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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Dissecting Mysteries: Author Interview with Deidre Verne

What drew you to the idea of writing your first mystery/suspense novel? Was there a specific book or author that made you think – I could write like that? 
My favorite author is Nelson DeMille. I love his dialogue and the intricacy of his plots.

How long did it take for you to write the first book?
It took me 9 months to write Drawing Conclusions and about the same amount of time to write Drawing Blood. 

Was it harder or easier to write your second book?
The second book came much easier because I had already established the characters. When you use the same characters is feels like friends getting back together - except someone gets murdered!

What makes for a good mystery? 
I like mysteries that have more than one story line (a subplot) as it gives the story an additional dimension. It helps build the characters and prevents the story from having a linear conclusions. It's hard to do but this was my goal in the second book in the series.

What type of research do you do for your books? Tell me about the process.
Since my main character is a "freegan," I had to do lots of research which was fun. I read green magazines, watched videos of people Dumpster diving and kept up on green trends. Periodically, I go back into the manuscript and add some green flavor - maybe a tip I read about that the main character can execute.

Your chapter of Sisters in Crime did a short story anthology that you were featured in. How did that come about? 
Sisters in Crime is a great organization. My local chapter runs short story contests which is how the first anthology came about. Many wonderful authors were selected based on blind readings. I was thrilled to be included. 

How do each of the writers share in the promotion of the book?
As far as promotion, it's hard. We all use Facebook and as a group we've done the Brooklyn Book Fair together.

Did you go through the normal process of pitching your book to agents and traditional publishers? 
Yes I went through the normal agent/publisher process. I sent out many, many queries and ultimately found Victoria Skurnick at Levine Greenberg. Victoria then made contact with Midnight Ink Publishing.

How do you write? 
It's a bit of an on-going process. I spend a lot of time in my head simply thinking about t he characters and their potential actions as a function of the personalities I give them. I don't write an outline. In fact, I find it slows me down. I like to write and see where it goes. I'll throw in a bunch of red herrings and then I'll take out the ones that don't work at the end.

What has worked best for you in generating sales?
I wish I could tell what type of promotion works. I've attended conferences, networked with local bookstore and librarians, participated in blog tours and I've even done a short commercial on Youtube. It's a very competitive industry.

What do you know now about writing/publishing now that you wished you had known sooner?I was very shy about promoting my first book. A series depends on the success of the first book and I think I should have been more vocal early on. 

What is the best advice you've been given about writing or that you've learned that you would like to pass along?
The best advice I can give is that you must take criticism and you must be willing to write a book that will sell even if that means making changes.

What other works do you have in the process?
I'm currently working on a thriller that takes place in The Bronx.

That's it for today's interview. If you'd like to learn more about Deirdre's books, here's the Amazon link to them...

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