Interview with Darla Wotherspoon

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I would really hope that my writing has helped answer some questions for my readers. I wish I could say something funny or quirky to make this sound more like the romantic vision people have of writers. That's for some but surely not most of us.

I get the greatest satisfaction when someone has taken the time to say they learned a lot and appreciate the information I have provided. That's when I know I did the job I set out to do. That's what is the most rewarding in my opinion.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Usually all I have to do is open my eyes. I get a look at the sun starting to come up and the palm leaves out our windows. Who doesn't want to start a brand new day that way?
Besides there's no way our 6 dogs would let me sleep in. So maybe it's getting them fed so that I can actually get to work that makes me hit the ground running every day.
The first thought was romantic if only for a minute.
Describe your desk
My desk! Well I'm not exactly sure what to say. My actual physical desk is in a corner of our bedroom. It is cluttered with everything you'd expect to find. Note pads, pens, markers, etc. Of course all the extra technology stuff is there too. Examples would be the hard drives I have for backing up my laptop, storing my pictures, files, books, and other things that take up space.
I have 2 cork boards right where I can see them anywhere in the room. One has all the inspirational sayings I find relevant to my career on it. They help me with staying focused, giving advice and some important dos and don't s of writing.
The other is filled with pictures of meaning like the grand kids, my sons and good family times. I also have 2 pictures of Canada heaped with snow. It's a reminder of how lucky I am to not have to deal with that cold weather anymore and exactly why we spend most of our time in the Dominican Republic.
It's funny though I don't work at my desk for the most part. That's why it's loaded with other things. I do most of my writing outdoors seated under our large terrace. I find being outside is much more refreshing and inspirational than being cooped up indoors. Besides I think being able to see the palms I'm writing about and hearing their leaves rustle helps me to actually write better. Maybe true or maybe not... but who wouldn't feel better being outside?
How do you approach cover design?
I think the cover design needs to be eye catching of course. If it was a book in print would you pick it up? If it doesn't at least intrigue you enough to thumb through it then it's not good enough. The cover should also practically tell you what the book is about without going any further. It can be a bit of a challenge to design something that speaks to the reader without words but that's what you need to do.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read thrillers, murder mysteries and court dramas for pleasure. I am mostly interested in stories that have the ring of truth to them even if they are fiction. If the writer can make me believe the story so I can visualize the characters and what they are going through then I'm usually hooked..
Who are your favorite authors?
I'd have to say my favorite authors would be Steven King, Dean Koontz, Michael Crichton, Dan Brown and John Grisham. They aren't listed in any particular order either. I've enjoyed a few different books by all. I sure can't keep up with everything they write with the work schedule I enforce on myself. They sure aren't in the gardening or landscaping areas either.
One day I would love to be able to write like any one of these greats. I would probably need 50 more years to even get close. Attack of the killer palm trees! Can you imagine?
What are you working on next?
Firstly I'm learning about how to market the book I've written. Wouldn't be much point in writing it if no one knows it's out there.

Then after that I'm working on putting a series together. It will be smaller chunks of the larger book that's already available. More precise information for anyone who only wants to know about successfully growing palm trees or just what are the best indoor palm trees. You get the idea. I think it will end up being about 4 or 5 small books by the time I'm done.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I wish I could say I spend my time at the beach when I'm not writing... but that's definitely not the case. Generally I'm catching up with house and yard work. I enjoy painting so if there's a room around the house that needs touching up or some of my flower pots I'll do that to take a break. I'll cook or bake up a few favorite recipes just for the sake of it.
I also volunteer with a group here in the DR that does education, care and rescue of dogs and cats in our area of the island. I love going into the small Dominican or Haitian communities, visiting with the people, especially the kids and treating their animals with the parasite medication they couldn't afford to get otherwise. They are generally a very happy, family oriented culture that just enjoys life. They may not have a lot in terms of money or material things but that doesn't stop them from having fun. I personally have learned quite a bit from their attitude towards living.
When do you know you wanted to be a writer?
I've had the actual urge to be a writer for a very long time. I guess just about as long as I can remember. The problem for me was never actually finding the time to be able to make it happen. Some would probably say that I didn't want it bad enough then. Well to them I say "like it or not I've written my first book" So for me sometimes patience and not ever giving up on a dream can be rewarded.
Back when I was younger if I had to guess what I'd write about..... who wouldn't have had stars in their eyes to be like all the greats with thrillers or mysteries?
That being said... not in my wildest dreams did I think my first book would be about growing palm trees but you have to go with what you know!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I'd have to say I'm stuck with my laptop right now. If I get the chance I'll scoop my husbands i-pad so I can be more mobile. I really should invest in a more portable device of my own.
Published 2014-06-29.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Your Ultimate Palm Tree Handbook
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 46,320. Language: American English. Published: June 9, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening, Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Gardening
Your Ultimate Palm Tree Handbook is a must have for anyone having these tropical delights in their homes or landscapes. This informative guide is easy to read, comprehensive and full of photos. Each palm tree listing includes pictures and specific growing instructions for the most fashionable varieties. Creating your own "paradise with palms" couldn't be easier. Transform your landscape today!