Interview with Deborah Cox

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I like to paint. This is something I've taken up recently, but I have always wanted to try it. I also like photography and walking in my neighborhood with my two adorable Shih-Tzus (Harry and Sally). I have a close group of friends and I enjoy hanging out with them. We are trying to eat at every restaurant in New Orleans at least once, I love to play tourist at home. One of my favorite places is Faulkner Books in Pirate's Alley. It smells like history. I read, do a little gardening, watch too much TV, and spend too much time on the Internet.
What is your writing process?
Wow! That's a good question. I wish I had a good answer. I'm still trying to work that out and I'm writing about it on my blog. The hardest part is just sitting down and doing it. I outline - sort of. I capture everything I know about the book in Scrivener and expand that until I have scenes and chapters. There will be a particular scene that wants to be written first, and it's not always the opening scene. Usually the first run through is almost all dialogue written like this:

Rafe: Are you always so stubborn?
Anne: Yes.
Rafe: Well, it almost got you killed this time. What the hell were you thinking, setting out alone like that?
Anne: I've got to get to Eagle Pass.
Rafe: Why?
Anne: My mother is sick,

Then it gets fleshed out in a layering process until I have a first draft.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. I was in the fifth grade and I wrote a story based on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. In my version, the Icabod Crane character was a girl and there was a little romance with the horseman. Yes, even then I was writing romance. I won first place in a short story competition and became an elementary school celebrity for a day. I didn't know at the time that I was writing fan fiction. I used to write fan fiction for High Chaparral and Dark Shadows for a while, but again I had no idea fan fiction was a thing. I just wrote because I loved Manolito Montoya and Barnabas Collins.
What types of books did you read early in life and how did they impact your own writing?
I used to love Gothic romances (still do actually) - Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt is the first one I remember reading that made me want to be a novelist, I loved Holt, Mary Stewart, Dorothy Eden, and the classics - the Brontes, Daphne du Maurier, Nathaniel Hawthorne. The biggest impact they had on my writing is that they made me want to write. I haven't written anything similar to their works, mainly because until recently gothic romance had fallen out of favor. Maybe someday. I'd love to write something creepy and Gothic set in New Orleans.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have one of the first Kindles ever made, but I usually read on my smartphone.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing when I was about eight years old. I carried a spiral notebook and pencil or pen with me everywhere I went. I have always lived in my head, making up stories. I used to write plays and force my long-suffering little sister to act them out with me. Of course, I was the director and I also got all the good parts (sorry Kathy). My Dad used to call me Jane Girl (a reference to John Boy Walton and a dead giveaway of my age). He gave me my first computer and attached a sign to it that read "For novel writing only."
What are you working on next?
I'm working on the second In the Crosshairs book and I'm also getting back to my roots with a series about the casket girls set in 18th century New Orleans. More myth than reality, the casket girls were supposedly nice but impoverished girls sent to Louisiana when it was a French colony to marry French settlers. History is vague about whether they even existed or if they did exist, if they ever made it to New Orleans. The great thing about fiction is that they do exist in my imagination and I hope readers will want to believe, too.
Published 2016-01-01.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Desert Dreams
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 79,980. Language: English. Published: January 11, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Historical » Western & American frontier
Alone in a savage land, Anne Cameron soon realizes her only hope for the life she wants is a cache of Confederate gold hidden somewhere in Mexico, and the only man who can save her is the last man she should trust.