Deborah Gafford shares her answers to some of her most-often asked questions. To ask Deborah a question, use the form at the bottom of the page. *She answers all email as time permits.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I have always loved to read, which in turn, gave me the desire to write. I have worked on stories off and on for my own enjoyment over the years while I was a teacher, a stained glass artist and shop owner. Now I am lucky enough to be able to devote myself full time to writing and I love it! What other job lets you work in your pajamas if you feel like it?
How do you create your characters?
Actually, without sounding as if I need a visit to the local loony bin, my characters find me. Sometimes I'll be doing the dishes or spinning on my spinning wheel and a character will pop into my head already complete with a story of his or her own. Sometimes a picturesque landscape or stirring music will start an idea and before I know it, a character and plot have formed. The tricky part is convincing the characters to let me tell their stories my way.
What types of books do you like to write?
My first love is writing historical romance set in Scotland during the 1500 and 1600's. Writing about strong, handsome Scottish lairds is a tough job but somebody has to do it. Right? For a change, every so often I'll write a contemporary comedy, but there will always be a Happily Ever After. I'm a sucker for a happy ending!
Are your books available everywhere?
My books are sold on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com, and Smashwords.com pretty much worldwide. They are also available on Apple iBookstore, Sony, Kobo, and Diesel. The nice thing about buying them online is you can get them instantly with the click of your mouse without getting stuck in traffic or waiting for them to be shipped. And you can buy them in your pajamas too. Try that in your local mall. ...Or maybe not.
Who are your favorite authors?
Ah, that's a tough question. I have many favorite authors depending on what I am in the mood to read. I love romantic suspense by Delores Fossen, early American historical romance by Dorothy Wiley, and vampires and shape shifters by Christine Feehan. For more of my favorite authors as well as other terrific people in the book industry who help create and bring fantastic reading experiences to all of us, click on my In the Spotlight tab above.
Who answers your email?
I answer all my email myself as time allows. Remember those story characters I mentioned? Sometimes they get a bit cranky if I take too much time away from writing their stories to do normal things like eat and sleep, much less email. *If you wish to contact me, just send me an email. I'll answer you as soon as I can!
Will you read my book and give me suggestions?
I'm sorry, but I do not read other people's unpublished work. If you would like suggestions or a helpful critique, I suggest joining a local writers' group near you. A terrific writing association for romance writers is RWA, (Romance Writers of America). They have writers' groups all over the country and you can find a group near you through their website. Also, many local colleges have writing courses for all types of writing. You might ask family members to read your work, but remember, unless they enjoy reading the type of book you write, their suggestions may not be helpful and might cost you a seat at the next family reunion.
What advice do you have for an aspiring author?
I think the hardest thing I had to learn was to be patient and not to give up on writing. Also, I learned it's best to write what you love and not try to write to a trend. By the time your book is finished, the trend will be over and if it's not something you love, you'll want to use it to line a bird cage before you're done.
I'm self-publishing my own book. How can I get a great cover?
Ah, that's easy! Just go to the RNC website (Romance Novel Center). There are thousands of images as well as hundreds of pre-made covers for sale and a multitude of helpful, friendly information on cover art as well as growing your brand/name. Handsome, professional cover model, Jimmy Thomas, is on over five thousand covers and knows the business inside out! You'll also find readers, authors, editors, publishers, and promoters there that can give you insight into publishing your work successfully. Best of luck with your book!
**Don't miss the Tips of the Trade page for help with such things as book formatting, marketing and author newsletters!