Thursday, January 6, 2011

Deanna Klingel lives in Sapphire Valley, NC with her husband (49 years!). Their seven children all live in the southeast and are parents to the Klingels' ten grandchildren. They are retired from their first jobs, Dave with IBM, and Deanna as homemaker and mom, and now work as a real estate broker( Dave), and Deanna as an author. She works with her two golden retrievers visiting hospitals, nursing homes, schools, day care, anywhere they are asked. The dogs are certified therapy dogs and are featured in Deanna's book. Deanna enjoys taking college classes at Brevard College, playing golf on perfect-weather days, and of course, writes every single day.

Welcome, Deanna! Did you see yourself becoming a writer as a child? If not, what did you dream of being?

As a child, I was a writer. I wrote letters to relatives, made greeting cards with rhymes, wrote short stories and bound them together, illustrated in crayon and by Norman Rockwell. A a teen I wrote the high school column in the town newspaper, wrote school
newspaper articles and edited the literary magazine. I worked on the yearbook staff and loved English class. I never thought about becoming writer when I grew up. I've always written.

How long did you write before you sold your first book?

I didn't sell my first book until 2010, at age 66. But, until then, I hadn't really thought about selling anything.

Many of the people who follow our blog are aspiring writers themselves. Can you share your favorite writing tip with them?

I don't have many writing tips to share, but I think my initial response to this question is...write. read. write and read. read and write. Immerse yourself in books and write everything.

Now for the readers…many times, it’s easy for them to connect with the characters in a book, but not so much the authors themselves. Share something about your day-to-day life that might help a reader to feel as thoug
h they know you a little better.

My day-to-day life would probably sound rather boring. I've raised my family and my husband and I live in the mountains with our two golden retrievers. When you read my book, you will probably get to know me quite well. It's not a memoir, but I'm there.

Now that you are published, do you still experience rejections? If so, how are these rejections different or similar to the ones you received before becoming published?

Rejections are interesting, aren't they. Some are affirming, some not so much. Some give hope, some destroy it. I've had an easy time of it actually, and I can't answer your question as it's posed, because since the two books were published online by, and Just for the Moment: The Remarkable Gift of the Therapy Dog was published, I really haven't experienced any rejections...yet.

Tell us a little about your latest release:

Just for the Moment: The Remarkable Gift of the Therapy Dog, a long title for a small book that is making a big splash. The design of the book defies several "rules", it doesn't fit neatly into any genre, and doesn't have a "target" audience. It doesn't have a protagonist and it doesn't have a story arc or a plot. The book appeals to dog lovers and lovers of dog stories, but it isn't about the dogs. Teens seem to like it, though I'm not sure they really "get it"...yet. Senior citizens like it, it's all about them. Care givers, health care providers, hospice volunteers all enjoy it and laugh. They do "get it." It's an odd little book, really. But, everyday I hear from folks all over the country who are reading it, savoring it, sharing it, gifting it. I'm delighted.

If you co
uld only share one line from Just for the Moment: The Remarkable Gift of the Therapy Dog, which one would you choose and why?

The line I'd like to share from Just for the Moment: The Remarkable Gift of the Therapy Dog isn't actually written on a page. But it's the entire point of the book. "Every moment in every life, matters."

Writers often put things in their books that are very personal—like a funny story that happened to them, a spiritual truth they learned through difficulty, or even just a character trait that is uniquely theirs. Is there something in Just for the Moment: The Remarkable Gift of the Therapy Dog that only people close to you know is about you or someone you know?

particular book is very personal. Something funny, a spiritual truth, a character trait is on every single page. Those close to me would already recognize me, of course, but those who don't know me, will. To use the cliche, my life is an open book.

Readers often talk a lot about the hero and heroine of a story, but today I’d like to know something about your villain. Does he or she have a redeeming quality? Why or why not?

I hadn't thought about my dogs as heroines, but I guess they are. Humble and happy in their work, they don't immediately bring "heroine" to mind. But, yeah, they are. If there is a villain in this book, it must be Time. Time steals our precious moments; Time robs us of memories. But, a redeeeming quality? Sure. Time heals. And eventually, Time runs out.

What kind of research did you have to do for this book? Can you share some articles or website links you found particularly helpful?

Very little research went into this book. That's unusual for me since I usually write history stories that requires months, no years, of research. This was more like compiling journal entries and polishing the writing. It covers eight years, but I actually developed the book in about two years.

Tell us what new projects you’re working on.

New projects. I always have a lot of irons in the fire, juggling lots of balls, or whatever. At the moment I have a YA fiction, Cracks in the Ice, under review with a publisher, and a middle grade nonfiction, Bread Upon the Water, as well. A children's book, Beth's Backyard Friends, and a middle grade novel, Rebecca & Heart, are both on That's something new and interesting that surprised me. I've written a few children's books that haven't been adopted yet. In the spring Avery's Battlefield will be releaed by Journey Forth. It's the first of a series of two Civil War stories about Avery and his dog Gunner, for the teen audience. This is close to five years of work, so I'm really excited. I saw the cover last week and I got a bit teary. It feels like giving birth!

The most common thing I hear when people learned I’ve published a book is, “I’ve always wanted to do that.” Faced with this statement, what advice would you give to someone just starting out in this business?

My advice to anyone starting out in this business would be: Research thoroughly. This job might not be what you think it is. Understand all of it before jumping in. And then? Grow a thick skin, forget you were ever shy, and write. All the time. Go to conferences. Read books on the craft of writing. Take classes. Join a critique group. Read. And Write. You can't be a writer if you don't write. And after you've written the first chapter, rewrite it. Revise it. And go to the 2nd chapter. Believe in yourself, but always believe that there are a lot of different ways to write something. Write it in different ways. You don't always have to like what you wrote. But, in the end, it must be the best way you could write it. And know that it takes a long time to get it there. Don't give up. Write.
Deanna is giving away a copy of her book. Be sure to stop by The Borrowed Book on Friday for your chance to win!


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