Interview with Denise Mathew

What are you working on next?
Right now I'm working on a sequel to my latest book Ransom in the Holding Ransom series. I hope to have it out some time in early May 2014.
Who are your favorite authors?
There are too many to name but my top 4 are JD Robb, Suzanne Collins, Holly Black and JK Rowling.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Well my kids need to get to school, but if they were grown up and out of the house I would say the need to write a beautiful story that makes people pause for a moment and see something through my words that they never might have seen before.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm very busy with my kids and family, there is a lot of shuttling them to all the places they need to be. I also love to bake, cook and I make jewelry. Of course I'm a huge fan of reading too.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I like to ask my friends what they are reading. I also check out the New York Times bestseller list, but many times I just browse an ebook store and discover things I've never heard of.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The one that I really remember was called Saul. I wrote it when I was 16, it was a story about a man who had been in a horribly disfiguring accident and how his life looked afterwards. I was inspired to write this story by a woman I used to see on the street who had been badly burned in a house fire while saving her children.
What is your writing process?
I'm very unstructured, I've heard of writers who have outlines, story boards and a wide assortment of rules they follow, but for me I get a concept or idea then just start writing from that idea. I honestly never really know which way the story is going until I start writing the words. I never plan, I just write whatever comes into my thoughts, and oddly it always comes together.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I started reading when I was 4 but one story I really remember was one called Freckle Juice. I had freckles when I was a child and my best friend when I about 7 told me to go home and take off my freckles and to not come back until they were gone. When I asked my mother to take my freckles off she broke the bad news to me that it was impossible. Knowing how crushed I was, she went out and got me the book Freckle Juice. In the story the main character actually wanted freckles and makes a concoction to get them. It really helped me accept my freckles and I guess my imperfections too.
How do you approach cover design?
Just like writing, it's very unstructured. I start putting pictures and fonts together on Photoshop and usually toss a few out covers before I get what I want. I also get input from my oldest son who is always brutally honest with his critiques.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Harry Potter series is amazing, the detailed world of magic is unparalleled. The Hunger Games trilogy is another perfect case of world building that is beyond amazing. I loved The Help because it actually made me feel so much, few books touch me like that. Water for Elephants was absolutely heart-wrenching and made me see the truth of aging, I really fell into the story and never wanted it to end. The Scorpio Races was poetic, telling a touchingly beautiful story when fantasy and real life are blended seamlessly.
What do you read for pleasure?
Anything from young adult to murder mysteries to paranormal and supernatural. My taste is varied.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I love my ipad!
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I've done blog tours, free promotions and ARCs but nothing is more powerful than word of mouth and creating a buzz. A lot of positive reviews both in ebook stores and Goodreads certainly helps too. Reviews are really a huge must for anyone trying to become visible.
Describe your desk
It's just my dining table with my computer, although I do have a nice office chair.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in East Coast Canada. My family was a single parent one. My mother worked 2 jobs to make ends meet, having very little money and often doing without when I was a child makes my desire to write about underdogs and the less fortunate extremely strong.
Published 2014-01-12.
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