Posted in blog challenge

#LifeBooksWriting Blog Challenge: 5 Things about Me

takeoveraboutmeIf you’re reading this post, there’s a good chance you know a lot about me already; so when I attempted to meet the challenge of writing five things about myself, I decided to include facts that some people weren’t aware of but might find interesting.

  1. debbienewpicI chose to become a librarian after taking a college vocational test in my Sophomore year at college that showed my interests and skills to be best matched to a career in librarianship  and writing. I’ve worked as a librarian for 25 years and will be publishing my third novel this fall.
  2. I grew up with cats, have written about them in short stories, articles, and books and am a long-time member of a wonderful organization known as the Cat Writer’s Association. I currently have two male cats of my own – a striped, 7-year old tabby my daughter named Stripey and my mother’s 16-year old Siamese, Oliver, who I adopted three years ago. oliverstripey
  3. bonesAlthough I don’t watch a lot of television, I enjoy The Librarians, The Catch, and my favorite series, Bones, that I recently started watching on Netflix.
  4. hollybabyMy happiest experiences were my wedding day 25 years ago next July; the birth of my daughter who will be 12 this October; and the contract offer from Limitless Publishing I received for my novel, A STONE’S THROW, that was published last November and which will soon have a sequel.
  5. blackforestcake2My favorite dessert is Black Forest cake, and I love dark chocolate. My favorite snacks are unsalted peanuts out of the shell and sugarless gum.

 

blogchallengegraphicupdated
It’s a pleasure to participate in the blog challenge Sophia Valentine of Lifestyle and Literature created (see graphic for topics and dates if you have a blog and would like to participate. If you’re a reader, I’m sure you’ll enjoy learning about some of the great participating authors).

 

 

 

 

Posted in A Stone's Throw, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, blog challenge, Books

#LifeBooksWriting Blog Challenge: Profile of My Character

betweenarockandahardplacesolsticecover
Cover Image of BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE, releasing this fall.

While this blog post topic is a week late for the challenge because I was on vacation and very busy when I returned, I still wanted to write it to introduce one of my newest characters in my mystery BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE, the sequel to A STONE’S THROW.  I am busy working on edits for this book and hope it’s out in October or November.

Warning: If you haven’t read A STONE’S THROW yet, you might want to skip this post because it contains a spoiler from the ending.

kimpic
What Kim Pierce, college journalism major from the upcoming BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE, Cobble Cove Mystery #2, might look like

While many characters from A STONE’S THROW are still included in its sequel, there are also quite a few new characters as Cobble Cove expands. Two of the newer characters introduced in BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE are college students, Kim Pierce and Andy Phillips. The two young people are journalism interns who work for John at the Cobble Cove Courier. Kim also babysits for John and Alicia’s twins. I am profiling her for this challenge.

Kim is the second oldest in a large family. She wears her brown hair in a ponytail and dresses casually in sweaters and jeans. She and Andy, who work together on the newspaper, are dating. Their relationship becomes tested in the book when he is suspected and later accused of some of the crimes that take place in Cobble Cove during the holiday season. When Kim witnesses an event that touches John and Alicia, her older brother Carter comforts her in Andy’s place.

Here is an unedited scene from BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE, Cobble Cove Mystery #2 starring Kim:

The babysitter appeared at the nursery door. She was dressed in tight-fitting jeans, a pale fuzzy blue sweater that accented her light blue eyes. Her brown hair was tied back in a ponytail.

“Sorry that took so long,” she said not even out of breath having run up the stairs. Alicia envied the girl’s 20-year old body.

“Not to worry. I know how long doctors take. Sheila sent me home because she thinks I need more rest, but I feel fine. John was around earlier, but he’s gone to do some chores. Since you’re here, maybe I’ll take him up on his suggestion to go Christmas shopping or do something in town.”

Kim smiled. “Of course. You deserve to have time to yourself. I can watch the twins until four and then I have to get ready for my evening class.”

“I should be back way before then. How are your classes going this semester?”

Kim walked over to the cribs and looked down at the babies who were starting to fall asleep. In a low voice, she replied. “They’re good. Lots of work, but I enjoy it.”

“How much longer do you need to go before you earn your degree?”

Kim was by Carol’s crib, and she smiled as the baby opened her eyes again and regarded her with a gurgle. She reached down and tickled her.

“So sweet. Your babies are adorable, Alicia. One day, I hope to have cuties like these. But I want to start my career first. If I can afford the classes next year, I’ll be able to finish the following spring.”

Alicia knew college costs were high. “Are you taking out any loans?” When Alicia was at Long Island University, she’d earned some scholarships but she’d also borrowed money in her last year at library school. Luckily, she was able to pay her loan off shortly after she married her first husband.

“I’m not sure that’s a wise thing to do,” Kim said walking over to Johnny and watching as he followed his sister in waking up.

“I hate to have to pay back all that money with interest. I know I won’t earn much in the field I’m entering, especially in the beginning, and I can’t expect my parents to help much since I have three sisters and a brother at home.”

Alicia knew that both Kim and John’s other assistant, Andy, were from lower middle-class families. Kim came from a large family compared to today’s households and, although Andy only had a younger brother, his dad had died in a car accident a few years ago. His mother was struggling to make ends meet. She felt for the young people who were just starting out and was glad that John was paying them for their work on the paper and that she could offer Kim additional money for babysitting.

Buy links for A STONE’S THROW:

Amazon U.S.: KINDLE: http://amzn.to/1MjaJgN

Amazon Australia: http://bit.ly/1Sdh82D

Amazon Canada: http://amzn.to/1SdheHi

Amazon U.K.: http://amzn.to/1QutXBW

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1nQPyv4

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1KGYHep

Also available on iTunes and Ingram

Connect with me on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debbie.delouise.author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Deblibrarian

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2750133.Debbie_De_Louise

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Debbie-De-Louise/e/B0144ZGXPW/

Website/Blog/Newsletter Sign-Up: https://debbiedelouise.wordpress.com

blogchallengegraphicupdatedI’m very excited to participate in the blog challenge Sophia Valentine of Lifestyle and Literature created (see graphic for topics and dates if you have a blog and would like to participate. If you’re a reader, I’m sure you’ll enjoy learning about some of the great participating authors).

 

 

 

 

Posted in A Stone's Throw, Authors, blog challenge, Books, Limitless Publishing

#LifeBooksWriting Blog Challenge: About My Recent Book

stonesthrowamazonI’m very excited to participate in the blog challenge Sophia Valentine of Lifestyle and Literature created (see graphics at the bottom of this post for topics and dates if you have a blog and would like to participate. If you’re a reader, I’m sure you’ll enjoy learning about some of the great participating authors).

This week, I will be talking about my recent book., “A Stone’s Throw.” that was published in November 2015 by Limitless Publishing. I am working on the sequel, “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” (2nd in the Cobble Cove Mysteries) series that will be released soon.

Below is the blurb, an excerpt, the book trailer, and some reviews of “A Stone’s Throw.” I am also including the purchase links for the book along with my social media links and Amazon and Goodreads Author Pages as well as my website/blog and newsletter sign-up link.

Widowed librarian Alicia Fairmont needs answers…

After her husband is killed in a hit and run accident, Alicia travels upstate to his hometown of Cobble Cove, New York, hoping to locate his estranged family and shed light on his mysterious past. Anticipating staying only a weekend, her visit is extended when she accepts a job at the town’s library.

Secrets stretch decades into the past…

Assisted by handsome newspaper publisher and aspiring novelist, John McKinney, Alicia discovers a connection between her absent in-laws and a secret John’s father has kept for over sixty years. But her investigation is interrupted when she receives word her house has burned and arson is suspected, sending her rushing back to Long Island, accompanied by John.

Back in Cobble Cove, cryptic clues are uncovered…

When Alicia returns, she finds a strange diary, confiscated letters, and a digital audio device containing a recording made the day her husband was killed. Anonymous notes warn Alicia to leave town, but she can’t turn her back on the mystery—or her attraction to John.

As the pieces begin to fall into place, evidence points to John’s involvement in her husband’s accident. The past and present threaten to collide, and Alicia confronts her fears…

Has she fallen in love with her husband’s killer?

Watch the Trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTL6s3a9Y1s

1

EXCERPT

“Who is the other visitor?” Alicia was curious about the sleeping guest.

“Oh, John,” Dora chuckled. “He’s not a visitor. He lives up the road, but he stays here occasionally. I think it’s just to keep me company, but he says the atmosphere inspires his writing. He also does some chores for me.”

“He’s an author?”

Dora chose a cinnamon bun and spread some butter on it. “He’s actually our town’s newspaper publisher. He also keeps the town’s records, but he’s working on a book, too. He stays busy. I guess it helps him recover.”

This was interesting. If this guy John kept the town records, maybe he could track down Pete’s sister and mother. But what was he recovering from? Alicia was hesitant to ask. Maybe the man was in rehab for alcohol or drug addiction, or perhaps he had cancer or been in an accident.

“Talking about me again, Dora?” They hadn’t even heard him in the doorway. The man who stood there did not look drunk, sick, or injured. He was tall, even taller than Pete which would probably make him about six feet. He was thin but muscular, and he didn’t look like he spent a lot of time working at a computer. His hair was dark and thick with only a few strands of gray. He was clean shaven with deep blue eyes she noticed immediately.

“Ah, good morning, John. You’ve awoken before the rooster crows.” Dora got up. “I have some cleaning to do upstairs. Why don’t you come and meet your fellow guest, Alicia?”

John bent forward as if to bow. “Pleased to meet you, ma’am.” He  extended his hand. “John McKinney at your service.”

McKinney? “Are you a related to Mr. McKinney at the library?”

John smiled as Dora made her exit, muffin in hand. He sat in the chair she left. “He’s my dad.”

Kiev, Ukraine - October 17, 2012 - A logotype collection of well-known social media brand's printed on paper. Include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Vimeo, Flickr, Myspace, Tumblr, Livejournal, Foursquare and more other logos.

Connect with me on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debbie.delouise.author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Deblibrarian

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2750133.Debbie_De_Louise

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Debbie-De-Louise/e/B0144ZGXPW/

Website/Blog/Newsletter Sign-Up: https://debbiedelouise.wordpress.com

Buy links for A STONE’S THROW:

Amazon U.S.: KINDLE: http://amzn.to/1MjaJgN

Amazon Australia: http://bit.ly/1Sdh82D

Amazon Canada: http://amzn.to/1SdheHi

Amazon U.K.: http://amzn.to/1QutXBW

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1nQPyv4

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1KGYHep

Also available on iTunes and Ingram

blogchallengegraphicupdated

 

 

Posted in A Stone's Throw, Authors, blog challenge, Books

#LifeBooksWriting Blog Challenge: My Five-Year Plan

blogchallengegraphicupdatedI’m very excited to participate in the blog challenge Sophia Valentine of Lifestyle and Literature created (see graphic for topics and dates if you have a blog and would like to participate. If you’re a reader, I’m sure you’ll enjoy learning about some of the great participating authors).

This week’s post is about where I’d like to be in five years. Although this can apply to many life areas, I’m going to concentrate on my writing right now. Since a “picture’s worth a thousand words,” here is my view of what I would like to see happen with my books in five years. I’ve only shown one possible headline, but I hope to have at least five more books published by 2021.newspaper3How do I plan to make this happen? I’ll continue writing, of course. Currently, my mystery tentatively titled, “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” has been contracted with Solstice Publishing. It is the sequel to “A Stone’s Throw” published last November.  I am also working on a completely new standalone I consider a psychological thriller. I’m hoping to submit it to an agent and/or publisher some time this fall.

Besides writing, I need to promote my books. I plan to continue advertising on social media but, more importantly, connecting with my followers. My five-year plan includes  making additional professional and reader contacts; increasing subscribers to my author newsletter; sending press releases to the media; and appearing at libraries, bookstores, author signings, and writing conferences. Maybe in five years I’ll be able to clone myself, so I can manage to do all this.  If not, I will try to prioritize my time as best as I can.

If I don’t achieve my goal in five years or sooner, I will still be happy if I’ve reached a good number of people who enjoy my books. I don’t intend to compete with anyone but myself or change my writing to please what I perceive the public wants. That doesn’t mean I won’t try to emulate some of my favorite authors or seek advice from fellow writers and readers. It simply means I will strive to improve my writing with each book and develop my own individual style.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in A Stone's Throw, Authors, blog challenge, Books, Cat Writer's Association, Cloudy Rainbow, Limitless Publishing

#LifeBooksWriting Blog Challenge: My Publishing Journey

blogchallengegraphicupdatedI’m very excited to participate in the blog challenge Sophia Valentine of Lifestyle and Literature created (see graphic for topics and dates if you have a blog and would like to participate. If you’re a reader, I’m sure you’ll enjoy learning about some of the great participating authors).

debbiehicksvilleThis week, I will be talking about my publishing journey where, how, and why I started on this path, how far I’ve come so far, and where I hope to be in the future.

lobaughawardI’ve always loved reading and writing. When I was young, I would drive my family crazing making up and relating stories before I even knew how to write. In college, I majored in English and became a Features Editor on the student newspaper at Long Island Unversity/C.W. Post Campus. I received a special award for my writing on the paper, The Lawrence C. Lobaugh, Jr. award in journalism. When I decided to become a librarian and enrolled in the Palmer School of Library and Information Science also at Post, I volunteered to edit and publish the graduate school newsletter, Annotations.

debbieaward1After college, I wrote articles for cat magazines and published a short story in a mystery anthology called Cat Crimes Through Time. I also joined the Cat Writer’s Association and am still an active member today. In fact, I just won their Glamour Puss Award sponsored by the Hartz Mountain Corporation for my article, “Brush your cat for Bonding Beauty, and Better Health.” I received a beautiful plaque for this award and a check from Hartz.

cloudyrainbowAfter my beloved cat Floppy died, I self-published a novel, Cloudy Rainbow, and made him a character in it. My daughter was young at this time, and I stopped writing for some years following the publication of Cloudy Rainbow, but I started back up again after taking some Gale Online Writing and Publishing Courses that my library offers free to library card holders. I began submitting articles and stories to various publications and was published in my local paper and Catster.com, an online cat magazine.

stonesthrowamazonIt was at this time, that I also began writing my mystery, A Stone’s Throw, that was published in November 2015 by Limitless Publishing after their managing editor liked my tweet on a twitter event called Pit2Pub and the publisher offered me a contract after reviewing my manuscript. I had found out about this event as I became further involved in social media to help promote my work. Here is a link to my interview with Kristin Kristin D. Van Risseghem, the organizer of this event. http://bit.ly/1Yxazt8

Once I became traditionally published, I learned much more about the publishing business. The amount of time and effort that authors put into marketing and promoting their books was an eye-opener. By networking and interacting online with other authors, I discovered what happened after your book is published. I found out about book blogs, blog tours, Facebook and Twitter parties and events, newsletters, mailing lists, book talks, author signings and conferences, and much  more. It was overwhelming at first, and I’m still finding it hard to balance the time between writing, marketing, and working a full-time job as well as spending time with my family.

Currently, I am working on the sequel (possible 2nd in the Cobble Cove Mysteries) series and am very close to announcing some great news about it. I also have a completed manuscript for a psychological thriller that I’m hoping to submit to an agent for a chance at having my work considered with a larger publisher.

Below are some interviews and articles about me that include further details about my publishing journey. I have also included my social media links and website where you can sign up for my author newsletter that features a monthly contest and updates on my writing and books.

Interview for Lifestyle & Literature Blog

Interview for Jane Hunt Writer Blog

The Braille Club Interview

Interview with Natalina Reis on her blog, Never Too Late

Local Author Releases Second Novel

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debbie.delouise.author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Deblibrarian

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2750133.Debbie_De_Louise

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Debbie-De-Louise/e/B0144ZGXPW/

Website/Blog/Newsletter Sign-Up: https://debbiedelouise.com

 

 

Posted in Authors, blog challenge, Books

#LifeBooksWriting Blog Challenge: My Cat Collection

blogchallengegraphicupdatedI’m very excited to participate in the blog challenge Sophia Valentine of Lifestyle and Literature created (see graphic for topics and dates if you have a blog and would like to participate. If you’re a reader, I’m sure you’ll enjoy learning about some of the great participating authors).

catcollecting2catcollecting4editedThe topic of this week’s challenge is collections. I used to be an avid collector of all types of cat items — cat plates, cat music boxes, cat statues, cat knick knacks, cat jewelry, cat clothing, and, of course, cat books.

catcollecting5catcollecting6Not only did I collect cat objects, but I found creative ways to store and display them. Many of my delicate figurines are contained inside a tower of boxes featuring cats, while a bunch of round, cat-decorated boxes are home to my cat jewelry and scarves. Some of my Cat’s Meow Village pieces grace the window in my office while several figurines line my bedroom bookshelf.

I became so addicted to cat collecting that I even joined Cat Collectors, an international organization established by Marilyn Dipboye in 1982. It had its own newsletter, Cat Talk, published by Karen Shanks and even an annual conference. Although this organization is no longer active, I located a similar Facebook group that might be

catcollecting1I became so addicted to cat collecting that I even joined Cat Collectors, an international organization established by Marilyn Dipboye in 1982. It had its own newsletter, Cat Talk, published by Karen Shanks and even an annual conference. Although this organization is no longer active, I located a similar Facebook group that seems to be its successor: https://www.facebook.com/Cat.Collectors/

I don’t collect as many cat items as I once did mainly because there isn’t room for them in my house. However, if I come across a unique cat item or one that I can’t resist, I allow myself to splurge on it. Cat collectibles are still very popular and can be found at craft fairs, street fairs, festivals, garage sales, souvenir shops, antique shops, gift shops, department stores, and, of course, on Ebay, Amazon.com, and other online sites.

Here is the 1985 article about Cat Collectors: http://trib.in/29RMPyf

This is the Ebay site for listings of cat collectibles: http://ebay.to/29BtVrm

You can find some cat figurines through this search on Amazon: http://amzn.to/29GLB6G

This is the link to the Cat’s Meow Village collectibles site: https://www.catsmeow.com/

A Few Cat Collectible gift sites:

http://bit.ly/29Givs2

http://bit.ly/29BtNrY

http://bit.ly/29Tu9zM

 

 

 

Posted in Authors, blog challenge, Books

#LifeBooksWriting Blog Challenge: My Top 5 Motivational Sources for Writing

blogchallengegraphicupdatedI’m very excited to participate in the blog challenge Sophia Valentine of Lifestyle and Literature created (see graphic for topics and dates if you have a blog and would like to participate. If you’re a reader, I’m sure you’ll enjoy learning about some of the great participating authors).

Motivation is the topic of this week’s blog challenge, and I’ve listed the 5 top sources that motivate me to write.

  1. BADGE_WhiteSpecialAwardsReceiving Recognition – When an author  receives recognition from publishers, editors, agents, and other professionals, it motivates them. When I was offered a contract with Limitless Publishing last summer for my novel, A Stone’s Throw, it inspired me to continue writing. Also, when I recently won the Hartz Glamour Puss Award for the article that I submitted to the Cat Writer’s Association on grooming, I was thrilled and honored to receive this special recognition that motivates me to continue my article as well as book writing.
  2. 1 Feedback from Fans – Most authors are motivated by good reviews and comments from readers. When I become discouraged by low sales or overwhelmed by the pressure of marketing my work, my mood is truly lifted by positive words about my writing.
  3. Author Support and Inspiration The support and sharing of knowledge by other authors has been a great motivation for me. Keeping in touch with fellow writers offers many opportunities. For instance, I joined with other authors in self-publishing an anthology of romances called “Love, Always” that will be used as a promotional tool for all of us in reaching more readers. The Cover Reveal for this book is Friday, July 1st. For more details about this event that will offer 10 free copies of the anthology as well as a chance to win 12 ebooks. Love Always Anthology Cover (1)DeLouise Teaservisit https://www.facebook.com/events/1624146344580295/
  4. My Ideas – When I think of something that would make a good article, story, or book, it motivates me to write. The only drawback to this source of motivation is finding the time to get all these ideas down, edit, submit, and market them.
  5. My book sales and Rankings – When I see that my books are selling well, it motivates me to continue writing  because I feel that there are people interested in my work and waiting to read more of my writing.

Those are my top writing motivations. Notice that money is not among them. As a new author, I don’t expect to strike it rich immediately or ever, but it does mean a lot for me to know that I am reaching people with my words, making them happy or excited, puzzled, or even sad sometimes. That’s what many authors have done for me and what I wish to do for all my readers.

Posted in A Stone's Throw, Authors, blog challenge, Books

#LifeBooksWriting Blog Challenge: My Top 5 (10) Books and Why

blogchallengegraphicupdatedThis week’s blog challenge is about my 5 Favorite books and what I like about them. I couldn’t limit it to 5, so I am featuring my top 10 (I could probably list a lot more and have actually cheated a bit by listing more than one by each author). Sophia Valentine of Lifestyle and Literature created this blog challenge (see graphic for topics and dates if you have a blog and would like to participate. If you’re a reader, I’m sure you’ll enjoy learning about some of the great participating authors).

My 10 Favorite Books

Authors (and librarians, too) are often asked what books they have read and enjoyed. Like movie reviews, their replies are very individual and not necessarily meant as recommendations. Below I have listed some of my favorite books and series along with why I liked them and what I would perhaps like to emulate about the writing style or plot. They are not listed in any particular order.

friblog1secondglance1. Second Glance and Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult 
While I have read a few of Picoult’s books, these two stand out for me. They both have a touch of paranormal that I like with the sense of past and strong characters that appeal to me. I also enjoyed  Leaving Time for it’s unique information about elephants and a great twist featuring a touch of supernatural, as well.  One of my books, Cloudy Rainbow, also features a touch of the paranormal.

2. The Eight by Katherine Neville

friblog2Not an easy book to read but one that is worth reading several times. Historical detail about the French Revolution is nicely researched. It brings to mind one of my classic favorites, A Tale of Two Cities. The characters are witty and colorful. The time switches between the past and the present merge well. Information about chess and its history and masters is a plus.

friblog33. Chill Factor by Sandra Brown
This mystery novel is atmospheric and features well-depicted winter weather effects. It kept me guessing until nearly the end.

4. The Summerhouse by Jude Deveraux friblog4
As a time travel fan, this hit a chord with me. I loved the characters and plot.

friblog55. Find Me by Carol O’Connell
All of the Mallory mysteries are good, but this one was especially well written. The Mallory series is tough to read but worth the effort. I like books that make you think and feel. This psychological thriller does both, as do all the books in this series.

6. Lightning by Dean Koontz friblog6
Koontz is another of my favorite horror authors. This was an oldie but greatie featuring time travel with great characters and plot.

friblog77. Time and Again by Jack Finney
This wonderful time travel classic tells a beautiful love story set in atmospheric turn-of-the-century New York. The black and white photos were an interesting plus. I loved this book.

8. Carolina Moon, Midnight Bayou, and Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts (counting these as 1)  whiskeybeachfriblog8
I thoroughly enjoy most of this prolific author’s novels, but these are friblog9my favorites, so far, for atmosphere, suspense, and romance. I also love her futuristic In Death mystery series Roberts writes as J.D. Robb.

friblog10

9  Me Before You by Jojo Moyes– This is a different type of book about a woman who falls in love with a paraplegic. The characters were portrayed realistically, and it made me cry at the end. I can’t wait to see the movie that just came out.

1friblog110.  I’ve Got You Under My Skin by Mary Higgins  – a suspenseful read that keeps you guessing who-dun-it. I love Mary Higgins Clark.

Of course, my own book, A Stone’s Throw, is one of my favorites, as well, and I hope it will become one of yours, too.  It features mystery, romance, and what most reviewers are saying is a great twist.

Connect with me on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debbie.delouise.author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Deblibrarian

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2750133.Debbie_De_Louise

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Debbie-De-Louise/e/B0144ZGXPW/

Website/Blog/Newsletter Sign-Up: https://debbiedelouise.wordpress.com

Posted in Authors, blog challenge

#LifeBooksWriting Blog Challenge: A Day in My Life

blogchallengegraphicupdatedThis week’s blog challenge is about A Day in My Life. Sophia Valentine of Lifestyle and Literature created this challenge (see graphic for topics and dates if you have a blog and would like to participate. If you’re a reader, I’m sure you’ll enjoy learning about some of the great participating authors).

My day usually begins at 5 a.m. when I wake up, feed my cats, and make coffee for my husband in that order. Then I check my computer for emails, Facebook messages, and my handy Google calendar, so I know what else is on the agenda for that day. I spend the next hour writing and eating breakfast which is usually a high fiber cereal with bananas or blueberries and coffee with skim milk. At 6 a.m., after my husband is out of the shower, I wake up my 6th-grade daughter who takes an hour dressing and using the bathroom. While she is getting ready, I put one of my Leslie Sansone walk-at-home DVD’s into my computer and exercise for a half hour. I then make breakfast for my daughter who, like my husband, grabs something quick because they are both running late all the time.

hicksvillelibraryWhen everyone is gone, I shower and dress for work. I like to get there at 8:30 even though I start at 9. I work at my local library as a librarian. The best part of my job is ordering the new fiction and mystery books, but it’s also the hardest because I want to read them all and don’t have the time. I also enjoy helping people find new books and authors. I’ve been writing and editing the library’s monthly staff picks newsletter for the last three years.

2016-05-09 20.39.46I work at the library from 9 to 5 four days a week and from 1 to 9 once a week. I also work two Saturdays a month. When I work a Saturday, I usually get a Friday off. On my days off and on weekends, I try to catch up on household chores and social media/writing. But if my daughter is home, too, I try to spend time with her. She’s at the age where she’d rather be with her friends than her mother, so I usually take her out somewhere with a friend. Last weekend, we went to Old Westbury Gardens, a place she particularly likes, as she’s into nature. However, it was so hot that both she and her friend wanted to leave before we were there long. A week ago, my daughter unexpectedly asked me to read a book with her. We used to read together all the time when she was younger but, as she started getting more homework and I became involved in writing, there was less time for us to do so. The book she chose, The Bad Unicorn, is one of those pre-teen dramatic works with a mysterious ancient codex and a seventh-grade hero. I had to admit I found some of the parts funny, and she laughed through a lot of it, too. Despite its crazy plot, the book was written on a level that would help increase a middle-schooler’s vocabulary, and I was glad it was something we could share.

maseThis weekend, I’m headed to Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut for MASE (Mystic Author Signing Event) where I’ll be meeting authors and readers and signing both of my books, A Stone’s Throw and Cloudy Rainbow. My husband is coming along, so we’ll also try to fit in some much-needed together time. Most of the time we’re both too busy with our jobs and daughter. The single exception is the one night a week, usually on a weekend I’m not working, that we watch a movie or TV show together on Netflix while our daughter plays virtual games on her computer with her friends.

There’s not much more to know about my days except that I try to fit in reading and some time with my cats.2016-02-24 10.18.29

 

 

 

Posted in A Stone's Throw, Authors, blog challenge, Books, Characters, Cloudy Rainbow

#LifeBooksWriting Blog Challenge: How I Create Characters

blogchallengegraphicupdatedThis week’s blog challenge is called character inspiration. Sophia Valentine of Lifestyle and Literature created this challenge (see graphic for topics and dates if you have a blog and would like to participate. If you’re a reader, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the posts from the great participating authors).

interviewblogpostThe characters I feature in my books are fictionalized composites of people I know or have known. The main character usually shares some of my personality or background. For instance, in “A Stone’s Throw,” Alicia Fairmont is a librarian like I am. Although my husband is still alive, thank God, Alicia is a widow. Her marriage was quite different from mine, as her husband kept his past secret. When she searches for his family that she has never met, she ends up meeting and falling in love with John McKinney, the publisher of a small town newspaper. John’s character is mostly imaginary. His occupation and interest in journalism and novel writing is another aspect of my personal experience. I worked as Features editor on my college newspaper and also edited and published my library school newsletter before writing articles, short stories and novels.

What's the Secret Ingredient in the McKinney's PB&J Recipe-John’s father, 80-year old Mac, is another central character in my book. He is a librarian and previous library director at the Cobble Cove Library in upstate New York. One memorable characteristic of Mac is his love of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. When I worked part-time in the special collections department of my college library, I worked with an older gentleman who ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every day. I gave Mac this similar quirk and also his propensity for creative quotes. The tagline of the book, which comes from one of Mac’s sayings is, “Things happen for a reason.”

Sheila, the current library director and a close friend of Mac and John is not based on anyone I’ve worked for. She’s a complex character who is difficult to know initially. As the story unfolds, we learn her hard exterior was built after the tragic loss of her young husband to a brain aneurysm that left her to raise her daughter alone.

There are many other characters in the book including Alicia’s best friend, Abigail Nostran, known as Gilly, who worked with her part-time as a clerk at their library on Long Island. Gilly has three sons and is a very down-to-earth person who likes to wear sweatshirts and casual clothing. She loves to bake and, despite a messy divorce, is a positive person who enjoys talking about the opposite sex. I based Gilly on several women I’ve known throughout my life. I also had a friend at my library who worked as a clerk.

Dora, the innkeeper, who Alicia first meets when coming to Cobble Cove, shares some similarities with Gilly. She has never married and, during the course of the book, develops a love interest in someone. An older woman who runs a bed and breakfast in a small town, she’s a bit wary about new guests. As she gets to know Alicia, she becomes friendlier. Her interests also include baking as well as gardening and making the inn’s bath soaps and lotions.

teaser6teaser5dogTwo other characters that play important roles in my book, although they aren’t human, are the library Siamese cat, Sneaky, and Mac and John’s golden retriever, Fido. The cat is based on my own Siamese cat, Oliver, who is older than Sneaky. The dog is also based on some dogs I grew up with and those I’ve read about in books.

For more information about my characters, you can read  “Interview with My Characters” and/or  “Celebrating Christmas with My Characters” both on this blog.

The sequel to “A Stone’s Throw” will feature several new characters. Without giving the story away, some will be college-age and others children. I base the kids on my own daughter when she was the age of the characters. One young girl who plays a big role in the book, Angelina,  suffers from leukemia. Her character is based on my niece who underwent a bone marrow transplant ten years ago at the age of 12 and is now completely recovered with a baby daughter.

The new book that I am currently writing with totally different characters, features themes of alcoholism. mental illness, and infertility. The main character, Sarah Lloyd, is a children’s book illustrator this time instead of a librarian. She is having problems conceiving which causes stress on her marriage. I have a familiarity with this topic because it took me many years and some fertility treatments to conceive my daughter. Sarah’s mother, Jennifer Brewster, is the alcoholic in the book. While my experience with this topic is limited, I used my knowledge of alcoholic characters I’ve read about and seen portrayed on television. Without revealing the plot or other characters because the book is only in a draft stage, I will say my characters are different from those of “A Stone’s Throw” and my first self-published novel, “Cloudy Rainbow,” although there are some similarities.

I believe most authors put some of themselves in their main characters as well as other aspects of their personalities in non-leading characters. I’ve also found that, once you name a character and begin to feature that person in your book, they start taking on characteristics and motivations that often surprise you.

In case the descriptions of my characters have interested you, you might consider joining my mailing list for updates on my books and monthly contests for prizes at https://debbiedelouise.wordpress.com (just complete the pop-up newsletter form and confirm through the email you are sent). The next newsletter will be out on June 1st where I’ll be announcing the June contest and awarding the May prize.