Hello, and welcome to my author interview with Debbie DeLouise! Today we are going to get some time to chat with them, and we’ll discuss books, writing process, and other fun things.
So, I’ll just start off with some questions, and we’ll see where this goes! No pressure of answering wrong, your process is all yours!
Chad: Can you tell me a little about yourself?
Debbie: I’m a librarian as well as an author. I write the Cobble Cove mystery series and also short stories, novellas, and other books of various genres.
Chad: My favorite profession for a writer to be! How neat! Now, I do have some standard questions I like to ask, because they help me understand you better. Can you tell me what your favorite book is, and without too many spoilers, tell me why?
Debbie: I assume you mean which of my own books is my favorite? Not meaning to avoid the question, but I am proud of all my books and like them all equally. Even though I write fiction, a part of me can be found in all my writing if you look hard enough. In my Cobble Cove mystery series, my main character is a librarian, as I am. Her love interest, John, is a newspaper publisher. I also worked for several years on my college paper. Although it’s not a book, I feel my short story that is available as an eBook and also part of the Realms of Fantastic Stories, The Path to Rainbow Bridge, is one closest to my heart because some of my real life cats who have passed away are in it.
Chad: Who is your biggest supporter? What I mean is, who has always encouraged you to write, even when you feel like you weren’t good enough?
Debbie: My husband has been a big supporter, but a patron at my library who was acknowledged in my first mystery was actually the person who got me writing again after my first self-published novel didn’t do as well as I had hoped. I also have some other patrons who buy my books, attend my talks, and compliment me on my work. They’re all very motivating.
Chad: Do you think your school had a lot to do with how you grew as a writer? Were you encouraged?
Debbie: Yes. My teachers from second grade up always encouraged my writing. In college, I also wrote for the student newspaper as I said earlier, and I learned a lot from doing that.
Chad: Oh yeah, I can see how being close to news can help inspire new ideas. Where do you get your ideas from? I know, I know, hard to say! But what do you think?
Debbie: My ideas come from everywhere – books I’ve read, shows I’ve watched, everyday life, personal experience. Just be in touch with the world, and you will get great ideas.
Chad: What is your favorite type of story to read?
Debbie: I love mysteries, thrillers, and suspense novels, especially those with a bit of romance in them and some twists like the ones I write, but I like to read different genres and new as well as established authors.
Chad: What would you say is your strongest writing ability? Is it a wide vocabulary? A deep knowledge of Balinese Monkey Chants?
Debbie: Lol. I think it’s my characterization and the way I can weave together sub-plots and bring all the ends together.
Chad: Let’s get into the meat of you as a writer. Tell me about your most current project. Is it a short story? A novel? Flash fiction perhaps?
Debbie: I’m currently working on the third book of the Cobble Cove mystery series, Written in Stone. I’ve just started edits on it and anticipate a spring release. I also just finished the edits on a reprint of the first in the series, A Stone’s Throw, that should be out some time in March.
Chad: What makes your hero tick? What makes them interesting to you?
Debbie: Alicia is a librarian, like I am, so we have a lot in common – lol. She grows a lot throughout the series and becomes more in control of her fate and aware of her strengths.
Chad: And we all love a villain. Well, at least I do. Tell me something about the villain that will make me like, or understand them, better.
Debbie: I have a different villain in every book, but by telling you about them, it would spoil the stories because I try to mislead readers into thinking someone is a villain when it turns out to be someone else.
Chad: Can you remember the very first story you ever wrote? Do you ever consider improving on it now that some time has passed?
Debbie: Great question. I actually wrote articles before I wrote stories. However, I have a large number of unpublished stories and novels from many years ago either in notebooks or on computer in old Word versions. My short historical romance, The Seashell and the Stone, that was just published as a standalone eBook and as part of the Cupid’s Arrow anthology, was started after a trip to Cape May, New Jersey that I took with my husband twenty years ago. I finished it recently and made some changes, although I kept a lot of the original. Some of my older writing was quite good, although it needs to be polished. One day, when I’m retired and writing full-time, I’d love to revive those old works.
Chad: How do you think writing has changed overall since you were a child?
Debbie: Well, I believe that the more you write, the more your writing improves. However, I feel that I’ve improved my editing more than my writing at this point which is actually just as important. Also, I think you are more creative when you’re younger and lose some of that as you age, but the increased experiences that you can draw from when you’re older compensates for that.
Chad: Do you feel like it’s easier to be published, or perhaps harder?
Debbie: I think there are more opportunities to be published today but that also makes the competition fiercer. Many people choose to self-publish and some are successful with that. It depends on what goals you wish to achieve and how you wish to achieve them. Like everything else, you have to work hard and keep at it.
Chad: So, we all have times when our imaginary friends won’t talk to us (writer’s block). How do you deal with it if you are susceptible?
Debbie: To be honest, it doesn’t happen to me often. I don’t often have a shortage of material, just a shortage of time – lol. But when I do feel stuck, I try my hand at a different genre or challenge myself to a writer’s prompt.
Chad: What is the lesson you have learned about writing that you wish you knew starting out?
Debbie: That being published isn’t the most difficult part of the process. It’s just the beginning of your journey as an author that entails finding your audience and growing a readership, learning how to network, promote, and sell your writing and all the work involved in connecting through social media, creating and publishing blogs, and newsletters, etc.
Chad: What is your next project? Do you have any ideas?
Debbie: I’m still querying agents for my standalone psychological thriller, Sea Scope; and, after I publish my third Cobble Cove mystery that will also be distributed in a collection with the first two, I’d like to finish a standalone mystery I started some time ago or revive my time travel novel that is among my long-ago completed books that would just need some good editing. There are quite a few choices but, as I said, a limited amount of time to devote to them.
Thanks so much for the interview, Chad. It was a pleasure to be here.