What made you decide to write your first novel?
Like many authors, I’ve wanted to write since I was in grade school. I read voraciously as a child, devouring every book I could get my hands on. My mother took me to the library every Saturday and enrolled me in a book club. In the fifth grade, I won a Daughters of the American Revolution award for a story I wrote about the wagon train that met its demise at Donner’s Pass.
How long did it take you to write your book?
Writing my book took about three years. The first year, I read everything I could find on prophecy, starting with the Bible, and then biblical commentaries. I also attended a year-long prophecy Bible study on the book, Footsteps of the Messiah, which is the hallmark commentary on Bible prophecy. Many prophecy scholars today started their journey with The Footsteps of the Messiah.
What is the hardest part of writing for you? Starting? Outlining? Creating a scene? Dialog? Tension, etc?
When I first started writing, dialogue was hardest for me. But after reading a great book on dialogue, I enjoy writing it. Dialogue delivers much more than meets the eye. The next hardest thing for me is working on an outline. It takes me forever to write one. I have to mull the story over in my mind for weeks before jotting it in outline form. But it does make sure I see the whole picture and include twists and turns.
What’s the best encouragement you’ve had in your writing?
While I was writing Before the Apocalypse, I kept a folder containing newly printed chapters on my desk. When my teen grandchildren came to visit, they’d disappear in my office. I’d tiptoe by to see them reading the next chapter. That kept me writing. Knowing kids are interested in what I write makes all the difference in the world. I also belong to a critique group and encouragement from fellow writers is helpful.
Give me an example of how you learned to write past the dreaded rejection letters.
Rejection is just plain hard, but form letters are so much better than no response at all. I’ve had plenty of rejections, but after a few years, they began to suggest I submit any new material. Sometimes a few personal lines were added. Those made me smile.
I know many writers don’t want to go the indie-route because of the cost to publish. They don’t have a minimum of $1000 to $2,000 to pay for a good cover design, editing fees, formatting, copyright set-up, and basic marketing. What made you choose the indie route?
What do you know now about writing that you wished you had known sooner?
Taking writing courses, reading books on writing, attending conferences, and belonging to professional writing groups makes all the difference in the world in fine-tuning our writing. I belong to American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Word Weavers International.
What is some of the best writing advice that you’ve received or could give?
We hear many authors say to read and write daily to become better writers, and that truly is the best advice ever. Reading helps us to pick up on character and plot development as well as grammar. Writing daily helps us to write better and faster as we go along.
Are there any other points about writing that you would like to add?
Writers truly must develop a thick skin. We need to be willing to accept constructive criticism and heed it if we want to succeed.
I write humorous stories under my real name Deb Gardner Allard. Before the Apocalypse is an edgy story so I used a pseudonym so that anyone looking for more light-hearted material wouldn't feel like they didn't get what they paid for.
Do you have another book in progress?
Currently, I’m writing an adventure story under my real name, Deb Gardner Allard.
FB author site: @dgardnerallardauthor, @authortaylorjaxon
FB: Deb Allard, Deb Gardner Allard