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Welcome to the DebiLyn Smith blog site. If you like what you read here, check out her website at www.debilynsmith.com

Friday, November 15, 2013

FAQs on Houston Mirroring Halston





Thanks to everyone in the Bulkley Valley and beyond for the indelible support of the two books I released between May and September of this year. My final 2013 library reading, held last night in Houston, had a record 18 attendees. Wow.

All this media promotion and travelling across BC  has been exhausting both mentally and physically so I am being treated to a holiday for 3 weeks to unstress from the road trips we've raced through and to settle myself back into the writer's chair and get the second mystery "Double Dip" through it's final stages before printing. It's also my birthday while we're away, so this is my most incredible, thoughtful gift from my husband. (No, sales of the books weren't THAT good although we exceeded 1000 of the RFC before the summer ended!)

As a treat, I thought I'd take a minute and share some FAQs about the book Not Just One:

Q: What made you think of writing this book?
A: I have no idea. This is book #3 in my life. The first two books are still in drawers for one day when I have nothing left to work on. As if that will ever happen! Not with two more already-written mysteries and the start of book #5 Running From ADD expected in 2016.

Q: How long does it take you to write a book?
A: One year, from first horrible draft where you put your silly idea down on paper and then keep revising it and revising it until it begins to take shape. Add a time-line, fill in the blank spots, more fleshing out of the characters and then editing again and again and you have exactly 365 days. To promote it takes a life-time it's starting to look like!

Q: Why did you decide to self-publish?
A: I did a lot of research on book writing while waiting to hear back from publishers. The replies from the queries were ALWAYS super positive, hand-written notes that encouraged me to keep sending it around (RFC). It possibly didn't fit their current need, wasn't for them or they had their quotas for the year etc. Self-publishing gives me the control over the cover, the price,the release date and the percentage for selling it. Instead of making $2 a book thru a publisher, I can make a lot more to help pay for the up-front cost if I sell them out of my trunk. Selling through bookstores earns me more than through a conglomerate like Chapters, Amazon or Barnes and Noble. It's an expensive venture, but sales from my first book enabled the printing of my second. I'm hoping the sales from Not Just One will do the same for the third book.

Q: The Not Just One book looks scary with that snake on it. Is it?
A: Not really and if there is a tense scene, it's over fast because the pace rarely slows down through the entire book. Nothing gross or gory other than the fact Billy had a brief sexual encounter with a minor and pays for it throughout the story.

Q: "Okay," I'm asked, "the town you live in is Houston and the town in your book sounds quite similar, so why change it to Halston?"
A: My latest book, a mystery called Not Just One, is fictional. Yes there are resemblances or token service personal that will always be heroes in my books, but it stops there. Halston may greatly resemble Houston, but I changed the name to keep liberal licensing. So if I want to plop down a giant shoe store in the middle of Halston, I could. And don't tempt me...

Q: I'm sure I know one of the characters whose name is changed. Is it your ex-husband?
A: Heaven's, NO! That would be liable for a law-suit I would imagine and risking my own neck, upsetting my family, his family and countless others, never-mind the man himself. What I did do was roll a few quirks from people I know and ground them down and spit them out as a character named Billy who looks nothing like my ex when envisioned in my head. Although Billy sometimes grab's the readers pity, he's generally not a nice guy. My ex is well liked by many people.

Q: Who is Mini?
A: Mini, like everyone else, is fiction although I did meet someone very much like what I see in my head when I write, after the book came out. Uncanny, right?

Q: Who is your favourite character?
A: They change from book to book. I think Warren stole the show in Not Just One but everyone feels it is Mini that wins for most popular side-kick. In the next book, Double Dip, that all changes as the characters develop a bit more.

Q: When will you be doing another reading?
A: Not until late spring or summer if I can help it. I need time to write again and can't spend as much time as we did this year on travelling for cancer relays and promotions. Of course, if I was paid to do inspirational talks or readings as many successful authors are, I'd be packing.

Q: Anything else to add?
A: Yes, I think Not Just One is a book everyone in Houston will enjoy, if only to laugh at the similarities of the two towns. It's funny, fast-paced and as many, many people have said, "It's just like talking to you, Deb." My reply is at least you can close the book and put it away for a spell, not so easy to do when I'm in the same room as you! I am what I am! Thanks everyone for your support. Life IS amazing. May it be so for you as well.