Interview with Debra Oehlberg

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Aiken, South Carolina. I don't think the location really influenced my writing. My early love for reading a massive amount of books as a child made me as an average child in a country setting able to compete easily with my advanced and more affluent friends. Books were how I learned about the world, and provided an escape for a country girl who spent a lot of time reading, gardening, and playing outdoors with my cats.
When did you first start writing?
I dabbled on and off with poetry and short stories from 5th grade throughout high school. I loved taking English. My 5th grade teacher, Rosemary Olliff, always inspired me to go after my dream. When I told my mom that I wanted to grow up to be a writer, she really pushed more toward my second choice as teacher, stating that I would not make much money writing. That is why I have had a late start in writing. I have won several writing contests (one brought fireworks to my county), and was 1st runner up in 7th grade as Spelling Bee champion. I have, and always will, love words and how they flow. I love to bring creativity and interest to my writings.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I have not written a formal book yet, but have an idea of what I would like to do. I am always about telling the truth and trying to change the world to be a better place.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I am very creative and work well independently. I have the drive and desire to leave a better legacy for the world, no matter how small my contribution might be.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has an easy format, and makes it easy not to go into debt while starting out as a new official writer.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love it when my reader "gets it" and really enjoys what I have written.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans are my best critics. Because they have my best interests at heart, I will take all suggestions for improvement to heart.
What are you working on next?
At this time, I don't want to let the cat out of the bag. It will require a little research on my part.
Who are your favorite authors?
The classic author I admire is Edgar Allan Poe. I also love many others, for many different reasons.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I look forward to mornings knowing I have finally committed to doing what I have always wanted to do - write!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Since writing requires a lot of brain power and eyesight (which as I get older, I try to baby), I do alternate things that do not require being in front of a technology screen, such as taking a walk outside, going to thrift stores, reorganizing the house and planning the design for it, etc... I also go to church. Spirituality is important. I try to take care of myself: eat right, do a little yoga, take supplements, get enough sleep.
What is your writing process?
I like to brainstorm. I also like to edit and re-edit, even mouthing the words aloud to see if the flow is good, or if I accidentally added or deleted a word, or need to fix words.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
It was not the first story, but I still love Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Something about a boy coming from a poor environment, yet able to win a chocolate factory was so exciting to me. That was probably where my desire to win contests began, although I was in middle school before I began calling radio stations and winning stuff from pizzas to records. I never thought that I would ever fail.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I have a Kindle Reader, and I have several lists with free e-books. I have so many saved, I will be lucky to read them all in a lifetime. I like anything from spiritual, self-help, comedy, recipes, Southern settings, etc...
Published 2016-06-05.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.