I did this interview last year, when I attended the In Print Author Fair, but In Print Radio lost their venue before it could be aired. Well, they now have a new radio station, WBOM, and have been putting up past interviews. Today they’ve posted an excerpt of me reading from Box of Rain. The interview will stream Monday at 7:00 am and repeats Sunday at 7:00 am.
John Byk of Writers Alive has been on my mailing list since he did a podcast interview of me for the release of Painted Black back in 2011. When he received my latest notice about Box of Rain being released in print later this month, he contacted me to ask if I would be interested in doing another interview.
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Of course I said yes! My 2011 appearance on his show was fun and an invaluable opportunity. He was a great host and made the live interview–which was my first ever as a published author–a great experience. I expect this one will be as well. I’ll post here whenever we get a date set up.
In addition, John offered to do a review of Box of Rain. In his role as an author interviewer, he has picked up quite a…
Blog interviews are always easier to participate in than live ones. I can take my time to think about what I want to say and in some cases, even decide which ones I choose to answer while ignoring others. Here’s one of my answers from Suzy Turner’s Fiction Dreams site. Click through if you want to see which other questions I selected.
What inspired you to write it?
Each book in the series sort of represents a different “type” of kid you might find living homeless on the street. The first one, Painted Black, is about two runaways, one who’s a graffiti artist and one who turns to prostitution to survive. The second, Bend Me Shape Me, is about one of the many youth diagnosed as mentally ill, which means no one wants to believe her when she says her psychiatrist is responsible for one friend’s suicide and may be targeting her brother as his next victim. In Box of Rain, I wanted to call attention to kids who have the brains, drive and morals to be successful in life, but aren’t recognized as such because of circumstances beyond their control. Their path to a happy life is blocked because of what has happened to them, not who they are.
I almost forgot to post a link to part two of the Showcase of Box of Rain, which is an interview of me by Author Dayna Leigh Cheser. Here’s one question you might not have heard before, but click through to read the rest and see what new information you might find. Part one, which includes a 5-star review, can be found HERE.
How do you choose names for your characters?
Main character names are just a matter of brainstorming until I find something that feels right. The one exception to that is Christopher Robert Young, from ‘Painted Black’. I actually decided on the name before I knew my character very well. I’d met a young artist with name at a folk music concert once and since I was toying with the idea of having my main street kid be a graffiti artist, I thought it was perfect that the young man’s initials are CRY. So that is Chris’s street name, also the tag he uses in his art which is not only his initials but also reflects how he sees the state of the world as something to mourn over.
Dayna also emailed me today with the news that both part one and part two of her showcase got re-posted by two separate internet newspapers on writing. She says her website got over 10,000 hits when this happened, and while that doesn’t mean they all plan to buy my book, it’s probably the best exposure any of my books have ever received. So, thanks again, Dayna. You’re the best.
If this works right, you should be able to listen to the Open Line program I did at WZOE Radio in Princeton IL on Dec. 9, 2014. We talk about the Princeton Public Library events for December, but at about 8:30 minutes in I talk about the program I’m in to promote homelessness awareness as a book launch event for Box of Rain.
Where are you from and where do you live now? – I’m from small town Midwest U.S. and after about fifteen years of living in the big cities of Chicago and Seattle, I’ve come back to my roots and my hometown.
Please tell us a little about your writing – My current focus is my Street Stories suspense novel series. The first book, Painted Black, was released in 2012, then Bend Me, Shape Me in 2013, and the third, Box of Rain just became pre-orderable on Amazon. The ebook will be released December 15 but the print version won’t be out until the spring of 2015. You can basically say I’ve been able to get a book a year out now. I’m hoping I keep up that pace.
Each book in the series tells the story of a kid living on the streets of Chicago who…
I’ve been watching and waiting to hear this interview when they post it so I can see if I sound like a bumbling idiot or not. Want to help me keep an eye out for it?
Lolita Ditzler and Deb Borys
Award winning interviewer and In Print member Lolita Ditzler spoke with suspense writer Deb Borys about her “Street Stories” set of novels that take place in Chicago. Deb also read an excerpt from her upcoming book in the series, Box of Rain. The reading and the interview will be featured in future episodes of In Print Radio.
Finoa Mcview has one of the most prolific author interview sites I’ve ever seen. If you want to find new authors to follow, or learn more about some of your favorites, I suggest you visit her blog, “Author Interviews.” She posted an interview of me just yesterday, in fact. Here’s one of the questions she asked. Please click through to read the whole article.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I distinctly remember going to get a library card in the town I moved to after getting married. I had almost finished writing my first “serious” novel, which I felt sounded so good that I had started researching agents and publishers to send it to when I was finished. On the library card application, it asked me my profession. I wrote “author” and it felt like I was making a commitment which would form my life from the day forward, which it did.
Just in time to help spread the word about my attendance at the Dekalb Library Author Fair tomorrow, Mysterias Blog posted an interview of me today. Here’s one of the answers I gave, but I hope you will click through to read the whole interview.
Excluding family, name three people who either inspired you or influenced your creativity.
The volunteers and staff at The Night Ministry in Chicago were influential in helping me see the importance of reaching out and how much of an impact compassion and acceptance can make in someone else’s life. If I have to name three people in particular, I think it would be three homeless young men I met while I volunteered with TNM. Eric was my first lesson in how to give unconditional love. He was messed up, involved in male prostitution to feed his drug habit, yet so kind and vulnerable that I couldn’t fault him for that. I could see there was more to him than the struggles he was going through. Then there was Chris, who was bi-polar but so smart. He was always the first to be there for his friends and anyone he felt was being treated unfairly. He and I studied for his GED and he finally got back on his feet and I’m sure is out there still standing up for those less fortunate. Then there was Anthony. He had some sort of learning disability and had had an abusive childhood, but he was always the happiest young man you could ever hope for. His positive outlook on life never wavered for long, and his smile always cheered me up when I was feeling down.
Kathryn White posted an interview of me last month on her blog Kathryn’s Inbox that I’d like to share even though I missed it earlier. Some of the information may be be bits you already know about me, but every interviewer always seems to have a unique slant to their questions.
A: I lean toward traditional publishing as a writer because I do believe that publishing houses serve as a filter, a first reader if you will, which means readers can have more confidence that my books are entertaining, well written, and with limited errors. Of course, I’m considering small presses part of the traditional publishing model–maybe that’s not what you mean? Small presses are, I think a better market for an author than the big houses, simply because there are more of them, and they seem to care more about their catalogue and their authors.
Things are changing, however, as self-published authors learn the importance of having their work edited by a professional editor and putting out quality work rather than focusing on quantity. But for right now it’s a bit of a slush pile out there still, and the odds of downloading something that’s not up to your standards are higher than I like.
My edited podcast interview with Get Behind Me, Now Stay There is up on iTunes to listen to! Oh and they also talk with musician Joseph Strider and author Jim Harrison, and play some cool music. There is a host of other media news that is also very interesting so I hope you’ll listen to the whole podcast, but if you can’t my section starts about 53:50 (the whole podcast is an hour long).
If you listen from their iTunes page, the episode I’m in is #40 – Dec. 31. Or you can just click the play bar below to listen here.
Late last summer I did an interview with Edward C. Stanton, President of Just Imagine It Ink which does a podcast called “Get Behind Me, Now Stay There” that broadcasts on iTunes and at KSKQ 89.5 FM. The interview will be a small part of their hour-long show and hasn’t released yet, but is expected to do so in the next month or so.
Since it will be a while before the full show posts, I thought you might listen to the unedited version early. It’s a bit long (about 15 minutes) so if you’d rather wait until the official broadcast, check back here and I’ll link to it as soon as it is up.
Debra, you’ve volunteered working with what you term “throwaway youth.” What is one thing any of us can do to help even one teen off the streets?
The one thing everyone can and should do is very simple. Notice them. Smile as you pass, maybe even say hi. If they ask you for money and you don’t want to give them any, just smile politely and say, “Sorry, I can’t today.” Nine times out of ten, if you treat them with respect, they will return the favor. Being treated as invisible and contemptuous only erodes a person’s self-esteem which leads to antisocial anger and/or depression.
Shelagh Watkins was one of the first people to interview me after the publication of Painted Black, so I am honored she found room for another round of questions and answers now that Bend Me, Shape Me is out. I hope you will click through to read the whole article. I talk about writing, my inspirations and what I’ve been up to lately. Here’s a teaser talking about where I got the idea for the plot.
“For Bend Me, Shape Me an article about a family suing their son’s psychiatrist planted the germ of an idea. Their autistic son had been exhibiting violent and dangerous behavior after beginning treatment and because the family insisted on further investigation, the police discovered the doctor was actually a paranoid schizophrenic who planned to brainwash his patients into becoming his own private security force. I simply asked myself “What if?” What if the…
Mental health issues are a huge problem on the streets. In my opinion, it’s an even more common denominator than addiction and alcoholism. Sometimes the reason people start drinking and doing drugs is because they are trying to cope with a mental illness. That doesn’t mean they deserve less respect or should be feared or shunned. I find the rule you should apply to everyone, homeless or not homeless, mentally healthy or no, is treat people with respect. Nine times out of ten they will…
The interview I did last Friday at Wise Bear Books is now archived at YouTube in case you weren’t able to listen live. Quinn Barrett and co-host TJ also talk about some digital publishing news that you might find interesting. Enjoy.
My first author interview to promote Bend Me Shape Me was posted yesterday at Juniper Grove, the blog site of author Jaidis Shaw. In addition to talking about Bend Me, I also answer questions about the cozy mystery I am currently working on, writing in general, and my vision for an alternate universe.
Click through the link below to read the entire interview, but here’s a snippet:
Do you have any writing projects you are currently working on?
Yes, I am taking a break from the dark, intense world of the Street Stories series and am living out a fantasy of mine by writing a cozy mystery series. Before I moved to the big city, I lived in farm country in a little mother-in-law house across the driveway from a huge farmhouse where twelve children had been raised amid laughter and hard work. I had a secret dream that I would one day be able to buy the big house also and turn it into an artists’ and writers’ retreat, fully equipped with farm animals in the barn, chickens, home cooked meals, etc.
I’d almost forgotten about this interview I did for Morgen Bailey. Morgen is a prolific writer with a website that offers fresh material daily. You should check it out.
Most of Morgen’s questions are related to the writing process itself so if you want to see my take on that, here’s a small excerpt from the interview:
Creating main characters usually just happens–I often have a character in mind before I really know what their story is. If a name doesn’t just come to me, I might go to a baby book, but that’s only if I’m really stuck or need a name for a less important character. For developing and keeping track of those characters, I find some kind of form helps–one where you fill in things like hair color, strengths and weaknesses, what kind of car they drive, etc. For more in-depth characterization I like free writing…