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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Author Interview: Deborah Piccurelli

The Long and the Short of It would like to welcome Deborah Piccurelli. She is the author of In the Midst of Deceit. She is currently working on a new novel which combines two of her passions: writing and moral/political issues. It focuses on a newspaper reporting couple working to expose a doctor who performs heinous medical procedures.

Unlike a lot of authors who have appeared here, Deborah never set out to be a writer. As a child, her goal was to grow up and become a secretary. She told me, “I never thought back then that I wanted to be a novelist. Although, because I loved to read so much, I remember a couple times I was compelled to start writing one of my own. The first was handwritten; the second was typed out on the manual typewriter I had gotten for Christmas so I could play secretary. I never completed either of them, nor did I receive any encouragement, so they were put somewhere and forgotten.”

Since Deborah is a relatively new writer herself, I asked her what advice she would give to someone just starting out.

“Develop a thick skin,” she said. “Once you start submitting, don’t let a few rejections discourage you. Even the biggest names in the business have had tons of them, so keep sending out those queries…An editor may tear your story apart, suggesting a million changes…Unless you’re John Grisham or Nora Roberts, it’s a given. Don’t take it personally.”

She also suggests studying the craft thoroughly. “If you study everything you can about writing, join critique groups, attend conferences and workshops, and read voraciously, your prose will shine. Agents and editors will take notice.”

Since most authors are voracious readers, I asked her about some of her favorite authors. “I have so many favorite authors I couldn’t possibly include them all,” she said, “but I’ll list some. I love Catherine Cookson. The first book of hers that I read was so completely different than anything I’d ever read before. It just blew me away. I became an instant follower. Tess Gerritsen – her choice of subjects is always this eerie, dark stuff. Always satisfying. Harlan Coben – he’s a master. I constantly get lost in his stories. Victoria Holt – her books are classics. They entertain the dark side of humanity, too, but in a different way. Sally John – A Christian writer whose characterization is superb. They immediately draw you in. You can’t put her books down! I’ll stop here, or we’ll run out of room.”

Deborah is a second-generation Italian (“Both sets of my grandparents,” she told me, “came over on the boat”). Family and emotion are important elements in Italian homes. Another of Deborah’s passions is her family… her husband and two boys, with whom she shares her New Jersey home. And…emotion? When I asked her if she had ever cried in a movie, she said, “Oh, please, I’ve cried during the Brady Bunch!”

Visit Deborah at her website, http://www.deborahmpiccurelli.com/index.php, and let her hear from you. I asked her if she enjoys hearing from her fans and she said, “Yes, I’ve heard from many with cards, notes and e-mails telling me how much they loved my book. Some ask if there will be a sequel, or to let them know when another of my books is released.” So… visit her and tell her how much you enjoyed this interview with her. Don’t forget to visit our contest page for a chance to win a copy of In the Midst of Deceit.

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