Rebecca A Wrigley was born, lives and writes in the San Francisco Bay Area. She fell in love with stories when she was a little girl and her grandmother read her fairy tales without pictures, explaining that she had to see them in her head. She grew up and worked nine years for Walt Disney Feature Animation, along with some of the best storytellers around. She found the storytelling was even better than hearing stories told. Whether it’s with pictures or with words that make pictures in your head, stories are what make her tick.
Here are 10 more things you probably didn’t know about Rebecca A Wrigley, straight from the author, herself…
1. When I worked at Disney they had satellite animation studios, one in Paris, and one in Florida. I worked at the Florida studio, which was built right behind the MGM Studios theme park. When you went outside to eat on the patios you could hear people screaming on the Tower of Terror. And when you went to the cafeteria to get lunch you’d see Aladdin or Alice in her pinafore picking up a tuna on rye.
2. I’ve owned many cats in my life, one in particular inspired the cat in my book, his name was Pyewackett, and he was both cuddly and ornery. He’d do things to manipulate me all the time. He was definitely in control of the relationship. He traveled with me from Florida back to California after Disney was over. I was heartbroken when he passed away.
3. Disney folded up its traditional animation department, of which I was part. That’s how I ended up leaving Florida and coming back home. They decided that computer animation was the way to go so they wouldn’t need us anymore. I miss it sometimes, but it did lead to the opportunity to write and illustrate for myself. Those have been satisfying things.
4. As a freelance illustrator I’ve painted for game companies like Wizards of the Coast, done card art for Bella Sara. I’ve also done comic book covers for IDW’s Angel and Rogue Angel series, and others for Platinum Studios, and White Wolf. I even painted the cover for my own book.
5. Despite the fact that I’m not a computer animator I am a computer illustrator. At least I paint with the computer. I still draw traditionally, then I scan the drawing into the computer and paint it digitally.
6. Real Magik: Darkness Rising is my first novel and I started it in 2000 while I was still working at Disney. There was a clip on one side of our desk for reference material and I used mine for a pad of paper. Every time I had an idea for the next sentence or line of dialogue I’d scribble it down. On the weekends I wrote like mad until I had something like a 300 page document that was only half finished. It was a monster. I had no idea what I was doing clearly. Then things went weird at Disney and I shelved the book for a while. I had the move to make a house to sell, things to pack and all of that. I didn’t touch the thing again until 2013 and then I chopped it down with a machete, being as merciless as possible, making it faster paced in the process. Interestingly enough the end product came out to about 300 pages total.
7. Real Magik: Darkness Rising was always planned as the first part of a trilogy. From the first time the characters appeared in my head I saw the arc as being larger than one book could contain.
8. I love birds, exotic birds especially, I own a Sun Conure named Bella. She has beautiful plumage, intense yellow with rich orange flaming at the cheeks and legs, emerald green at the wingtips and tail feathers. You can expect a very special bird to show up in the second novel, Real Magik: Darkness in the Blood.
9. The main character in the novel is a lot like me. If you take out the supernatural elements, she is what I was at that age. They say to write what you know. So I did. Every time I had to figure out how she would react to a given situation all I had to do was ask myself. Super handy.
10. Like my main character, I like to read just about everything, but a lot of science fiction/fantasy and horror. So when I write I’ m mostly making up something I’d like to read. Sometimes I don’t even know what’s going to happen in a story until it happens. That’s part of what makes it so fun; the surprises, the way characters evolve on the page sometimes without your willing them to. It’s real magic.