Author on the Couch: Debra Elise
Today I’m conducting a session with…Debra Elise!
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Me: Tell me about an experience that had a profound impact on your life.
Debra: In 2013, while attending a charity event for our local school system, my husband and I were reading the silent auction program and a name jumped out at me. It was one of my favorite authors. And she was auctioning off the chance to be a named character in her next book. Let me tell you, I’ve never wanted something SO bad as I did to win that auction. And guess what? I did. I met her for coffee, we spoke about our love of romance novels, and writing. I confessed a secret desire to write a book and she encouraged me to follow my dream. I joined the RWA (Romance Writers of America), I took on-line workshops and wrote my first, and really bad, paranormal romance novel. LOL! Hands down, meeting her was one of the best days of my life and three books later, here I am. A published author!I write better under pressure and with a deadline hanging over my head. @Debra_Elise #amwriting Click To Tweet
Me: What a story! Isn’t it weird how those seemingly small moments turn into life altering events?
What personality trait of yours helps you most as an author?
Debra: Procrastination. Sounds counter intuitive, right? Plain and simple, I write better under pressure and with a deadline hanging over my head. Only time it’s failed me is when I had the flu followed by bronchitis this past summer. Ugh. But I finished the book!Some authors fall into a trap of-->Oh, no. What if my first book was a fluke? @Debra_Elise #amwriting Click To Tweet
Me: Now that’s an answer I’ve never had to that question! But it makes sense. Some people work well under pressure. Some freeze. I’m the freeze under pressure type.
What personality trait of yours hinders you most as an author?
Debra: My need for control of the business side of this industry. There is so much more to just writing a book. If you’re not going through a publishing house and doing it on your own, that means you’re in charge of everything. You may not be doing your own editing or creating a book cover, but you need to hire the people who do. And even if you do have a publisher handling the editing, cover and marketing of your book, I’m a pest when it comes to knowing when things are supposed to happen! I’m sure I drove my last editor nuts.
Me: Oh, I’m with you there. I may have similar control issues! lol
What was your high point as a writer?
Debra: In 2015 I was still officially unpublished even though I had a contract for my first book. While waiting for edits to come back on the first book, I wrote something else. Something entirely different than the sports themed book I sold. This one was a romantic suspense. It challenged my skills as a writer and I was proud of myself. In May of that year, and literally at the last minute, I entered a contest. I wound up winning 2nd place (yay!) in the Romantic Suspense division and with that came an extended sit down with one of the agents taking pitches at the writers conference the contest was sponsored by.
When I discussed the book with the agent and saw her eyes light up, and two days before Christmas when she called me to offer representation I was floating on air. Both of those days were hands down, butterflies-in-the-tummy, life-altering moments in my career as a writer. The book that I pitched to her is now being considered by several of my dream publishers. And I’m still pinching myself!
Me: Woot! Woot! That’s awesome! Fingers crossed one of your dream publishers will offer a contract!
What was your low point as a writer—a time when you questioned your path?
Debra: As a writer, self-doubt is often that little devil that perches on your shoulder. The first book you sell keeps you on a high through the process. It’s new, exciting and you don’t know what you don’t know. But with the second book, some authors fall into a trap of “Oh, no. What if my first book was a fluke? What if I can’t write another one?”
It took me a bit to shake off the fear that can cripple you when you look at a blank page, or screen, and let it stop you. After lots of re-writing, I knew this was not my best work. Talking it out with my author friends helped—A LOT. Plus, consciously keeping the negative thoughts and the stress to a minimum was the best medicine for me. I was able to get over the mental block and my second book was published just last month. Yay!As a writer, self-doubt is often that little devil that perches on your shoulder. @Debra_Elise #amwriting Click To Tweet
Name a writing pet peeve of yours. Something that hits you like fingernails-on-a-chalkboard every time you see it. Why does it bug you?
Debra: Metaphors. “His eyes were like liquid fire.” What? “She moved through the room, like a gazelle.” Huh? I see metaphors, when not used properly, or like, throughout an entire book, well—lazy writing. One or two. Fine. I’m sure I’ve used them. But not every five pages.
Me: What’s your writer’s mantra? Why does that mantra speak to you?
Never give up on something you really want. It’s difficult to wait, but more difficult to regret.
The second statement I saw written in a meme online. The author is not credited. It spoke to me. I’m an instant gratification gal. I know a lot of other people are as well. However, because of it, I think I’ve missed out on some great things in life due to my impatience. I have that statement typed on a piece of paper attached to my pc monitor. It is there to remind me that regret, my biggest nemesis, is one I intend to crush.Never give up on something you really want. @Debra_Elise #amwriting Click To Tweet
Me: Patience in this industry is so important. Critical.
Tell me about your contemporary sports romance, Catching Luke.
When the hottest catcher in the league gets sidelined by an accident, the only one who can help him heal is the one woman he can’t have.
Me: Share with us a favorite paragraph or two from Catching Luke.
“Okay, Lara. You want the ugly truth. Here it is. Not only did my mother leave my father and I when I was eight, she decided to re-enter my life just when I had been drafted into the USBL.
“Oh, she played me good. She was so sorry and blamed everything that happened on my father. Told me how much she loved me and I ate it up with a spoon. She was hooked up with a different guy then the one she left my dad for. He was supposed to be some investment wizard and she convinced me to have him negotiate my contract.”
Luke watched as Lara closed her eyes and shook her head.
“Yeah, I’m sure you can guess what happened next. He managed to put into the contract that my mother would receive my signing bonus and I wouldn’t see any money until later in the season. By the time I figured out what happened, they’d both disappeared.”
Damn. He hated reliving that time of his life. He watched as Lara wiped a tear from her eye. He didn’t want her pity. All he wanted was her in his bed. That’s it. He shouldn’t have said anything.
I loved this part of the book. Luke is finally letting Lara in emotionally. Writing it pushed me as a writer as well. The road to love is never easy after all.
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Abbie Roads writes dark emotional novels featuring damaged characters, but always gives her hero and heroine a happy ending… after torturing them for three hundred pages. RACE THE DARKNESS and HUNT THE DAWN are available now! SAVING MERCY Book 1 in the new Fatal Truth Series is available for pre-order now!
RACE THE DARKNESS
HUNT THE DAWN