Friday, April 30, 2021

Alice, I'm not listening...


So, a little thing about me...my office is my special place. My personal haven. I designed every little nook and cranny to inspire my creativity, and I think that it's a true reflection of who I am. A little dark academia, a little traditional, a dash of geek, and a smattering of weirdo with some French influences on the side.

I say all of that to share my newest treasure. A vintage head statue that I found in an antique shop last weekend. I can't tell you how many times I picked this up, and then put it back. I bought an antique desk lamp, a small brass figurine of a golden retriever (because you always have to have at least one brass figurine in my opinion). It wasn't until I was at the counter that I realized I had to pause my transaction and rush back to grab her. I wasn't even sure why until I got her home and sat her down on the book shelf above my desk. I mean, look at her eyes. She's kind of creepy, right? Like a gothic Alice in Wonderland. It wasn't until I sat down to write and found myself stuck that I realized why I like her so much.  My head was full of other thoughts. Things I need to do, things I want to do, worries over this or that...the sound of the television coming from the other room. All of it pulling me away from what I sat down to do. Write. So, like I often do, I paused. Fingers on the keyboard, eyeballs roaming the room in search of a creative bone to get me back to the process. Then, my eyes land on her. Alice, with her hands over her ears. "Don't listen." That's when it hit me. I stopped listening to all that inside and outside noise and began to write. 

Now I think I really like her. She's kind of creepy...like the outside noise.  Alice, I'm not listening. 

Back to writing...

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Audio Blog Tour for Good Girls Curtsy

 


Hi Crickets!

Just wanted to pop on and share that today is the first day of our audio book tour for Good Girls Curtsy.  Thank you all so much for your support of my venture into the Women's Fiction genre. This is a big step away from my previous works, which typically include some sort of super-natural powers, or sci-fi elements. 

The truth is, I love to tell stories, and I don't always know where they will take me. I refuse to be limited by genres, because every story that comes to me decides on it's own if it needs to be told. The one constant that will always remain is a strong female lead.

It is my hope that every story I tell will find the right audience, and satisfy a particular need. 

I would love to hear your thoughts on MayVee. She was a delight to write...and, if I am being honest,  I chipped of a piece of myself to create her. At any rate, I hope you enjoy. 

Follow the tour

Best,

Dena



Saturday, August 15, 2020

New Release Announcement: Good Girls Curtsy

 Hi Crickets,


Good Girls Curtsy Book Cover


This is an announcement that I've been so anxious to share! Good Girls Curtsy is my newest release and it's available on Amazon today! The print version will be coming soon. If you've read any of my other books, this is something completely different. There's no magic, no futuristic sci-fi elements, no special abilities...unless you count the ability to rise up and find yourself. It does share one common theme with my other works - a strong female lead. Though MayVee doesn't start out that way.

This is really a work of passion, and I hope that you - my readers will enjoy it. Even if it does deviate from what I'm known for writing. I debated publishing this under a pen name, but so many of my friends and family encouraged me to own it. After listening to them, I decided they were right. As a writer, why should I be confined to one genre? My imagination goes where it wants and so do the characters that live in my head. So, I'm adding chick lit to the list! 

About Good Girls Curtsy

MayVee Baker has lived by the rules that shaped the edges and sharpened the corners of her existence since the earliest days of her childhood. Common courtesies, pleasantries, etiquette, and smooth manners formed her behavior and served as her compass. Even if it meant silencing her voice and sacrificing her own needs. She lost herself along the way. Now she will need to challenge everything she knows to find herself, live the life she deserves, and raise her daughter to know how to slay her own dragons.


Acceptance, understanding, forgiveness, and grace open a pathway to finding our true selves.


I had a lot of fun with MayVee, and a big part of her has, and always will live in my head. I hope that a little part of her will stay with you too. I'll be doing a print version giveaway to celebrate this release in September. If you'd like to be entered for a chance to win, sign up for my mailing list! I promise, I'm not the spamming type.



Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The Weaver Series Book One - Remember Me is now on Audible!

The Weaver Series was my first publication and I'm excited to share that the first book in the series is now available on audio! Kat Maxwell has done an amazing job at bringing Joey to life. Check it out here


Remember Me: Weaver Series, Book 1

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Mannequins are Creepy...


I know that a lot of people are creeped out by clowns. I read IT, by Stephen King and I'll admit that it changed my perception of the happy painted faces I remember from childhood. For others, it's ghosts, monsters, evil entities, or deranged psychopaths stalking around in the darkness. Not that these don't bother me, they all have their creep factor.

For me it's mannequins that make me want to look back over my shoulder. They always have.  They've been around since the 15th century, and they've evolved a great deal over time. From the subtle shifts in hair styles to the absurd faceless creations often seen in department stores today. Faceless...mostly to allow shoppers to better imagine the displayed apparel on themselves.

I think the fact that they used them to populate fake towns for nuclear testing back in the 1950's is truly fascinating. As an author, that makes my imagination run wild. Just envision walking through the aftermath of a town like that. Broken windows, burnt curtains blowing in the breeze amidst a strategically positioned "fake" family in an outdated living room.  Can you see it? I can actually hear the wind blowing through.

I remember an old Twilight Zone episode about a bunch of mannequins that would take turns coming to life for a day and then they had to return to their post in the store by the day's end so that the next one could have a turn. I can just imagine how they envied who ever was up for their turn...

Yep. They're creepy. Delightfully so. Anything made in our likeness for the purpose of human needs or fulfillment gives me reason to pause...and of course, write.

What creeps you out?

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Simple is Now Audible!

Hi Crickets,

I'm so pumped to share that Simple is now available as an audio book! You can find it on iTunes, and on Amazon. Kendra Murray is the most amazingly talented narrator and she's done a phenomenal job bringing voices to my characters. I did say "voices" as in plural because she's that talented! I couldn't have wished for anyone better to work with.

Check it out!!


Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Writer's Tribe - with Author, Joe DeRouen

Today we're talking with Author, Joe DeRouen. Before we get started, let me just tell you if you're looking for a good spooky story, he's your guy! I absolutely loved his book series, Small Things. It's a smores-by-the-campfire treat, sprinked with what-was-that-noise? kind of read. Best of all, the third installment is in the works!




When did you first realize that you were a writer?

I think when I was maybe 12. Before that, I wanted to be a comic book artist. I was pretty good at drawing, but finally realized that wasn’t where my talent was. I need to create stories, to get the words out of my head and down on paper. I wrote my first novel when I was 20, and it was pretty awful, but I’d like to think I’ve improved just a bit over the years!


What inspired you to write your latest novel?

I just turned in LEAP YEAR to my editor, and it should be published later this year. I’ve always had a fascination with the thought that someone born on leap year, if all the stars aligned just right in the universe, might only age one year for every four years that pass. I took that notion and ran with it.


Who is your favorite author?

The late, great Ken Grimwood. His most successful novel was REPLAY, about a man who dies in his 40s and keeps reliving his life over and over again. It’s an amazing novel, one I’ve read at least a dozen times since I first discovered it in 1988. His writing has definitely inspired my own.


Have you ever written a “real life” person into one of your books?

Yes, often. My grandmother is in my debut novel. SMALL THINGS. She had just passed away at the time I was writing the novel, and that was my way of honoring her memory.


Who is the one character you are most proud of/favorite writing and why?

Claire, from MEMORIES OF A GHOST. I think she is, by far, the most complicated character I’ve ever written, and definitely my favorite. If I were to say more, it might spoil the story.


Describe the worst criticism you ever received as a writer, and how you overcame it.

The overuse of certain words. It’s just something you have to watch for, and a good editor will definitely help with that.


How do you stay motivated to write?

By reading. I’m a voracious reader, and that pumps the well of imagination, helping me to get my own ideas out on paper. Also, don’t be afraid to take breaks. If the words aren’t coming, go play a video game or take a walk and come back to your story later.


What are you currently working on?

The third and final book in the SMALL THINGS trilogy. It’s been a long time coming and is about 75% finished.


Would you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?
I’m just a vert. For most of my life, I thought I was an introvert, but as it turned out, I’m just shy. I do gain energy from being around and interacting with people, so I definitely have some extrovert in me, but I also value my alone time. So I am both, or neither, whichever way you want to go with that!


What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Write what YOU want to write. Don’t follow trends. If you write what you’re passionate about, you will improve as a writer and you will gain readers. If you don’t believe in what you’re writing, no one else will. Don’t try to be the next Stephen King or J.K. Rowling; just be you.


Where can readers connect with you?


Website: JoeDeRouen.com

Facebook: Facebook.com/jderouenwriter

Twitter: @jderouen

Email: joe@joederouen.com

Thank you so much for talking with us, Joe! Please keep us posted on the release of your third installment for Small Things!