Monday, August 22, 2016

Fairly Certain: Interview with Author Deborah Ann Davis

DEBORAH ANN DAVIS has been writing since she was assigned to keep a Journal in her 5th grade English class. She began to look around for writing inspiration. Lo and behold, she found her world was full of funny stories just waiting to be told. As she grew older, occasionally she could manipulate one into some school assignment, but it never occurred to her to pursue writing, not even when she discovered her flare for telling stories at college parties.

After a string of college majors, she realized she could have a captive audience EVERY DAY in the public school system. As it turns out, teenagers love to laugh, and what could be more entertaining than Biology, Earth Science, and Environmental Science? Then there's the added bonus that once kids know you like to laugh, they want to make you laugh.

Go figure.

In addition to Writing, she is also an Educational Speaker and a Certified Personal Trainer. She taught for 25+ years, although somewhere in the middle of all that educating, she stepped out of teaching for 6 years to do the Mommy Thing, and run the office for their family construction company.

Even though they had followed separate paths, Deborah reunited with, and married her childhood sweetheart, twelve years after their first kiss.  Together they coached their daughter’s AAU Basketball Team, which swept States two years in a row. (Yay!) Then, for several years their daughter and their money went to college.

They currently reside on a lovely lake in Connecticut. She enjoys dabbling with living a sustainable life, writing novels for her Love of Fairs series, dancing, playing outside, and laughing really hard every day. She promotes increasing the amount of movement throughout your day via Wiggle Writer posts on Merry Meddling.

Remember, you can do anything if you set your mind to it— including becoming an author at any age— but it’s way more fun if you are grinning back when the Universe smiles down on you.

Deborah’s latest book is the new adult novel, Fairly Certain.
For More Information
About the Book:

What happens when a Computer Geek challenges a Medieval Outlaw?

PETIR TAKES A ROUGH TUMBLE IN THE CONNECTICUT WOODS, and awakens in the middle of old England. His instinct to freak out is tempered by the arrival of a fair maiden wearing a bow… and arrow. In his college world, fair maiden types don’t ordinarily go for computer geek
types, but for some reason, he is no longer in his world. Petir’s fairly certain he can try whatever he wants without consequence… but the fair maiden isn’t playing fair.

WITH THE CONFLICT BETWEEN THE ROYALS ESCALATING, MAID RIANNE has joined the outlaws hiding in the woods, outwardly defying the handsome and accomplished knight to whom she is promised. She is fairly certain she is simply flattered by Lord Petir’s uncensored admiration of her skills with the staff and bow, the same unmaidenly pursuits disdained by her knight. But, that doesn’t explain her reaction to Lord Petir’s unguarded gaze.

TO PETIR’S DELIGHT, AND MAID RIANNE’S DISMAY, the outlaws invite him to join their merry band. What better way to get close to her? Throwing caution to the wind, Petir decides he has nothing to lose by pursuing Maid Rianne. It’s fun and games, until Maid Rianne is captured by the enemy. Now, a geek with no ability to defend himself must find a way to rescue a fair maiden who has become much more than fair game.

“Adorably romantic!”   An absolutely fun, adorable, romantic read that will thoroughly entertain you, no ifs, ands, or buts! The plot was extremely unique and I l-o-v-e-d just how unusual it was. It was thoughtfully planned out and written with a smooth glide, seemingly effortless on the author’s part. The ending was surprisingly unexpected and I’m thinking I really, really like this new-to-me-author, Ms. Deborah Ann Davis! I’m already anxiously awaiting her next book. Don’t miss Fairly Certain or I’m completely certain you’ll be upset you did!
-- Review by bookshellz

For More Information

Thanks for this interview, Deborah Ann Davis.  Can we begin by having you tell us about yourself from a writer’s standpoint?

I started warming a chair at a monthly writers group meeting because someone somewhere once said something I wrote (an essay) should be published. So I unobtrusively sat in the back and listened to the speakers. Until one day a speaker told us you don’t have to have a plot to write a book. I thought, “Well, hey! I don’t have a plot, so I can write a book!” and I began to write.

When not writing, what do you like to do for relaxation and/or fun?

I love to go dancing but I hardly ever do because there aren’t any dance places for my age group. So I dance around the living room with my husband. I try to go to the gym every day, and hang out with my husband in the morning. I like biking and laughing.

Congratulations on your new book! Can you give us the very first page of your book so that we can get a glimpse inside?

Here is the first page of Fairly Certain:

To Climb, or Not to Climb
“What do you mean, you can’t go?” Petir Capota stopped stuffing his backpack to stare at his roommate, Chris Dunbar, who leaned against his doorframe. Disappointment bubbled up. “Chris, this is our chance to advance in the rankings.”
“I know, I know. But my boss called and asked if I could add a few shifts.” Chris shrugged, avoiding Petir’s glare as he drifted toward his friend’s computer array. “I need the dough, bro.” From the top of his red head to the bottom of his raggedy Sketchers, Chris was the picture of remorse. Even his crisp buzz-cut drooped. His summer job, a vital financial component for keeping their new apartment, had not panned out as expected. Blowing off his chance to put in some extra hours would be a serious mistake.
“Oh, isn’t that just great? First Jimmy bails; now you.” Heaving a sigh, Petir plopped down on his bed. He snatched up his favorite Ping-Pong paddle and swiped the air. Like that would change things. “And get your carcass away from my computers.”
Unoffended, Chris stepped away from Petir’s pride and joy. “You can always go by yourself, dude.”
“I can’t go by myself. We’re supposed to be a team.” Swish. Swish. The paddle attacked an imaginary ball.
“Dude, no one will know.” Chris hung his head, then scraped at something on his shirt.
A shaggy blond head popped through the doorway belonging to their third roommate. “Yeah, Pete, take one for the team,” chided Jimmy Montana. “Make Jackie Chan proud.”
“Aww, c’mon, you guys. I thought we were taking a week for ourselves.” Petir’s vacation plans were heading for the toilet. 

Would you say it’s been a rocky road for you in regards to getting your book written and published or pretty much smooth sailing?  Can you tell us about your journey?

I’m a pretty upbeat person so I rarely find the road rocky. I began writing while I was teaching high school Science, so I made myself wait until the summers write. Meanwhile, I copied down conversations from eavesdropping in crowds, and threw the scraps of paper they were on into a big envelope. I got a lot of ideas from songs. (All my books have a playlist at the end.) Ideas jotted on sticky notes used up most of the room in there. It basically took me close to three years to finish the book.

Two years ago I stopped teaching to become a writer full-time. I knew I would miss the kids, but I was so excited to finally be able to devote my time to writing. But, I am an Indie writer. Instead, I found my hands full with trying to do marketing and promotions. To my surprise, I didn’t write hardly anything that first year. Last year I did some writing, but nothing that I would call productive. However this year I have two books started, one of which is almost completed. And my second book, Fairly Safe, is being published in July.

If you had to summarize your book in one sentence, what would that be?

What happens when a Computer Geek challenges a Medieval Outlaw?

What makes your book stand out from the rest?

Besides the quirky characters, and the plot twists? That would be humor and insight to teenage angst.

If your book was put in the holiday section of the store, what holiday would that be and why?

Summer Vacation…because that’s when the story takes place. Everybody goes to fairs, carnivals and festivals during the summer. There is so much anticipation and excitement associated with them.

Would you consider turning your book into a series or has that already been done?

The series is Love of Fairs. Fairly Certain is the first book, in which a Connecticut geek falls out of a tree playing a GPS game in the woods, only to find himself back in old England. His instinct to freak out is tempered by the arrival of a fair maiden wearing a bow…and arrow. When she is captured by the enemy, a geek with no ability to protect himself must find a way to save the fair maiden.
My second book, Fairly Safe, tells about a successful former foster kid who is trying to have a relationship with a girl in Witness Protection…whose cover has been blown. It will be available in July. (Yay!)
The third upcoming story, Fairly Obvious, follows a seventeen-year-old who whisks away her younger siblings to a traveling carnival so they can avoid foster care until she turns eighteen.

What’s next for you?

Fairly Obvious won’t be out until 2017 because I have another project in the works, Girl’s Guide to Good Guys: The Power of Being Patient and Picky, my first non-fiction workbook for teenage girls.
I’m on a mission to help the countless teenage girls who repeatedly make bad dating choices. They’re stuck in a loop because they’re afraid to be alone, afraid of being unpopular, and afraid they’ll never find a good guy. After 20+ years teaching high school, raising a daughter of my own, and spending seven years as a teenage girl myself, I created a series of challenges to help teenage girls become self-appreciating and independent. The exercises teach girls to become comfortable with being single, to live their lives more fully, and to be patient and picky until they are ready for a healthy relationship.

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