About Debra Daugherty:
Debra Daugherty is from Central Illinois, Land of Lincoln. Her country home is built on ground that has been in her family for six generations, since 1892. Although she doesn’t have any children, she has several nieces and nephews, and is “Mama” to two dogs, Honey, an American Stratford Terrier, whom she rescued from the animal shelter, and a Chihuahua named CeCe. When she writes in her home office, Honey is at her feet, snoring. Both dogs are great listeners when she reads her stories aloud while working on revisions.
Debra’s love of writing began in grade school, and she credits her teachers for encouraging her. After graduating from high school, she worked as a clerk typist, but did take some night courses at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield. When not writing children stories, Debra loves to spend time with her family, browse through antique shops, and travel. She’s been fortunate to have visited London, Paris, Rome and Edinburgh and these cities are now settings for her Young Adult mystery series, her work-in-progress. She’s also kissed the Blarney Stone, but says she was full of blarney before she kissed the stone.
Debra is a member of SCBWI, The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and belongs to a writers group, The Scribes. She is also the Network Rep for SCBWI's Springfield Area. Publishing credits include CALAMITY CAT, 2013, MeeGenius/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and THE DRAGON’S RING, 2016, Clean Reads/Astraea Press. She’s also had two short stories published in Guardian Angel Kids’e-zine, LET YOUR IMAGINATION SOAR! and THE MYSTERY OF THE GHOSTLY THIEF. In 2015 her children’s story, HEART OF STONE, won first place in the Litchfield Student Educational Foundation’s writing contest.
What inspires you to write?
My inspiration for writing comes from my love of books. I devoured books as a youngster and decided that I, too, could write. Many of my stories are set in places I have visited.
Tell us about your writing process.
I jot down ideas all the time, but many of my stories just happen. I sit down in front of my keyboard and my fingers take over. My characters tell me where to take them. I, myself, am amazed at what appears on paper. I especially enjoy writing novels during NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, which is November. The four books for my YA series came as a result of this challenge, to write a novel in one month. The first three I wrote without an outline, but my revisions later shaped the story and plot. I do create character notes, but only after I've written several chapters.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I do listen to my characters as they guide the plot. Sometimes I have something entirely different planned for them, but as I'm typing the words, I find myself heading in another direction.
What advice would you give other writers?
My advice to writers is to keep at the craft. Don't get discouraged by rejections, but listen to the advice and critiques from others and apply what you think works best for your story. Attend conferences, join a writing group or critique group and follow other writers' blogs as I've learned a lot about writing from the experiences told by other writers. And write to please yourself.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I submitted my stories to agents and publishers, and was fortunate to find a publisher for my picture book, Calamity Cat, and for my YA romantic fairy tale, The Dragon's Ring. Years ago I self-published, and was not happy with the result. I decided I wanted a publisher who would work with me on edits to make my book the best possible. I was fortunate to find Stephanie Taylor, publisher for Astraea Press/Clean Reads, and she led me down the path to publication.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I see more and more books coming out as e-books, but I believe the printed words will last, too. I, myself, would rather hold a book in my hand, turn the pages and get lost in the words. I love seeing a book shelf lined with tons of books to read. I also have favorite stories that I love to read over and over again. Jane Austin's books fit this description.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: I write children stories, from PBs to YAs.
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Audiobook
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.