Rebecca Wildsmith on the Inspiration and Journey Behind Verity Easton

Meet Rebecca Wildsmith, a talented author whose creative journey has been deeply inspired by the captivating life of Dorothy Eady, a British woman who believed she was the reincarnation of an ancient Egyptian priestess. Rebecca’s latest work, Verity Easton, explores themes of identity, history, and the supernatural, weaving an intricate tale that resonates with readers around the world. Despite facing numerous challenges, including balancing a demanding job and family life, Rebecca has found success and fulfillment in her writing. In this interview, she shares her personal story, the obstacles she overcame, and the valuable lessons she learned along the way, offering insights and inspiration to aspiring creators.

Can you share with us the personal story behind your business/project Verity Easton and how Dorothy Eady’s life influenced your work?

Of course! In college, where I studied Literature and the Humanities, we had an assignment to create a magazine for students on campus. Ours was focused on the arts and history. I had read about Dorothy Eady, and wanted to delve into her life and experiences, and I found her absolutely fascinating. When she was a child, she visited the British Museum, and, after seeing a photo of the temple of Seti I of Egypt, she claimed to recognize it as home, and ran through the halls, kissing the feet of the statues of the ancient Egyptian goddesses and gods. She eventually claimed to have visions of Pharaoh Seti I and began sleepwalking, but she was sadly placed in sanatoriums several times for these behaviors. She learned and studied Egyptian, collected artifacts, married an Egyptian student, and, finally, fulfilled her dream of moving to Egypt. There, she began writing down her visions from Set I, who related to her that she was the reincarnation of Bentreshyt, an ancient Egyptian priestess. After separating from her husband, she began to work as a secretary and draughtswoman to an Egyptian archeologist and soon became a prolific and talented writer and expert about ancient Egypt. Perhaps the most fascinating part of her history is when she moved to Abydos and worked on the site of the Temple of Seti, where she claimed she had been a priestess in her former life. As a child, when she saw the photo of the temple, she claimed that the gardens were missing. Upon visiting the excavation site, she told the archeologists working there where they would find remnants of the gardens, and, when they excavated them, she was proven correct. She also openly worshipped the ancient Egyptian goddesses and gods, observed the holidays and traditions of their religion, often slept alone in pyramids, and even befriended and fed a cobra! Verity Easton is very loosely based on this idea, as Verity needed to tell her own story, but Dorothy Eady was certainly part of the inspiration.

What were some of the biggest challenges or struggles you faced while working on Verity Easton, and how did you overcome them?

With my first book, Hattie Vavaseur, I spent 13 years, off and on, creating it, so I really knew those characters, inside and out. With Verity Easton, I had only known them for a short time, so I had to really delve deep into their psyches and sometimes, they still surprised me with things they would do as I wrote the story. I learned to sit with and spend more time with my characters, so I didn’t miss revelations that could make the story better.

What valuable lessons have you learned throughout your journey of creating and developing Verity Easton?

I learned not to rush things. I was in a tough place when I began the project. I had just been laid off from my job of nearly eight years, and I felt like writing a novel was a good way to feel like I was still accomplishing something while I looked for another position. I wrote it in about a month (even though I didn’t publish it for a while after that). Now, I wish I’d taken my time with the story, because I’ve since thought of several things I would have liked to add to Verity’s character development, as well as the storyline. At the time, I felt like I needed to keep up with these other authors who can pump out books so quickly, but I’ve since realized that I don’t work quite like that. I need time to savor my story and get to know my characters.

How do you stay inspired and motivated in your creative process, especially when facing obstacles or setbacks?

I have to take time to receive creativity, whether that’s consuming beautifully written books, unique and stunning art or artifacts, well-crafted television shows, or just getting outside to feel the heat of the sun on my face. Family time is also essential – especially sharing new experiences with them. A new adventure can spark creativity in ways that I could have never imagined. Book signings also help, because I get to interact with readers and see the elements of my books that interest or excite them. I love seeing a reader’s face light up when I pitch them an overview of my stories, and I adore seeing their excitement as they gather up my books after they’ve purchased them. I’ve always said that if just one person bought and enjoyed my book, then it makes all the hard work worthwhile. I’ve been lucky enough to have sold nearly 15,000 copies of my books worldwide, and that motivates me to write more – the thought that people are enjoying my stories and sharing them with friends and loved ones. Kind reviews on Amazon and Goodreads never hurt, either!

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs or creators who are just starting their own projects?

Don’t give up! No matter what you see other people do, find your own pace and inspiration. Take the time you need to create from a place of inspiration. It’s good to have a loose schedule, in my opinion, to keep you on track, but remember that it can be flexible, depending on your life circumstances, so you avoid burnout. Take time to ingest the beautiful things of this world, so you are fulfilled enough to compose authentically. 

Can you tell us about a particularly memorable or impactful moment you experienced while working on Verity Easton?

I was really thrilled – but nervous  – about the ending. It’s unusual, so I was concerned about the story’s reception. BUT I knew it was the only possible ending that could have taken place, given Verity’s choices. I first came up with the ending before I ever started writing the story, and I got chills just thinking about how to hint at and weave in that twist. I left a lot of subtle clues throughout the text to give people hints about Verity’s fate, but you never know if people are going to pick up on those or follow the other red herrings I intertwine within the story. Hopefully, it’s an exciting read, either way!

How do you balance your personal life with the demands of running a business/project like Verity Easton?

It’s tough. I still work full time as a Creative Director, plus, I have a young family, so finding that time can be difficult. I use lunch breaks, evenings, and vacation time to write, but that doesn’t always work out the way I intend it to. I’m also in the process of learning to prioritize my mental health. I am a “go, go, go” type of person who feels guilty about downtime, but my significant other has really helped me, especially during the past few months, to understand that rest without guilt is essential, so I can show up as my true self, and not a ghost of who I really am. Spring is book signing season in Florida, so I have been busy almost every weekend with meeting new readers or connecting with fans, so writing my next novel, Evelina Fontana, isn’t going as quickly as I’d like. However, I had a dear friend remind me the other day that my child has a front-row seat, seeing a woman pursue her dreams, and, although I miss a bit of family time on the weekends, I’m happy to be that example for my family.

In what ways do you hope Verity Easton will inspire or impact others who come across it?

I really hope that readers learn from Verity’s choices. It’s kind of a precautionary tale about what not to do, but I felt like it was an important story to tell about the dangers of people-pleasing and how it can drive individuals to extremes. I also wanted to shine a light on some of the effects of British expansionism and how someone who might have come from half of one side and half of the other could have been pulled in different directions and emotions surrounding the excavation of ancient Egyptian sites. It’s also, in its simplest form, a mode of escapism, as reading has often been for me. I wanted to take people back to the past and surround them in the mystery and history of Nefertiti, her rule, and her death. I also adore weaving an intriguing supernatural tale that takes people on a rollercoaster ride of “whodunnit.”

What are your future plans or goals for Verity Easton, and how do you see it evolving in the coming years?

I’m really hoping that the story of Verity Easton acts as a warning call to women who follow a system that sets them up to hide their true selves. I have been a victim of this same system. In order “fit in” in a situation that was a large part of my life, I buried my true self and opinions in a system that was highly oppressive to women. Writing Verity Easton was a cathartic way of ridding myself of that part of me that had been created. I needed to end it in order to grow and develop and come into my own, as it were, so I could unleash the part of myself that was always there, but had been hidden for years. I hope that Verity’s story helps other women who relate to that role they are involuntarily placed in, so they can find a way out of it. On a lighter note, I’m working on a third novel, Evelina Fontana, where there is a crossover character from Verity Easton who makes an appearance (the same happens from Hattie Vavaseur – the character of Vamelda appears in both books). Evelina Fontanta is a supernatural mystery that borders on sci-fi, I would almost say. It takes place during WWII, where a spy becomes trapped in an insane asylum behind enemy lines. In order to decode the secret messages in that novel, readers will need Verity Easton to act as a sort of cipher. Hattie Vavaseur also contains secret messages, but no cipher is required for those. I’m planning to continue the crossover character motif throughout all of my novels, so we’ll see how long I can keep it up!


by Harness Editor

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One response to “Rebecca Wildsmith on the Inspiration and Journey Behind Verity Easton

  1. I’ve read both of her books and was enthralled. Rebecca has a way of crafting adventure and building suspense that makes one what to keep turning the page. What a fun interview to read!

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