Deborah J Hughes, author of Be Still, My Love
If you were trapped on a desert island, and a magical talking stork could bring you one book (not yours) which would it be?
Probably Conversations With God by Neil Donald Walsh. I get a different message with that book every time I read it! I feel (when reading that book) as if God is talking to me specifically and if I’m trapped on a desert island, I’m going to want to have a conversation with God to get myself out of that situation!
Which authors influenced/influence you most?
In my younger years, I was very influenced by Kathleen Woodiwiss! At one time (okay, I still do!) I wanted to be a romance writer. I am an avid romance reader and always will be but I also love paranormal stories. There are a ton of great romance books available on the market but good ghost stories (like I like them) are hard to find. I don’t like horror as in gore and terror. I like spooky. I like stories involving real to life situations involving paranormal phenomena. Those kinds of stories are hard to find. Another writer who influenced me early on is Stephen King. I loved The Shining and The Stand (among other works of his as well but most particularly these two!). I also love Stephen King’s On Writing…that book really got me going again with my own writing. I can’t say as if any one author influences me now as I am influenced by so very many!
What made you go indie?
Well, I decided to go indie because the process of finding an agent was taking FOREVER! I’d received several nice replies but no takers. It sometimes takes months to get a reply and then more queries must go out if all the replies (what few you get) are negative. I’m not getting any younger! Once I learned how quick and easy it was to upload a book on Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Smashwords, I didn’t hesitate with my decision. I found an editor and once we felt the book was polished enough to share with the masses, we loaded it up and I was published! Honestly, I don’t know why any writer would not go this route. But, to each his own.
What’s your favourite part of indie publishing?
Hearing back from readers! I am a little overwhelmed by the nice emails I’m getting and all the lovely comments on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads. I find it fascinating how people are responding to my book. I truly love talking about the story and sharing ideas and thoughts concerning the concepts introduced in the book (life after death, talking to the dead, spirit guide communication, etc.).
What’s your least favourite part?
Marketing! It’s very, very challenging and time consuming to get the word out about my book. How to reach the readers I think will like my book? That’s the BIG question and I still don’t have an answer to it. I don’t have a lot of money to spend on advertising so it’s quite the challenge. I spend more time trying to get the word out about my book than I do writing and that concerns me quite a bit. I would much rather be writing more books!
Summarise your writing style (or books) in 100 words or less:
I write the sort of stories that I enjoy reading. If it doesn’t interest me, I can’t expect it to interest anyone else. I don’t plan my stories. I get a thought about something…what if a medium’s husband dies tragically? (as was the case with Be Sill, My Love) What would happen if she got mad at God and lost her ability to speak to the dead? Would she get it back? How? The story just developed from there. I didn’t know what was going to happen until I typed it. Of course, this style often requires a lot of editing when it’s all said and done.
If you were offered a book-deal would you take it?
Yes! But I would want to retain my rights to e-publishing. Much as I love having my book read electronically…I would love to walk into a book store and see my books on their shelves!
Why should someone pick-up your book(s)?
If they are interested in the paranormal…as in ghosts, hauntings and the afterlife, then my books should interest them. I’ve learned a lot over the years and I’ve experienced a lot (concerning paranormal phenomena). The things I’ve learned and experienced show up in my stories. Additionally, things I WANT to experience shows up in my stories. One thing, though, is that I don’t shy away from spiritual beliefs and that includes references to God. So for readers who don’t particularly care for having God as part of the story, well, they probably won’t like my books. They aren’t about religion, I don’t consider myself religious, but I don’t know how one can write about the afterlife and keep God out of it.
What formats is it/are they available in and where?
Right now I am exclusively with Amazon. My book is available to read in the Kindle format. Fortunately, the Kindle App is FREE and can be downloaded on just about any device. You can find my book “Be Still, My Love” (the sequel Hidden Voices to be published in late May) at Amazon.