Deanna Jewel lives in the Pacific Northwest and has been writing multi-genre romance since 1991. She is married to a retired captain of the fire department. He’s also owned his own businesses for 23 years. They have two Siamese cats: Zoie and Sinbad, who keep them entertained. Deanna has enjoyed reading historical romance novels for over thirty years, camping with her family, and traveling.
She writes to draw the reader into the story to experience what the characters feel, to show both the hero's and heroine's points of view, and to take the reader away from their every day stress to a place not yet visited.
A trip to Dubois, Wyoming, south of Yellowstone, inspired her time-travel novel. The landscape and town locations described in NEVER SURRENDER are real. Jon Daley, a professor at Boise State University, translated the Shoshone language that you will find in the book. This novel won an Honorable Mention in the 2008 Quill Awards at Writing.com.
NO TURNING BACK, her historical romance, takes place in England, 1778, was released in April 2010, and is available in print, eBook and iBook for download to your electronic readers.
Her newest novel, WHISPERS AT GHOST POINT, released in late December, 2012. Whispers takes place at an abandoned lighthouse in Wilmington, NC and is the sequel to No Turning Back. The characters are reincarnated into the present. Join Dana as she learns about her past while working toward her future. The dangers that lurk at an abandoned lighthouse pull her into a past she was unaware of but also involves a man she's never met...in this lifetime!
Welcome to the blog Deanna, it's great to see you, I have some questions for you today.
When did your passion for writing begin? What kept you going?
Deanna: Years ago, I was down with back problems for several years so reading kept me busy. I found myself dissecting the books because some kept me going back to re-read paragraphs to figure out where I was or whose head I was in. At that time, I couldn’t figure out WHY I kept getting confused by the author; perhaps I’d missed something in her writing. Then I discovered it wasn’t the way I was reading, it had to do with the way the story was written! That’s when I decide to try my hand at writing to see if I could put my stories to paper that were swirling around in head and not make my reader as confused as some of the other books had made me.
As a child what did you want to do when you grew up?
Deanna: We all dream of owning our own business one day and now I have that! Along with that dream came a fairy tale romance that has lasted well over ten years with a man who has made many dreams come true, me being published is one of them! He is the reason I’m in print today!
Can you tell us what a typical Deanna Jewel day is like?
Deanna: Since I’m a night owl, I don’t get up with the sun!! My friends and family know that! LOL My daily schedule changes, depending on the time of year it is. From Dec to May 1, I’m normally at the office in the afternoons getting computers and programs ready for tax season. From May 1 to December is my writing time. I’m usually up at 8, grab my coffee and head straight to my computer after a morning kiss with my man. Hubby is one who reads the paper in the morning and watches the news, I read my paper at night. With coffee nearby, I go thru my email, check FaceBook, my blogs, etc and see what’s going on out there. Since I do my own marketing that takes a few hours each day. Then if I’m not headed to the office, I open my manuscripts. I bought a new program for writing that helps me keep track of scenes, chapters, character traits, photos of characters and places for my books, plot notes, word count, etc. I love it!
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Deanna: The discipline it takes to keep my butt in the chair and write. The window in my office looks out into our front yard to the unpulled weeds, the wild bushes and the other work that needs doing out there. If I can’t concentrate enough to write, working in the yard brings scenes and characters together for me so it’s not a waste of time being in the yard working.
What is needed for a story to be good?
Deanna: For me, the plot has to be able to hold the reader’s attention so they care about what happens to my characters, which brings us to formatting character traits that appeal to readers. A character has to be multi-dimensional with a personality that pops off the pages. When I wrote Never Surrender, those two characters were so easy to write. My warrior is a caring man with a one-woman-heart who lost the ‘one woman’ he truly cared for. When he met Kate, a dominate woman in her own right, he refused to allow her a place in his heart; he didn’t want to lose the love he felt for his first wife…guess I better stop there for those who haven’t read the story yet! LOL Sorry!
Where do you get your inspiration for your character’s names and personalities?
Deanna: I use a character name book that also has the meaning behind some of the names but depending on the personality of my character, the name has to fit. I also get inspiration from TV shows and movies. If my character is strong and bold, they have to have a name to match - usually with hard consonants like Mike, Drake, James. If the character is soft and shy, the name has to reflect that with a softer name. Is this making sense? LOL
If you could switch places with one character in your book, who would it be?
Whispers at Ghost Point was released in December. Can you share a little with us?
Deanna: For those who have read the two books I have out, the reader will notice that second chances at love, reincarnation and soul mates are recurring themes. Whispers at Ghost Point will be the same and is the sequel to No Turning Back - 200 years later. The ghost in my abandoned lighthouse is a surprise character from No Turning Back in search of love that he lost in a past life. I love connecting souls to their past because I believe we have all lived before and somehow connect with the past in our currents lives. My challenge is to make the story believable so these two can be together one more time. I also like to include characters whose story can spin off to a book for them one day.
Whispers takes place in Wilmington NC and includes an abandoned lighthouse that is the subject of a remodel where the characters will be pulled together to discover the past and how it relates to the lighthouse and their current lives. The eerie feelings of the lighthouse pull at my heroine and cause images in her dreams and her mind and pull back memories of her other life. She’s not sure why she has to know more but curiosity gets her into trouble. One of her abilities is her connection to spirits…I’ll not say more on that!
I fell in love with Wilmington when we were there a few years ago and I love lighthouses so combining the two is easy! When one goes into an old house or stands on historic ground, if they’re in tune with the past, many can feel the spirits that are there and that’s what happens in Whispers. There’s a free read for Whispers at BookBuzzr (freado.com) so please click over to my page there. The link is listed below and I’ve also added two Hangman games there so go play those and earn some site points for free books!
How do you use the Internet to boost your writing career?
Deanna: Marketing is very time consuming but if we don’t make our presence known to those who frequent the reader sites, our names won’t be up front and center on their screens. I try to comment on blogs, readers’ sites like Coffee Time Romance, Night Owl Reviews, Manic Readers as well as FaceBook and Twitter.
I do my own book trailers and those links are listed below. They’re so much fun to create but again, those take anywhere from 8 to 15 hours to produce but I love doing it!
What other ways do you use to promote?
Deanna: I hold several monthly contests and have links to other contests. The one I do on my website always includes a goody bag for a reader that is filled with book marks from other authors. If any authors out there would like to send me their promo items to include in my bags to readers, the address for that is on my website. I attend summer events and have book signings where I pass out goody bags to readers who want them free. I also use a book widget that is connected to BookBuzzr which is a reader site filled with books and games where the players earn points to win books or a work toward a Kindle! I also have ads that run on many other websites like Eye on Romance and The Romance Reviews and some in the Romantic Times Book Review magazine and their website. We are only limited by our imagination when it comes to marketing and promo for our books!
Is there a message in your novels that you want your readers to grasps?
Deanna: My books seem to portray the theme of finding love a second time. Many think that because they lose the love of their life, their romance in life is over. Don’t get me wrong in thinking one must have a partner to make life fulfilling, but for those who think there is not another individual out there for them, they’re wrong. We find that person where we least expect it!
Perhaps I go back to this theme because my father died when I was three and I know my mom was head over heels in love with him and she raised us alone until she met my step-father when I was ten. So finding that love of your life can happen a second time.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Deanna: Learn some of the basics by reading lots of articles. The main thing that hit home for me was learning about Point of View. It’s confusing for a new author unless they understand how it works. Not to get off on a tangent here, but stay in one character’s head throughout a scene if not throughout a full chapter. Think back on some of the books you’ve read that seemed to be a fast read for you. Go back and skim through it. You’ll find that the author stayed in one POV and didn’t head hop and confuse the reader. Don’t make your reader go back and re-read paragraphs to figure out where they should be in the story and whose head they’re in!
As an author where do you see yourself in five years?
Deanna: I’d like to be selling more than two books a week! *laughing* I’d also like to have three more books out and maybe hit a best seller list or two - dreaming of the future is good for us. The hardest for me is getting time in my chair when I’m not on the net marketing so I really need to focus on actual writing and just make it happen!
If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be, why and what is one question you would ask them?
Deanna: Wow…that’s a tough one. I’m thinking past authors here and maybe this will age me, but I’d love to sit and pick the brain of Victoria Holt. Her books started my love of the gothic romance in England and I think I’ve read nearly every one of her books. Her characters pulled me into the stories and the suspense kept me reading to the end! I’d want to know the formula she used to make that happen!
Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers?
Deanna: Elodie, thank you so much for having me this week. I know we’ll have a great time and lots of fun! I’m so glad we met online and became close friends! I wish you the best in all of your sales and future books!
Readers, thank you so much for reading this interview, for stopping in to be with us this week and for your comments. I’ll be around to chat with you so please comment if you have a question or want to chat. Be sure to get in on my Contests listed below!
Deanna, thank you for hanging out with us all week. Fans, you can learn more about Deanna and her work at the web sites below.
Deanna’s web links:
Buy Deanna's books:
CONTEST #1: On the 12th, I’ll pull one winner from those who comment and also leave your choice of gift card and your email addy in the comment (so I can reach you when I draw your name). One will win a $10 gift card.
CONTEST #2: I’m giving away FOUR $25 gift cards at the end of my blog tour! Get your entries in on my Blog Tour Grand Prizedrawing, winner to be picked on Oct 14th!