Guest Author Interview: Deanne Wilsted …by Susan Lute
Today we are very excited to have author, and President of Rose City Romance Writers, Deanne Wilsted with us. Here are a couple of lines I pulled from her website, which I think says a lot about Deanne and her approach to writing and life.
“All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
When she’s seriously writing, she’s at Starbucks.
Her favored drink is half-decaf Americano.
Please give Deanne a BIG SJP welcome.
Deanne, tell us about your publishing journey.
The rainbow is a ladder from the earth up to the sky, the sunset more a backdrop as clouds crowd by.
This is the beginning of a poem I wrote in first grade. It won me an honorable mention at our county fair and it made clear, to me anyway, that writing was therefore what I was meant to do. Unfortunately my father didn’t necessarily agree, and so I spent a great deal of my academic life studying business… something that he assured me would keep me employed.
And it did… for many years; employed, but not really happy. As with many writers, later in life I found myself drawn back to my original passion and decided to find out if I could, in fact, write a novel. Ten years and a lot of edits later, I published my first book, Betting Jessica, on Kindle and now find all of that business experience coming in handy again as I try to market myself and my writing.
What’s the funniest thing to happen to you along your road to publication and what was the most exciting?
The funniest? This is tough. When I asked my husband about this he laughed and pointed to the very anal excel spreadsheet I created to track agent and editor queries. Recently I was told that my second novel would be considered for publication at a specific press if I upped the heat (sex) and added a paranormal aspect. Since it is sort of a soft romance with inspirational elements I decided to continue looking for the right publisher instead.
The most exciting thing to happen though is easy to answer. A few months after Betting Jessica was released my neighbor threw a surprise party for me. He invited friends who had been my support along the way and made a big deal of interviewing me during the dinner. I was touched and honored and most importantly, for the very first time, I truly felt like the author I am.
What has been the most challenging thing related to publishing you’ve had to deal with on your journey?
After years of marketing my work to agents and getting positive feedback but no contract I finally decided to self-publish Betting Jessica. This was a tremendously difficult decision, so I can relate to many authors who weigh out the pros and cons of going this route.
Ultimately, it became a matter of staying true to my writing journey…. From day one I have focused on learning each, new, small task: How do I write a complete novel? How do I edit? How do I query? And eventually, how do I publish? Taken from this perspective the choice became much simpler. Self-publishing became the most immediate way I had to learn the answer to this last question. Since then it has forced me to continue to learn… How do I market? How do I network? How do I blog… the list keeps growing.
Who is your favorite author, and what are you currently reading?
Hands down my favorite author would be Sophie Kinsella. I love her humor and characters. In general, any British authors rock my boat…. There is just something about that wry sense of humor that I relate to.
Right now, though, I admit I find myself drawn to a lot of middle grade novels, like Rules, by Cynthia Lord. And though it is outside my normal genre I just finished reading The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins.
What’s coming up next for you?
So much is coming up my head is spinning. First off I am working on publishing the other two novels I have completed. The first one, Untie the Knot, has been edited for self-pub but is also in the hands of some interested presses. One way or the other I am hoping to get it out this summer. The other, which is set in Italy, has lots of crazy characters and is my favorite so far. It is in the stage of being marketed to agents. It’s title is Molto Mayhem in case readers want to search it out someday.
Along with this, I love managing my Blog, Overheard at…. which I post Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Finally, I have three new projects started. The one I am focusing on now is a novel about a mother who takes her daughter to Cornwall to recover from heartbreak, but then finds she is having her own, long distance difficulties with her husband back in the States. It is still very much my voice, but reaches an older audience and is a part of my ongoing focus to learn and grow as an author.
Most importantly, though, I plan to spend lots of time with the wonderful authors who currently surround me (like the See Jane Publish authors). I have a ton to learn from them and continue to appreciate their experience and wisdom…. Not to mention their support.
Thanks so much for letting me visit!
Posted on April 24, 2012, in Auth: Special Guest and tagged Betting Jessica, business, Deanne Wilsted, Deanne's Writing World, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Overheard At, poetry, Susan Lute, writing. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.