Interview with DeAnna Willman

What do you read for pleasure?
I have always read a great variety of genres. I do tend to cycle between fiction and non fiction. My bookshelves contain history, health, essential oils, nutrition, bible studies and commentaries, cookbooks, how-to's, romances, children's literature, classic literature, and lots of mysteries.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
my kindle fire
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Word of mouth has been most effective for marketing my books. I am continually amazed at the power behind the simple word of mouth from people who have read the books.
Describe your desk
My desk is an example of organized chaos. I have a lot of piles of scraps of paper on which I have scribbled down ideas for books, mapped out the direction of a book, keep track of thoughts I want to pursue later, and tons of scripture notes.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in church. I know that doesn't give you a specific geographic location, but that is the truth. I grew up in church. That is the greatest factor and influence upon what I write. Whether I am writing a bible study or a book for children, there is something of my faith in each book.
When did you first start writing?
As a child I would painstakingly write word for word some of my favorite books, add pictures, and staple the pages together. I would then give these books to my family members. I found a love of words in the 6th grade and knew that I wanted to be an author. I later pursued a different career path and figured that being an author was a nice dream to perhaps try when I had retired.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is a series of stories for children based on the festivals instructed by God in the book of Leviticus. Each book goes through the celebration of one of the feasts through the eyes of a boy and his sister. This series was a surprise to me because I never considered I would be writing for children. It has been exciting!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My first book was written in response to a personal spiritual journey. I knew that there were others out there who were going through a similar journey and perhaps my experience could help others with their own questions and need for answers. However, I knew that the likelihood of the book being accepted by a regular publisher was very unlikely. Plus, I want my books to provide an income for my family, not for a huge company and an agent. So, I knew pretty early on that I would need to self publish. It was not until three years ago that I realized the ease of publishing an ebook.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has been a fantastic help to my journey as an author. They have made it very easy to publish any book in ebook format and to get that book out to multiple outlets. It has also allowed those who live overseas to obtain a copies of my books without having to have a hard copy mailed at a ridiculous cost for shipping. I also appreciate all the tips and instructions given to authors at Smashwords. There is a real atmosphere of empowering success.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Seeing the books in the hands of others. Hearing from the readers how one of the books impacted their lives.
What do your fans mean to you?
It continues to amaze me that people choose to be fans of my writing. They keep me humble.
What are you working on next?
I am working on another series of children's stories. This one will be one large book with several different stories in it. I envision this one bringing back images of books like the original Winnie-the-Pooh. The hardest part with children's books it waiting for the illustrators to finish!
Who are your favorite authors?
Jane Austin, J A Jance, Lilian Jackson Braun, Tony Hillerman, Craig Johnson, Beverly Lewis, and Dr Henry Cloud to name a few.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
the anticipation of seeing what ends up being on the page when I am finished that day.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading, painting, drawing, studying the bible, writing old fashioned letters to friends and family, being with family
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Honestly, I start in the lowest price category. Then, I browse through looking for titles that catch my attention. I also pay attention to the "recommended for you" tips that appear in my browser.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, it was a novel i wrote while in middle school. It was about a teenage girl and her horse. I was fortunate enough to live next to a well published author and asked her to proof read it for me. She told me that she was impressed with my writing. However, I do not know what happened to that novel. There were quite a few written after that one.
What is your writing process?
I start out by scratching out ideas on paper and then imagine each page. This gives me direction and helps me in deciding what should stay or should be eliminated in the process. Many times, I simply start typing on the computer letting it flow. After I finish I leave it for awhile. When I return to it I am able to either be impressed with what i wrote and work from there, or I scrap it and start all over again.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't remember the first stories I read, but I do remember my mother reading to me almost every night. She read to me from the bible, from children's books, and from books she had checked out at the library. She introduced me to the library at an early age and we went on a regular basis. I remember feeling that the library was the greatest treasure anyone could ever have in their life.
How do you approach cover design?
With the children's books I allow the illustrator to create the cover. However, with the adult books, I keep my eye open for images with which I can connect. Some have been paintings done by friends, or photography done by family members, or simply images that I have seen on free sites. I want the cover to draw the reader's eyes, but also to give some indication as to what is the book's theme.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Horton Hatches the Egg. I applaud the loyalty and faithfulness of Horton. He ended up tricked into a situation that was not of benefit to him and yet he took responsibility for keeping his word and seeing to the benefit of the innocent egg and the creature inside that egg. That kind of maturity and loyalty is rare in our society today, but I believe that if more of us were like Horton, this world would be a much better place for everyone to live.
Published 2018-02-01.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Proclaim My Feasts
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 20,580. Language: English. Published: December 11, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Christian Life / Spiritual Growth
Let's take a look at the Feasts of YHWH (the LORD) and what they mean for His people, yesterday, today, and forever.
I Am A Hebrew
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 42,050. Language: English. Published: July 8, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Christian Life / General
(5.00 from 3 reviews)
For over 1700 years the true identity and heritage of Believers in Jesus Christ have been deliberately hidden. This book will reveal to you the true identity and heritage as you explore the Scriptures with the author and find the treasures that belong to you now and in the Kingdom to come.