Before we get started talking, can I just say, “Thank you, Karen, for being so supportive of other authors. Your fun, enthusiastic, creative blogs are a great introduction to readers.”
So, it’s all about me, is it? Here goes…
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. My first rough draft was in crayon on the underside of my mother’s coffee table. She wasn’t as impressed as I thought she should be.
Before I made my first sale to a romance publisher in 1999, I was a feature writer for a newspaper. I started as a stringer and worked my way into a full-time position by taking people on first-person travel adventures…hiking Half Dome, exploring Bermuda, rappelling in Moaning Caverns…I still have people who recall these pieces fondly. But being required to write facts, not fiction, every day of the week takes a toll on a storyteller’s soul. With my first published book under my belt, I never returned to the newsroom.
I now consider myself a hybrid author. I’m super busy self-publishing my reverted “backlist” books and writing my new “front list” books for Tule Publishing Group. I feel very fortunate to be able to make a living doing something I love.
1. What genre(s) do you write and why?
Contemporary romance and that encompasses: real people living their lives, juggling reality and doing the best they can WHILE they chase down their Happily-Ever-After. Why? It’s my favorite genre to read. I never tire of the redemptive quality of love.
2. If you were to choose one superpower, what would it be?
Call me: Positive-Thinking Girl. I would love, love, love to ZAP negativity at twenty paces (or on social media). Remember that old saying your mama preached? “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” I’d have that emblazoned on my super cool, midnight blue cape.
3. Do you ever get stuck when you’re writing a book? What do you do to get “unstuck”?
Doesn’t everybody get stuck on occasion? To me, that’s a clear sign I missed something or I’m going in the wrong direction. I back up, re-read what landed me in the stuck place, and then ask my characters for help. Sometimes, a little backstory will get me going on the right path again.
4. What is your least favorite part of writing?
Promotion. There, I’ve admitted it. My fave bumper-sticker: I’d rather be writing.
5. If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?
We grill year-round in my part of California. One of our favorite treats is rare ahi tuna seared on a super hot cast iron skillet (outdoor grill kind of hot), served with grilled romaine, coconut rice and a crisp Pinot Grigio. For dessert, I like to melt a dark-chocolate-with-chopped-almonds-and-sea-salt candy bar with a little cream and pour over vanilla ice cream.
6. What is your typical day like?
A great day is: 6 A.M. yoga, 3-4 hours on my WIP (work-in-progress) with my timer set for 25-minute increments so I remember to get out of my chair to stretch, dance or do sit-ups. A lunchtime jog/walk with my dog, then 2-3 hours of some other writing project (revisions, promo, blogs, etc.) followed by granddaughter time, hubby time, cooking and eating, then either reading or streaming something to avoid commercials. Currently watching: “The Killing” on Netflix.
7. What is most difficult for you to write? Characters, conflict or emotions? Why?
I’m a born peacemaker. I hate conflict. So, to create mayhem and discord in my characters’ lives is a real challenge. And, honestly sometimes I don’t know what their REAL conflict is until I hit the ah-ha moment. Thank goodness for revisions—and understanding editors!
8. A penguin walks into your office, right now, wearing a sombrero. What does he say to you and why is he here?
“Hola, chica. Donde está las margaritas?” He’s fresh. I can tell he’s flirting with me. Of course, being a good hostess, I lead the way to the pool, which unfortunately is an above ground variety. (Too many oak tree roots to risk.) Penguins are not as light as they look. They’re slippery suckers, too. Especially after a couple of margaritas. 😉
9. If you could wave a magic wand, what ill in the world would you solve and why?
Alzheimer’s. My neighbor, Ann, is only nine years older than me. She worked as a nurse, raised three great kids, was a pillar of her church, and cared for her crotchety, ailing cowboy hubby until it became glaringly apparent that her memory was disappearing…and taking whole chunks of Ann with it. When I see her now I know she doesn’t recognize me, although she denies it. Her family has rallied, her caregivers are kind and she’s still in her home, but she’s a stranger in her own life and that just breaks my heart.
10. Tell us about your next book & when is it being published?
My latest release is BLACK HILLS NATIVE SON, book 5 in the Black Hills Rendezvous series. I’m especially proud of this book because I was able to work in some background from my Lakota family. There was a time when I thought I was Sioux Indian (I was six). After all, my uncle was Sioux, my cousins were Sioux, and they lived on the Lower Brule Reservation, where I loved to spend several weeks every summer. I had to have Indian blood running like the prairie wind through my veins—even if my blond braids said otherwise. Eventually, Mom explained about Aunt Helen being my father’s sister and all that, but in my heart of hearts a piece of my soul remains close to the Little Bend of the Missouri River. I hope you enjoy Eli Robideaux’s search for the missing pieces of his life…and the woman who takes him on the journey of a lifetime.
Be sure to come back to read more about Debra and BLACK HILLS NATIVE SON, Black Hills Rendezvous Book 5, on Wednesday’s Karen’s Killer Book Bench. Happy Reading!
Links to Debra’s website, blog, books, etc.
Debra LOVES connecting with readers. Visit her Black Hills Rendezvous page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blackhillsrendezvous/
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Thanks, Debra, for sharing your book with us today! Don’t miss the chance to read this book!