10/13/11

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR DEBBY CONRAD

Hi Debby. Thank you for being with us today. Why don’t you tell us a little about the first book you sold.

The first book I sold was LUST’S BETRAYAL.
here is the back blurb –

Steamy adultery, romance, secrets and murder – that’s what the McLaughlin family is made of.

Ross McLaughlin hasn’t loved a woman since his wife died, and his teenage daughter Emma is enthralled with a wannabe rock star. When they receive a letter from a sick loved one, Ross reluctantly heads home. The na├»ve Emma can hardly wait to meet her family and find out about their past, yet Ross harbors an unspeakable secret: a member of the family might just be her mother’s killer. After this summer on the lake, the McLaughlins’ lives will never be the same.


Where were you when you got your first book contract? Who did you tell?
I was at work. I called my good friend and fellow writer Mary Campisi. She was the one who tipped me off about the publisher wanting new authors for their romance lines.

What draws you to write your genre and sub genre?

I love to read romantic comedy and romantic suspense so naturally I chose those genres to write. You can never have too much laughter in your life, and the suspense
elements keep me guessing.

Do you have any tips for new writers? Yes, I actually have a few. 1) Write a page a day, no matter what. A page a day equals a book a year. I don’t always do this, but when I am disciplined, it works. There are days that my planned 1 page per day turns into several pages per day. If you step away from your book longer than a day, it is extremely difficult to get back in the habit of writing daily. I have learned anything
can turn into a habit once you do it 21 days in a row. 2) Find a critique partner or critique group. Make those critique partners accountable to you and you to them. This will keep everyone writing and moving toward the finish line. The prize – A
completed novel!

What is your guilty pleasure?
I love to play mindless computer games. After a stressful day at my full time job, I enjoy coming home and playing games so I do not have to think about anything else.
Those computer games are also my worst enemies—they keep me from writing. They are time wasters, so try to limit your time on the computer to checking emails and playing games to 30 minutes per day, or only after you have written your page for the day.
Where can your readers reach you?
Email: DKAY@aol.com or my web site: www.debbyconrad.com
Are you working on another book?
Yes, I am working on a body switching story that is a Romantic Suspense. The working title is CHANCES ARE.
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share?
Jenna Caldwell left the big city of Chicago in search of her birth mother. But along the way, a car accident changes her life forever. She is now living in the body of another woman, married to a man who despises her. And how can she blame him once she finds out she may have hired someone to murder him?
How did you come up with the title?
I was thinking “Chances Are” this will never happen and it just clicked.
Do you work on one project at a time or mulitples?
One. I am too scatterbrained to do multiple projects, but I admire those who can. J
Is there one particular thing that you find challenging about writing?
Yes. Believing in myself. Every author goes through periods of self doubt, and I am no different. I try to tell myself if I never publish another book I have had a good life and should not be greedy by wanting something I may not be able to have. Then, I kick myself and say, “But I really need this. My life would not be complete without writing and seeing my stories published.”
Who is your favorite author?
I don’t have just one. I love to read books written by different authors. I love Sandra
Brown’s romantic suspense novels and Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s romantic comedies. I love Leland Barclay’s witty humor and bad guy characters as well as Nelson DeMille’s ability to mix humor with his terrorist plots.
What are you reading now?
RETRIBUTION by Jilliane Hoffman.
Are your characters a reflection on you or anyone you know?
Not normally. But then again, I will never say never. J
Do you use more than one pen name?
I do not use a pen name.
What do you do to get in the mood to write?
Absolute quiet. I cannot stand background noises like TV. I sometimes like to take a hot bath, relax with my eyes closed and let my imagination run wild. And the third thing is I sometimes think about my characters and plot while I am on a road trip.
What is your favorite thing about writing?
I love losing myself in the writing and playing out the character roles. Real life is so exhausting sometimes. It is fun letting the imagination take control.
If you were a supernatural creature, what would you like to be and why?
Probably an angel. Angels are nice. I hate the thought of being something mean or scary.
How long have you been a writer?
Since 1996. It took me 10 years to publish my first novel.
How many books have you written? How many have been published?
I have completed 14 books and published 3.
Do you have a favorite character from one of you own books? Who and Why?
I would have to say Pepper Delaney from EVERYTHING BUT THE TRUTH.
She witnessed a mob murder then dressed as a hooker to slip out of town
unnoticed. She continues the charade as she has no idea who to trust. She’s a gutsy heroine.
What is the easiest and hardest thing about writing?
The easiest part is being able to escape reality and the hardest part is the discipline. Life always seems to get in the way of everything.
Do you find love scenes difficult to write? Absolutely. A writer tries to be unique with every scene, but there are only so many ways to write a love scene that does not cheat the reader out of the fine details. It is the most uncomfortable part of the writing, at least for me.
Are any of your personal experiences reflected in your writing?
There are always personal life experiences which help an author make her writing more authentic, but none of my characters are based on me personally.
How long does it usually take you to write a book?
I have written a book in as little as 6 weeks, when I wasn’t working, but my current work in progress has been ongoing for 7 years now. Normally, 4 months is my average.
Do you set timelines when you’re writing or write when the feeling hits you?
Normally when the feeling hits me or when I need to take something to critique group. Several years ago, when I was fortunate enough to stay home and write full time, I wrote every day.
Do you characters talk to you?
Sometimes they do. When I am really into my writing, I can feel my characters’ emotions and it is as if they are real people.
Who controls the storyline, you or your characters?
Mostly me, but on occasion I have surprised myself by moving in a different direction based on what I feel a particular character wanted to do.
What is your writing day like once you start a book? Because of my day job I do not have a writing day.
If I am lucky enough to have the weekend to write, I like it to be my project for 2 days
straight. I will write for an hour, get up and do something else, then come back and write another hour or so. In between, of course I waste time playing stupid computer games or checking emails, doing laundry and cooking.
Do you promo your backlists when you’re writing a new book, or dedicate your time solely to writing?
I am bad about self promotion, although I am putting 2 of my books, which are out of print, up on Amazon as a Kindle selection along with another book. They will be available in a few weeks.
How many books do you write in a year?
When I was on a roll I could write 2-4 per year, but I am slow as molasses right now.
Thank you again, Debby for answering all our questions. I personally look forward to reading more of your stories and cannot wait for your next book.