Tag Archives: authors

Author Interview: Debbie Manber Kupfer

Fantasy writer and puzzle maker, Debbie Manber Kupfer believes that with enough tea and dark chocolate you can do anything. I’m pleased to welcome her here on No Wasted Ink.

author-debbie-manber-kupferHi there, thanks so much for having me. I’m Debbie Manber Kupfer and I’m a writer, puzzle maker, mom, cat lover, and tea drinker! I grew up in London, spent time in Israel, New York, and North Carolina and somehow ended up in St. Louis, MO, where I live with my husband, two kids and a very opinionated feline called Miri Billie Joe.

I divide my time between writing fiction and writing puzzles for magazines and my blog, Paws 4 Puzzles. I get through my day by drinking about a gallon of hot tea with milk and rewarding myself with the occasional piece of dark chocolate.

When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve pretty much always written. I remember as a kid I would fill notebooks with stories and once even sent one to the Puffin Post. It was about turning into a ladybug and the problems that created. (See even back then I wrote about shapeshifters!). I got a mention in the magazine and was so thrilled and knew I wanted to be a writer.

But life took over and over the years that followed though I started many books I never finished anything. Then in 2011 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I went through surgery, chemo and radiation and today thankfully I’m cancer free, but my brush with mortality made me realize that if I really wanted to write a book I needed to do it. So during November of 2012, I started writing P.A.W.S. Five years later I have two novels and a number of published short stories and am about to release book 3 of my series this March.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Not until my first book was published in 2013. It became real the day I held the paperback of P.A.W.S. in my hands.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

P.A.W.S. is the story of a young girl, Miri, who receives a silver cat charm from her grandmother, Celia, on the night before Celia dies. Little does she know but the charm contains a secret, a powerful magic that saved Celia from the Nazis and is about to make Miri’s life a whole lot more interesting.

What inspired you to write this book?

Back in October 2012, I woke up one morning with an idea. I clearly saw a young girl being passed a cat charm and knew it was important. I started talking to my daughter about the story that was growing inside me and she encouraged me to write it.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I’m mostly a discovery writer (or pantser if you will). I have a basic idea where my series is going, but only a rough idea how we will get there, and I truly enjoy the ride along the way.

How did you come up with the title of this book?
P.A.W.S. is an acronym for the magical society in which Miri finds herself. It stands for the Partnership of Animagi, Werewolves, and Shapeshifters.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

There are many messages in this story. I, like Miri, was bullied as a child, so her story resonates with me. I believe there’s a lot more to most people than you see on the surface and my stories are all about scratching beneath that surface.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Yes, even though I write fantasy many of the characters and situations in my books are based on people that have had an important part in my life. For example the kangaroo animagus exchange student at P.A.W.S., Joey Marks is based off my son Joey who shares a lot of his traits. Smart, enthusiastic, bouncy – with a love for games and puzzles.

What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?

JK Rowling, Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. These four are my writing gods. I can revisit their books over and over again and always find something new. It’s all in the little details and in the humor.

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor? Why?

I have one. My personal friend and critique partner, Larry Miller. Larry writes a completely different genre to me (literary fiction), but we’ve been critiquing each other’s work for so long now that we wholly get and trust each other’s judgement. Finding someone like this if you’re a writer is gold. Hold on to them.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

The superbly awesome Rachel Bostwick. She also creates my book trailers. Find her on Fiverr. She’s wonderful to work with and very reasonable.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

If you haven’t yet, try NaNoWriMo. It really helps me get my first drafts done and the support of other writers in my local chapter and online is phenomenal.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Please write to me! I love hearing from fans and try to reply to every single note.

book-cover-pawsDebbie Manber Kupfer
St. Louis, MO

FACEBOOK
TWITTER
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE
GOODREADS
YOUTUBE
PAWS4THOUGHT
PAWS4PUZZLES

P.A.W.S.

Cover Artist: Rachel Bostwick

AMAZON US
AMAZON UK
BARNES & NOBLE

No Wasted Ink Writer’s Links

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Mondays are always fun because I am able to share my weekly surfing with you.  This time I stuck with more general writing tips and essays, keeping in the groove of my life as an author.  I hope you like them too!

The Old Man and The Pen

Character Arc

5 Things Aspiring Writers Might Be Surprised to Know

How Productive Writers Start The Day

What Fiction Trends Say About Us

How to Print Dyslexia Friendly Books – and Why

How P.D. James and Detective Fiction Healed My Broken Heart

What Causes Burnout and How to Overcome It

The story of Dr. Seuss’s Navy – or, how a PR man became a giant of children’s literature

ENCOUNTERING LITERARY BOTS IN THE WILDS OF TWITTER

No Wasted Ink Writer’s Links

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A week of surfing has resulted in plenty of new articles to share.  This time I explore the daily in and out of being a writer, a bit about handwriting, and an interesting article about audiobooks.  I hope you enjoy them!

7 Real-World Ways to Think Like an Artist

Please Write! Confessions of a Lousy Pen Pal

Publishing Tip: Why Authors Shouldn’t Worry About Piracy

Business Musings: Writer Finances Versus The Paycheck World

9 Statistics Writers Should Know About Amazon

Library Hand, the Fastidiously Neat Penmanship Style Made for Card Catalogs

The 9 Mistakes Every Beginner Writer Makes

Reading Books Is on the Decline But Audiobooks Are Rising

What News-Writing Bots Mean for the Future of Journalism

Academic libraries are shrinking, while content is growing. How did we get here?

Author Interview: Rebekah Dodson

A word weaver, a crafter of worlds, and a deviser of plots, are terms that can describe Author Rebekah Dodson, but she prefers the title of writer. Why? Writers craft the symbols of the alphabet into a communication of beauty and ideas.  Please welcome Rebekah to No Wasted Ink.

author-rebekah-dodsonHello, my name is Rebekah Dodson, and I hail from the very Southern tip of Oregon, in the wild, wild west. I moved to a small town here because I needed out of the big city. I love living in Oregon, especially out where everyone knows my name. My husband of 16 years is a disabled veteran and stay at home dad to two teenagers, who often require more work than toddlers. I have three dogs: a German Shepherd named Max, a heeler named Coulson, and a Chihuahua named Princess. She’s kinda the boss of the whole troop and gets her brothers into trouble all the time. I am a professor at a local college, teaching writing, English, and college survival strategies. In my spare time, I play the piano, read fantasy novels, play Dungeons and Dragons, and of course, write!

When and why did you begin writing?

I originally started writing when I was 12. I was homeschooled and my co-op teacher gave me the option of writing a short story instead of an essay for a history assignment. She told me to write 5,000 words and I did it in a day! My short story, a romance based in the Civil War time period. Lilly Love and Billy Dove, was eventually published with the 4H Clubs of America and went on to win several awards. I put that aside for a long time to pursue my college education in psychology. My true writing career, however, didn’t happen until 2014. I met a man in college who was also a “secret writer” and we started swapping fantasy stories. He really inspired me to keep weaving stories and telling tall tales. It’s been 8 years since we meet, and we are now both teachers and writers.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

The first day I considered myself a writer was when I published my novel series, Postcards from Paris, with Deckard Publishing, on March 3rd, 2014. A friend in my graduate program encouraged me to keep writing no matter what and raved over my work. He designed my covers, edited, and published me. But more importantly, he never stopped encouraging me to share my work with the world. When I saw my first book go live, that was the day I knew I could do this forever.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

Although most of my novels are romance, I’ve finally released a sci-fi fantasy novel, Mirrors: The Curse of Lanval Book 1. This time-travel story is reach in medieval scenery, and features a main character who is a snarky, witty paramedic and college student. He’s full of himself and thinks he’s God’s gift to women – until he meets his match in a medieval queen.

What inspired you to write this book?

I’ve always been obsessed with history since a young age. I started this story about a year ago, when I began to wonder what would happen if a college student – with their often lofty, preconceived notions about how the world works – would fare in the past. Most of the inspiration came from observing my students. The story truly came to life when I met my teaching assistant in Sept 2016, a paramedic and college student himself. He started feeding me ideas and specific medical information. In frenzy, the story was finished and polished in about three months.

Do you have a specific writing style?

My specific writing style involves scenery and dialogue. In grad school, Hemingway’s abstract dialogue inspired me to craft characters that share witty conversations that tend to “dance” around issues. Like the hidden agenda in “Hills like White Elephants” my dialogue usually doesn’t address issues specifically, but plays more of a word game. I’m also very into describing weather, scenes, rooms, and buildings. I want to immerse my readers in locale as much as possible.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

My main characters, Gill and his sister Jules, touch a magic mirror they find in a chapel in France, when they travel there for their dear Uncle’s funeral. Much more than an artifact, it’s a running theme throughout the series: Gill looks in the mirror often, because of his prideful nature. A spell caster in the series uses Mirror Image to confuse their foes. Finally, Gill realizes that the mirror is turned on him, when he sees himself for who he truly is.

The series is also called The Curse of Lanval, based on the medieval author, Marie de France, who wrote a lais (poem) in the 12th century called Lanval. This story is about a knight that King Arthur forgot, and even though he seems cursed and bad things happen to him, he is eventually rewarded for being honest, true, and devoted. For this reason I gave Gill the surname of Lanval, because he’s a lot like this knight: not what he seems, but good of heart in the end.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Absolutely! Don’t ever judge a person by how they act. They might seem arrogant and foolish, but underneath they are usually insecure and frightened to show the world their weaknesses. All the characters in this series are a bit two-faced at times, but they don’t mean to. In the real world, we all have our public face and the one we show those close to us. Just because you see someone’s public face in the mirror, doesn’t mean that’s who they really are.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Some of Gill’s college experiences are based on mine, and observations from where I teach. For example, when Gill trips in the hallway and meets a girl he’s attracted to, this actually happened to me in college. I married the man 18 months later.

What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?

The main author to inspire me is the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. I read The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings series from a young age, and I always wanted to create a world like he did. I’m still working on it, but I do enjoy the adventures that he painted that will stick with me for a lifetime. I also enjoy Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series. The dynamics of adventure, fantasy, and romance between Richard and Khalan kept me reading the entire series on the edge of my seat. I love his writing style!

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor? Why?

Not really a mentor, but my writer friend (mentioned above from college days) is who I refer to as my muse. It doesn’t matter if I need help with romance or fantasy or even horror, I can call him and say “Help me!” and he will always answer. His answer is usually, “Did you add dragons?” He is the greatest assistant to my work and I wouldn’t be here today without him.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

C.L. Cannon at Fiction Atlas Author Services designed my cover. I actually selected her in the beginning because she had affordable services. She also edited Mirrors as well and is working on a book trailer for the series. I was so impressed with her enthusiasm to find what Gill really looked like, and she was great at seeing my vision. She also captured Marie, the character in book 2, perfectly. I’ve hired her permanently for the rest of the books in the series.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Everyone always says keep writing, but really, the key is to keep publishing. Go with a publishing house or self-publish, but don’t wait around! Get it out there! Even if you have to design your own cover and edit yourself, because you can’t afford either. DO NOT WAIT. I waited 2 years for my publisher to put out more of my books, thinking I couldn’t do it by myself, and in the meantime I wrote 25 novels (yes, you read that right!). I started self-publishing in October of 2016 and currently have 10 on the market and a huge fan base. Don’t ever wait around to take control of your destiny. Do it NOW.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Whether it’s my book or someone else’s, please value your indie/self-publish community by reading our books and leaving reviews. We work hard to give you best novel we can, and a little bit of our heart and soul is poured into each book. Show the love back whenever you can and pay it forward.

book-cover-mirrorsRebekah Dodson
Oregon

FACEBOOK
TWITTER
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

MIRRORS: The Curse of Lanval Book I

Cover Design: C.L. Cannon

AMAZON

No Wasted Ink Writer’s Links

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Welcome back to another Monday of writer’s links.  This week there is the usual mix of general writing tips, but I have also included a few about handwriting and language that are a bit off the beaten path, but still interesting.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

When I Fell in Love with Reading

Sherlock Holmes and Mastery of the Craft of Writing

HANDWRITING RESOURCES

Revenge of the copy editors: Grammar pros find internet stardom

Why I’ve ditched the Kindle for print books

THE WRITER AS PUBLIC FIGURE VS. THE WRITER WHO ACTUALLY WRITES

Why I’m Turning Trad-Pub Deals Down

DOWN THE RESEARCH RABBIT HOLE

Self-publishing, in an instant

Remembering Nüshu, the 19th-Century Chinese Script Only Women Could Write