Today it is my pleasure to have Deborah Brown joining us. She was even kind enough to offer a giveaway, but we'll get to that in a minute.
Let's talk about her debut novel, Crazy In Paradise.
You can check it out on Amazon, if you like.
Now it's time for a chat with Deborah Brown...
Who or what inspires your writing?
It can be anything that captures my interest, a snippet of a conversation, an article on the internet or just plain people watching. There’s always the what-if that unleashes my imagination and plays out in my mind. Suddenly I have a story almost fully fledged and demanding to be written. I always keep a tape recorder within reach so that I don’t forget the slightest detail.
When did you know you would be a writer?
Although I wrote a romance novel several years ago, after numerous rejections most of them by return mail, it remains under the bed. It wasn’t until I finished Crazy in Paradise that I found out I enjoyed the process of writing and in addition, surprised myself by finishing a “fat outline” for a second novel. My outlines aren’t the typical 2-3 sentences that are suggested, this one turned out to be 225 pages.
How long did it take to write your debut novel?
From start to finish my novel of 80,000 words took about one year. I juggled my writing with a full-time job. I didn’t write everyday, however, and most was done before and after work. Factor in life’s interruptions, such as laundry, grocery shopping and all the mundane tasks that make one’s life work. The editing and rewriting took another six months and add another three months of working with an editor learning to correct my writing weaknesses. Once I set aside my ego I soaked up the corrections and suggestions like a sponge.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
You’d think it would be coming up with a plotline. But it’s not, it’s sitting down everyday and writing, meeting that quota of new words, taking the time to write farther into the story, progressing further each day. It takes work and more than anything dedication, to live inside the story to let it play out on the page. There are days when the words come fast and furious and those days when I have to force myself to sit there and finish a sentence. I take a deep breath and encourage myself on with no censorship. That’s what rewrites are for!
Do you have any writing rituals?
I was really stuck on the idea of writing at my desk in my office, the whole professionalism thing. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that I hate sitting at a desk for very long. Factor in the small window and no television and I moved to the most comfortable spot in my house, the living room. I created my own little writer’s corner with a boat/marina view. What works for me is sitting in my favorite over-stuffed chair, in my pj’s, feet up, laptop on my lap, bottled water on the table; television on in the background. My daily writing routine is at the mercy of my daytime job. I’m most productive in the morning and I definitely prefer writing on the computer. It helps to keep my thoughts organized when I can look at the words on the screen in front of me. I write fat outlines and first drafts on the computer and I do revisions by hand.
Have you written anything else?
I’ve written a sequel to Crazy in Paradise that is currently being edited. In terms of published - I’ve had two recipes published - one in the local newspaper for stuffed zucchini and the other is a coffeecake recipe in honor of my sister Jean in a Gooseberry Patch Cookbook.
Any advice to aspiring writers?
Don’t give up. The biggest thing is don’t surround yourself with negativity. Find one or two people who will encourage you along the way. I have a friend who read every chapter of my book as I wrote it, the unedited, mistake ridden version. And she was always encouraging me by asking when she’d be getting the next chapter. I try to be very careful who I share my writing with while it’s in the infancy stage. The reality is that there’s going to be people, reviewers, agents that hate what you write. There are more opportunities to be a writer than ever before. Don’t underestimate the value of a good editor. Don’t stop believing in yourself.
Who are your favorite Authors?
I’ve have been an avid reader my entire life so to choose favorite authors would be difficult. Beverly Cleary and Betty McDonald are my favorite writers from childhood. I was completely hooked on the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle and Ramona and Beezus series.
As an adult the authors I’d choose would be the ones where I run out and purchase their books, not waiting for the paperback version - James Patterson, Janet Evanovich, and Carl Hiassen. There are dozens more that I love to read – Sophie Kinsella, Jennifer Weiner, Lucy Kevin, Jackie Collins, and Tilly Bagshaw, to name a few. To pinpoint “the” favorite would be tough.
What are your favorite books, or which book has impacted you the most?
I would say the Janet Evanovich numbered series has impacted me the most. I didn’t know who she was until three years ago. A friend recommended her when fourteen was coming out. I went to this wonderful little bookstore that we have that is half new books and half used books and was able to buy the first two books of the series. Then I got the rest of the series and read every single book and then reread them again! It was then I became inspired to write a book. I knew enough crazy characters to fill a book and it was going to be fun to sit down and weave snippets of drama into a storyline. I thought what if my main character inherited a motel on the beach in the Florida Keys and I filled it with unusual and quirky characters? In addition, it was a perfect way to unleash my dry sense of humor. Friends and family have been laughing at me for years.
What are you currently reading?
I just finished reading Cross Country by James Patterson and I have the next book in the series Cross Fire waiting for me. I’m a big fan of James Patterson's Alex Cross character. I read everything he writes and look forward to his new releases with great anticipation. I was thoroughly disappointed by this latest Alex Cross novel. It was a tough book to get through, which for me is unusual for this series. This book has more violence than I care for. The murders were extremely gruesome; it’s not a book for the squeamish. The entire plot was beyond believable.
How do readers find out more about you?
And now for the giveaway.... There are 2 paperback copies and 2 EBook copies up for grabs, thanks to Deborah!
Fill in the Rafflecopter form to enter.