Interview with Darlene Baker

What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle on my iPad
Describe your desk
The appearance of my desk changes depending upon how deeply involved I am with my writing. The light maple wood is pleasing to me. The top holds my computer tower, screen, keyboard, mouse on a pad and a small lamp. I use a folded towel for wrist support at the keyboard. My desk also has a double shelf that sits atop at the back. It surrounds my screen, but stores my pens in a clay pot, the speakers, and some reference books. The very top shelf holds my printer, tape dispenser, 3-hole punch, stapler and several dry-erase markers. My white board is above all that on the wall. My desk has a deep drawer on each side of the knee hole for files, as well as the center drawer and small drawers with divided catch-all bins. Oh, and I have a favorite coffee mug on a Las Vegas coaster.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small town on the Erie Canal in New York State. Because I left home right out of high school, drifting and purposeful traveling has always intrigued me.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy is the feeling of accomplishment. Along the way, there are times of frustration and stress, but plugging along to meet deadlines is worth the effort.
What are you working on next?
I want to get the second book out as soon as I can. I am excited that my protagonist is going to come alive for my readers. Later, I may write a book unrelated to the current subject matter of truck driving.
Who are your favorite authors?
Danielle Steele for one. I also just finished reading a book by Dr. Mabry, Stress Test. He's brilliant.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Besides fresh coffee, I sometimes form ideas about writing a twist in my story. I also praise God for another beautiful day in which to be creative and serve.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I play mandolin and sing in an acoustic ensemble which performs twice a month for shut-ins in my town, mostly assisted living or Alzheimer care facilities. It is very rewarding. For pleasure, I sew or mend. Right now I am restoring a 1930 vintage quilt that I found in a trunk. I am thrilled with the transformation.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Friends recommend books that they have read and know I would have an interest.
What is your writing process?
I used to be a panster - write whatever came to mind. It was a way of releasing my anger or frustration about something. Although it was some comfort when I read it back to myself, I could see it was unstructured and quite messy. Now I use more control so that it leaves no question in the reader's mind. I also make many lists and edit what is unimportant to the story.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Dick, Jane, Puff and Spot were not all that exciting, but that is probably the first thing I remember reading. I was more in tune with what the kids wore than the story line. The more mature pieces that impacted me were from English stories, such as Great Expectations.
Published 2015-12-05.
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