Becca 28:14
Yeah, I know, I, when I remember when I was in high school, we always had to do book reports. And everybody always fought over the Hobbit. So it was never available, there was only one copy in the whole library. So it was never available. And I remember a friend of mine, and I can’t think of the name of the books, you know, for the life of me. But she was like, read these. They’re amazing. And I remember reading them and going, Wow, this is amazing. But thinking of the story, kind of in the back of my head now. I’m like, that was kind of cheesy.

Stephen 28:45
That seems to happen. Alright, well, Becca, do you have any last advice for new authors to get to where you’re at?

Becca 28:56
Alright, a lot of a lot of the best advice is, you know, don’t, don’t rush into things, make sure you do your research. Do do all of the best amount of homework you can possibly do before you write because I mean, you’re always going to have errors, you’re always going to find things that need to be revised and fixed. But I mean, the best thing to do is just to make sure that you know exactly what you’re talking about, and hire a pub or hire an editor. yourself. You’re just gonna get frustrated.

Stephen 29:34
Yeah, I agree. Okay, well, it’s been great talking to you. Tell us where we can find the name of your books again and where we can find you online.

Becca 29:43
Awesome. Well, the trilogy is called The Chronicles of chaos. Book One is called the heathen King. It is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and paperback and ebook. It’s also available on Google Play. Apple, it’s all over multiple ebook platforms. I have a website. You can find a couple of links to my books there. It’s www dot becco wix.com. I’m also on Twitter and it’s Becca underscore Wix. If you want to find me there, and I’m on Instagram, Becca Wix underscore books, you can find links to all of my published works on my website as well as clear including my old books as well.

Stephen 30:32
Great. Well, Becca, it was wonderful to talk to you. And I hope maybe we can catch up again on the podcast sometime. See how things are going for you. Definitely. It was great talking to you too. I thank you so much.

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