Yes, I know. It’s Friday, and New Fiction Monday usually comes out on Monday, but I just had the best time learning about author Debe Seger-Winkler that I couldn’t wait until Monday to share this with you guys. 🙂
Debe is the author of Deadly Letters, a great piece of fiction that was recently released. I was fortunate enough to have fallen and bumped my head badly enough to be sent home from the day job for the remainder of the same day that my book arrived from Amazon. I ate it up in one sitting. Good thing great books have no calories, or I would have been as big as a barn.
I met Debe through a mutual friend, initially, on a local news message board. We then visited on Facebook, and Debe was kind enough to host a skin care class for me when I was doing Mary Kay last winter.
Now, I’m notorious for hiding under a rock now and again, so time gets away from me, but I remember having seen a post before the holidays on FB from Debe about putting the finishing touches on her book. The week before I took my tumble, I remembered having read that, so I did a search on Amazon, and boom! There it was. 🙂 So I ordered it, and impatiently waited for it to arrive, but let me tell you, this book was well worth the wait.
Don’t we all have that friend that seems to attract the wrong kind of guy? You know the type… possessive, abusive, and worst case homicidal? What happens to the victim’s friends is the hook in this suspense filled story that has a few more twists and turns than I expected. 🙂
So without further ado, let me introduce you to Debe Seger-Winkler:
Q: How long have you been writing?
A: As long as I can remember. I was writing short stories in the second grade. They didn’t make much sense, except in my young head, but they were all lovingly produced. In High School I had an English teacher who took an interest in my writing talents and she is the one who really encouraged me to pursue it into adulthood.
Q: How did you come up with the concept for Deadly Letters?
A: This is a plot that’s been rattling around in my brain for years. I went to college in Pittsburgh, PA and had three roommates. One of them always dated abusive men. We were constantly rescuing her from bad situations. I just got thinking about her one day and wondered what her future may have been.
Q: Are the characters based on people you know or did you create them “from scratch”?
A: The characters are actually figments of my imagination. I developed the story line based on true people I’ve known, but none of the characters are anything like the actual people I knew.
Q: Did you find it difficult to write from the opposite gender’s point of view? (Ok so this is a personal question, because I’m working on a man’s character as we speak, so any advice will be welcomed, LOL!)
A: I think I must have a penchant for splitting my personality. As I write I tend to see the events being played out in my head like a movie. I could picture, Frank, the antagonist and it was almost like I’d become him. The same for each of my characters; I actually become those characters while I’m writing their parts. It’s frightening how many people are lodged inside my brain.
Q: Have you always wanted to publish fiction?
A: I don’t think I really thought about actually publishing something until I joined a couple of writer’s groups. The support, comfort and encouragement I found among the other aspiring writers was priceless and gave me the courage to publish.
Q: Do you have any formal training or do you just write from the heart and know grammar and punctuation?
A: This question made me laugh. I am awful at grammar and punctuation. I’m a pretty good speller, but the intricacies of the English language often escape me. I asked a retired English teacher, Sally Arthur, to help me with all my grammar errors.
I don’t have any formal training. I’m not sure it’s really possibly to “teach” someone to write fiction. I think you can take courses to improve your skills, but I believe you need to have the basic talent first and foremost.
Non-fiction writing, I put into a whole other category. Formal training can be of the utmost importance in this field. You can be successful without it, but if your mind leans toward fiction, like mine does, then a few courses could help make that transition easier.
Q: Did you do a lot of research for this story?
A: This story really didn’t require much research, but my next story Damaged Goods is requiring some research and I’m enjoying the learning experience.
Q: Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers on getting started?
A: Yes, get started!
Seriously, I’ve discovered that you can talk about writing all you want, but you have to actually sit in front of the computer (or typewriter if you’re old school), hit the keys and hammer something out. Don’t worry about how the first draft reads. No one will see it, but you. Just get the words and the plot onto paper. Then edit, edit, edit!
It also helps to have a good friend or two you can read out loud to and who’ll give you honest feedback. I tend toward non-writers for this process, because writers have different styles, so I think it’s difficult sometimes for them to help another writer, with their work.
Q: How do you feel about self-publishing versus getting a literary agent and/or going through a publishing house?
A: Going through a publishing house via an agent can definitely get you more publicity and perhaps even some bragging rights, but it can be a very tedious process. I had an agent interested in Deadly Letters, but the book wouldn’t have been published till late 2014 or even later. There is also a lot less profits for the writer when you go through a traditional publishing route.
Don’t forget to hit up Amazon.com to get a copy of Debe’s book (and look, I even provided you a clickable link directly to the e-book edition), and when you do, let me know what you think of it. 🙂 You can also visit Debe’s website at www.debesegerwinkler.com.
Thank you, Debe, for taking the time to do this interview. 🙂
Until Next Time….