Lexa Wright’s Dating Sights by Rebeccah Giltrow

Welcome to Author Rebeccah Giltrow

Rebeccah is a writer by trade, with skills of varying degrees in knitting, baking, EFL teaching, performing, photography, dog-walking, sleeping, painting, and procrastinating. She always carries a red pen with her, in order to correct punctuation, spelling, and grammatical errors that she finds on her travels.

Rebeccah has been a writer since she can remember, but after graduation from University of Essex in 2005 with B.A. (hons) English Language & Literature, and again in 2008 with M.A. Literature: Creative Writing, she decided to take the craft more seriously.

As well as writing, she regularly performs at the ‘New Words, Fresh Voices’ open mic night at The Seagull Theatre in Lowestoft, where she reads her poetry and short stories.

Rebeccah is an active member of Lowestoft Library Book Group and Lowestoft Library Writing Group. She has been attending these groups since 2009, and in September 2012 she set up a writing group for teen writers (aged between 11 and 17) at Lowestoft Library.

Rebeccah has recently taken up blogging, mainly about anything to do with the literary world. She interviews published and unpublished authors, and leaders of writing groups. These interviews can be found on her blog.

When she’s not writing, Rebeccah enjoys producing visual art, and occasionally takes photos, paints pictures, and makes collages. Her work has been shown at The Halesworth Gallery, The Ferini Gallery, and Lowestoft Arts Centre.

Interview
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
If you’ve ever wondered whether or not people can fall in love in real life like they do in films, you’ll find your answer inLexa Wright’s Dating Sights.

What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?
I absolutely loved Flossie Teacake’s Fur Coat by Hunter Davies.  Many a time I wished I could put on a coat and transform into someone else.  I guess writing is the next best thing; I can be whoever I want to be through the words on the page.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
I didn’t have any fantastic dreams of becoming an astronaut or Prime Minister when I was little.  All I wanted to be was a teacher.  I had an amazing teacher when I was at primary school called Mrs. Williamson.  She came to our school after teaching English in France, and I thought that sounded like the best job in the world.  I am a CELTA qualified teacher, and spent a few years teaching English as a foreign language, so I guess my dream did come true.  
Now, I’m not so sure that I want to grow up!

Favorite Food?
Sushi.  I could eat maki and sashimi and nigiri until I exploded, as long as the fish was dead and there weren’t any eyes still attached!
You have won one million dollars what is the first thing that you would buy?
Being English, I hope I’d get a million pounds.  And then I would buy every pair of Converse Chuck Taylors that I could find.  I absolutely love those shoes, and I desperately need to add to my collection!

If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?

Rebeccah, what’s going on in there?

What’s your favorite season/weather?
I love winter, but proper winter with the frost and the snow.  I love wrapping up in hats and scarves and wellies to take my dog for a walk, and hearing the crunch of fresh snow underfoot.  And then I love getting home, climbing inside a giant, snuggly jumper, and eating soup.
Favorite quote from a movie?
This comes from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
Guy of Gisborne: Why a spoon, cousin? Why not an axe?
Sheriff of Nottingham: Because it’s dull, you twit. It’ll hurt more!
This line always manages to make me laugh!

Do you prefer to write in silence or with music?

I always have to write with music on.  I don’t have a certain genre or artiste that I prefer to listen to when I write.  I just put Winamp on shuffle and slip into ‘the zone’.  I can’t work in silence.  I find it too distracting! 

How do you go about revising/editing?
I print out a copy of my manuscript and attack it with a red pen, sorting out typos, adding dialogue, changing vocabulary, etc.  Then I make the changes on the computer.  Once I’m happy with that, I print out the manuscript again and give that, along with a red pen, to my parents.  Dad checks for spelling, grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, and Mum checks for plot holes and inconsistencies.  I repeat this process at least two times, and then I leave it for a while before red penning again.  Editing a manuscript should take more time than to write it.

What’s your favorite word?
Can I have two?  Juxtapose and Procrastinate.
How do you overcome writer’s block?
I write about it.  I have a number of poems and monologue rants about my struggles with the dreaded block.  If nothing else, it gets me writing.

Write a Haiku about your book
Lexa wants a man
The artist or gym owner
Which one will she choose?
Print or Ebook?
Print.  A book is supposed to be made of paper.  Part of the pleasure of reading is the turning of the page.  I know it’s not particularly environmentally friendly, but you can’t read a book if you’re not actually holding a book.

Cats or Dog?
Dogs.  We’ve always had family dogs, and four years ago I got my own dog, Lily; a Jack Russel cross Lhasa Apso.  She’s always a source of amusement, and she’s inspired me to write dog characters into my stories.

Ten tunes you have on your (Music) Ipod, etc..
‘Wicked and Weird’ by Buck 65
‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ by Gotye
‘Play Some Ska’ by Random Hand
‘Walkin’ On The Sun’ by Smashmouth
‘Southern Belles In London Sing’ by The Faint
‘Radio Ladio’ by Metronomy
‘We Get Around’ by Urthboy
‘Until The Sunlight Comes’ by Sonic Boom Six
‘Ask And It Is Given’ by Mouthwash
‘Heart It Races’ by Architecture In Helsinki

Lexa Wright’s Dating Sights

Alexana (Lexa) Wright is 30 years old, unemployed, single, and lives in her deceased, paternal grandmother’s bungalow, with her shi-tzu, Beryl. She is a self-confessed procrastinator and that isn’t a particularly positive trait to possess, especially when she is trying to write her first novel, which she intends to be a semi-fictional account of her own life. Unhappily single, Lexa hopes to eventually meet the man of her dreams by chance, like people do in films. Because of this, she has ignored her best friend Louise’s suggestions to join the online dating site, MatesDates. One day, Lexa turns on her computer to start writing her novel, but procrastination takes over and she spring cleans her e-mail inbox instead. She opens an e-mail from Louise, inviting her to try the dating site. Curious, Lexa joins and starts to fill in her profile. After a bad date, Louise visits Lexa and stays the night. Unable to sleep, Louise finishes Lexa’s MatesDates profile, unbeknownst to her friend, and sends out messages to men on her behalf. Lexa chats to one of these men online, Gregory, and arranges to meet him for a date. With her parents, Karen and Tom, dogsitting Beryl, Lexa meets Gregory at a local pub, with Louise and her colleague, Safa, sitting nearby for moral support. Cutting the date short to help his sister out of trouble, Gregory arranges another date with Lexa. The next day, Lexa collects Beryl from her parents’ house and takes her for a walk through the park on the way home. Beryl runs off, pulling her extending lead to its full length and tangles it around a man’s legs. Lexa offers to buy the man a coffee as an apology. The man introduces himself as William and asks her out on a date, and Lexa accepts. Lexa, not used to dating one man, has no idea what to do with two, but as everything seems casual, she continues to date both of them. Unable to choose between the two, she carries on seeing them both. She knows she has to choose one of them, but she can’t make her mind up between them.

Excerpt

The clock on the wall in my study isn’t working.  It’s not that it’s broken; it just needs a new battery but I can’t be bothered to change it.  I’ll do it later.  According to this clock it’s nearly ten past eleven.  I watch the motionless hands as I start up my computer.  The familiar dah-dah-dah-dah tune belts out of my speakers.  I sing along.  The screen flickers and wakes up.  A drowsy eye opens to reveal a full screen desktop background of a photo montage of Beryl, my shih-tzu, at various stages throughout her three human year, twenty-one dog year, life.  The real life Beryl pads her way across the carpet and jumps onto the armchair by the window.  She pushes the cushion off with a shove of a paw and makes herself comfortable.  She knows she’s going to be there a while.  She scratches and claws at the material before pulling the hand-knitted throw from the head rest and wrapping it around her freshly coiffured body.  She stretches, yawns and falls asleep.

I turn back to my computer.  I open the document that I started yesterday, imaginatively entitled book.  It is here that I will write my masterpiece.  It’s going to be a semi-fictional account of my life.  I haven’t done many exciting things in my thirty human year, two-hundred-and-ten dog year life, but I’ve always been told to write what I know, and what do I know better than my own life?  A little bit of exaggeration here and there won’t hurt.  I mean, that’s what autobiographies are anyway, right?  I’ll just omit all the school bullying, adult heartbreak, and general death, destruction and decay, and replace it with, well, something nicer.

The page is blank.  The erect, black curser winks at me, flirtatiously.  ‘Come on, write something, make me … dirty,’ it says.  It licks its lips and winks some more.  I pull my hair back into a ponytail, flex my fingers and hover them over the keyboard. 

I can’t write anything until I’ve chosen the font.  The font is very important when writing a book.  It can’t be too silly but it also can’t be too severe.  I scroll down the list, pondering the swirly, ye olde Englishe, Shakespearian-looking font.  It’s so pretty.  I type my name.  I can’t read it.  I enlarge it.  I still can’t read it, and I know what’s written there.  I reluctantly return to the pre-set font that appears whenever you open a document.  I suppose that will do for now.

Page numbers.  A book isn’t a book without page numbers.  I click the tab to insert page numbers.  Like with the fonts, there is so much choice; too much if you ask me.  Do I want the numbers on the left, in the middle or on the right?  Do I want them as digits or as words?  Do I want them at the top or the bottom of the page?  Bold?  Bracketed?  Underlined?  Under dots?  I settle on a clear Page 1 of 1, at the bottom, in the middle of the page. 

I glance at the clock.  It’s still nearly ten past eleven.  Beryl is quietly snoring.  I open facebase and scroll through the list of banal status updates.  Jenny is boredNicola wants a bacon sandwichChris loves Lisa lots and lots and lots and lots and lots.  Bleurgh.  Marie is off to the dentist this afternoon.  Since when have I ever cared about these things?  Social networking for the anti-social.  I scroll down.  Max dont no wot 2 do wiv myself 2day so board.  Why do I stay friends with these people?  Bastian kommer aldrig att få sin avhandling klar.  I should really learn Swedish.  Torsten braucht einen Urlaub.  And German.  I’ll do that later.




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