About Deb Graham:
I was born in New York state, and have lived in Georgia, Illinois, New Mexico, Hawaii, Idaho, Utah, and I’ve lived north of Seattle for 27 years. I’ve visited 36 countries, and all fifty US states. I love to travel! If a passport or suitcase is involved, count me in!
I’m a self-published author of eleven non-fiction books, including two cruise travel guide books laced with stories about my innocent husband (so he says), a book on how to write oneâ€™s personal story, how to complain, and several cookbooks, science, and craft books for my six beloved grandchildren. My background in stand-up comedy spills into my writings.
Leery of writing fiction for many years, I’ve just finished my first novel, a cozy mystery set on (where else?) a cruise ship. It’s been delightful to learn how much I enjoy fiction. I already have a sequel in process! It seems that many cozy mystery flyleafs tell that the author lives with a spouse and assorted cats. I love my husband, but sadly, have no cats.
My superpowers include: being able to spell-check and grammar-check with my brain (thanks to abusive English teachers over the years); heading up the making of 1006 quilts for Project Linus; a quick mind that enables me to improvise on a dime; and my talent as a skilled bargain hunter, including being able to find name brand items with store tags still on them in second hand stores with laser focus.
What inspires you to write?
I write where I see a need, or a question. Peril In Paradise is what happened when I learned about the great sea turtles in Hawaii migrating over and over to the same places, on a fairly predictable schedule. Hmmm…how could that be used by Bad Guys? I’ve traveled extensively, so adding in rich descriptions of Hawaii was obvious. In face, several readers said this book made them want to plan a Hawaii trip, just to see the places the characters visited! My cruise travel books are design to make travel easier and smarter, because being the most informed person is always best in a new place. What if you miss Something Wonderful? I write what I would like to read.
Tell us about your writing process.
I have written my entire life, as far back as I can recall, including a 3 act play in second grade that the class performed. I write copious letters, and I’ve kept a daily journal for four decades. I write!
I spend at least a week composing an outline before each book I write. I see it as islands in an ocean, strung out like stepping stones. The writing process flows smoothly, from point to point, filling in as I go.
I use scrivener for the most part. I tried using a voice-recognition software, hoping it would be faster than m y wobbly typing skills. Appearance, I speak faster than it could type, too, and it quickly became an exercise in frustration. And we all know how I feel about excerpt.
I read quickly, often devouring a book in an afternoon. There are so many good ones out there!
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
This was spooky, at first! I clearly hear their voices in my head. For example, Jerria’s husband, Will, speaks in a staccato fashion, often skipping pronouns. The critique group protested, but that’s just the way he speaks. Cinci, the beloved-but-annoying cruise director, rambles on and frequently overruns people, but she’s lovable and that’s how I hear her, plainly. Again, at first my beta readers suggested throwing Cinci overboard from Deck Eight. Partway through the book, they came to adore her.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write! If you can read, and string together thought in sentences, you can write. The world si waiting to hear your voice, your story, told as only you can tell it. With so many options for self-publishing, and online helps, what is holding you back?
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Call me controlling–I won’t even consider traditional publishing. I’ve seen friends’s books changed by publishing companies; genre, character, style, and all. One protested when her dark comedy had a bodice-ripping cover. The editor sighed, “I didn’t read your book I just guessed. Anyway, it’s only a five year contract.” That is NOT for me! With self publishing, I control call content, style, formatting, graphics, price, and even the cover design. Look at the cover on Peril In Paradise. Gorgeous, isn’t it? Also, by self publishing, I earn a much higher royalty. I’m not wealthy, by any means, but my previous books paid for a Mediterranean cruise, new carpet in the house, and a couple of major remodeling project. My friend with the traditional publisher earns four cents per book!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I absolutely see self-publishing flourishing, while traditional publishing houses fade into a quaint old custom. Traditional publishing house used to handle marketing, promotions, book tours, sales, editing, formatting, and all. So much of that now falls back onto the author anyway; why not just control it from the get-go?
What do you use?: Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Travel, children’s, cooking, outdoor, writing, consumer advocacy, cozy mystery
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
Link To Deb Graham Page On Amazon
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.