I am often amazed by the people I’ve meet along my publication journey. Everything from fellow homemakers to to full-time, hard working professionals. I meet Debbie about a year ago and was startled by what she told me about her work history, as well as what inspired her to write. I’m sure you’ll be just as fascinated with my Canadian friend!
What inspired you to write?
Although I have always had a fertile imagination, loved reading and never left home without paper and a pencil, I didn’t start writing stories until I hit high school. Always hoping I would eventually write a novel, it wasn’t until the tragic loss of my baby that I finally found myself turning to writing as an outlet. I did not want to write about my experience, I needed to create a place where people truly cared about others.
MJ: I am so sorry for your loss. I know many writers have found writing to be a great outlet to help us heal. I know I have.
You have a lot of irons in the fire. Not only are you a wife, mother, and author, can you tell us a little more about what else you do? What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I am a member of the Canadian Forces, Captain and 2nd in command of an army cadet corps. An injury from the time of my loss has left me with a seriously damaged ligament, and I have since had to stop teaching Karate, flying, and working outside the home. I had enjoyed teaching on military bases but can no longer keep up since there are days I walk with a cane.
I write every day, with the exception of a day a month where no computer-no internetis imposed for peace of mind. Some mornings I get up before anyone else, and other days I write long into the night. I have to write around everyone else’s schedule, but so far it seems to be working. I can’t imagine having time to just sit and write undisturbed.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Are you asking me if I miss my exit driving because I’m having a discussion with my characters? ;o) Well, for one thing, I tend to research everything to death. For example, instead of picking an existing town, I take the details of the town I’ve created and find its match on internet. When I wrote Amethyst Eyes, I didn’t know if the Earth setting was in Canada or the U.S. until I found a place that fit all established criteria. As it turns out it is in Invermere, British Colombia. I have been known to spend days doing research for something that had no more than a line in the story, but I want my facts to be accurate.
MJ: I once got stuck in a six level parking garage while plotting out a scene in my head. I didn’t realize it until I passed the same car for the fourth time! LOL!
Are you a pantser or plotter?
So not a plotter…
I let the story unfold before me and hurry to type what I see. (My mind is faster than my fingers…). I am totally detached from what’s going on to the point where my characters manage to surprise me with what’s happening.
I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have recently completed an advanced writing course and had to plot out my stories…sheer torture. I would rather be out on survival training than have to do that again. I use charts though, character charts with everything from physical description to quirks, and because I write Sci-Fi, I have charts for food, clothing, technology and whatever else might be needed. Much easier than sifting through pages and pages to know what so-and-so was doing/wearing.
Are your stories based on experiences based on someone you know, or are events in your own life reflected in the characters/stories you write? Can you share and example?
I think my experiences has served me to no end, from nursing to martial arts, raising animals to military training, and so much more. Having taught martial arts, gymnastics, baseball, elementary, high school, and military candidates has given me a whole slew of characters and characteristics to choose from. I do have the writer antennae though…observing people, places and situations, and either describing it through a narration or fitting it into a scene somewhere. My mind is seldom at rest…and being able to multi-task is not always a good thing.
Do you have any suggestions to help new authors become better writers? If so, what are they?
Write. Don’t wait to find the time, take the time.
Don’t look to others for support if it is something you want to do, just do it.
Read all you can read, and learn anything and everything about writing.
Write what you know, what you like, what you are comfortable with.
You will need an author platform, might as well get started on it early.
Don’t wait until your book has been released to start promoting it, start now.
Ask questions, engage in discussions, get your work critiqued, and most of all…have fun.
Are you self-pubbed, indie pubbed, or traditionally pubbed?
Although I had been offered a traditional contract for Amethyst Eyes, when I was told it would take 12-18 months before the release of the novel (and then they added “…though lately it’s more like 18-24…”) I declined the offer and went with Assisted Publishing. I was dying inside and needed to see this project through. I loved the service I got, though I found the final cover to be too dark (my pic is much lighter), and the fact that the book appeared worldwide…but let’s be honest, what are my chances of selling a book in Croatia?
For Rebirth, I have a contract.
MJ: Congratulations! We’ll be looking forward to your new project!
What are your current projects?
Rebirth has been offered a publishing contract, and they are waiting on the completion of Amethyst Eyes, the Legend Comes to Life as well as Emma, to Begin Again. I am ecstatic.
I handed in my last writing assignment a few days ago, and that takes a load off of my shoulders.
Marketing is not something that can be ignored, and I can’t help but wonder what the impact of marketing one vs. marketing four novels.
MJ: Debbie, with my second novel due out in March, I think we’ll be learning this step together!
Waking up in the hospital from the car accident that claimed his mother’s life, 15-year-old Tommy is told his father is on his way. Unaware of his father’s true identity or the reason he left so long ago, the teen is unprepared for the reality of the life he must now lead. In the blink of an eye Tommy finds himself on an alien vessel…his father is not from Earth!
The challenges Tommy face go beyond adapting to a new home and school. But first, he has to survive Jayden…the reluctant, unsympathetic tutor, tasked to help him fit in. When he finally thinks things are getting better, things come crashing down as he learns that being born with amethyst eyes has made him the target of some very unfriendly beings.
AMETHYST EYES…THE LEGEND COMES TO LIFE
Three years after his arrival onboard, Tommy begins Specific Training to assume his place in his father’s society. The transition to adulthood, laden with unexplored emotions and overwhelming responsibilities, have made this unstoppable change too much to handle. Tommy wants to go back home, to Earth, to a way of life he’d been forced to leave behind. An unforeseen attack on his father, a disaster on Earth, and the added weight of responsibility take their toll on the young man, who suddenly finds himself struggling to save the ones he loves.
Chased from their homes in the city by aliens bent on destruction, three teens suddenly find themselves on the run with little kids in tow. As people vanish and buildings crumble, they seek shelter and safety in the nearby mountains of Montana. Survival depends on their ability to adapt with nothing more than the items pilfered from a crumbling store. Hovering in the background is the constant threat of being discovered by the aliens, adding to the pressure the teens already feel having no shelter, a limited supply of food and the well-being of three children to ensure. The teens must come up with some creative solutions before the inevitable onset of winter while attempting to remain “invisible” to avoid capture. Being mature and responsible is no longer optional as they deal with their individual personalities, traumas, and learn to raise a baby. Unaware of the extent of the alien destruction, they cannot help but wonder if all their survival efforts are just putting off the inevitable.
As an ER nurse, Emma knows life can change in the blink of an eye. When fate comes knocking, she finds herself far away form the city and back on the mountain ranch where she grew up -with the intention to close up and sell so she can move on.
But fate isn’t done with her yet, and that’s when she finds him, the one Two-Feathers refers to as ‘Star Brother’. Wounded and unconscious, Emma assumes he’s a military test pilot, until he opens his amethyst eyes and stares into the very essence of her being.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I am a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature, and have completed an advanced writing course for select graduates as well.
I have been traipsing around the depths of my imagination for as long as I can remember and began writing stories back when I was twelve. I love to read just about anything, from technical manuals to self-help, sci-fi to romance. I do avoid anything overly violent or graphic and have never been a fan of horror. I have a good memory and vivid imagination so I avoid reading or watching things I don’t want stored in my mind.
Amethyst Eyes was my first published novel. It is about a 15-year-old boy who has to leave his life behind to go live with his father after losing his mother in a tragic accident. Although the setting becomes sci-fi (since his father is not from Earth and Tommy has to live on his father’s spaceship), the story is more about growth and human interaction. There is a lot of adventure and a few twists to keep the readers busy throughout the book.
Over the years I have worked as a nurse, a school teacher, a martial arts instructor, baseball, figure-skating and gymnastics coach as well as an artist, selling my paintings in an art gallery. I have been part of an orchestra, flown planes and gone on wilderness hikes. I am an officer in the Canadian Forces, and though I have taught on different military bases, I now work primarily with cadets. Writing full time is my next goal.
Never having been much of a city girl, I live with the youngest of my four children, my husband Jean-Pierre, and Wookie, our Cardigan Corgi, in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec. I could not imagine life without the beauty found in the mountains and lakes that surround me. I enjoy the change in seasons and my perfect cure for a long winter’s night is curling up in front of a fire with a good book while snowflakes drift slowly past my window.
Follow these links to connect with Debbie online or purchase her book!