Joining me today on the site is author Debbie De Louise, author of A Stone’s Throw and today she willing underwent the The Rocky Rochford Author Interview Questionnaire. Let’s see how she got on:
The Rocky Rochford Author Interview Questionnaire:
Author: Debbie De Louise
Latest Work: Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Release Date: TBA
Publisher: Solstice Publishing
- Tell us about your Latest Book/Book about to be released? Release Date? And can you give us a teaser?
I signed on August 1st with Solstice Publishing for my mystery, “Between a Rock and a Hard Place.” I don’t yet have a release date, but I’m hoping it will be before the New Year because the book takes place during the holidays. Although it can be read as a standalone, “Between a Rock and a Hard Place,” can also be considered a sequel because it features the same setting and many of the characters from my book “A Stone’s Throw” that was published last November. I am hoping to continue these Cobble Cove Novels as a series.
The only teaser I can give you right now is that the book will feature three crimes: kidnapping, burglary, and murder. There are quite a few new characters introduced in the town including some college students and young children. Although most of the action takes place in the fictional town of Cobble Cove, New York,, there are some scenes in New York City. The book is not explicitly violent, so it can be considered a mystery with cozy elements.
- What other books/short stories have you written?
My first book was “Cloudy Rainbow” that I self-published with Booklocker.com. My second book, “A Stone’s Throw” was published by Limitless Publishing in November, 2015. My short mystery, “Stitches in Time” appeared in the Cat Crimes Through Time Anthology, and I have two other short stories that will be published this fall by Solstice Publishing. I also wrote an historical romance, “The Seashell and the Stone” that is part of the “Love, Always” collection that I contributed to with 15 other authors to use as giveaways to promote our books and newsletters.
- Do you publish in e-book, print, or both?
Both. I have many readers who still prefer physical books but also many who enjoy reading e-books.
- Where can readers find your books? (Purchase Links)
Below are the purchase links for “A Stone’s Throw.” I am trying to switch the ebook over to Kindle Unlimited, so it would then only be available on Amazon, although the paperback copy will be sold everywhere listed. I am also including the link to my Amazon author page where you can find all my book listings.
Buy links for A STONE’S THROW:
Amazon U.S.: KINDLE: http://amzn.to/1MjaJgN
Amazon Australia: http://bit.ly/1Sdh82D
Amazon Canada: http://amzn.to/1SdheHi
Amazon U.K.: http://amzn.to/1QutXBW
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1nQPyv4
Also available on iTunes and Ingram
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Debbie-De-Louise/e/B0144ZGXPW/
- What do you think are the biggest challenges for the type of writing that you do?
I think romance is easier to sell than mystery fiction because mysteries require a lot more thinking on the part of the reader and some people prefer just to be entertained. However, my books always include a bit of romance. I like adding twists to my books, and these are not always easy to execute. Reviewers have told me I’ve been successful in surprising them, and I think that’s because I don’t plan my books too strictly. I keep a flexible outline in my mind and often deviate from it even as far as choosing another killer close to the book’s end when I’d planned it to be someone else all along.
- How did you get started in writing?
I’ve enjoyed writing since I was a young girl. My teachers and family encouraged me because they felt I had a talent in that area. When I was around 12, I got hooked on gothic suspense novels. They were very popular at that time. My two favorite authors were Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt. My dream was to grow up to be like one of them and publish a lot of books that appealed to a wide audience.
When I went to college, I joined the student newspaper and wrote feature articles. I won an award for my writing. After I graduated, I became a librarian. I started writing articles for pet magazines and joined a group called the Cat Writer’s Association that I still belong to today. In fact, I recently won a special award through them that was sponsored by the Hartz Corporation for an article I wrote on pet grooming.
I wrote my first novel, “Cloudy Rainbow” back in 2008 after my beloved cat Floppy passed away. Even though it was fictional, I used Floppy as a character and the storyline featured pet loss as well as a paranormal romance. I self-published it but did not promote it well. My daughter was very young, and I took some time off from writing to care for her. I returned to writing about two years ago when a patron at the library where I work kept asking me if I was writing any other novels. I decided to give writing another try. I started writing articles again and then wrote “A Stone’s Throw” that was published last November. I now have “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” signed with Solstice Publishing and two short stories for their upcoming anthologies. I am also working on a standalone psychological thriller.
- Where and How can readers get in touch with you?
Here are my social media links and my Amazon author page, as well as my website/blog that includes my newsletter sign-up form.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Debbie-De-Louise/e/B0144ZGXPW/
Website/Blog/Newsletter Sign-Up: https://debbiedelouise.wordpress.com
- So with your latest work released/or being released, what comes next? What can we expect from you in the future?
I’m currently polishing another manuscript that I’m very excited about. It’s different from anything I’ve written before. Although it contains a mystery, I consider it a psychological thriller. I’m hoping to query it to agents and publishers this fall. I also hope to continue my Cobble Cove novels, and I have an idea for another cozy mystery series. I also hope to complete a few unfinished novels, a collection of short stories, and continue writing articles for pet publications.
- How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
My personality is reflected in some ways in all my characters, although there’s usually one (commonly the main character) who shares most of my personality traits. As for life experiences, I include a large amount of them but fictionalized and modified to suit the particular story and to make them more interesting to the reader. I agree that the key to good fiction writing is to “write what you know.” Research helps, but nothing compares to first-hand experience, and readers will relate more to authentic details and emotions.
- Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?
I have to fit writing into my daily life and, because I’m a morning person, I find it easiest to write when I first get up at 5 a.m. until I have to get ready for work. A benefit of writing early is that I tend to wake up with lots of ideas and creative energy from mulling over my writing scenes at night. I’m usually too tired to be very productive to write later in the day, so I reserve evening hours for editing or just relaxing.
- What is your routine once you start writing a book?
When I’m working on a book, I write every day. I try to complete at least one scene each time that can compose one chapter or part of a chapter and have an idea of what will come next. I write in the morning without editing. If I have time, I look it over briefly at night but, usually, I just keep writing until I finish and then edit everything several times afterwards.
Most of the plotting I do in my mind. I jot some notes down on a pad and/or create a Word document for characters that I can refer to later. However, I don’t organize anything strictly. I am what writers refer to as a “pantster which means I work by the seat of my pants. I let my subconscious take over and am often surprised by the turn of events that I end up writing. When people say they enjoy the twists in my book, I think it’s because they are spontaneous even to me, the author.
- What about you in general? What is it that makes you tick? Makes you you? Things you like to do and what prompted you into writing?
I’m a word person. I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing. I work as a librarian, so I get first dibs at reading new books. I also love cats. I grew up with them and currently have a Siamese and a striped tabby. I often put pets in my book. I’ve had dogs, as well, but I’m a big feline fancier. I even belong to the Cat Writer’s Association that I mentioned earlier is a wonderful group of authors who write articles, stories, and books about cats.
- Among your own books, have you a favourite book? Favourite Hero or Heroine?
When I was younger, my favourite author was Phyllis Whitney, and I especially enjoyed her novel, “Winter People.” I loved Gothic romance as a teen and enjoyed Victoria Holt and Barbara Michaels. My favourite book, at one time, was the Eight by Katherine Neville. It’s a book that takes place during the French Revolution and involves chess and a multitude of unusual characters. I actually learned that there was a big following for this book, but I found the sequel, written over 20 years later, very disappointing. Since then, I’ve had lots of favourite authors and books. I like to vary what I read. I still enjoy romantic suspense and books by Nora Roberts, Mary Higgins Clark, Carol O’Connell, Karin Slaughter, Tess Gerritsen, and others. I recently discovered Kathy Reichs because I began watching the Bones series that I absolutely love.
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
I see myself having written and published more books. I’d like to have found an agent and been signed with a larger publisher so that my novels are distributed more widely and in various formats (hardcover, large type, audio, etc.). I will probably still be working at my library, but I hope to write full-time when I retire within the next ten years.
- What kind of research do you when writing one of your works?
I try to include as much authentic detail as possible. After I complete a manuscript, I go back and see where I feel research is necessary and then I try to contact professionals or those with experience who can clarify or add to the information in my book I acknowledge them afterwards. As a librarian, I also use books, databases, and/or my competitor – Google for some answers. For quick research, I can do this as I’m writing but for more involved information, I usually try to find authoritative sources. For instance, in my new novel, one of the issues I’m addressing is mental illness. I’ve spoken to a therapist to gain some insight into the type of problem I’m describing. In “Between a Rock and a Hard Place,” I had to talk to a paediatrician and some mothers of babies to accurately write about six-month old babies.
- What does your significant other think of your writing?
My husband has never read any of my writing, but he’s very understanding about the time I need to devote to it which takes away from family time.
- Do you ever ask them for advice or ideas to go into your works?
Never. All my ideas are mine. They come from my life experience, so maybe from him indirectly, but also from others I’ve known, from other books I’ve read, shows I’ve seen, and even my dreams. Ideas are everywhere, and too numerous to find the time to write about all of them.
- Have you ever experienced Writer’s Block? If so how did you work through it?
Although I’ve never experienced writer’s block, I did stop writing for several years when my daughter was very young. When I do feel blocked, I just read more or take a break. Walks are especially good to get the ideas flowing.
- Who are some of your favourite authors to read?
I mentioned them earlier; Nora Roberts, Mary Higgins Clark, Carol O’Connell, Karin Slaughter, Tess Gerritsen, Kathy Reichs, etc. I also like to discover new authors and debut writers.
- Anything else you’d like to tell our readers?
I would like to mention that I have an author newsletter that is emailed to subscribers twice a month. In it, I include a monthly contest and news about my upcoming books, appearances, and exclusive excerpts, and giveaways. If they are interested, they can subscribe by filling out a pop-up form on my website, https://debbiedelouise.com.
Additional question: Lastly do you have any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?
I’d just like them to know that the most important thing they need is to be persistent. Even though there’s so much competition in the writing field, there are more markets than ever today. Dream big but realize you need to start somewhere. Like any other profession, you need to devote many hours to it before you see any results or significant royalties.
Thanks for being a good sport and answering my everything question Debbie. I wish you the best of luck with Between a Rock and a Hard Place.