Wednesday 13 March 2013

DelSheree Gladden talks Writing, Publishing, and Dental Hygiene

DelSheree the Grand (I'm eventually going to run out of cheesy descriptive words for people I talk to, I promise) sat down with me in the Writer's Chair of Awesome to answer a few questions.

I am a little bit of everything. I write, read like crazy, paint, sew, draw, cook, teach and practice yoga, gymnastics, Pilates, and an occasional senior weight training class. I love trying new things - including book genres. I am currently in school studying to become a licensed Dental Hygienist. Being in school, reading books that are not about teeth are an escape for me, where for a few moments I can visit another world and enjoy the fantasy of someone else's story.

As far as writing goes, I have four self-published novels: Escaping Fate, Twin Souls, Shaxoa's Gift, and Qaletaqa. My newest book, Inquest, is under contract with Briona Glen Publishing. As soon as the release date is pinned down I'll be sure to share.

1) First and foremost, pitch me your writing style.
Now that is a hard question! When I write, I focus of creating characters that readers can latch onto. It doesn’t matter how awesome your story idea is if no one cares about your characters. I pay careful attention to the dialog I write. Unnatural dialog can ruin a scene. I want my readers to feel like they are right there in the story experiencing it with the characters. I put a lot of emotion into my writing, and I do my best to make my characters real. They make mistakes, they screw up, they trust people they shouldn’t, but they also fall in love and fell pain and experience life, as well. I want my readers to fall into their stories with me.
2) What sort of research goes into your novels (particularly with the Twin Soul Saga regarding Native American Tradition and Folklore)? How did you go about it?
I started out with the stories I had grown up hearing. Skinwalkers, the purpose of dream catchers, Shiprock, why rattlesnakes have rattles, things like that. I knew this wouldn’t be enough, however, so my next stop was the internet and library. I googled everything from Native American name meanings, more origin stories, oral traditions of various tribes. I also ended up reading several books about the Tewa culture and about their history. Their location and the fact that they had a group that split off after clashes with the Spaniards made them a perfect fit for my book. Then to really get the details down, I took a college course on New Mexico history to make sure I wasn’t missing anything.
3) When moving from Independent to Traditional Publishing, what were some differences - or similarities?
Indie publishing gives writers a lot of control over their own work, and the freedom to make all the choices. I lost a lot of control in my first foray into traditional publishing, but that was largely due to the publisher I was working with. The pacing was also frustrating because I had to wait on everyone else, which I wasn’t used to. Some areas were the same, though. Their process was the same process I went through as an indie author. I was familiar with the channels, the wait times, and the formatting. What was nice was that I didn’t have to do all of that. It was also nice to have someone else there to give insights and suggestions. I’m working with a new publisher now (GMTA) that really blends the best of both worlds. I still get a lot of control over my books, but I have the support and help I need to really be successful.
4) With all your crazy hobbies AND being a Dental Hygenist, how do you find time to write?
Writing is my escape right now. When I need a break from studying about teeth or worrying if my patients are going to show up for their appointments, I can take myself away from all the stress and do something I really enjoy. I do a lot of planning late at night when I can’t fall asleep, as well. Many nights I can get to sleep right away, so I run through scenes and plan out dialog while I lay there. It helps me relax and take my mind of more stressful topics.
5) Sort of a follow up question: are you a scheduler when it comes to writing time or do you just write whenever/wherever?
Right now, my life is too chaotic to schedule in writing. I try to sneak it in whenever I can, especially if I have some alone time. I like to think that one day things will slow down and I can have scheduled writing time, but I’m pretty sure that’s never going to happen, so I’ll just keep finding time whenever it turns up.
6) Favourite book in your genre?
I’ve met some fabulous indie authors through writer’s groups and my blog. My current favorite YA books right now are Eolyn by Karin Gastreich, The Awakening by Apryl Baker, and Lie to Me by Angela Fristoe.
Thanks Again, DelSheree for stopping by. If you want to purchase any of her books, be sure to check out her blog The Edible Bookshelf

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