Interview with Deletta Gillespie

How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Well, I'm new to Smashwords. I'm a first-time author. I'd heard of Smashwords a few years ago, but wasn't sure what it was until the person that formated the manuscript asked me if I wanted it to be formatted for Smashwords. When I investigated and noted all the formats that Smashwords makes available for audiences, I knew it was the best choice. Smashwords simplifies an otherwise complicated process, especially for a first-timer like me.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
This particular book was an adaptation of my stage play of the same name. In this case, I enjoyed learning about the process of adapting an original text that was meant to be spoken, versus adapting text that is created to be read. Also, I wrote this book to share my mother's wisdom, so writing and reminiscing about the best and most profound events of my childhood and adolescence with my mother brought back many fond memories. My joy comes from the process of writing itself, as well as when others tell me that something that I wrote resonates with them.
What do your fans mean to you?
While this is my first foray into writing a book, I've been writing plays and songs for many years now. Having a great fan base means that I get incredible support, AND feedback for the work that I've created. My fans are important to me and I consider them an invaluable part of my creation process. I'm looking forward to meeting more people who might become a fan of my work.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on a journal and a study guide to accompany Panties UP Dress Down. I'm also writing songs about my favorite blues legends. The intention is to go back into the studio in the early part of 2018.
I also be publishing some of my plays and monologues I've written. I'll begin those also in 2018.
Who are your favorite authors?
As an adjunct professor in theatre, I've been reading a lot of plays in the last two years. As playwrights, I have to say Paula Vogel, Lynn Nottage, Caridad Svich, Larissa FastHorse, and Anna Deveare Smith. Outside of the theatre world, my favorites include Paulo Coehlo, J. California Cooper, Terry McMillan, Russell Simmons, and Marianne Williamson. Also, almost any author published by Hay House!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I live to create, and every day that I open my eyes, I get to create again! Whether it's writing a Facebook post, a new lyric for a new song, or creating assessments for my students that go beyond traditional quizzes and tests, I just love to create and make things. Knowing that what I create positively impacts others also helps get me out of bed when I'd rather hit the snooze alarm again.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Teaching, performing, attending performances, reading, and snuggling on the couch with my significant other!
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Through recommendations, mailing lists, and visiting various sites.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I remember the very first poem I wrote! I was about 9 or ten years old. That poem was so simple, and not very good, but I was so proud of it!
What is your writing process?
When I'm teaching, I usually write on the weekends. Otherwise, I write every other day. I find that I need a day between my writing sessions, so the writing is fresh when I come back to it. This process also guarantees that the chances of writer's block decrease exponentially!

I always begin with the dialogue. My characters speak to me and I just record what they say. This especially happens when I write plays...and songs. I usually begin the dialogue in long hand, and transfer over to the computer after I've complete two paragraphs. I never edit my writing as I go along. I dedicate the last half hour of the writing session to decide what stays and what goes. Even then, all the cuts go onto another page - I never know if I'll need those in the future!
In addition to having my work proofread, I also like to read it out loud. That comes from workshopping my work in theatres. I find there's nothing like hearing the words read helps you make decisions regarding the dialogue and other issues right away.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
By the time I attended kindergarten, I'd already learned to read. My first book was one of the Little Golden Books that were always displayed at the checkout counter in our neighborhood grocery story. My mother bought me one, and I remember reading it all the way through, only stumbling upon the word 'cereal'. I was hooked. I don't remember what the book was about, but I do remember my sense of accomplishment for having read the book from beginning to end with very little help. From that moment, I read EVERYTHING, from books to condiment labels, to the tags in the back of or clothes. Reading, then and now, makes me feel empowered.
How do you approach cover design?
For this book, I used a design that was created for the flyer from the stage version. It was created by Kai Aiyetoro of Duafe Designs. But for other work, I've hired designers to do that work. I was absent the day design skills were passed out!
What do you read for pleasure?
magazines...all kinds, and as many as possible.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My android tablet!
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
It's too early to say. This is my first book.
Describe your desk
My desk looks like...where's my desk? I haven't seen the top of it in weeks!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I don't know that where I grew up influenced my writing. Having said that, my mother always bought me books instead of toys, I loved reading and had a small library before I was eight years old.
When did you first start writing?
I first began writing for anything other than school at 11 years old. it's when I began to keep my first journal.
What's the story behind your latest book?
When teaching, I'm always sharing my some of my mother's wisdom with my students. One day five years ago, one of my students suggested that I write a book about my mother and her wisdom, and this book was born!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Several reasons motivated me to become an indie author. Firstly, I rarely do anything 'mainstream' or 'by the book'. It just made more sense to me after researching my options. Secondly, I have a family member and several friends who self-published. They were all pleased with that decision.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho - It changed my life!

What Color is Your Parachute - It helped me embrace the life of a performing artist.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats - It was so refreshing to see a little boy of color on the cover of a children's book. As a child, I felt 'included'. It just made me happy to go with Peter through his snowy day.

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz - It confirmed a new spiritual path for me.

Illuminati by Marianne Williams - Such beautiful prayers, and I love the commentary before each section of prayers.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho - It changed my life!

What Color is Your Parachute - It helped me embrace the life of a performing artist.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats - It was so refreshing to see a little boy of color on the cover of a children's book. As a child, I felt 'included'. It just made me happy to go with Peter through his snowy day.

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz - It confirmed a new spiritual path for me.

Illuminati by Marianne Williams - Such beautiful prayers, and I love the commentary before each section of prayers.
Published 2018-01-18.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Panties Up Dress Down: Things My Mama Used to Say
Price: $7.99 USD. Words: 19,820. Language: English. Published: November 13, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir
A middle-aged woman recounts transformative events of her childhood, and how her mother turned these events into teachable moments that provided a guide to successful living. From church services and mean girls to puberty and beyond, these humorous and heartrending stories reveal the dynamic and complicated bonds of mother/daughter relationships.