Interview With Author Debbie De Louise

What is/are the story(ies) behind your book(s)?

I have a cozy mystery series that currently consists of four titles: A Stone’s Throw, Behind a Rock and a Hard Place, Written in Stone, and Love on the Rocks. The storyline involves librarian, Alicia, who travels to her husband’s childhood hometown after he is killed mysteriously in a hit and run accident. In Cobble Cove, she discovers some secrets about his past and meets the man who might have killed him. The following books in the series contain other mysteries that Alicia helps solve while working as a librarian in Cobble Cove. There’s also some pets included, one of whom, Sneaky the Library Cat, has his own blog where he interviews pet characters from other books: The latest book in the series also won a Certificate of Excellence from the Cat Writer’s Association.

I have two other published books, a standalone mystery, Reason to Die, and a paranormal romance, Cloudy Rainbow. I also have a romantic comedy novella, When Jack Trumps Ace. In addition, my new psychological mystery, Sea Scope, will be released in May and is currently on pre-order. This book tells the story of a book illustrator, Sarah, who travels back to her childhood home in South Carolina while her marriage is in trouble. There she is reunited with people from her past and discovers some secrets about an incident that she and her brother were involved in twenty years ago that may now put her in danger. All my books are available as eBooks and paperbacks and are featured on my Amazon author page

What inspires/inspired your creativity?

I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing and am also a librarian. I’m inspired by many things — books I’ve read, movies and shows I’ve seen, day-to-day events, people I’ve known or meet, my night and day dreams, just about everything.

How do you deal with creative block?

I take a break and concentrate on reading or go back to a work-in-progress that I put away to work on something else.

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

For me, it’s “telling” more than “showing,” but I’ve been practicing improving this. Minor mistakes like switching character names, typos, etc, can more easily be corrected in edits.

Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?

For my Cobble Cove series, I tried to use sayings that featured rocks and stones. Some authors use play on words or numbers in their series titles. As for my standalones, I try to find a unique title because titles aren’t copyrighted. I’ve found, in my work as a librarian, that some titles are so popular when searched that they bring up a list of books. With a unique title, a book would come up at the top of the search results.

Since I don’t have much say in the covers my publishers produce, I can’t offer many tips but to say that if asked for suggestions on cover images or if you’re working with a graphic artist, you should try for something professional looking that is similar to a bestselling book. The fonts used for your name and the book title are just as important as the image in conveying a message to the reader.

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

I haven’t had too many bad reviews, but I try not to let them affect me because I realize that not everyone will like my type of writing. An author can’t take poor reviews seriously. However, if there’s a common thread in the negative reviews, you might consider working on that area in your forthcoming books.

How has your creation process improved over time?

That’s a difficult question. I think I’m more able to focus on a project now because I can block out all my other ideas (but keep them in mind for future books or jot them down to refer to later).

What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?

The best thing was the fact that I could create characters that would resonate with a reader and that I, too, found interesting and unique — ones that took on a life of their own. The most surprising thing was where the characters lead me and how the plot unravels in ways I don’t initially expect. The worst thing is finding the time to promote and market my books as I release new ones.

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

I write the type of books I like to read, and I think others will, too. I’ve had some nice reviews and feedback about them.

What role do emotions play in creativity?

I think if you’re having a good day, you’ll be more likely to be more productive. When you’re sad or upset, it’s easier for your creative side to be blocked.

Do you have any creativity tricks?

I find that writing early is helpful. I’m a morning person, so I can put more effort into my writing at that time. For someone who works better at night, I would suggest a different routine.

What are your plans for future books?

As I mentioned, my psychological mystery, Sea Scope, will be out in May and is currently on pre-order. I also plan to continue my Cobble Cove series with #5 and finish another standalone mystery that has a touch of the supernatural in it. I’m also trying to find an agent for a new first book of a cozy mystery series featuring the owner of a pet shelter and pet cemetery. In addition, I’m currently writing the first of another cozy series.

Tell us some quirky facts about yourself

I’m addicted to Pusheen, the emoji cat. My favorite cake is Black Forest Cake. I chew sugarless peppermint gum after everything I eat.

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