Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Deanna Klingel {Writer Wednesday}

A little bit about Deanna...

Deanna lives in the mountains of western North Carolina in a log house with her husband Dave and golden retriever, Buddy. Their seven children have grown and gone, leaving an empty nest. Deanna writes in the loft overlooking lofty peaks and hillsides of rhododendron and mountain laurel. She loves the quiet.

How to connect with Deanna...

Blog: www. (1st page of the website; previous posts on the last page) Goodreads: Deanna K. Klingel
Facebook: Deanna K. Klingel 
Linked in: Deanna K. Klingel

Author Interview | Deanna Klingel

You & Writing
Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing? What has kept you writing?
...I’ve always been a writer, since I was a small girl, writing with crayons. I’m a compulsive list maker, diarist, greeting card maker, any excuse to write. I wrote a lot of skits and short stories for school plays and Scouts, and stories for my kids. But writing for publication? That didn’t happen until my family was raised and I could put all my concentration into it.

Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?
...Oh dear, like asking which is my favorite child. Probably the one I’m working on when the question is posed. The one that needs me right then.

What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?
...The hardest thing for me is waiting for it to happen, to hear that a publisher wants my work. Then waiting some more. The next hardest part is the marketing. Not that it isn’t fun, it is. But it really cuts into my writing time. The easiest part? The writing, the rewriting, the reworking. That’s what I love most, so that’s why it’s the easiest. It’s really a lot of work, but I enjoy it so much it seems easy.

Your Writing

Tell us a little bit about your book or what you’re working on currently? Why are did you write it?

...I’ll talk about Cracks in the Ice, teen and women’s fiction. This is the story of Gina Mangalli, niece of a mafia don. She has the dream of Olympic gold as a figure skater. She’s almost there. It’s all in place. Then tragedy derails her, and as happens to many athletes who can no longer compete, she loses sight of her identity. Off the ice she doesn’t know who she is. We see her spiral into despair and alcoholism. Two people who never gave up on her, who never stopped loving her, are able to show her she is still loveable, still a child of God, still worthy of love. They help her through recovery and back to the Church of her childhood. Gina is able to reinvent herself and begin life anew.

Do you have a favorite character in this work? If so, why?
...I love Gina. The reader will know her in every stage of life, as a plucky little ten year old, naïve to the world outside her family compound, as a lonely teen, as a dedicated athlete.

What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...I hope my young readers will see how easy it is to slip into alcoholism without ever intending it, and how devastating it can be for dreams of a future. But, there is always hope.


Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?
...I’ve often wondered this myself! Where do my story characters come from? I can’t truthfully say I make them up. They come to me. They tell me their stories. I write them. Sometimes they come to me already named! My daughter says, “Mom, you might not want to tell people that about yourself; you know.” My son says, “These, uh, characters, they talk to you? Does Dad know this?”

When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories?
...Well, I don’t think I’ve delved into my intentions quite deep enough; I can’t answer this. My intention is only to write a good piece of literature with characters that will live in the readers’ hearts. Then if they do all those other things, great! But that’s not me, it’s the story.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
...The best advice I can think of to an aspiring author is to write. Write, write, read and write. Don’t beat up on yourself or take yourself too seriously. When you don’t enjoy it, stop. As long as you enjoy it, then write. Good writing is a skill; skill takes practice.


When you get an idea for a novel, what is the first thing that you do?
...I stew. I steep. I wake up early and compose in my head while I’m still in bed, kind of in the Twilight Zone. Over and over. Then I make a really rough outline, who is it, what’s he up to, where’s he going with his story. Then I stew some more, then I start researching. Then I pray, put it in God’s care, and just start writing. About 40,000 words later rewrite.

September is Classical Music Month (who knew?). In keeping with that theme, do you have a favorite character from a classical novel?
...You know I write YA, right? So, probably Jo March from Little Women.

What is your favorite fall snack food?

...Cider. And chocolate, but it doesn’t have to be fall for chocolate.

Thanks so much Deanna for being my guest here on Thinking Thoughts! Your little bio has me feeling extremely jealous - it sounds like your cabin is a little slice of heaven. I love how you say you've always been a writer. I can completely identify with you on that. The same with how you described where you "find" your characters. Something happens to those of us who write - it's the closest thing to magic (if I can get away with saying that) that I know because, out of the unknown-the abyss of our creative minds-comes living, breathing, thinking, and acting characters. I love that about writing!

For you readers out there, make sure you stop by your local book store or go to amazon to get your copy of Deanna's latest novel, Cracks in the Ice!

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