- At what age did the writing bug hit?
That’s a difficult question because I began writing when I was a child. I wrote a great deal of material in my twenties – stories and dozens of novels. I still have those in notebooks and may want to do something with them one day. I didn’t start publishing anything until I was in my thirties, though, when I wrote articles for cat magazines and one of my short stories was published in an anthology. My first novel was published when I was in my forties. I had a period where I wasn’t writing, but I don’t think the “writing bug” ever left my system
- What was your first writing love: essays, short stories or poetry?
I’ve written all of those, but I was always more interested in the long, novel-length form. I enjoy writing short stories, too.
- Do you remember what the first thing you wrote when you said, “I love doing this?"
It’s hard to recall, but I know I was thrilled when my short story, Stitches in Time, appeared in the Cat Crimes Through Time Anthology along with several more established authors. Seeing my work in print in a book was a great feeling.
- Tell us about your muse, and what inspired you to write your new novel?
I have two novels that will be coming out soon that are part of my Cobble Cove mystery series. I don’t really know what inspired me to write the first book, A Stone’s Throw. I think a few ideas were bubbling around in my mind. I took some of my experiences as a librarian and created a character, Alicia Fairmont, who became involved in a mystery and discovered romance along the way. I like writing that type of book because those are the ones I also enjoy reading. I created other characters in this book, some of who were composites of real life people I’d known and others who I completely made up but used a familiar name.
The old man Mac is known for his special PB&J sandwiches. He was based on an elderly gentleman I worked with at my college library who ate peanut butter and jelly every day for lunch. I named one character after my mother-in-law who passed away the year before and another after a childhood friend who I recently learned passed away, as well.
After I finished the first novel, I was inspired to continue the story and wrote Between a Rock and a Hard Place (published October 2016) adding some new characters and further developing the others. My latest, Written in Stone, that will be released late winter/early spring, is the third Cobble Cove Mystery. The core characters are featured with other new ones, and there are characters who leave the series either temporarily or permanently. The first mystery, A Stone’s Throw, is also being reprinted by my publisher, Solstice Publishing, within the next few months.
- What is the genre?
I consider my books mysteries. Many of my readers consider them cozies because most of the “action” takes place in the small, fictional town of Cobble Cove, New York and there is no explicit sex or violence involved in the stories. A Siamese cat and a golden retriever also play roles in both books. They are not human-like characters, but pets who turn up clues?
- What is "Between a Rock and a Hard Place" about?
The second Cobble Cove mystery that can be read as a standalone takes place in December as the town residents prepare for the holidays. One of the stores in the quaint shopping area is unexpectedly robbed. On the same night, Alicia believes a stalker is following her home from the library. Incidents escalate when babies are kidnapped and someone is murdered. As in A Stone’s Throw, where some scenes take place on Long Island, there are some scenes in New York
City in Between a Rock and a Hard Place.
- Give us an insight to your main character. What does he/she do that makes it special?
Alicia is a librarian and also the co-author of a mystery series. She is a widow in her forties who finds true love after the truth about her dead husband is revealed. During the course of the first book and throughout the series, Alicia’s character develops from one who is a bit shy and unsure of herself to a woman who takes control of her life.
- What is the strangest thing you researched for your book?
In A Stone’s Throw, I spoke with a coroner about the process of exhuming a body after it was buried. In Between a Rock and a Hard Place, I spoke to my vet about how a dog’s barking could be stopped without harming it.
- What is your writing style?
I like to put in some humor in my work. Alicia tends to be somewhat serious, but Mac and John come up with a few funny lines. Alicia’s friend Gilly can also be humorous.
- As far as book sales are concerned, what have you done to promote your book?
I’ve spoken at several libraries and my local Barnes and Noble bookstore. I publish two blogs that I write regularly. I have an author’s newsletter that is emailed twice a month to subscribers. I’m active on social media – Facebook and Twitter. I’ve had online book tours and hosted Facebook events. I also attend conferences. I’ll be going to the Cat Writer Association’s conference in South Carolina in May and Book Expo America in New York City in June.
- What do you think of “trailers” for books?
If done well, I think they can help with promotion. I have one for my first two books, and my publisher creates them for anthologies and author publicity.
- What is your favorite motivational phrase?
The main line from my first mystery: “Things Happen for a Reason.” Many of the unpleasant experiences I’ve had have been for the best, even if I didn’t realize it at the time. Often, another opportunity presented itself that would not have been possible without having experienced an initial letdown.
- How can readers discover more of you and your work?
Website, Blog, and Newsletter signup: https://debbiedelouise.com (also where they can sign up for my newsletter and read my blog)
Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Debbie-De-Louise/e/B0144ZGXPW/
Book Links: Between a Rock and a Hard Place (ebook): myBook.to/CobbleCove2
Blog site: https://debbiedelouise.com/