THE SOUL is shaped by words, images, & experiences.

THIS BLOG is about those things that have left their impression on me. I'd love for you to comment on what affects you.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Interview with author Deborah Piccurelli + book giveaway

It gives me great pleasure to welcome friend and writer Deborah Piccurelli. A native from New Jersey, Deborah writes romantic suspense, but with an unusual perspective. Enjoy our chat, and leave a comment, if you’d like the chance to win an autographed copy of her novel, In the Midst of Deceit. (Winner will be announced on October 31st).

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 complex and 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:


Lesha said...

Count me in! :)

Lori said...

What a great interview! Deb, I learned so much about you... how could I not know all this?? Thanks for bringing us this, Lydia!

dot said...

That was a great interview and Deborah's novel in the works sounds fascinating, the villain very evil. I'd be curious to see what the protagonists are like.
That's cool she was able to interview the Roloffs. They are a remarkable couple and the loving way they parent is refreshing to see in a media that perpetuates inept parental stereotypes.
Final note— I hate the design of dish drainers too and am frustrated every time I need to buy a new one!

siteadmin said...

Hi Lesna (hope I read that right), Lori and Dot,

Thanks for visiting my interview! It was lots of fun, and Lydia is a great interviewer. Lori, if there are other things you'd like to know about me, you can go to my Web site and ask me anything you want in my Author Q & A section. Dot, I can't believe that more than 15 yrs. later, I'm still frustrated and still wiping up those puddles on the drainboard! Well, maybe I'll write a bestseller and use my advance to have my design patented.'

Well, thanks again, ladies!

Kathleen Morphy said...

Oh how interesting! Sounds like one I'll have to set aside a day to read when I don't have other plans. I have a feeling once I get started I won't be able to put it down.

As to the drainer problem, we just use one half of the kitchen sink to wash the dishes and put the drainer in the other half. It hadn't occurred to me to put it on the counter. Oh well, to each his own.

Vasthi said...

Loved the interview. It gave me a broader understanding of Deb. Thanks!

siteadmin said...

Hi Kathy and Vasthi,

Thanks for stopping by for my interview! Kathy, you must have a double sink. My sister does the same thing with hers. Vasthi, see you for your interview on my own web site next month!