Interview With an Author: Rebecca Serle

Daryl M., Librarian, West Valley Regional Branch Library,
Author Rebecca Serle and her latest novel, In Five Years
Author Rebecca Serle and her latest novel, In Five Years. Photo credit: Ann Molen

Rebecca Serle is an author and television writer who lives in Los Angeles. Serle co-developed the hit TV adaptation of her YA series Famous in Love, and is also the author of The Dinner List, and YA novels The Edge of Falling, and When You Were Mine. She received her MFA from the New School in NYC. Her latest book is In Five Years, and Rebecca recently agreed to talk about it with Daryl Maxwell for the LAPL Blog.

What was your inspiration for In Five Years?

I’ve always been fascinated with the dialogue between fate and free will. How much is in our control? How much will happen regardless of what we do? What is the relationship between those two things? All my books, dating back to my first novel, When You Were Mine are about that theme.

There was also a psychic prophecy about my love life, but we don’t have to get into that…

Are Aaron, Bella, Dannie, David, or any of the other characters in the novel inspired by or based on specific individuals?

I would say they’re inspired by real relationships I have/had, but not necessarily individuals. If they are at all inspired by actual people in my life, they are amalgamations of a few.

How did the novel evolve and change as you wrote and revised it? Are there any characters or scenes that were lost in the process that you wish had made it to the published version?

This novel was pretty clean on the first draft. I don’t say that to gloat, I usually write a book in between the books that get published—that never sees the light of day. But I do believe that novels can sometimes just cut simply and beautifully—that you’re accessing the story and just transcribing it, as opposed to building something from scratch. That’s how this one felt.

Do you have a five-year plan that you can share? Where would you like to find yourself in 2025?

I do not anymore! I did for a very long time, but my life has never gone according to any of them, so why bother anymore? I know how I want to FEEL—happy, connected, fulfilled, engaged, safe—but I’m not so attached to what that looks like anymore. I always hope to continue to make a living off my writing and get to bring you more stories.

There is A LOT of food from an assortment of NYC locations in In Five Years! Did you feature a favorite place or dish within the novel? Is there a favorite that you didn’t mention?

All the places mentioned in both In Five Years and my last novel, The Dinner List (with the exception of the fictitious dinner restaurant) are places I loved and frequented often in my 12+ years in New York. I’m like Bella—I love a good gluten-free pasta or pizza from Wild or Rubirosa! Souen isn’t in either novel, but it’s a staple of my New York diet. I was heartbroken when their Soho location closed last year.

What’s currently on your nightstand?

Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid!

What is the question that you’re always hoping you’ll be asked, but never have been? What is your answer?

I’m not sure I’m always hoping for this, but I guess I’m hoping to provide some comfort to aspiring novelists in saying you don’t have to write every day. I write about 4-6 months of the year, and the rest is taken up with the business of my job. There isn’t one way to be a writer, and everyone has a different process. Respect your own.

What are you working on now?

Promoting In Five Years and helping my indie bookseller community during this trying time. That is my main focus for the foreseeable future.

Book cover for In Five Years
In Five Years
Serle, Rebecca