5 Things You Don't know about Debbie De Louise
1. I'm a morning person. I usually get up at 5 a.m. to write each day.
2. My favorite snacks are dark chocolate, peanuts, and popcorn with raisins. I also chew a lot of Extra peppermint gum.
3. I have bookshelves in every room of my house and even keep books in my car, garage, and attic.
4. Before becoming a librarian, I worked as a secretary.
5. I like scented shower gels especially vanilla and lilac ones.
Interview with Debbie De Louise
Please tell us about your latest book.
Reason to Die is a standalone mystery featuring Detective Courtney Lang who is investigating a series of murders of handicapped people in the small town of Baxter, Connecticut. Previously, Courtney was involved in a case of muggings in the town that ended up with her partner and lover, Bill Thompson, being shot and crippled. Now, with a new partner who she has become romantically involved after Bill broke up with her, Courtney believes the muggings and murders are connected and sets out to prove it, putting herself in danger as well as the two men who are vying for her affections.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I’m finishing the fourth book of my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series and am also reprinting my first paranormal romance, Cloudy Rainbow, with Solstice Publishing. I also have several other projects in the works.
How do we find out about you and your books? You can check my website at https://debbiedelouise.com and my Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/2bIHdaQ
You can also connect with me on social media: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debbie.delouise.author/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/Deblibrarian Google+ google.com/+DebbieDeLouise Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2750133.Debbie_De_Louise Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/debbiedelouise/
Why did you decide to write mystery novels? I enjoy reading the various types of mysteries and writing plots that involve twists and character conflicts.
How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
I believe all authors put some of themselves and their experiences into their writing. In my Cobble Cove mysteries, my main character, like me, is a librarian and mystery author. In my new mystery, one of the main characters is handicapped like my husband.
When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms?
I’ve been writing since I was young. I still have some notebooks full of handwritten manuscripts from my college days. My first submitted manuscript was a short mystery story for Cat Crimes Through Time, an anthology of mystery stories featuring cats. “Stitches Through Time” featured a time-travel theme involving a young girl and her cat who travel to the past and meet Betsy Ross. I submitted that manuscript because I was a fan of those annual anthologies and queried the editor with my story that I thought would fit into their current project. I had also been writing articles for pet journals at that time and submitted those pieces because I wanted to meet the requirements to join the Cat Writers Association, of which I am still a member and recently received a Certificate of Excellence from them for another short story, my “Path to Rainbow Bridge.”
Generally, how long does it take you to write a book?
I usually aim to write 1,000 words a day, so I can normally finish my first draft in two to three months. However, it usually takes another three months or so for me to edit and submit the manuscripts.
Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?
I write each morning from about 6 to 7 a.m. (sometimes later on weekends or when I’m off from work). I aim for 1,000 words at each writing session.
What is your writing routine once you start a book? As I said above, I try to write 1,000 words per day in the morning until I finish the first draft. Then I give the book a rest for a month or so and then go back and edit with fresh eyes before I submit it.
What about your family, do they know not to bother you when you are writing - or are there constant interruptions? My family is great. My daughter is usually still sleeping while I write, and my husband tries not to bother me.
What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries? I watch Netflix shows with my husband at night, usually spy or mystery shows. I also read and take walks.
What truly motivates you in general? In your writing? In general, I’m motivated by praise and by my interest in something. In writing, I’m motivated by good reviews and positive reader feedback as well as my desire to write.
Where do your ideas come from? Everywhere. Books I read, shows I watch, my past, my present, news events, happenings at work, my imagination, my dreams, combinations of everything.
Do you feel humour is important in mysteries and why? I think a bit of humor is important in any genre. Although mysteries are mostly serious, I try to add some humor from time to time to relieve the mounting tension of the story.
What are your thoughts on love scenes in romance novels, do you find them difficult to write? I always try to put some romance into my books. However, I don’t feel comfortable writing explicit sex scenes and that’s why most of my books are cozies or feature limited sex scenes.
What kind of research do you do? Most of my research is online or through the library where I work. I have spoken to experts in certain fields to lend authenticity to my books. For instance, in Between a Rock and a Hard Place, my second Cobble Cove mystery, I spoke with a pediatrician and mother of young babies, so I could get a better understanding of the development of the infants in this story.
Would you like to write a different genre than you do now, or sub-genre? I do write other genres. I’ve written a romantic comedy novella, When Jack Trumps Ace, and my paranormal romance, Cloudy Rainbow, which will be reprinted soon. I’ve also written several science fiction, fantasy, and romance stories. I prefer writing mysteries, both cozies and general mysteries.
What does your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend think of your writing? My husband doesn’t read it, but he says he hears it when I edit it because I speak the words aloud to see how they sound. He’s a great support to me, though, and encourages me to keep at it even when I go through a slump.
Do you ever ask him/her for advice? Not related to writing, but I have asked for computer help related to my work on the book.
Please tell us about yourself (family, hobbies, education, etc.)
I’m a librarian, am married, and have a 13-year old daughter. I enjoy reading, cats, walking, and watching mystery and spy TV shows.
Fill in the blank favorites - Dessert. City. Season. Type of hero. Type of heroine.
Dessert – Black Forest Cake
City – New York
Season – autumn
Type of hero – Intelligent but sexy and very romantic
Type of heroine – Smart but with a few vulnerabilities, pretty but not gorgeous, curious and sometimes ruled by her heart over her head.
What are some of your favorite things to do? Read, walk, visit gardens, mansions, historic homes, museums, libraries.
Do you have a favorite author? Favorite book? I like to read a wide variety of authors and genres. Some of my favorite authors include Nora Roberts, Mary Higgins Clark, and Sandra Brown. My favorite books include The Eight by Katherine Neville, Winter People by Phyllis Whitney, and The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.
Who are some of your other favorite authors to read? As listed above. I also like to read debut authors as well as popular authors.
What do you think of critique groups in general? They can be helpful, but it depends on the people involved.
Where do you see yourself in five years? I’d like to be published by a large publisher, and maybe be on a national bestseller list for one of my books.
How long have you been writing - have you always wanted to be a writer? I’ve been writing as a hobby since I was in second grade. My first professional publications were a short story for a mystery anthology and articles in cat magazines when I was in my early thirties. I also wrote for my college newspaper for which I won an award in my Sophomore year.
How many books have you written, how many have been published? I don’t have a figure for the number of books I’ve written because I haven’t had a chance to go through notebooks from earlier in my life, but I’ve currently had 5 books and a novella published. I also have two unpublished books that I’m querying to agents.
After you've written your book and it's been published, do you ever buy it and/or read it? I always buy a copy, but I usually just glance through it to check for printing errors. I occasionally read bits and pieces, but I’m always afraid of finding typos or mistakes I’ve missed.
Among your own books, have you a favorite book? Favorite hero or heroine? A Stone’s Throw, the first book in my Cobble Cove series, is one of my favorites because it’s the first book that was accepted by a publisher. I like the main character, Alicia, who is a librarian, but I especially like Sneaky, the Cobble Cove library cat, who is loosely based on my deceased Siamese, Oliver. Sneaky, while not playing major roles in any of the books, has some cute scenes and even “paws” his own blog at https://sneakylibrarycat.wordpress.com.
What book for you has been the easiest to write? The hardest? The most fun? I wouldn’t say any of them are especially easy or hard. The editing is often the difficult part. As far as being fun, I enjoy writing all of them.
Which comes first, the story, the characters or the setting? What are the elements of a great romance for you? I usually start with the main characters and add more as I go along, but the story or plot is pretty intertwined with the characters and setting. To be honest, I don’t read a lot of pure romance. I like romantic suspense books and romances that are sub-plots of mysteries. I believe the best elements of romance are attraction, ambiance, a lovely setting, and two people who are drawn together and sometimes apart by circumstances but end up happily ever after.
What is the hardest part of writing/the easiest for you? The hardest part is finding the time to write and the time to promote the book once it’s published. The easiest part is coming up with ideas and letting the characters lead me into their scenes.
Have you experienced writer's block---> If so, how did you work through it? I haven’t really experienced writer’s block, although I’ve had periods where I felt stuck in a certain scene but then realized that I was thinking too much. For me, I have to write without worrying about spelling, grammar, or other technical issues of the manuscript so that my creativity is free to take over.
What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer? The most rewarding thing I’ve found to being a writer is recognition from readers and finding fans who enjoy your work and ask for more. There’s also nothing that compares to seeing your words in print and your book on a bookstore or library shelf. It’s like seeing your child for the first time, a bit surrealistic.
If you weren't writing, what would you be doing? I’d still be involved with books because I’m a librarian, but I don’t think I’d ever stop writing even if I don’t publish another word because it’s too much of who I am.
Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers? I believe there are more opportunities than ever to be published today because of the Internet and the rise of eBooks. There are many wonderful small publishers such as Solstice Publishing who are committed to helping their authors achieve success. There are also many self-published authors who do well, and others who publish with large publishers. The important thing to remember is to write what you feel and not to take rejections personally. If you believe in your work and yourself, someone else will believe in you, too.