Interview With Author Adele Buck

# Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!

Hi – I’m Adele Buck. I’m an author of romance and general fiction, with two published books and more on the way. My current romance series is Center Stage, which is set in/around the American theater scene. Book one, Acting Up, features a director and his best friend and stage manager who are producing a play that could be the inflection point in both their careers, but the leading lady is a bit of a nightmare. Oh, and they’re inconveniently realizing that they’re in love. The second book, Method Acting, is about a provocative actress who finds love with a buttoned-up Washington D.C. power player. The third one, Acting Lessons, will be coming out this summer. It’s a second-chance romance starring two secondary characters from Acting Up. The fourth and final book will probably be out this winter.

# What is/are the real-life story(ies) behind your book(s)?

I used to be an actress and a stage manager, so these books are definitely grounded in reality! I also still have friends in the entertainment business, so I was able to consult them to see if various details are still current (it’s been a few years since I’ve been anything but an audience member in a theater). And, in the case of the bonus epilogue for Method Acting, I was able to ask a friend who’s a Hollywood casting director about what it’s like to go to the Emmy Awards.

# What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?

Liking my characters too much and not wanting bad things to happen to them! I know that’s not exactly a unique problem for an author to have, but without conflict there’s no story. So, I have to have the story drag them through some rough patches so they can come out the other side having grown and changed.

# Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?

I feel like I’m not very good at choosing titles, but other people tell me they like my titles, so…maybe that’s just my jerk-brain talking. In choosing titles, I feel it’s important to give at least a little window onto the contents of the book. I’m not personally crazy about book titles that are just, for instance, a character’s name. Which isn’t to say that books that have that kind of title can’t be good – just that I don’t get much of an urge to pick up a book if the title is just Joe or Harvey.

For covers, the designer is key, no matter what kind of cover you’re considering. My cover designer for the Center Stage series, Marika Bailey, is an amazing artist and I love working with her. When helping a designer to develop a cover, it’s crucial to be able to say what works (or doesn’t) and why. That’s not always the easiest thing to do (especially for writers who are used to critiquing words and not images), but it’s a skill you have to develop if you’re going to get a cover you like. Since I’m an indie author, I do have a lot of control over covers. Authors who are traditionally published usually have much less input or often none at all!

# How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?

I mostly don’t read reviews, good or bad, though sometimes one will slip under my guard. For the most part, the further away I get from publishing a book, the less I care about the content of a review. It becomes easier and easier to separate from a piece of written work the further I get from final file submission. Not every book is going to connect with every reader and that’s just life.

Negative feedback is something you have to learn to live with, as it’s usually crucial to the editing and revision process and helps you craft a better book. As long as it’s constructive (and not trying to make your book into something it’s not or that you don’t want it to be), I don’t get upset about negative feedback. Instead, I try to mine it for ways I can improve the story.

# Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?

Personal satisfaction, for sure. I will never know how another person’s mind works, so to try to chase their perfect story seems like a fool’s errand. Not to mention, I don’t think authentic stories come from trying to do something that isn’t organic. Also, if a story doesn’t resonate for me, how is it ever going to resonate for someone else?

# What role do emotions play in creativity?

A huge role. Because I was an actress first, I often approach drafting as if I was playing the characters. I’m not much of a crier, but I even got choked up when working on part of Method Acting. It’s surprising to me that my own brain can produce work that gives me that strong of a reaction.

# Do you have any creativity tricks?

When I get stuck, I ask myself three questions: What does the character want? What’s keeping them from achieving it? How are they going to get around those obstacles? This works at both the macro (book) level and the micro (scene) level. It’s similar to GMC (Goal, Motivation, Conflict), but the question/answer format works better for my brain.

# What are your plans for future books?

I have another 3-book romance series in the hopper for next year – it’s kind of loosely connected via characters, with no central theme like Center Stage has, so I’m not sure what I’m going to call it. The first book is called Angling for You and the female main character is a fly fishing guide. Her love interest is an academic librarian who hires her to teach him how to use the valuable fly rod his father left him in his will. I also have two non-romance novels, but I’m not sure when those will come out…

# Tell us a quirky story about yourself

My family is mostly Scandinavian and the heroine of Angling is Norwegian-American. The last chapter in the book is set in Norway and my husband and I went there a few years ago after I’d completed the first draft. Since my husband is an angler (I’m not), he read my manuscript for accuracy with his red pen out on the airplane to Oslo and then on Norwegian trains that we took to visit friends on the south coast. That was nerve wracking!

# Where can you be found on social media?

I’m mostly on Twitter. Some on Instagram (warning – I have cats! So many photographs of cats…). I do have a Facebook page, but I’m not as good about keeping that updated. I also have a monthly newsletter, with news, books I’m looking forward to, and other fun stuff.