- Guest Author -
Welcome to the life of an author from Michigan, USA - Debra Chapoton ... and the shortest interview I've ever conducted. Debra has taught kids of all ages in her main career as a teacher. She has a BA in Spanish and a Master of Arts degree in Teaching English. She started writing in 2002 and was surprised to find out that the characters quickly take over the action and dialogue in the stories.
Welcome, Debra ...
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR WRITING JOURNEY.
I am a former high school teacher with a passion for teenagers, since I still think of myself as a kid. I started writing eleven years ago and began cranking out a new novel during each summer vacation.
WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A WRITER?
When a fellow teacher made it a requirement for his eleventh grade students to complete a novel during the school year I decided to take on the challenge myself. So glad I did.
WHAT TYPE OF PREPARATION DO YOU DO FOR A MANUSCRIPT? DO YOU PLAN EVERYTHING FIRST OR JUST SHOOT FROM THE HIP?
I have written most of my novels with the “shoot from the hip” style though I usually know the ending before I begin. I am always excited (and surprised) to find out what the characters are going to do and say each time I touch the keyboard.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
I really like working in my pyjamas, planning my own schedule, and believe it or not, editing. You couldn’t have convinced me to rewrite anything in college, but now I’ll do total rewrites daily or come back to a work in progress and go through it to change the entire thing’s point of view or tense. Thank goodness I use a computer or my wastebasket would hold a forest of crumpled paper.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
The hardest part of writing is after it’s done when you have to market yourself and your works. I try to treat marketing like a game, but it takes so much time away from writing that it becomes less fun and more exhausting. I need a magic wand here – wave, wave – marketing done.
WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOU BECAME A WRITER?
Spanish teacher. Loved it, loved it, loved it. Loved the kids, loved the planning, loved making tests, loved correcting papers, loved doing report cards, loved parent conferences, loved that my husband was teaching down the hall ... teaching was great. Got out while it was still fun. Wasn’t that smart?
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST WRITING ACHIEVEMENT?
I was thrilled when my first novel, EDGE OF ESCAPE, was bought by a German Publisher to be one of four books to open their newest imprint. They were looking for a psychological thriller without the paranormal or fantasy aspects that the other three books had and somehow they found my baby. I had to use googletranslate to figure out what the reviewers said. Veddy interestink.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
I am working on a fictional re-telling of the story of one of the most important men in human history, but I have changed the setting to a futuristic post-apocalyptic America. Dystopia is in, I’ve heard.
WHAT GENRE DO YOU WRITE?
Mostly young adult.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?
Read Dwight V. Swain’s Techniques of the Selling Writer
DO YOU SUFFER FROM WRITER’S BLOCK?
No, but I enjoy Writer’s Procrastination.
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