Interview with Debra J. Rigas

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
In my book, Everyone's a Guru, the reader learns I was born in Yokohama, Japan and raised in Europe until nearly a teen - and much more. I appreciate a variety of cultures and am grateful I was exposed to so many as a child, and during many subsequent travels. Observing the world objectively and taking notes was as natural to me as breathing, and the writing has benefited.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote my first play as a child in Greece. I wrote verses for handmade greeting cards and poems for friends from a young age as well. Parents encouraged creative expression from the time I could talk, and In high school, my creativity was boosted by a couple of teachers who grasped my personality and choices in life. I am grateful to them al.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Oh, that would be giving too much away. Let's just say in Everyone's a Guru, one clearly sees that I care about our planet and encourage spiritual seekers to think for themselves as opposed to blindly following the 'gurus' of the world. As for the Hemingway's Bed story, it was inspired by a wonderful trip to Key West with my brother and his wife.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Time. I have a lot to say, and many stories yet to tell -- and having dealt with breast cancer periodically since 2003, I felt that I had to take the proverbial 'bull by the horns.'
What are you working on next?
A short fantasy travel tale; the rewrite of a poetry book; a book about death and dying and how to help people dealing with end of life issues.
Who are your favorite authors?
Too many to count. The old faves include Hemingway, Steinbeck, Ludlum, Whitman, Tsvetayeva, Pete Hamill is a new favorite. I love John O'Donohue. The great playwrights of centuries past. And I shall always love the Classics.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Ideally sharing time with family. Traveling, exploring, creating organic gardens, photography and meditation take up a good portion of my time. And I coach writers, which can be quite satisfying.
What is your writing process?
Sit, begin. Just write. I have no process.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I was raised on myths and legends due to my parents being Greek and Irish. I was read TO from very early childhood and loved the adventures. When I could read on my own, I read everything. The first book I recall loving was a little green hardback about the wind. I cherished that story, and later became a licensed USCG captain, racing yachts and teaching others how to sail.
Describe your desk
Great blue globe with touches of green, brown and white--as seen from a distance. The world is my desk. And though I might use a pan and a paper notepad, a laptop, my cell phone, a journal or a napkin in a European cafe, I became a writer by experiencing the world. Sometimes messy, sometimes organized--it all contributes to story.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Rather than getting lost in the present moment, I get 'found.' I also find, through self-expression, venting, and exploring words. Spending hours upon hours with no trace of time is an absolute 'high.'
Published 2013-08-22.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Hemingway's Bed
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 8,180. Language: English. Published: February 18, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary, Fiction » Adventure » General
(5.00)
In this short story, Ernest Hemingway sails on.