by Deborah Hale
1. What genre(s) do you write and what attracts you to that genre?
Anything historical – historical romance, historical fiction, inspirational historicals, fantasies set in pre-industrial world. History has intrigued me ever since my grandfather first told me stories about our ancestors. Later I began researching my family history and discovered enough fascinating true stories to inspired any number of novels. I also love to read almost any genre of fiction if the story is set in the past.
2. What’s your writing strength? What do you think separates you from other authors?
I have a really hard time identifying what draws readers to my books. I think part of it may be my voice, which was influenced by reading books from older periods when I was a child. I hope it sounds authentic without pulling the reader out of the story. I also like to rework elements from popular stories, films, myths and fairytales with a bit of a twist. I think readers enjoy that.
3. What’s your writing kryptonite? What is always tough for you to tackle?
Love scenes, which is part of the reason I moved to writing inspirational and sweet romances. I also have a problem with overwriting. I usually end up with more story than I need and have to go back and tighten. But I’d rather do that than feel like I had to pad a story.
4. Do you work with critique partners?
I did in the early years of my writing, but eventually felt I needed to be able to identify my stories’ weaknesses for myself. It also got to be time-consuming when I had tighter deadlines to meet. I think it can be very helpful for authors in the early stages when you need that feedback and support a critique partner can provide.
5. Where are your favourite places to find inspiration for new ideas?
My Muse hangs out on a section of road between Bedford Commons and Sackville. I’ve had several story ideas that came to me while driving there. The shower is another good font of inspiration. And if inspiration doesn’t strike, I just pull out my idea cards with the titles of various popular stories, films, etc (see Question 2) and start pairing them up until I come up with something that sounds interesting: My Fair Lady meets Sharpe’s Rifles, Pride and Prejudice meets The Phantom of the Opera, Jane Eyre meets Cinderella.
6. What piece of advice has stuck with you most since joining RWAC?
There are so many, it’s hard to pick just one. I’ve learned something new and valuable from every educational session I’ve attended at RWAC. Thanks, everyone!
7. Can you tell us what you’re working on now?
I could, but then I’d have to kill you. Kidding, kidding! It is kind of secret for the moment, but everyone will find out next fall. I can tell you that I recently released my first intentionally-written indie book – Snowbound with the Baronet. It will be the first in a series called The Duke’s Daughters which I would describe as Sense and Sensibility meets Downton Abbey. Also in June the final book in my Glass Slipper Brides series will be coming out.
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