MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR RITA DELUDE!!
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
Rita Delude I’ve written short stories in nearly every genre, but my novel and novellas are contemporary romance, which is what I enjoy writing most.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
My novel, Catch.net, is a contemporary romance with the protagonist, Janice Hartigan looking for love on a fish-themed dating site. I came up with the idea because my sister had recently found her husband by using a dating site. My sister had very good luck with all her dates from the site, but Janice has a few bottom feeders and sharks that she meets along the way.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I’m a positive thinker and love the happily ever after idea of contemporary romance. However, not all my work ends in the typical happily ever after fashion. Some surprises are in store for the reader.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
Since my Kaleidoscope, Catch.net, and Baby Blues are fictional romance, there isn’t as much research needed as some of the vampire short stories and science fiction I’ve written, but still there is research. If I talk about adoption laws, I look up the laws, so I know what I’m talking about. I had an African-American baby born in Catch.net. Caucasian babies are born with blue eyes that may or may not change color. I wasn’t sure, so I did research and, sure enough, African-American babies are born with brown eyes. You need to get the details right for your readers’ sake.
Can you tell me about your Series?
Kaleidoscope was my first novella published, and it will be followed by the sequel Baby Blues, which is releasing on August 15. It’s not exactly a series, but there may be more with some of these characters returning.
Catch.net releases June 12, 2018, and the sequel Caught in the Middle, releases later this year.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
Baby Blues, which releases August 15, 2018, has made every ARC reader cry, including my husband. It’s a tender story about more than just romantic love.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
I was invited to write a novella for the Escape from Reality series. The authors who created the series are multi-genre authors. They had already created the town and many of the characters I used. I just added new characters and had them interact with the townsfolks, so the series has consistency. My protagonist is sexually harassed by a college professor. I was teaching a college where a colleague was fired for doing just that. So real life falls into every story I write.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
Museums, quilting equipment, and a study of Escape, CO, the town several authors created. Plus I read all the books in the series Escape from Reality that came before my book.
Was it always meant to become a series?
Kaleidoscope was never meant to be a series, but it may very well become one. Readers asked for me to write a sequel. Catch.net was never meant to be a series, but it may become one because readers have asked for more.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I write first thing in the morning when I’m fresh. I edit and revise what I write later at night when everyone has gone to bed. I don’t have a writing goal for each day. Some days are very productive, producing twenty pages or more. Other days, I might have to be satisfied with just a few pages.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
Baby Blues is my next release on August 15, 2018.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
I often use the names of people I know. Scott from Kaleidoscope was the name of the first boy I ever kissed. Janice in Catch.net is named after my cousin who died of kidney failure when we were both thirteen. Janice’s last name, Hartigan, is from my all-time favorite English teacher from high school. Other times, I look for names that sound tough or sweet depending on the character.
Where do your ideas come from?
Real life. I wrote a story called “Hoarder” in the Crazy Fools anthology. It was a combination of four people I know and love. I just twist and turn what happened, compact it, and play “what if?,” which means I wonder what would happen if this or that changed? That’s what I do, I write the “what if.”
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
I’ve done short stories about vampires, science fiction, the circus, and horror. I like to challenge myself by trying new things.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Titles. I can never think of great, eye-catching titles. I often ask those around me for help.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I love book trailers. I always have one for each release and use them on book sites throughout Facebook.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
My healthy, happy, and successful four children, who are independent, have families of their own, volunteer in their communities, and support themselves. That makes me very proud.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Creating new worlds with words and touching a reader’s heart.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Still writing, and hopefully selling more copies of each release, and editing for Crazy Ink Publishing.
Have you always liked to write?
Absolutely. From the time I learned to spell I wrote stories, notes, and whatever I could.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Value your readers and show you value them by putting out your best possible work. Write, Cut, Cut, Rewrite, Rewrite, Revise, and Edit, Edit, Edit.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
I’m a retired college professor, so I already had my dream job. If I weren’t writing now, I’d be constantly quilting.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
Yes. I read my reviews and take them seriously if there are suggestions for change. I learned as a newspaper journalist, that you can’t please all the people with your writing, but you must do the best you can by improving every day.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Waiting. Waiting to hear if my submission has been approved, waiting for edits from the editor, waiting for the release, waiting and hoping for reviews, the waiting seems endless.
What are you working on now?
A short story called “Little Girl” for the Art Inspires Words anthology; an untitled short story (it will have a title, but I need to come up with one) for What’s Your Superpower? anthology, and two short stories for a secret project for Crazy Ink Publishing. Plus, I’m working on my novel Caught in the Middle.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
This is from a short story in Art Inspires Words anthology to be released October 2 in Book 1:
When they got home, Caitlin went outside to play kick ball in the street with the other kids who lived in similar rusty, tired looking mobile homes on the streets of Shady Pines. Everyone was bundled up with heavy winter clothing because even their homes were often kept really chilly to save the propane that fueled their heat. That day, Caitlin’s team won the match against some of the bigger kids, third and fourth graders, and they started picking on the little ones. Billy Primmer shoved Caitlin’s friend Wally to the ground.
“Stop that,” she shouted, while Wally lie crying on the ground.
“Yeah, who’s gonna make me? You?” Billy yelled while staring her down so close to her face, she could smell the Spaghetto’s he’d had for lunch.
“You’ll be sorry you picked on my friend,” Caitlin warned.
“I doubt it, baby,” Billy answered. “Come on, guys,” he said to his buddies. “Let’s not waste time on these babies.”
“Yeah,” “Sure,” “Right, Billy,” “They’re babies,” came a chorus of shouts from the big kids as they sauntered away from the crowd of younger ones.
Caitlin reached out and helped Wally to his feet.
“Never, never, never, let them see you cry, no matter how awful they are,” she warned him with all the maturity of a teenager, which was odd coming from an eight-year-old. But this eight-year-old had seen more than her share of things to make her grow up fast.
“Thanks, Caitlin,” Wally said. “I owe you one.”
“No problem. I gotta run. I’ve got some things to do,” she said as she left Wally in the dust of her run to her house.
That day, Caitlin worked very hard on her picture. At home she had a 64-count box of crayons, and put in lots of details. Billy’s fat belly, his dark brown eyes, his curly dark hair, and his big feet. Then, she looked back and admired her work while her mom slept in her room. Next, she took the black crayon she used ONLY for these special pictures and made an X through Billy’s fat arm.
“That’ll show you,” she whispered, so not to wake her mom, and she used a magnet from one of the many states they’d lived in and attached the coloring to the refrigerator.
The next day, Billy was showing off on the monkey bars at school during recess and hanging by one arm from the top bar.
“Hey, look at me. Look at me,” Billy shouted to no one in particular.
And as some turned to look, his sweaty fingers let go, and he crashed to the ground. It was his turn to cry. He’d broken his arm.
Wally and Caitlin smiled when they heard his wails, and the teachers came rushing to see what had happened.
Billy spent the next several months in a cast and didn’t come out to bother the little kids on their street. Peace reigned.
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
All of my stories are love stories in a sense. Even the vampire stories are romantic, relationship stories. So no matter what genre I write in, it’s about the people, the characters. Where they live, whether it’s in 3029 or in Dracula’s castle, it’s all about romance and relationships.
Where did your love of books come from?
I was an early reader. Mom took us to the library a lot since she was an obsessive reader.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
EL George. I love her stories based on real life that she experiences as a family therapist and children-at-risk advocate. My favorites are Goodbye Unicorns and Losing Faith.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
Wanda Sterling from Catch.net because she’s feisty, a bit overweight, fun, smart, and best friend to the protagonist, Janice Hartigan. When I grow up, I want to be Wanda. The sequel Caught in the Middle will highlight Wanda and her husband Joe.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both. When the writing comes hard, it’s like walking all day in tar. When the writing comes easy, it energizes me. Sometimes my characters actually write their own dialogue. No one believes me, but the words are on the page before I think them.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Noise. I can’t write with distractions—people, TV, music. I need quiet.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
There are no new plots under the sun, but I try to take my stories into places that keep the reader wondering what’s next.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Erin Lee, EL George, Callie Carmen, Mia Waters, Sara Schoen, Laura Finley. Reading their writing challenges me to do better.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
Lost and Found. I was lost, and my husband found me.
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
Will you sign my copy of your book? I answer, “Absolutely, I’d love to.” If people like my work and want a signed copy, they can purchase the book on Amazon, have it sent to me, and I will sign and return it for the cost of postage. If you want this arrangement, send me a PM on Facebook. I’d love to hear from you.
Where can your fans find you and follow?
Facebook: Ritadeludeauthor and Authorritadelude
I’m listed on Goodreads and have an author page on Amazon under Rita Delude.
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️