Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Writers' Wednesday: An Interview with Debra St. John

Welcome back to Writers' Wednesday! Today I'm chatting with Wild Rose Press author Debra St. John...

Debra, welcome! When did you first begin writing? Was there an event or moment in your life that triggered your desire to write?

I started writing in high school. (Not well, but the enthusiasm was there!) I subscribed to Harlequin American and got four shiny new silver books in the mail each month. After reading half a dozen or so, I thought, “I want to write one of these some day.” And I’ve been writing ever since. Not always seriously, but it was always something I came back to time and time again.

Tell us about your latest writing project or published title.

Right now I’m I the middle of working on a sequel, or spin-off, to “This Time for Always”. This story features Zach as the hero, who is a secondary character in the first book. I also have a new release coming soon called “Wild Wedding Weekend” which is currently in the final editing stage with my editor at The Wild Rose Press.

What advice would you give to new writers just starting out?

Keep at it and don’t give up on your dream. I played around for a long time before becoming serious about my writing, but I learned a lot along the way. Enter contests. You can get such great feedback from them. Join a writers’ group. My local RWA chapter, Chicago-North, has been invaluable to me. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I’ve learned from the talented and wonderful ladies in that group. Find a critique partner or group. You’ll learn a lot from reading other people’s work.

Describe your writing space.

The computer in my den is what I like to think of as “home base” for my writing. I have pictures and sticky notes and such pinned up all over the place. I also have award certificates for contests I’ve won hung up to keep me going when I hit a wall. The den itself is decorated with old family pictures, so it’s a cozy and welcoming space.. Then last summer (I know I’m really behind the times!) I bought a laptop. This has been one of the best investments I’ve ever made. Now I can take my writing virtually anywhere. In the summer I like to take the laptop out to the back porch and spend an hour or two writing in my jammies before I start the day. My living room couch and the rocking chair on my front porch are also favorite “portable” writing spots. I go wherever the mood strikes me!

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

When I’m not writing I love cuddling up on the couch and watching movies with my hubby. In the summer I like to play in my garden or sit on the front porch in a rocking chair with a good book. Spending time with friends scrap booking or just hanging out is also one of my favorite things to do.

When you write, do you use the computer or compose by hand, oral dictation, or some other method?

I work mainly on the computer, but if inspiration strikes suddenly and I’m away from a computer I will hand write a scene or two and then transfer it into the manuscript later.

Debra, thanks so much for being here today! Readers, want to know more? Visit her website here.


Debra St. John said...

Hi Allie! Thanks for having me today! Sorry it took so long to check in. It's been a busy day and I've been away from my computer for most of it.

Christine Clemetson said...

Great interview Debra. I love the title, "Wild Wedding Weekend"..sounds so fun!


Morgan Mandel said...

Sounds good - sitting outside and writing on a laptop computer. Summer can't be far off.

I can hardly wait to read Wild Wedding Weekend, but I don't know if I can't say it real fast.

Morgan Mandel

Skhye said...

Great interview and wonderful advice. :) I putz around my garden and sit on the porch too. I finally tried growing herbs from seed. Geesh, someone should have told me it was this easy. I thought those were fussy seeds!

June said...

Great interview Debra and Allie. It's always interesting to see how other authors do it! Of course I meant writing!


Mary Ricksen said...

Great Interview as usual Allie!
Debra, I sit out in my yard in the winter and have my laptop on my lap.
It's the only time of year it's not too hot to do it. But I have a jungle in my backyard, so I sit at the table and look out the back sliding glass doors, wishing I could be out there. I miss the plants that grow up North and my usual big vegetable garden.

Pat McDermott said...

I enjoyed your interview, Debra. Love the play on words in your titles. Good luck with your releases!

elaine cantrell said...

Going outside (or anywhere else for that matter) with my lap top didn't do any good. I got too distracted by what was going on around me, so I stick to my little room and use my desktop computer. Nice interview, Debra.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Debra. Great interview and I like the sound of your books. I love to sit outside and rock in a rocking chair, early in the morning. Very inspiring. Best of luck in all you do!

Debra St. John said...

Hi All! Thanks for popping in to say hello. And thanks for sharing your favorite writing spots...justing reading this makes me motivated to pull out my laptop and write! Plus, we're finally getting some nice weather today around here.

Kelly Jamieson said...

I'm a day late, but great to get to know more about you, Debra! I'm waiting for Wild Wedding Weekend!