Interview with Deborah L. Fruchey

When did you first start writing?
I was trying to figure out how to write alphabet letters before I started kindergarten, and by the time I was 8, I had made my first attempt at writing a novel. This was always something I was going to do. The only difficulty is putting it on a high enough priority amongst all the other things that life demands.
What's the story behind 'A Scandalous Creature'?
This was actually my third novel. The first never sold, as first novels seldom do, and I can see why! The second, 'The Unwilling Heiress' (not yet on Smashwords), was published by Walker & Co and was chosen as a Best Book. It went into a lot of libraries. But by the time I had written 'A Scandalous Creature', my editor had moved on. The new editor was not as impressed with my work.

Years later I dusted the book off, found ways to substantially improve it, and published it myself. I am very pleased with the revised version.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The ease of it was one factor. But primarily I had work that my agent liked but felt she was unable to sell; and since I really believed in the work, I decided not to give up. There is the challenge of it, as well - as a poet, I have often produced homemade chapbooks, and I wanted to see how a POD produced book would turn out.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Ah. I have just begun, and don't know yet...but before my first title hit the Premium Catalog, it had already sold two copies, which is a much faster result than I have received elsewhere. So far, so good!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The very most fun is imagining and visualizing, before the story ever starts or I pick up my pen! Making up the characters, running scenes in my head to see how they talk to each other...asking crazy 'what if' questions and watching what happens in the movie in my head...that is delicious and exciting.

After that, of course, the writing itself is a terrific high, though it is hard work. I always come away from my desk tired but very, very happy.

The third thing that is enormously rewarding is hearing from readers. It makes everything worthwhile, to know you've entertained or touched someone. Every bit of work is paid for by that.
What do your fans mean to you?
They mean the world. They are half the reason I write at all. The first half is the joy of putting together a story - but if no one ever reacts, it is just whistling into the void and leaves me feeling empty and alone. I love feedback, and at its best, it can tell me how to improve my next book.
What are you working on next?
I have several more existing books to put onto the Smashwords platform, one of which is a self-help manual, and one a volume of poetry, as well as another romance. I also have begun a new Regency romantic comedy, for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), that I hope will be finished within a year. Further out, I am in the late stages of building a world for a long-awaited Fantasy novel that may turn into a series. Lots of things to do. Years of fun ahead.
Who are your favorite authors?
There would never be enough space to answer that. I read incessantly, and there are so many good writers out there! But I love Shirley Hazzard and Charlotte Bronte, for literature, J.R.R. Tolkien, of course, Barbara Hambly and Patricia McKillip and Seanan McGuire for Fantasy, Georgette Heyer for comedy romance. I could go on and on forever. This is just a taste off the top of my head.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Iced coffee. And, starting quite recently, my promise to myself that as soon as I finish lunch, I can go to work on writing, or business related to writing, until at least 5 pm.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Way too much of it is spent on very mundane things, like chores and paperwork and doctor's appointments. I also spend some time doing a rewriting gig on Fiverr, and I have recently signed up for Writer Access, where you can bid on jobs such as articles, blogs, or ebooks. I also work for NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) as a presenter in one of their anti-stigma programs, and I have just qualified as a Mentor for their course on recovery from mental illness and relapse prevention, which is called Peer to Peer. I go to a lot of poetry readings and occasionally I am asked to feature. And I help my husband, who is a percussionist, load tons and tons of equipment into his van for rehearsals and performances. Tympani, marimbas, xylophones, vibraphones, name it. One of these days I may even acquire a muscle or two.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
These days, most books are part of a series, so one leads to another. But in general, I like to keep up with artists I already know and admire. For a long time, I was on the Bookbub email list, and I am still digging up 99 cent and free books I got that way. They are not always the highest quality, however. Sometimes an anthology, containing someone I already know and like, will introduce me to new people to explore. And of course, I like to fish around in Overdrive, the application our library uses to deliver ebooks.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I'm afraid not. I do remember an early one, though, about horses with purple wings who lived on Mars. I was incredibly horse-mad from an early age, and they crept into a lot of my stories. My age-eight "novel" was about horses who turned the tables on some nasty humans - hooked them to their carriages and made them pull, or rode on their backs in saddles.
What is your writing process?
It is still evolving. I am trying to make writing with no fixed purpose a part of my normal week - that is, writing from prompts, just to explore, enjoy, and keep in practice. I used to be in a weekly writing group and I miss it very much. When I start a book, there is a long period of gestation, where I do all that imagining I talked about. The story has to be very vivid to me before I begin, even if the details are not complete. I am experimenting now with outlining most scenes before I start. I have just started using Scrivener. Then, once it is vivid, I just keep putting it down on paper every day - unless I am completely stuck - until it is done. Yes, I write by hand for creative work. Then typing it up becomes a chance to revise. When I am creating, I need that physical involvement, the kinisthetic connection to my hand and my body and the paper. When I write non-fiction, I can type it on the computer, but at other times, the typing process gets in the way.

For poetry, I get inspired by going to readings (and reading poetry, of course), and every month I am in a poetry critique group, which pushes me to try to have something new done. Often I go to my thick file of unfinished poems and fragments, and see if there is something I am now ready to complete.
Published 2016-12-01.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Priestess of Secrets
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 10,870. Language: English. Published: November 1, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
A collection of miniature short stories or "flash fictions" with a wonderful array of unique voices: the abused woman who wants to abandon her son... the wife who waits for her husband to wind down like a clock...the man with a desk full of unfinished novels who cannot look in the mirror...the house that is throwing a party to which the owner is not invited...these and 12 other voices await you.
A Scandalous Creature
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 90,830. Language: English. Published: October 27, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Regency, Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome
This comic farce set in Regency England contains not one but two romances, twining about and interfering with each other.