Thank you Lynda for giving first-time fiction authors like myself a chance to introduce ourselves. I've authored two non-fiction books, and worked in corporate communications--all I can say is that writing historical romance is a very different experience. There's extensive research in both, yes. But my characters sometimes surprise the heck out of me! On March 6th, "Then I Met You," my WWII novel that takes place in Hawaii was released by The Wild Rose Press.
(Lynda Asks): If I were you and wrote books: Where would I live?
(Deborah): I live in a Hawaiian rainforest, about three miles from the most active volcano in the world. My home is uphill from the eruption, no worries there. I am partially off the grid, so I catch rainwater off my roof for my water supply--it rains most evenings, and the sunny days are glorious, so solar panels provide electricity. I've also lived and worked in Malaysia and India, but the Aloha State has always been home.
(Lynda Asks): If I were you and wrote books: What would I do to take a break from writing?
(Deborah): I make a point of getting outdoors. Most mornings I take a hike with my dogs or go horseback riding. Then, I feel focused and centered when I sit down at the keyboard. If I need a midday break I do some gardening--maybe prune some hydrangea bushes to feel a sense of accomplishment, before heading back to the computer.
(Lynda Asks): If I were you and wrote books: Would I do much research?
(Deborah): Research should be my middle name. I've got a master's degree in library science--there's probably something about books and libraries that is hardwired into my psyche. I've been an historic
photograph editor on several book projects, when I spent days searching through museum collections wearing cute white cotton gloves to prevent damage to priceless images. I've always enjoyed learning about other eras, so doing historic research seems to come naturally, and weaving actual events into the lives of my fictional characters has been the most fun of all.
(Lynda Asks): If I were you and wrote books: Would I have a website?
(Deborah): My website took a few days to complete, plus a couple of phone calls for technical assistance, but it is up and running at www.deborahwildingauthor.com. One of the most interesting features on the site is a slideshow of photographs from my personal collection, showing Honolulu as it looked between the late 1800s and V-J Day, in 1945. Not that I was around then!
(Lynda Asks): If I were you and wrote books: Would I be a pantser or plotter?
(Deborah): Plotter to the max. And very low tech. To begin with, I taped on my wall a gigantic home-made calendar with the dates from mid-November to mid-December 1941 while I wrote "Then I Met You." Penned on each day in ink were things like, events in Hawaii, ships in port, newspaper headlines--even moon phases. Then on post-its, I wrote the activities and emotional reactions of each character. The post-its had to be shuffled around from date to date like crazy during the planning and plotting phase before I got them settled into a comfortable pattern as the book took shape. I thought I might get bored or stifled, writing from such a structured format, but the strangest thing happened--when I didn't have to worry about what happened next, I could concentrate on my first loves: dialog and setting. Then, too, the characters didn't always behave the way I expected! So I had to make some adjustments along the way.
#WWII #Hawaii #Research #V-JDay #Rainforest
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