1. Tell us a little bit about yourself...how long have you been writing? What made you decide to base your books in Louisiana?
Well, either I'm older than dirt or I've lived a lot in the time I've been on this planet because there always seems to be a lot to tell! Aside from my writing, I own two businesses and am the founder of Literacy Inc, a non-profit organization whose mission is to fight the growing rate of illiteracy in America's teens. I'm also the president of Mystery Writers of America's Southwest Chapter, president of the Horror Writers Association, and president of the Writers' Guild of Acadiana. I'm a licensed death scene investigator and have been a paranormal investigator for over fifteen years. Oh, and most importantly, I'm Mom to three adult girls. J As for writing, I started playing around with short stories when I was in the second grade, but really didn't get into serious novel-length work until nine years ago. The reason my books are based in Louisiana is because I know the land, the culture, the language, and the people as well as I know my own name. That said, it would be more difficult for me to write about a people or culture NOT from Louisiana! I think anytime a writer has intimate knowledge of a subject, be it a culture, place, or thing, and uses it in a story, that story winds up 'ringing' true to a reader's ear, which, in my opinion, is a crucial element in good storytelling.
2. In your bio you mention your grandmother...was she an inspiration in your writing? I know I have heard MANY stories growing up. Especially, like you wrote in "Family Inheritance" , of the "treateurs".
My grandmother was an inspiration in many aspects of my life. She was a no-nonsense, hard-working woman, who told it like it was. When she told a story, it was never fiction. It was always an accounting of something that had actually happened to someone in the family years earlier, and more times than not, those stories included the supernatural. She told those stories with such passion, her hands gesturing for emphasis, her eyes widening or narrowing to punctuate a point, that I'd sit at the foot of her rocker spellbound, not wanting the story to ever end. When I wrote Family Inheritance, which does revolve around a treateur, I wrote from experience because my grandmother was a treateur, as was her mother and her mother's mother. She was indeed one remarkable woman!
3. Can you tell us about your latest work or any work in progress(what we can look forward too?)
I have quite a few works in progress at the moment. My next book comes out mid 2010 and will be the third book in a trilogy I'm writing with Heather Graham. The working title of that book is WOLF'S BANE, and it's set in the heart of New Orleans. 2011, on the other hand, will be flooded with books. I have six scheduled to be released that year. The first three will be from a trilogy called Ghost Trackers, and the main character in each book scheduled for that series (GHOST BOX, 1313 ROYAL, and ZOMBIE ROAD) is a female paranormal investigator named Tess Bienville, who's driven to find out the truth about the life after death after her four-year-old son is murdered. From all indications, even before the first book is released, it looks like the publisher is interested in making this a series instead of a trilogy, which means there should be many more Ghost Tracker books to follow those three. On the heels of Ghost Tracker, I have another trilogy that will be released by another publisher. This one's called The Grimoire Trilogy. It's also set in New Orleans and involves triplet sisters who are master witches, and each sister is responsible for a certain sect of underground creatures that thrive in the city. Vampires-werewolves-and zombies. And, yep, these are going to include sex.
Last but Not Least: Can you tell us what you love about living in Louisiana?
That's the easiest question of all. Being Cajun, my love for Louisiana has everything to do with its people, our culture, the heritage that has been carried down for generations. I've traveled this country many times over, but have yet to find a more hospitable, generous, hard-working, and fun-loving people. Whenever someone asks me to explain what a Cajun is, I always tells them that the essence of a Cajun can be summed up in five Fs. ---Faith, Family, Friends, Food, and Fun. That is my heritage. It IS the jois de vive that makes us so unique to the rest of the country, and I wouldn't trade my culture or heritage for all the riches in the universe.
Can you tell us where to find more of your work? Places to purchase your books? Website? Fan pages?
You can find my work in any brick and mortar bookstore or online store, like Amazon. To find me online, there are a few places you can visit:
Here is Deborah's BIO:
People often ask if I consider myself to be an author or a writer. My answer is always the same. Neither. If I consider myself anything at all, it’s a storyteller who happens to write her stories on paper.
My love for storytelling came from my grandmother, who, in my opinion, was the best tale-spinner on the planet. I remember sitting at the foot of her rocker, utterly spellbound as she told story after story, all of them fact, not fiction mind you, of supernatural events that some uncle, aunt, or cousin had encountered ‘back in the day.’ Being Cajun, it was only natural that her entire body played a part in the telling of the tale. Her hand gestures were emphatic, her eyes widening or narrowing for effect, her entire body tensing and leaning forward as she reached the spookiest part of the tale. I remember wishing I could be just like her.
Second to the love of my grandmother’s stories was my fascination with words and their meaning. Even as a kid, I thought it was important to use the perfect words when conveying anything of importance, especially emotions. Little did I know that those two loves would steer me towards writerdom.
Growing up, I didn’t have aspirations of becoming an author. In fact, aside from a few short stories written out of boredom in grade school, the thought of being a writer never crossed my mind. Instead, I dreamed of being an astronaut, Superman, a nun, a bull-rider, a singer, and a teacher. It wasn’t until life had me well in the grips of adulthood that the storytelling urge overtook me, and I started penning tales.
At first the task was frustrating and daunting. Although I saw the story clearly in my head and could have easily told it standing before a million people, writing it without the aid of hand-gestures, facial expressions, or body language seemed impossible. It took a dozen or more false starts before it finally dawned on me…. I could use all those expressions of passion and conviction . . . if I chose just the right words. You’ve got to love how life sets you up sometimes, you know?
I just want to thank you for taking an interest in my work and offering me the opportunity to share a bit of my 'writers' story. And to anyone reading this who has read one of my books, I'd like to take this opportunity to say thank you. When you walked into that bookstore or shopped online for a book, you had thousands of books to choose from. Thank you so much for choosing one of mine! J
Thanks again, Kristina!
*****Lastly I would like to thank Deborah for joining us today. I'm such a big fan and I hope that you've been encouraged to pick up one of her books and read!