I'm still a new and emerging novelist, even after my second novel, To be Maria was published by a traditional press. I'm forever seeking ways to build my fan base, so that is where I'm at in my writing journey right now.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
I enjoy the creativity, the thrill of creating fictional people--ones who are just like me--then following those people around until I feel that their stories will move on without me having to write them.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
I'm currently working on Maria's Plea, the sequel to To be Maria. Although, I'm still languishing on chapter 14, where I left off at the end of July.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?
Do everything and anything you possibly can to promote yourself and your work, and build a fan base before you even sign on with an agent/publisher. It makes it a lot easier to sell your books when you have a decent-to-ample following than when you don't.
DO YOU SUFFER FROM WRITER’S BLOCK? IF SO HOW DO YOU OVERCOME IT?
Yes, I suffer from Writer's Block from time to time. When it happens, I focus my attention elsewhere for the time being. I'll eat if I need to; get exercise, read a book, talk to a friend, or just do some random thing, until I'm able to focus on my writing without being easily distracted.
DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED WRITING SCHEDULE?
I don't have a preferred writing schedule, but I write best in the afternoon and in the evenings.
HOW DO YOU PLAN YOUR STORYLINE?
I usually write a short synopsis and an in-depth character monologue for each main character before I write the story. Then, I figure out the setting and secondary characters. That's what I did with To be Maria. It worked very well for me, so I plan on using this technique for every novel I write.
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR AND WHY?
Right now, my favourite author is Ken Follett. I read his Pillars of The Earth and A World Without End. I loved both books. He's an amazing storyteller. I learnt so much about Medieval England just by reading these books. His characters are quite dynamic; they are easy to relate to, and his descriptions are very vivid.
WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?
Yes. The writing of To be Maria was influenced, in part, by my own experience in high school. As a teenager, I wasn't popular; I was kind of like Anya, actually: the social outcast who wanted popularity, but couldn't fit in at all.
Now that I'm out of high school, I realize that the grass really isn't greener on the other side, and popularity isn't glamorous. I've also learnt that it's better to have few good friends who are loyal than many who aren't.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PUBLICATIONS/AWARDS IF ANY?
Well, my first novel, Day of Revenge, received a star review from Publisher's Weekly.
You can read the review here: http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/authors/pw-select/article/45533-pw-select-fiction--poetry-book-reviews.html
Or, you could read it on www.amazon.com
OTHER THAN WRITING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?
I love acting. I've been a member of the Driftwood Players Story Theatre troupe for over two years. I also love kayaking, swimming, spending time with friends, reading (lots of reading) and I'm learning the art of medieval sword fighting (another thing I'm really enjoying).
DID YOU HAVE YOUR MANUSCRIPT PROFESSIONALLY EDITED BEFORE PUBLICATION? OR ARE YOU PART OF A CRITIQUE GROUP?
Yes. There is an in-house editor at PULSEpub who proofread my manuscript. Before I signed on with PULSE, I did receive feedback from people who read the entire manuscript or a partial. One of those people was a literary agent who I pitched To be Maria to at the Surrey International Writers Conference last year.
WHAT IS THE MOST SURPRISING THING ABOUT WRITING/PUBLISHING THAT YOU HAVE LEARNT?
Honestly, nothing in this industry has taken me by surprise. I knew what I was getting into when I chose this career path, I realized that it's a hard industry to crack and to succeed, but I'm sticking with it. I'm incredibly persistent. That's the only way you and I--and every other author--are going to succeed.
IF YOU HAD A PREMONITION YOU WOULD BE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND, WHAT 5 BOOKS WOULD YOU THROW IN YOUR BAG?
Pillars of the Earth
A World Without End
All of the Pretty Little Liars series
Oops. Just realized that totals way more than five books. But, in that event, it would take way more than five books--aside from swimming, writing and hunting for food-- to keep me entertained.
WHAT FIVE WORDS BEST SUM YOU UP
Go-getter, feisty, but kind, gentle and imaginative.
HOW CAN WE LEARN MORE?
You can find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/deanna.proach
Twitter handle: @deannaproach
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-be-maria-deanna-proach/1112313497?ean=2940015030723
PULSE pub (PDF and EPUB): http://www.shop.pulsepub.net/Home_c1.htm?page=3
You are very welcome Deanna. I wish you the very best on your next project!