Interview with Darlene Deluca

Published 2013-08-22.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Wichita, Kansas, a small big town. I walked to a little neighborhood elementary school and went home for lunch. I walked or rode a bicycle everywhere. In the summers, we played outside with the neighborhood kids until dark. I had a lot of free time as a kid – very few scheduled activities. Not sure how this has influenced my writing, but I know it helped make me an avid reader. I'd wander over to the local library or ride the bus downtown to go to the central library, and I spent hours and hours getting lost in books!
When did you first start writing?
Seems to me I've been writing forever. English was always my favorite class. It's what I 'get.' I'm the person who took college algebra over the summer and waited until senior year to muddle my way through the required basic biology class. I always enjoyed writing papers. My degree is in Journalism. I worked at a couple of newspapers out of college then moved into corporate communications, so I've been exposed to several different styles of writing. In Journalism, it's all about the facts. With fiction, it's okay to add description and emotion. It's very liberating, and I'm enjoying making stuff up!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
It seemed there was so much flux in the industry, and I was hearing how many new opportunities there were for independent authors. That, combined with a lot of good feedback from agents on my writing (plus a little frustration at waiting three to six months to receive said feedback), encouraged me to give it a go. And I guess I also like the additional element of control that indies have over their work and schedule.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I love Smashwords! It's easy to give a gift book to reviewers or to readers in a giveaway because they can choose their format. Also, what I really love, is that whenever I've had an issue, a nice person has helped me right away!!
What are you working on next?
I'm working on my trilogy, the Women of Whitfield. Just launched Book One, The Storm Within, which is Claire's story. Next up is Dana. These are stories about middle-aged women and their friendships and relationships in a small-town setting. They are full of emotion and real-life struggles and events that women can relate to.
Who are your favorite authors?
I enjoy so many authors and different genres! For women's fiction, I'm a Barbara Delinsky fan, and I love Jane Austen. In the romance category, I enjoy Judith McNaught and Nora Roberts. For general fiction, I like Barbara Kingsolver, Jennifer Haigh and Kent Haruf. I like slice-of-life books about people and relationships.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Well, I'm the calendar-keeper and the errand-runner in my household! So, I do a lot of basic stuff like laundry and grocery store, and I keep track of what the kids are doing or where they are supposed to be. I'll be an empty-nester next year, though, so may have some more free time. The other hat I wear when I'm not writing is marketer. As an indie author, I'm out there trying to promote my books and connect with readers.
What is your writing process?
I'm a pantser, meaning I write by the seat of my pants. I don't have everything outlined and planned out before I begin writing. I have a general idea of the basic story and the main characters, but the specifics unfold on the page as I type. I admit, I generally write the ending way before the story is done! I try to write some every day, but don't always get to. Life gets in the way, and sometimes I just need a break to get the juices going again.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I started loving stories at a young age. Books that had an impact on me were the Trixie Belden series and the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. I read those books over and over. Loved the characters! Still have them on my shelves, and would not part with them!
How do you approach cover design?
Oh, my. This one is tough. I think I am a hard-to-please customer! I like to use impactful images, and I usually end up finding the images I want to work with, then turning over a rough concept to a designer. I prefer not to use people on the cover, but go with something more conceptual. For my most recent, The Storm Within, I found a great stock image of a wheatfield during a storm. It symbolized what was happening in the main character's life, as well as the setting of the book.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read many different things. I belong to a wonderful, eclectic book club made up of women from different backgrounds, careers, etc. We take turns choosing books, and that gets all of us out of our comfort zone. I've read books I never would've picked up on my own, everything from mystery to classics to non-fiction. But what I enjoy most is women's fiction.
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Books by This Author

Christmas at Tall Pines
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 69,400. Language: English. Published: November 1, 2022. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Melanie Beck is searching for an idyllic Christmas like the ones her family used to have. She’s counting on cozy Tall Pines Lodge in the mountains of Utah to provide the holiday feels. But a blizzard turns the winter wonderland into a hazard, and a chance encounter with a now-famous high school crush has her reeling. As their past and present collide, can an old flame ignite some Christmas magic?
Barefoot Days
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 109,640. Language: English. Published: April 21, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General, Fiction » Literature » Literary
She believes in grace under pressure. But when the ugliness of human nature touches her family, and a series of seismic events shake up her world, she’s put to the test again and again. Facing the possibility of heart-wrenching loss, Mary Logan finds herself breaking commitments, forcing smiles, and keeping secrets. Will a positive outlook be enough to withstand the challenges ahead?
Second Wind
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 102,070. Language: English. Published: January 8, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General
When a devastating tornado rips through the small town of Whitfield, Dana Gerard’s home is reduced to rubble and her well-ordered life to chaos. With support from longtime friends, Dana begins the daunting task of rebuilding, but that may be the least of her worries.
Something Good
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 98,000. Language: English. Published: March 5, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
A mistake. A blessing. A tragedy. And now, all Mandi Evans wants is to fade into anonymity -- until Lane Whitmore walks into the diner where she works six nights a week.
The Storm Within
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 90,500. Language: English. Published: July 29, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General
The Storm Within is a story of how a life is woven through family, friendship and community. Through Claire’s circumstances, we see how quickly the fabric can unravel when one thread breaks.
Meetings of Chance
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 95,680. Language: English. Published: March 21, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
(4.00 from 1 review)
Normal is long gone. After her mother’s death, Megan Monroe is dealing with a grieving father, single-handedly running the family’s floral business and trying to re-shape her own career. At the same time, she’s confronted with a troublesome new neighbor and an explosive secret from her mother’s past. Determined to uncover the truth, she finds herself turning to a man she’s not sure she can trust.
Unexpected Legacy
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 99,800. Language: English. Published: January 5, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
(5.00 from 1 review)
When Matt Dalton asks the lovely Kate Austen to help his son regain his athletic abilities and sense of self after a tragic accident, Kate is ready to fight for Brady. But when Matt asks her for a date, she has to fight her attraction to the man. High school principals don't date the parent of a student. How much will she risk if she follows her heart?