Within the Indie Author Hub, you can learn about other authors, their thoughts and opinions, what makes them tick and how their writing process works for them.
This week I interviewed Debbie Alferio. Have a look at her profile and books here.
What inspired you to become an author? I actually had a dream in which I was talking to a young man I didn’t know, and when I woke up, a story began to form in my head. I went to my computer and the words flowed from me as if they had always been there! I chalk it all up to divine intervention! For me, there’s no other way to describe it!
If you couldn’t be an author what would you like to be? I’m a pretty simple person, and as boring as it may sound to some, I would be perfectly content just being a wife and mother. Or, the drummer for a rock band. It’s a secret fantasy of mine—well, okay, maybe not anymore! Ha ha
Do you write full time? Yes, I’m happy to say I’m now writing full time. (when I’m not taking care of my family, pets, household chores, etc.) LOL
How do you fit writing into your routine? I find that my muse is usually at its best in the evening, so I try to do the bulk of my writing after dinner, between 7-11 pm. However, if the muse strikes at other times, and I have the ability to do so, I’m at my keyboard tapping away!
Where do you write? We have a sunroom on the back of our house that my husband converted into an office for me. My desk faces the window overlooking my backyard, and it creates the perfect atmosphere for me to write.
Do you have daily word targets? Not really. Sometimes the muse just won’t cooperate, and I’d rather write one or two great paragraphs than push myself to a word count and write things I’d end up deleting later.
Before writing, do you plan your books to the last detail? I really don’t. It goes back to that “pantser” thing. I find it much more satisfying to have some ideas and then let the muse take over once I sit down to write.
How do you decide on your characters and what they will be like? My characters usually just come to me, and kind of write themselves, if that makes sense. My only steadfast rule here is that they have to be down-to-earth and realistic. I believe the readers relate better if a character is similar to someone they know, or even themselves.
How do you get over the fear of a blank page? Oh, yes, writer’s block. We have become quite familiar with each other over the years. I tend not to try to force the creativity. If it’s there, it’s there. If not, I leave the project for a short time and let my mind rest. Works well for me most of the time.
How do you target your audience effectively? The key is in knowing your niche market, and for me, that’s primarily any woman from age 14-up. Since my books are inspirational romance, I’ve also found a strong market within church groups.
What ways do you promote yourself online? I send out periodic emails to my readers and others on my contact list as well as keeping a presence on Facebook and LinkedIn. I also have a blog and do several online interviews a year like this one.
How much time do you spend promoting yourself in social media? I generally spend about 2 hours a day, sometimes more depending on whether I’m working on an interview or a guest appearance on a blog, podcast, etc.
What’s been your most effective way of promoting yourself? I find personal appearances to be the best way for me to promote myself and my work. I love speaking in front of people, whether it’s for a private group or at a writer’s conference. So much fun!
What offline promotion do you take part in? I do a lot of personal appearances which include book signings, craft shows, multi-author book fairs, and speaking for writer’s groups, women’s groups, and at writer’s conferences.
What made you decide to publish independently? For me, the reasons are many. I was eager to get my work in front of an audience, and the idea of waiting for months—or possibly even years—to be published didn’t sit well with me. I also love the creative freedom independent publishing gives me as well as the opportunity to promote my work in the manner of my choosing, and that I don’t have to worry about deadlines. I don’t work well under pressure, so being able to take my time and “get it right” means a lot.
What do you think the future of traditional publishing will be? I see a lot more authors publishing independently and the stigma against them being drastically reduced or even eliminated.
Is it necessary for authors to have agents these days? I don’t think it’s as much of a necessity as it is a choice for the indie author; however, for those choosing traditional publishing, an agent is almost a must.
How do you deal with rejection or a less favourable review? I haven’t had to face this yet, fortunately, but I try to keep in mind that a review is really nothing more than one person’s opinion of my work. Not everyone is going to like what I do, and to believe they will is unrealistic. I stay focused on those who have reacted favorably to what I do, and if I there is some tidbit of advice I can take from the negativity to better my work, I try to do it.
How do you keep yourself motivated? I’ll admit it isn’t easy sometimes, but I personally keep in mind that I’m writing for my readers and not necessarily for myself. I owe it to them to keep writing, and try to remember that they are looking forward to reading new material.
What’s your top tip for aspiring authors? Don’t let anything discourage you from writing.
Thank you for being part of this interview.