Interview with DuannaLee Petersen

What genre to you prefer to read or write?
I prefer to read historical G-rated romance novels. Likewise I write for that genre as well as teen fantasy (with time travel) and adult crime novels, which also have romance in them.
Do you do research for each novel?
Yes, absolutely. Although my memory has a lot of information, as does my life experience, I confirm as well as expand on what I know while I write. I don't want to misinform anyone. My mother told me of someone she knew who wrote a book about the American Indians, all fabricated by him. . .he knew nothing about the tribes, their ways and customs, . .he made it all up and passed it off as factual. Knowing that only makes me try harder to do it right.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I love to write. I really do, but the traditional publishing process is slow and frustrating. I didn't love that part! I wasted so much time and money going the traditional route. Recalling that J.K. Rowling said she'd sent her first Harry Potter novel to at least 100 agents before one saw its potential and took a chance. Getting their attention isn't easy. I could see the advantage of having a publisher's endorsement, but time was an issue. There was no way I'd consider a vanity press.

Encouraged to go the traditional route by members of my writer's group (all respected professionals), I was waffling between going the traditional way or ebooks, I wasted almost two years testing the traditonal way. Meanwhile I kept writing. The turning point for my switch to ebooks and print-on-demand paperback publishing was when one submission's US Postal Service time stamps proved that one novel sat at the post office for 4 days, then was picked up at the post office and returned to me from the same location within half an hour. That's barely more than re-packaging time; it was barely glanced over. Considering that most editors and publishers estimate receiving 2000 submissions per week, they obviously weren't interested in an unknown author.

The second issue is the lack of support most agents and publishers offer. Publishers only want to get the books onto the shelves. Authors still have to publicize and market for themselves. As beneficial as having their endorsement umbrella is, I couldn't wait around hoping to get it. Why wait for them to do what I can do myself?
How do you approach cover design?
I design my own covers. In fact I'm getting ready to tweak them. I prefer to do my own artwork. That is something usually discouraged by the pros, who obviously want the work for themselves. The most difficult thing is working with the programs readily and affordably available to get the results I want. The parameters are very limiting and are not standardized for ebooks and paperbacks. It is definitely a challenge that the amateurs have to learn and fight with in order to accomplish a pleasing finished product. As with any new endeavor, the first time is always the most difficult. The pros are beyond the learning curve and can afford the expensive programs and equipment. They can also afford to hire professional photographers, models and sets for cover art, and they have all the required dimensions and settings for a perfect final product. That's something we novices have to acquire through study, trial and error, while working around obstacles to create the impossible.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I was given a Nook Color as a gift. I use Kindle Free on my PC. That's it, both Kindle and Nook, equally enjoyed.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, on the California side between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe (the actual lake) and on the San Francisco peninsula. Three of my books are set in that general area. I am equally at home in the country and the big city. (I prefer the country.)
When did you first start writing?
I was born a daydreamer! First I started with art, especially portraits, as a preschooler. I would draw story settings. I would take Monopoly houses and place them under plants to create communities for a make-believe world. The stories were in my head. In my early teens I discovered my passion for writing fiction. I loved English and grammar. (In my lag time, I would read a dictionary or peruse the encyclopedias.)

Jane Austen is my favorite author. That alone is unusual, as I am not prone to having favorites. In fact, my pet peeve is someone asking me what my favorite anything is. Now, ask me what I don't like and that is easier. For example, I don't like foods that I'm allergic to, and I don't like having allergies. Favorite color? All of them! On me for clothing? Black, blue, white, red, gray, pink....
What's the story behind your latest book?
My current book in the works is a sequel to one already published. I intend to do a sequel to a different one after that.
Published 2015-11-05.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Corporate Snare: A Jim Cavanaugh Saga
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 118,220. Language: English. Published: October 26, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
The Cavanaughs fly to Vermont for a much needed vacation following the arrest of Candy Corbin, the black widow from whom Jim had rescued Debra. Upon arrival, Jim finds both his estates have been taken over. He soon discovers that his most trusted employees are out to eliminate his entire family to obtain his fortune, truly an eminent life-or-death situation. The perpetrators must be stopped.
Widow's Web: A Jim Cavanaugh Saga
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 157,090. Language: English. Published: July 21, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » International crime, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Out to catch his cousin's murderer, Jim Cavanaugh has been observing the black widow, Candy Corbin, for a long time. She's gotten by with more suspicious deaths since then, but the lack of sufficient proof has kept her free. He plans to become her next victim.
Dreams & Secrets
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 76,480. Language: English. Published: July 21, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Western & American frontier, Fiction » Romance » Historical
1870 Sacramento, California -- Villainous manipulations disrupted MaryJo's family, throwing both factions into chaos for eighteen years. The reality of MaryJo's dream reunion with her father was problematic, requiring secrets to protect them all. Her father's life as a widower was legally fraudulent, and his new family must be protected. MaryJo could marry her stepbrother to conceal the problems.
Turnabout in Fair Play
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 74,980. Language: English. Published: July 20, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Historical » Western & American frontier
FAIR PLAY, TEXAS, 1872 Young Jeremy lost his heart to Diana, but now having come of age and being of means to provide for a family on his horse ranch, he pursues winning Diana's heart. Ten years his senior and considered on the shelf, though flattered by Jeremy's attentions and persistence, Diana has resigned herself to spinsterhood. Does Jeremy have a smidgeon of a chance?
Mysterious Castle
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 67,740. Language: English. Published: July 4, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Historical » Medieval
Three teens secretly explore a hidden castle they discovered near Lake Tahoe. They encounter an invisible male presence and discover some of the mysteries of the castle, such as powerful protective amulets, tapestries that can show the future, and paintings that are portals to the past and future for adventures in Europe. Painting hopping leads to amazing adventures and opportunities.
Magnetic Attraction
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 71,720. Language: English. Published: April 10, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Historical » USA, Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome
1890: Denver, Colorado. Drawn together by an inexplicable magnetic attraction, Jack and Beth are thrown together by happenstance and so drawn to each other that they feel as one. Promised since birth to wed a friend's son, Beth's mother is outraged. Should they elope? How will they handle this awkward circumstance as they and their parents, one by one, realize the truth and are sworn to secrecy?