Thank you so much, Deborah, for taking the time to answer some questions for us. We appreciate it, and we know that your readers will as well! Links for more info are at the bottom.
1. What inspired you to write Bad Moon on the Rise?
Answer: A dream that keep playing itself out night after night inspired me to write my first novel. Then a few more dreams shaped it into what it is today.
2. Can you tell me about the book?
Answer: My first novel, Bad Moon on the Rise, is a young adult paranormal romance. The female main character struggles with coming of age and a tragic incident that is consuming her future.
3. What is your writing process like?
Answer: For me the writing process is a whole lot of plotting followed by weeks of brain dumping every awkward situation I have ever thought up the correct answer to after the fact into a document. Then I pull myself back in the editing stage.
4. What did you learn when writing the book?
Answer: I learned that I will type wander when I mean wonder and not think anything of it until I read it back weeks later. I learned that I pay more attention to my surroundings than I ever thought I actually did.
5. What surprised you the most?
Answer: The most surprising thing about writing was how natural the flow of information is when I get going. I always imagined creating that special phrasing where the reader floats into your world was some sort of ‘sell your soul to the devil’ skill, but it turns out that it is just insurmountable focus that gets you there.
6. What does the title mean?
Answer: The title of Bad Moon on the Rise is foreshadowing, the story starts and you think that the ‘bad moon; has already risen for the main character. As you go along you realize that she has seen but a glimpse of the truth that threatens her small town.
7. Was the character inspired by a real person? If so, who?
Answer: No, my main character was not inspired by a real person but who I imagined I would have been if I had lived in her sheltered life in rural Tennessee.
8. What do you think happened to the characters after the book ended?
Answer: Bad Moon on the Rise is part one of the trilogy so I know where they are going for now, the future is to be determined for my star crossed lovers.
9. What advice do you have for writers? Answer: Write. Just write it down, all of it, even if it’s smutty fan fiction and it never goes anywhere. Write the good stuff and write the hard stuff, you never know who will pick it up and say ‘wow that is exactly how I feel’.
10. Does writing energize or exhaust you? Answer: Writing energizes me more than any other form of creating I have ever done. I’m a tactile person so I knit, paint, sew and so many other hobbies, but writing is the one that makes me smile after putting in twelve hours of work.
11. What are common traps for aspiring writers? Answer: Traps I have found are the cost, publishing traditionally or independently can cost a ton of money. There are many people out to make a dollar, myself included, but you have to be cautious and wary of who is offering what service, also if you really need that service or if you can do it yourself.
12. What is your writing Kryptonite? Answer: My writing kryptonite is scheduling. Being a mom of two, with one on the way, I have to schedule my whole day around school pick up, cleaning, drop off, baseball and more. A well put together schedule and coffee make all things better.
13. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym? Answer: I have considered writing under s pen name or nome de plume, it is not something I am willing to do right out of the gate with my paranormal romance books. If in the future I decide to go to a completely different genre then I may pick up a pen name.
14. Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want? Answer: Original. Without hesitation I strive to write what comes to me and not what is trending.
15. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book? Answer: Both, I have a trilogy that fits into the world of a nine book saga. Stand alone books are in the works as well, but I find a short series very compelling as a reader and as a writer.
16. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have? Answer: Right now I have two published books, seven yet to be publish but finished short stories and one unfinished novel. I try no to leave loose ends but to tuck then neatly into projects I know I can finish.
17. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? Answer: So far I have stuck to what I know or what I have experience with. Upcoming however I have some bad boy mechanics that I had to spend several hours asking my brother in law, a mechanic, questions about. It is important to have a working knowledge of any and every aspect of what you are writing about, so my answer is really ‘as long as it takes’.
18. How long were you a part-time writer before you became a full-time one? Answer: I am a part time writer. Full time mom and full time job as a phone operator.
19. How many hours a day do you write? Answer: I write two to three hours every day, usually at night when the kids are asleep and I can jam it out.
20. What period of your life do you find you write about most often? (child, teenager, young adult) Answer: So far I write about the young adult stage exclusively. Something about the transition of responsibility from an adult to oneself is extremely compelling to me.
21. What did you edit out of this book? Answer: I edited out so many unnecessary ‘saids’ and ‘looked’. Those words were replaced with descriptive terms and phrases that fill in the scene of the story.
22. How do you select the names of your characters? Answer: I selected names I have heard that I liked, names I have found on baby name lists that I felt fit the culture of the setting, and I bounced names off my friends.
23. If you didn’t write, what would you do for work? Answer: If I didn’t pick up writing I would be a teacher. I got my degree and decided I would keep answering calls and writing instead of taking the more time consuming job of teaching just yet.
24. What was your hardest scene to write? Answer: So far the hardest scene to write has been a battle scene. So many different aspects to consider. Sight, smell, where people are and what they are doing.
25. What is your favorite childhood book? Answer: Tuck Everlasting is my favorite book that I read when I was in elementary school. It is a short chapter book about young love that doesn’t work out but leaves a lasting impression.
26. How long on average does it take you to write a book? Answer: For me there is no average yet. My first book took less than a month to write, another month to edit and then it was done. My second book took six months to write and two weeks to edit.
27. Do you believe in writer’s block? Answer: Writer’s block is so real, but it is usually the writing being blocked up by something. Life, family, jobs, responsibility are all towering in our path, sometimes avoiding them is easier said than done.
28. What works best for you: Typewriters, fountain pen, dictate, computer or longhand?
Answer: Computer. I write everything on google docs because I may have twenty minutes to write and idea down between an appointment or I may have two hours at the end of the night. Knowing that everything is saved in the cloud instantly is very reassuring to me.
29. When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?
Answer: As a teen I kept a journal and worked through the frustrations of being an angry teenager by writing about my days. I wrote short stories, drew and wrote down my thoughts in a journal every day for years. Cultivating a world that was not my own through writing just seemed like a natural progression for me.
30. How hard was it to sit down and actually start writing something?
Answer: For me it is easy as pie to sit down and let the words flow. That is because I have usually dreamt about the story and thought it over for a whole day before I got to sit down and focus on my writing.
31. Do you aim to complete a set number of pages or words each day?
Answer: I shoot for five thousand words every day. Somedays I sail beyond that and smile while I sleep, some days I don’t even get to crack my laptop.
32. Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?
Answer: I plot it out, no way can I set sail on a novel and not know at least loosely where i’m going.
33. Any tips you would like to share to overcome it?
Answer: Plotting helps me be less anxious about my story line, but if having to make your characters bend to your plot isn’t working then scrap the plot and let them have at it.
34. Do you read much and, if so, who are your favorite authors?
Answer: I read 382 books in 2018, so far in 2019 I am at 65 books. Reading is something I do to unwind, resolve conflict with in myself and to release my anxiety.
35. What is the most important thing about a book in your opinion?
Answer: The most important thing about a book is that the reader be able to immerse themselves into the story.
36. How would you feel if no one showed up at your book signing?
Answer: If no one showed up at my book signing I would not be surprised, as an indie author I have a very small pool of viewers. I would feel that it was my own fault for not advertising more and I would try again with more push toward spreading the word.
37. Do you recall the first ever book/novel you read?
Answer: No way, I have been reading since I was five. I’m sure my first novel was somewhere around age eight but still there is no way for me to remember out of the thousands of books I have read since which was my first.
38. How much of yourself do you put into your books?
Answer: I put my whole into every book or short story. My humor, my passion, and my pain all go into every work so that it shows how human my characters are.
39. Who are your books mostly dedicated to?
Answer: My books are dedicated to my family, for many different reasons, because they support me by just allowing me to do what I love.
40. Who is the most supportive of your writing in your family?
Answer: My children are the most supportive, they allow me time to write and they see my products with wide eyed enthusiasm when I get them in the mail.
41. Writers are often believed to have a Muse, your thoughts on that?
Answer: I feel that music is my muse, I can set a playlist and it will guide my fingers to type away.
42. Another misconception is that all writers are independently wealthy, how true is that?
Answer: We are so not wealthy, the majority of us can’t even live on writing alone. Nearly every author I have met has a side hustle or full time job.
43. Is it true that authors write word-perfect first drafts?
Answer: Oh if that were true I would be able to skip the weeks of grueling edits I go through after every story and novel. No, no piece of work is perfect even after the second pass through.
44. Did any of your books get rejected by publishers?
Answer: I have not submitted my novels to publishers, mostly because I feel that paranormal romance has a ‘type cast’ that people are looking to fill and I want to break the mold.
45. What is your view on co-authoring books; have you done any?
Answer: I have not done any co-authoring, I’m much too much of a type A personality for that to work. I have read many works that are co-written and they worked out splendely from a reader standpoint.
46. Is writing book series more challenging?
Answer: I find that writing a series is less challenging, I have more space to get really introspective with my characters and dig in deep.
47. Does it get frustrating if you are unable to recall an idea you had in your mind some time earlier?
Answer: YES. So much so that I carry an author notebook around with my everywhere I go so that I can’t miss an idea ever.
48. Have you ever destroyed any of your drafts?
Answer: Oh yes, my first novel was halfway complete when I decided to scrap the whole thing and go in another direction.
49. Can you tell us about your current projects?
Answer: I am working on Land of Nightmares: A Nightmare Anthology, Blood Moon Blessing: Children of the Moon book 3, and on Stories of the Seven Seas: A Nautical Anthology.
50. Had any of your literary teachers ever tell you growing up that you were going to become a published writer one day?
Answer: Yes, I as in journalism and yearbook for just that reason, my english teacher couldn’t get me into AP classes because my family could not afford the costs but she got me into every form of writing she could to make up for it.
51. Were your parents reading enthusiasts who gave you a push to be a reader as a kid?
Answer: No, my mother taught me to read at around four and was very proud that I was always reading rather than getting into trouble but I was always the black sheep who would rather read than anything else.
52. Do you enjoy discussing upcoming ideas with your partner? If yes, how much do you value their inputs?
Answer: I share everything with my partner, I bounce ideas off of him, we storyboard together. He really is a great help to my writing career just by listening to me ramble on and on.
53. Have you ever turned a dream or a nightmare into a written piece?
Answer: All the time! I dream about my characters fighting, about their stories and how they will fail or prevail.
As mentioned, here are links if you are interested!
For the amazing Deborah Alexander:
For Ridenour Publishing: