Author Interview: Rebecca Ryals Russell

Today, I have with me, Rebecca Ryals Russell, author of Odessa the first book in the Seraphym Wars. I was able to find out a bit more of which books Rebecca loved to read when she was younger.

What books would your past self recommend at ages 7, 12, 16 and 20? What makes these books so special to you?

This is really difficult. You have no idea how long ago ages 7-20 are for me. I barely remember being 20, much less 7. Okay, here goes:

Age 7-There weren’t a lot of children’s books that I can remember at that age. I think I read the Little Golden books. They had a hard cardboard cover with a golden spine. They covered all sorts of topics.

Age 12-I won a Library contest at school that year, for my diorama depicting the Cabin Faced West out of toothpicks. The book I won was Freckles. The Librarian wrote a message in the front of it and I still have the book.

Age 16-I had just finished reading the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. I bought and put together a
puzzle of Middle Earth which my Daddy mounted on wood and we hung over my bedroom door. It was there the day I moved out to get married. Wish I had it now. I’m sure I read other stuff but I remember doing more writing then reading at that age.

Age 20-College Books! I was in my third year of college for Elementary Ed and just married on Valentine’s Day. I didn’t do a lot of reading. Although this was about the time I discovered David Eddings’ and Terry Brooks’ books, which I devoured. They were the inspiration for my own series, the first book of which we are celebrating: Odessa of The Seraphym Wars Series.

I guess I did it after all. And it wasn’t as painful as I thought. I enjoyed reaching down through 43 years of memories to see my seven-year old self sitting in the grass reading Little Golden books. Thanks for the memories.

Thank you Rebecca for answering my question so thoroughly!


Kristen is the co-blog owner of The Book Monsters. Kristen is an Elementary School Library Media Specialist in the Chicago suburbs who loves reading. Why else would she be a librarian?

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25 responses to “Author Interview: Rebecca Ryals Russell

  1. Birgit

    What an unusual question – this leaves me wondering about what I would have recommended mself at different ages …

  2. When I was younger I read Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys books. When I was a little older I was into fantasy books like Piers Anthony or Christopher Stasheff. Later I was addicted to Laurell K Hamilton and Amanda Quick and many other novels and authors of the paranormal or romance variety. I was always reading and started very young.

    LadyVampire2u AT gmail DOT com

  3. Zombie Girrrl

    That was really cool seeing what she read at different ages and how it shaped her writing. I only remember reading (over&over&over) Hop On Pop by the late great Dr Suess when i was 7.

  4. I remember books as milestones, little house on the prairie at 7, the lord of the rings at 12, at 16 it was salem’s lot, at 20 the world according to garp.

  5. This is becoming one of my very favorite of all the Teen Book Scene tour stops! I love hearing the book recs from their younger selves!! πŸ™‚

  6. I would recommend Charlotte’s Web to my self at 7! This was a really thought-provoking question.
    Thank you for the giveaway πŸ™‚

  7. Megan @Reading Away The Days

    Hey that is such a good question. When you think back to all the awesome books you have read its a great feeling. I was just thinking back to books I read when I was 7 I still have them. Cant throw a book away

  8. Yep, Charlotte’s Web, Nancy Drew, Dr. Seuss, Salem’s Lot–I read all of those, too. Thanks for helping me remember. And thanks for stopping by. This was definitely a fun stop on my tour. Good luck to everyone on the contest and if you don’t win a pack/book, order a copy of Odessa from Amazon. Visit for more stops along the tour and many more interesting posts like this one. Check some of the past postings as well.

  9. nicolesender

    I loved Nancy Drew and read all of her books. My brother read The Hardy Boys.

  10. i have seen some incredible stuff built out of matchbooks cant imagine it was very easy to work with toothpiucks wish you had pictures posted somewhere of your diorama project or do you?

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