MEET DEBBIE DE LOUISE
Debbie De Louise is an award-winning author and a reference librarian at a public library on Long Island. She is a member of International Thriller Writers, Sisters-in-Crime, the Long Island Authors Group, and the Cat Writer’s Association. She has a BA in English and an MLS in Library Science from Long Island University. Her novels include the three books of the Cobble Cove cozy mystery series published by Solstice Publishing: A Stone's Throw, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, and Written in Stone. Debbie has also published a romantic comedy novella featuring a jewel heist caper, When Jack Trumps Ace, and has written articles and short stories for several anthologies of various genres. She lives on Long Island with her husband, Anthony; daughter, Holly; and cat, Stripey.
Debbie is a fellow Solstice author and a good Facebook pal. I've learned a lot from Debbie in the few short months I've been with Solstice Publishing, and I'm thrilled to be able to introduce her to my followers.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEW BOOK.
My latest book is Reason to Die. It’s a standalone mystery. I also have a cozy mystery series called the Cobble Cove mysteries that consists of three titles: A Stone’s Throw, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, and Written in Stone.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE TITLE FOR THIS BOOK?
I wanted something catchy, so it was a take on the term, “Reason to live.”
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS BOOK? IS IT PART OF A SERIES?
As I said, Reason to Die, is a standalone title. I got the idea for the book from a dream. Since it features the murders of handicapped people, some of my characters were also based on my experience with my husband who is disabled.
HOW MUCH OF YOUR BOOK IS BASED ON YOUR OWN EXPERIENCES OR THOSE OF SOMEONE YOU KNOW?
Some of it’s based on my husband’s experience with his disability, but most of it is solely imagination.
WHAT CRITERIA DID YOU USE WHEN SELECTING THE COVER FOR YOUR BOOK?
I had a book cover designer create it using some images that I suggested and ones she thought would look good and were featured in the book such as the wheelchair and the fire.
WAS THERE A MESSAGE IN YOUR BOOK THAT YOU WERE TRYING TO CONVEY?
I wanted to show that people with disabilities are capable of working and even excelling in life and that they deserve the same respect and dignity as anyone else.
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WOULD CHANGE ABOUT YOUR BOOK?
I would’ve liked it to be longer, but I know some people prefer short reads. Also, the story seemed to work at a shorter length.
WHEN AND WHY DID YOU BEGIN WRITING?
I’ve been writing since childhood because I really enjoyed it, and my teachers and family told me I had talent in that area.
WHEN DID YOU FIRST CONSIDER YOURSELF A WRITER?
When a publisher accepted my mystery, A Stone’s Throw. However, I’d published magazine articles, a short story in a mystery anthology, and had self-published a paranormal romance before that which I’m actually planning to reprint with my current publisher very soon.
DESCRIBE YOUR WRITING STYLE.
Not sure what you mean by this question. I like to write in the morning because I often get ideas overnight. I also don’t create many outlines for my stories/books beyond character sketches because I’m what is considered a “pantster” which means that I write as a go along.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST LESSON YOU HAD TO LEARN AS A WRITER?
That there’s so much competition today that it’s very difficult to land an agent or a large publisher, but I’m still trying.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU FACE AS A WRITER?
The main challenge is finding the time to promote and market my books and also write them. The more books I publish, the more time I need to spend promoting them.
NOT INCLUDING FAMILY, WHO SUPPORTED YOUR EFFORTS TO BECOME A PUBLISHED AUTHOR?
Other writers. I’ve found a great sense of community among fellow authors both local and online.
WHO WAS YOUR FIRST PUBLISHER AND WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM THEM?
My first publisher was Limitless Publishing. I learned that, just because one of your books is accepted by a small publisher, doesn’t mean others will be. Publishers need to make money, so many invest in the highest-earning authors. But, as we all know, sales isn’t always the best indicator of a book’s quality.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR NEW WRITERS?
Write because you love it. Don’t expect to make a lot of money right away or ever. Network with other authors. Keep learning. Keep writing. Don’t give up. Believe in yourself.
WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE WRITERS?
When I was younger, I enjoyed reading Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt, gothic romance authors. Later, I liked cozy authors who featured cats and other animals in their books such as Lilian Jackson Braun, Rita Mae Brown, Shirley Murphy, etc. Now I like a variety of authors and genres, and my work as a librarian affords me the opportunity to discover new books and authors. My two current favorites are Nora Roberts and Mary Higgins Clark. I also like to read debut and Indie authors.
WHAT ARE YOU READING NOW?
Ruth Ware’s The Death of Mrs. Westaway and The Paris Wedding by Charlotte Nash.
WHAT MAKES YOU CRY?
Anything where an animal is injured or dies or books or movies that touch me.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE TV SHOWS AND MOVIES?
My husband and I just finished watching The Americans, and we both really enjoyed it. We’ve just started watching Medium. Before that we binged on other shows such as Dexter, White Collar, Bones, and Castle.
WHAT KIND OF MUSIC TOUCHES YOUR SOUL?
I like classic rock from the 70’s.
WHAT DO YOU WANT WRITTEN ON YOUR HEADSTONE?
Tough question, but I guess my tombstone would say something like: “Here Lies Debbie Smiloff De Louise, librarian, author, wife, mother, and cat lover.”
DO YOU HAVE A BLOG OR WEBSITE READERS CAN VISIT FOR UPDATES, EVENTS AND SPECIAL OFFERS?
I have two blogs, a website, a Facebook character group, and a Twitter account. All the links are below:
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2bIHdaQ
Website/Blog/Newsletter Sign-Up: https://debbiedelouise.wordpress.com
Character Blog: https://sneakylibrarycat.wordpress.com
Facebook Character Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/748912598599469/.
Someone is strangling disabled people in the small town of Baxter, Connecticut. Detective Courtney Lang and her ex-partner and ex-lover, wheelchair-bound Bill Thompson, are paired up again and put in charge of the investigation. During the course of their search, Courtney uncovers information that points toward a connection between the murders and an unsolved series of muggings by a masked man, the same man who shot and disabled Bill a year ago on the night he proposed marriage to her. Complicating matters for Courtney is her guilt about Thompson’s shooting, her affair with her new partner, Mark Farrell, and her unresolved feelings over the deaths of her mother and sister who perished in a fire while she was away from home. As the deaths accrue and the “Handicapped Strangler” as the killer is coined by the press continues to rampage the town adding victims of different ages, sex, and disabilities to the murder count, Courtney discovers a clue that could crack open the case but may put her and Bill’s life in jeopardy.