It’s Sunday once again, and here in Atlanta, you’d have no idea it’s the middle of May. Happy Mother’s Day to not only my mother, but all the wonderful women out there in the world who drive station wagons and mini-vans, change clothes in the car on a regular basis, learned to tune out the sound of little people screaming in the background, and know that hot dogs and spaghetti are an impressive Julia-Child type recipe when mixed together.

Of course, every Sunday is Literary Libations, where I speak to the type of people who have children that have been loved and nurtured into publishable form. In a way, writing a book is a lot like deciding to have a child. It takes most of your focus for the greater part of a year, you make a lot of sacrifices in order to get it done, you end up slightly fat and out of shape and wanting ice cream at 3 AM, and it will wake you up in the middle of the night suddenly demanding attention. Halfway through the process, you start to doubt your ability to actually do this and know it’s going to go wrong, and when all is said and done, 10 pound boxes of something you created show up at your door. You’re then compelled to spend the next few years showing pictures of it and telling everyone how wonderful it is, even if it kind of just looks like every other book to everyone else. Fortunately, you don’t have to feed your book, potty train it, drive it to soccer practice, or wonder how you’ll afford to send it to college.

On that note, today I’ll be speaking with tireless and prolific writer Devorah Fox. In addition to writing artful and imaginative stories (as someone who grew up intrigued by all the stories of King Arthur and the world of Camelot, I look forward to checking out her works.), she also has a number of creative hobbies you can read about on her blog. Recently, she told me she was one of 100 writers invited to participate in a book-writing marathon. Participants were challenged to write a book in 40 hours. As someone who’s not sure she’ll be able to finish a novel in 40 years, I find this quite impressive.

Devorah (who goes by Dee) is here to speak about her latest book,
“The King’s Ransom”
, and about the art and craft of being a writer. Sit back, relax, and perhaps give your mother a call to chat about the wonderful books you’ve just “Dee-scovered”. :)



devorahauthorwithplaques
1) Please tell the readers a bit about yourself. Where are you from, where do you reside now, and what is your latest project?

Originally from Brooklyn, New York, I’ve spent more years in Arizona and along the Texas Gulf Coast than I ever did “back east,” but still consider myself a New Yorker.

My current project is “The King’s Ransom,” a sequel to my first published novel,
The Lost King

.

2) If you don’t mind, share a little bit about your latest book? What is it about your writing that gives it a unique voice and appeals to readers?

The King’s Ransom continues the story of Robin, the dethroned King Bewilliam. He commits to restoring his kingdom and family against all odds, and they are formidable.

Something about my books apparently transcends the fantasy genre. I’ll quote a reviewer: “Being new to the world of Fantasy Fiction I was a little uneasy about buying The Lost King. I expected to be forced to wade through baroque dialog and dark scenes of witches, sorcerers, fairies and knight machinations… All my trepidations were for naught. The story could have taken place today.”

3) When it comes to the creative process, what inspires you? Tell us a little bit about how your latest book came into being.

Though The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam series is set in a medieval fantasy world, I’m inspired by contemporary dilemmas. I wrote The Lost King to explore the predicament of people who because of the economic downtown were “pink slipped” out of a career, an entire life that they had spent a decades building. The King’s Ransom looks at what happens when you defy all odds and commit to pursuing your life’s dream.

4) Did you decide to go with a traditional publisher, an indie publisher, or self-publish your latest work? What do you consider the benefits and the drawbacks of the particular route you’ve chosen?

You could say I’m both an indie publisher and a self-publisher. In 1988 my late husband and I started a publishing company so I’ve been an “indie publisher” for decades. We did and still do publish textbooks for commercial motor vehicle operators but he always wanted to publish my fiction writing. So when I decided to get The Lost King between covers, I published it under our imprint. We have had nonfiction titles put out by a traditional publisher but regardless of who does the publishing, the author has to do a lot of marketing and promotion.

5) Where, when, and how did you get your start in the writing world? Is this your first book, or have you published before? If someone were to sum you up as a writer in 50 words or less, what would you like to have written about you?

I’ve always been a bibliophile, even as a little girl. I believe I wrote my first novel in the third grade. I got my first writing job in 1977. I started writing fiction in earnest in the mid 1990’s.

I couldn’t want for better acclaim about my writing than what one reviewer told me:
“I haven’t read anything to speak of since I was 40 except for a few inspirational books or books about politics. I suppose you are responsible for reviving my interest in reading fiction.”

6) Outside of writing, you seem to have a variety of interests and are a well-rounded person. What are some of your hobbies and interests? Do find these things help you grow creatively, or leave you in a time-crunch when it comes to meeting deadlines?

I devote quite a bit of time to the writer groups to which I belong. I enjoy sharing what I’ve learned from being in the publishing field for so many years. It’s great to be able to spare someone from having to recreate the wheel. In turn, I have benefited from read-and-critique with other astoundingly talented writers.

7) In addition to being a writer, you’re also a blogger with a social media presence. How do you feel social media helps or hinders artists in pursuit of their goals? Do you spend a lot of time on social media or focus on building yourself as a “brand’, or is it something you only use on occasion?

I think I do put quite a bit of time into social media but I’m not prepared to say that it’s been time well invested in terms of reaching readers. Maybe I haven’t been doing it right! On the other hand, I have picked up a lot of invaluable information from the experience other writers have shared.

8) Other than yourself, of course, who is your favourite author? What’s the last book you read that really spoke to you in some way, and why?

I wish I had more time for pleasure reading. Before I got so busy writing, I enjoyed Greg Iles, Randy Wayne White and Ian Rankin. I really admire how they create a sense of place. A reader of The Lost King found its hero reminiscent of John Sandford’s Lucas Davenport so now I’m rereading the Prey series.

9) Is writing a full-time career for you, or something you do in your free time? What do you ultimately hope to accomplish as a writer? For what would you most liked to be remembered?

One way or the other, I’m writing something every day: a blog post, a sponsored review, a newspaper column. I’m fortunate enough to have had people tell me that my writing has helped them. In some cases it’s been practical, such as via one of our training publications. Others have been motivated to be creative themselves. On reader was so inspired by The Lost King that he couldn’t wait for me to write the sequel so he wrote one himself. The Lost King has fan fiction!

10) I read something on your blog recently about you “going away to camp” in order to work on your next publication. That sounds like a truly interesting idea. Could you tell us a bit more about that?

I attended “Camp NaNoWriMo.” It’s an imaginary writers retreat. I set aside a month, making fiction writing a priority and try to meet the goal of writing 50,000 words. Camp NaNoWriMo is organized by The Office of Letters and Light which also organizes National Novel Writing Month. That takes place every November, and OLL also holds two “camps,” one in April and one in July. I’ve done two NaNoWriMos, one in 2010 and another in 2012, and two camps, one in 2011 and the April 2013 camp.

11) Do you enjoy other types of media and artistic creation, such as television, magazines, movies, music, fashion, social media, etc.? What are some of your favourite things?

I’m not much of a movie goer. I do like TV. I think I’ve seen every episode of Law and Order and CSI. When I have time, I like to crochet and do crafts like glass etching, glass painting and furniture antiquing. I’ve given watercolor painting a try and I’d like to do more of that. Recently I charged myself with restoring a mosaic table that my mother had made decades ago.

12) What’s your Zodiac sign?

Gemini

13) What’s the most memorable thing (either positive or negative) anyone has ever said to you regarding your work? If you had one piece of advice for young, aspiring writers, what would that be?

I was really moved when someone told me that after reading The Lost King he felt validated because someone understood what he had gone through in his life.

I would tell young writers or even older ones that if you think you’d like to write, just do it. It’s a talent that not everyone has. Don’t hold back out of fear that it won’t be any good. It’s probably better than you think. I don’t think we writers ever believe our writing is good enough, anyway–we’re always looking to improve.

14) Of course, we both want readers to rush right out and grab a copy of your latest book! Please tell us where we can find it. Additionally, if you have a blog, website, Facebook, or Twitter, please let us know so we’re able to follow you.

The Lost King is on amazon.com, Kindle, Nook, etc. I like to say that if you want it via smoke signal or carrier pigeon, I’ll get it there. But it’s probably faster to follow these links:

*amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/The-Lost-King-Devorah-Fox/dp/0977824527

*bn.com: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-lost-king-devorah-fox/1037627030

*Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/The-Lost-King-ebook/dp/B006L5O1JE/ref=tmm_kin_title_0,

*Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-lost-king-devorah-fox/1108162505?ean=2940044954267,

*smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/230605, and iBook

Anyone interested in our textbooks and smartphone apps can find more information here:

http://blog.bumper2bumpertruckbook.com/answers/

http://bumper2bumpertruckbook.com/sp-bin/spirit?PAGE=24

I invite people to connect with me here:

*email: devorahfox@aol.com

*Website: http://devorahfox.com

*Twitter: http://twitter.com/devorah_fox

*Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/devorah.fox

*Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2751371.Devorah_Fox

*Google+ : https://plus.google.com/115373271462004436975


“Devorah” is a weighty moniker so most people call me Dee. When not “Dee-Scovering” the dee-lights of the Texas Coastal Bend for my column in The Island Moon newspaper I’m running Mike Byrnes and Associates, Inc. We’re publishers of BUMPERTOBUMPER®, The Complete Guide to Tractor-Trailer Operations (the “bible” of truck driver training), authors of the Easy CDL apps for the iPhone and iPad (so much more enjoyable than the state manuals!); and last but not least The Lost King, a literary fantasy (Book One of The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam). My current project is Book Two, The King’s Ransom, due out this summer.



lostking
Thanks so much to Devorah Fox for stopping by to be our guest this Sunday, and I’ll be following up with her in the next few days to chat about her 40-hour writing marathon, and what type of results that yielded. :) I’ll also be sharing her author interview with me about “Ophelia’s Wayward Muse”, and discussing a few books that have shown up in my mailbox and on my Kindle that I simply can’t wait to read.

In the meantime, a happy Mother’s Day—or just a laid-back and lovely Sunday afternoon–to all. :)

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