Today, Deborah Woehr joins us at Paperback Writer to talk about her latest novel, Prosperity, A Ghost Story.
Deborah Woehr is a writer, artist and problogger who lives in San Jose, California. She is well-known for her blog, The Writers Buzz. Currently, she writes for Syntagma Media’s Paranormal Watch.
Welcome to Paperback Writer
Will you share with us how you came up with the idea for this book?
My eighth grade science teacher was also a writer, who researched San Jose history. He told us about the lynching of two guys who kidnapped and murdered the son of a prominent businessman sometime in the 30s. The way he described the lynching left a lasting impression on me. My main and sidekick characters’ job is to find out why the former mayor and his family got lynched shortly after the 1918 Influenza Pandemic swept through the town.
Do you plan your stories first with an outline or does it come to you as write it?
I’ve tried to outline my stories before I start writing them, but that never seems to work out for me. I have to let the ideas come, and then try to write a solid outline as I am writing the story.
Do you know the end of the story at the beginning?
When I start writing a story, I try to come up with a general ending, knowing that it may change drastically as the story unfolds.
Do you have a process for developing your characters?
I’ll write down their names, physical descriptions, and a brief history of their past. Mostly, I let them speak to me.
It is said that authors write themselves into their characters. Is there any part of you in your characters and what they would be?
Both of my main characters have a background of domestic violence. Amanda was unfortunate enough to marry a man who was violent. Her sidekick, Travis, grew up in this type of environment.
What is your most favorite part about this book?
My most favorite part? There are several scenes which I liked. If I had to pick a favorite, it was when Amanda dumps a bowl of steaming hot oatmeal on the older deputy’s wife, who aided her husband into robbing Amanda of her purse and wedding ring. The woman is laughing at Amanda as the sheriff and Travis (the younger deputy) escort her into the local diner after she gets shoved out of her hotel window. Amanda decides at this point that she has had enough of these jerks and decides to get even with them.
When in the process of writing your book did you begin to look for a publisher?
I started looking shortly before I finished the third or fourth draft.
What struggles have you had on the road to being published?
I received a couple of rejection letters from New York literary agents. Then, when I started listening to the horror stories from writers and editors, I decided to self-publish. That has challenges of its own, including book design, budgeting an editor, and the learning curve of book publishing.
What has been the best part about being published?
I think the best part is knowing that my book is finally finished.
What do you want readers to remember and carry with them after reading your novel?
Most of us were brought up to believe that death is an escape from our problems. Judging by all the ghosts that still roam around the world, I’d say that wasn’t true. I’m hopeful that readers will enjoy Prosperity.
Do you have plans to write another book?
Yes. At the moment, I’m the idea phase.
Would you care to share with us how the virtual book tour experience with Pump Up Your Book Promotion has been for you?
I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. Dorothy Thompson has been great to work with.
Where can readers find a copy of your book?
The book will be available on Amazon and Lulu. http://www.lulu.com/content/1662022
Do you have a website for readers to go to?
Thank you, Deborah for sharing your book and characters with us today. It has been a pleasure and I hope you have had a successful virtual book tour.
PROSPERITY: A GHOST STORY VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR ’08 will officially begin on Feb. 1, 2008 and continue all month. If you would like to follow Deborah’s tour, visit www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com.
Win a free copy of Deborah’s book by commenting on her tour stops! One lucky person will be chosen at the end of her tour on Feb. 29 and announced on her tour page at http://tinyurl.com/2q4jze!
Deborah’s virtual book tour is brought to you by Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours at www.pumpupyourbookpromotion.com and choreographed by Dorothy Thompson. Check out www.pumpupyourbookpromotion.com/authorsontour.html to find out how you can get a free bookmark from Deborah (plus other incentives!) by purchasing her book at any online bookstore, her publisher’s website or her website (where applicable).