It fits easier on a book cover. Outside of writing, I usually go by Deanna, my middle name.
2. Tell us a bit about your family, Deanna.
I grew up in a working class Catholic family from Fort Wayne, Indiana. I was the fourth of five sisters (no brothers). My mom was a file clerk and self-taught artist of local renown. My dad worked at a tire plant. He had a tough exterior. All the neighborhood kids were scared of him because he yelled a lot, but he was a good father.
As a child, money was tight, but I never lacked for necessities. I fantasized about having less sisters and more Christmas presents. Now that I’m older, I realize that my siblings are best gifts my parents ever gave me. Even though we live hundreds of miles away from each other, they are my best friends in the world.
Unfortunately, only one of my sisters is open to fantasy and science fiction. It’s definitely not her first choice though. She hasn’t even watched any of the Star Wars movies. Can you imagine? My other sisters are into romance novels. They used to devour Danielle Steel and Nora Roberts paperbacks like candy. I try to be respectful of their reading tastes, but I’m not above bugging them to beta read for me.
Enough about them. Let’s move onto how I met my husband. I’ll start by saying I wasn’t looking for one. Since grade school, I was determined to stay single. When asked why, I’d explain that I had never seen a marriage I’d want to be in. Then I met this one guy. He talked too much, wore his pants too high, raised chickens for a hobby, had zero housekeeping skills, went to Mass every Sunday and my resolve flew out the window (I will testify in court that love isn’t rational). My friends said he wasn’t my type, but we hit it off. It was a whirlwind romance and a year later we were married. My husband has only read one book since I’ve known him...and it wasn’t one of mine. I suppose I wouldn’t want him to bring an inmate home for me to babysit (he’s a prison guard), so we’ll call it even. We have a daughter and a son (in that order).
Moving onto my favorite subject—my babies. Well, they’re adolescents now, but a part of me will always think of them that way. Until I became a mother, I didn’t understand the meaning of unconditional love. It’s fierce, protective, incredibly painful at times and wonderful. Being a mom is my calling. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
3. How do you work through self-doubts and fear?
I’m still working through the self-doubts and fear, so I’m not sure how to answer this one. My approach might be overly simplistic. I acknowledge my feelings, but I don’t dwell on them. My internal pep talk goes like this:
Don’t worry about stupid shit. Just keep your eyes on the goal and write the damn book.
4. What makes you happiest?
Spending time with loved ones, Christmas, warm chocolate chip cookies, a clean house, alone-time to work on story, French vanilla cappuccino, the sound of summer rain against the roof, the first snow fall, autumn leaves, the crackle of a fire in the hearth, cozying with the kids on the couch to watch a movie, a good book, those rare moments in prayer when I feel God’s presence, walking through an old cemetery, making a book sale, getting a good book review, finding a ten dollar bill left in my coat pocket from last winter, reminiscing about younger days with old friends, enjoying a good meal that I didn’t have to make myself.
5. Why do you write?
I’m addicted. When a scene comes together, it gives me a high. When I’m forced to stay away from my computer too long, I get jittery until I get my daily fix of wordage. The compulsion sometimes interferes with my other responsibilities—housework, social life, and even my health. Writing is my blue meth, I guess.
6. What writing are you most proud of?
Glory Alley and the Star Riders. I wrote the skeleton of the book, from beginning to the end in less than three days. Didn’t eat, didn’t sleep, it was as if the story poured into me from some other realm. I haven’t had the same experience with any of my other books.
7. Who is your favorite author?
From a purely entertainment standpoint, I’d have to say Dean Koontz. I like the way he portrays ordinary people in heroic ways. With Dean as the guide, when realistic people get thrust into bizarre situations, it’s always a fun trip. He frequently contrasts the worst of the human condition against the best and the latter usually wins out. I like that kind of optimism.
The last survivors of the human race are riding out nuclear winter in an underground bunker when disaster strikes. Forced to the surface centuries ahead of schedule, what they find blows their minds. Who can explain it? Two social misfits work together to unravel the mystery.
After living in a posh underground shelter his entire life, Lars Steelsun is plunged headfirst into a mind-blowing adventure on the surface of the Earth. As Lars and his displaced bunker mates are led across the grasslands by Mayor Wakeland, a man of questionable sanity who claims to talk with God, they discover a primitive world where human beings are no longer welcome. Even more mystifying is the emergence of new senses and abilities from within.
Learning to use them has become a priority, but his biggest challenge comes from the vivacious Josie Albright. Her lust for glory is going to get them both into trouble. Sparks fly when her gung ho ways clash with his cautious personality. Can they overcome their differences to find love and a homeland for their people?
May not be suitable for younger readers.
Contains mild profanity, sexual situations (infrequent), and violence.
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Genre - Epic Fantasy
Rating – R
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