Hello everyone! Today I am speaking with Debbie Baldwin. Hi Deborah. Thank you for being here. Can you tell us what made you decide to become a writer?
I have wanted to be a writer since I was a very little girl. I penned my first story about a pig when I was around five years old.
That’s interesting and so young.
My father was a radiologist and he would bring home to me the recycled orange colored papers that divided the x-ray films. I LOVED them and wrote many a story on them. I didn’t take my writing seriously until about five years ago, however.
How long did it take to get published the first time and how did it happen?
I published my book independently. I am a self-starter. I didn’t want to wait around for a publisher who may or may not look at my book. My story is somewhat unique in subject and although it is a good story, I knew it wasn’t mainstream.
Mainstream. That’s the catch, isn’t it? Would you do anything differently the next time?
Next time, I’d like to pay someone to edit for me. Several qualified people edited it for me but I think it would be useful and more beneficial to have someone who’s an editing professional focus upon it.
Yes, and finding the right one is hard. What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
Read, read, read. There are many free resources now that will help you with your writing. Keep your first draft to yourself. If you expect your family to support your aspirations, you need to disengage from that hope. Look for unbiased people to read your manuscript when you are ready. Everyone’s opinion should be heard, but not acted upon. Trust your instinct. It won’t fail you if you are truly honest with yourself. Lastly, a man whose opinion I wholeheartedly trust told me that if I wait until my book is perfect, I’ll never publish it. He reminded me that software is updated all the time, because if a company waits until it is completely perfect, they will never get the product out there. Finish the project. Just that action puts you way ahead of most people who only talk about their dreams, but never even take one step toward them.
That’s good advice. Thank you. What or who influences your writing?
Because of my background in theatre, in particular, acting and directing, I appreciate stories with solid characterization. In my thirty-nine years of directing, I have guided thousands of actors to create characters. I am also a newly retired teacher having taught drama classes to students of all ages for as many years as directing. Consequently, I am a good judge of one’s character. I like many authors, but in particular, most recently, I have enjoyed Fredrick Backman’s books. He weaves an unusual story with interesting characters. My favorite novel is “To Kill a Mockingbird,” because again, it is an unusual story. Jodi Picoult comes to mind because she writes about modern day issues from an unusual slant.
What are your latest releases?
Bumbling Bea is my debut novel.
Tell me, Debbie, how long have you been writing professionally? And do you write full-time or part-time?
I write part-time. I keep up a blog, in particular-Dramamommaspeaks.wordpress.com. I am about to publish an audio CD of drama class lesson plans. There will be a series of them beginning with a storytelling unit. They will be helpful to any teacher.
Oh, yes! Making lesson plans is hard enough. So, what do you do for fun when you aren’t writing, Debbie?
I love to see a good movie and try to see one each week. I read quite a bit, enjoy the outdoors and traveling with my husband.
And where do you reside?
We moved to Lawrence, Kansas about three months ago to retire near our family and FIRST grandchild.
I know exactly what you mean. Do you have any appearances or book signings scheduled?
My book signings are very sporadic, as are book talks, but I do announce them on the various social sites. I am willing to travel to surrounding states for book talks.
That’s great! Thank you so much for spending time with me. Debbie’s website is: www.Bumblingbea.com and her blog is: http://Dramamommaspeaks.wordpress.com. You can “friend her” on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BumblingBea/ Or follow her on Twitter at BumblingBea@dhcbaldwin