It gives me great pleasure to welcome friend and writer Deborah Piccurelli. A native from
Debbie, tell me, how did you get interested in writing?
It was sort of accidental. I wanted to invent something I thought needed to be available to consumers, particularly homemakers. Since the process of creating a new product is complexand expensive, I looked for ways to earn the cash. Because I’ve always loved to read, I thought I’d try my hand at writing short stories for magazines. I wrote a few and sent them off. Although nothing ever came of them, I got hooked on writing. I studied how to write novels and screenplays. I still love writing both, but I’m concentrating on novel-writing these days. If a screenplay I’d written had been produced before my novel got published, I probably would be doing more of that now.
That is the most unusual introduction into writing I’ve ever heard. And your invention has peaked my curiosity. Can you share what it is with our readers?
I hated the dish drainers that were out back in the eighties. Couldn’t stand the puddles of water that would sit on the drain board and turn yucky, so I drew a plan for one I thought was cleaner and more efficient. I also had plans for a travel toothbrush holder, a soap dish, and a toy storage cabinet.
Are you happy with what’s available today?
(Laughs) No! Even the ones I had back then were better than I can find on the market today.
Sorry to hear that. But however it happened, I’m glad you got into writing. Your stories are unique. Where do you generally get the ideas for them?
They can come from anywhere. Sometimes I have my characters first, sometimes I have notes I’ve jotted down about an interesting event or incident I’ve heard or read about. Or I come up with a title. Then the thought processes start rolling, and before I know it, I have the beginnings of a novel.
In your first novel, In the Midst of Deceit, you wrote about a character who is crippled in a skydiving accident that was an attempt on his life. Did you have to spend time with a paraplegic to make the story sound authentic?
My sister put me in touch with a man who suffers from head trauma, and I asked him every question I could think of. I even used something humorous that he said, verbatim, in the book, because I thought it was so like the hero, Slade, and appropriate to the story.
Debbie, any other stories in the works?
I’ve put aside other finished manuscripts I’ve written in the style of In the Midst of Deceit because I’m drawn to writing about darker, obscure subjects now. My current work in progress has a hero and heroine who are little people. Without giving away any plot lines, I’ll just say that the story involves an abortionist who performs some heinous medical procedures and participates in racketeering. The protagonists are an estranged husband and wife team of investigative reporters who must work together to expose him.
What prompted you to make your protagonists little people?
Some years back, one of my sons used to watch Maury Povitch. Povitch seemed to feature little people as guests often. Although I know the show was supposed to highlight their accomplishments, I felt they were being exploited. I vowed to write a book one day with dwarves as my protagonists so I could show them dealing with everyday situations.
In my research, I found the Web site for Little People of America. I called the number the site provided and spoke with Matt Roloff, the president. I also spoke with his wife Amy, whom I interviewed to get a women’s perspective on living with dwarfism. Imagine my surprise when I saw them on several talk shows, including Oprah! Now they star in the popular TV show, Little People, Big World.
Since your new novel is based on the real-life issue of abortion, are you finding the details too horrifying to be believed?
Not really. I know that human nature dictates such happenings, as many such things go on without our even realizing. Even though I don’t have a problem believing (especially since I’ve thoroughly researched it), I know others will. The best way I know to show plausibility is to use the lives and personalities of my characters to live it out. If my characters are believable, then their situations will be believable.
Let me throw in a wild question. Debbie, if you weren’t writing, what would you imagine yourself doing?
Wow. I can’t imagine doing anything else. Before I started writing, I remember a job interview I had with a man who, among other things, was an author. He described the desire to write as “being like those guys with a needle”. At the time, I didn’t really understand that concept. Now that I’m doing it, I know he’s right. Writing is like an addiction. You’ve got to have it.
But I suppose if I had to choose something else, I’d probably do something creative, like drawing, or inventing, as we discussed above; maybe crocheting or knitting to sell. All of my life, I’ve always needed a creative outlet. Now I’ve got one I can’t let go of.
Well, keep writing girl! I look forward to your next story. And thanks for stopping by.
For more about Deborah M. Piccurelli and other writing news, visit her website: http://www.deborahmpiccurelli.com/