Hi Debbie Allen, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background? I was born and raised in Detroit Michigan, and live in Macomb Michigan with my fiancé. I had a few things published in high school magazines, and a poem was published in Reader’s Digest many years ago. I’ve always jotted down story lines but never really did anything with them till 2015, when I found the picture that’s on the cover of Trusting In Love. It just hit me to tell my story of domestic abuse as part biography, part fiction.
Discuss your newest book. My newest book is about a tatted up, busted up bull rider who finds and nearly loses the love of his life.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I’ve read from a very early age and always did little plays when I was alone about the books, wrote my own lines, etc.
What are your current projects? Dare To Ride, about the busted up cowboy, another one will be about a man who lost his wife and their unborn child in a crash he lived through, barely, and finds love again. I’ve got 3 other book covers with ideas for them, but no solid story yet. Hang in there, they’ll come.
What books have most influenced your life most? Historical romance novels and romance novels period.
What inspired you to write your first book? Honestly… I read a book in a bundle by Molly McClain, and when I found her on Facebook, we got to talking and she inspired me to start, and then I read another book by Maggie Adams and she’s been the biggest influence on me.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? All my main characters are survivors in some way of a tragedy or accident. They’re strong willed and find love in the end with that special someone.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? That love is there for everyone, it’s just a matter of finding it.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book? I really don’t know, I haven’t thought about it. Maybe Hugh Jackman.
When did you decide to become a writer? Didn’t decide, it just started flowing off the fingers one day till I was finished. I have many unfinished scripts that I’ve lost to hard drive failure over the last 20 years.
Why do you write? It’s cathartic sometimes. But mainly it’s because I enjoy dropping out of my world into theirs for awhile.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? I saw the picture that I used as the cover for Trusting In Love and the story hit me in the face.
Do you write full-time or part-time? Right now part time
What is the hardest thing about writing? I’d have to say, sitting long enough to finish. I’ve had health problems that kept me from sitting as long at the computer as I’d like to in the last year.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? Nothing really, just having time away from pain to sit long enough.
What is the easiest thing about writing? Wow, is there such a thing? Let’s see… I guess it’s wrapping my head into their world long enough to escape mine.
What book are you reading now? As of 4/14/16 Now that I’ve found you by Bella Andre
What is one random thing about you? I took truck driving school and can drive an 18 wheeler
What is your preferred medium of writing? Pen and paper or strictly tablet and computer? Computer
What does your writing process look like? I sit at my computer and either listen to music or have the TV going and then lose myself in my story as it unfolds. I write as I go along.
Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? About the strangest writing habit is that I do my best writing after I go to bed in my head.
How important are names to you in your books? Pretty important, can’t call everyone he or she all the time 🙂
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Remembering who did what when if I’ve been away from the story for awhile.
Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future? Yes, double and triple check your paperback covers before saying they’re ok. I have a typo on my first and can’t change it now.
What is your favorite book and why? My first of course, Trusting In Love, it was the very first I published to the actual buying public.
Do you have any advice for other writers? Talk to other writers who’ve published books, whether with a publishing company or as an Indie like me. Listen to them, and then write your heart into it.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? READ, my TBR list is over 8000, yes, that’s thousand, I get the majority of my books free, so I have to take them when I can get them, as they’re free for a limited time. And I thought mine was getting long with over 3000!
From where do you gain your inspiration? Life, other books, TV.
What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around? Since I haven’t been published any way yet but self, I can’t really give an opinion.
How do you market your books? Through Facebook, my website www.debbieallenbooks.com, author takeovers on Facebook where I give free copies of my book and include a handful of bookmarks for the winner to had out to family and friends.
Why did you choose this route? I can’t afford a PR or PA yet, so have to do things myself.
Would you or do you use a PR agency? If I could find one really cheap, or free, yep.
Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books? Join many book sites on Facebook, follow their rules because some have a 1 post a day limit, or what can be posted. Get a website, make up a “cheat sheet” of your copy that you’re using to post the book with and make sure to have all your contact info and FB pages, etc on there.
What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book? I don’t, I just post it while I’m cruising around looking for free books, or reading posts on Facebook
What do you do to get book reviews? Honestly, I don’t do anything. With all the trouble at Amazon about reviews right now, Goodreads is about the only place I’d want reviews.
How successful has your quest for reviews been so far? Moot point, since I don’t do a quest for them.
Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers? No
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews? Good reviews welcome, bad reviews I’d prefer to be inboxed with them first so I can rebut them.
Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you? Marketing, no, but it was 2 weeks after I started doing the paperbacks that someone noticed a typo and I couldn’t change it then. Sigh.
What’s your views on social media for marketing? Best thing ever.
Which social network worked best for you? Facebook is much better than Twitter as I don’t have that many followers on Twitter.
Any tips on what to do and what not to do? Do get yourself writing, and don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice from another author.
Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work? Not really, though I am on the Goodreads author list.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why? Gene Kelly, I wanted to dance and sing like him since I was a kid. In fact I did do my own version of the Singin in the rain dance.
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? Oh wow, I really don’t know, there are too many that I love.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers? Don’t be afraid to ask authors questions. If they’re like some of my author friends, they’re more than willing to help.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1DjM2jD
Author’s Facebook Page: http://on.fb.me/1QS7hyQ