I have the pleasure and honor of getting to know authors, writers and poets. I get to share a bit about these lovely people I meet with you, my blog readers.
Interview with Author Deanna Sletten – author of Memories
Please share a bit about your background (where you were born, where you grew up, your siblings, your career, where you live now, etc)
I grew up in southern California and moved to northern Minnesota in my late teens. I went from a high school of 4,000 students to one where there were only 25 kids in the entire 10th grade! Quite a change for a California girl! But I survived and still live here in the northwoods, enjoying the beauty and peace and quiet – everything an author needs! I have two older brothers, so I was a complete tomboy growing up trying to keep up with them. After high school, I went to college for Accounting, but along the way I was inspired to change my major to English and begin a writing career. I’ve been married to my husband forever and we have two wonderful grown children. When I’m not writing, I enjoy reading, hiking and going out on the lake in our boat on a beautiful summer day.
What inspired you to begin writing?
Growing up, I did enjoy writing stories and even attempted to write my first novel (a Nancy Drew style novel that will never see the light of day) when I was around ten years old. But I never seriously considered writing for a living until two of my college English professors told me it would be a shame if I didn’t become a writer. Quite a compliment! I began learning more about writing and for the next twenty-odd years I wrote for newspapers, regional magazines and then websites. Also during that time, while raising my two children, I wrote two of my novels and began several more. I finally took the plunge last November and self-published those two and my latest novel, Memories.
Please share about your latest book, Memories.
Memories is a love story that goes beyond the usual romance novel. The main characters, Michael and Dani, met years before and then were separated suddenly. Years later they meet again, and although Michael is thrilled to see Dani, she has a strong hatred for him and he doesn’t understand why. The story unfolds as Michael slowly learns the reason for Dani’s hatred of him and, as they try to reconnect, a tragedy occurs that once again takes Michael away from Dani. As Michael tries to come to terms with this new tragedy as well as with his PTSD from his Vietnam War experience, he also tries to find his way back to Dani, the only woman who ever really understood him completely.
Readers have found themselves touched by Michael and Dani’s story and even though it brings some people to tears, they also enjoy the heartwarming story of these two lovers desperate to find a way back to each other.
How did you decide to publish this book? Why?
Memories is actually the very first novel I ever wrote, and it had been sitting in a drawer for years after several agents and publishers rejected it. I self-published my other two books first because I wasn’t completely sure that readers would enjoy Memories. But after taking it out of the drawer, dusting it off, and making a few revisions, I decided it was a strong story that people might enjoy. I’m so happy that I did self-publish it. Readers have left many positive reviews and I’m so happy that they are enjoying it.
What is the best advice you ever received about writing?
To not worry about whether or not what I’m writing is perfect at first, just start writing and I can always go back and make changes later. So often, writers get stuck because they want that perfect first sentence or phrase. But if you just start writing, at some point the right words will fall into place and you will eventually finish that short story or novel you wanted to write.
What advice would you give to beginning writers?
Read everything you can about the business of writing. Make sure you understand the sale of manuscript rights, copyright laws, and about your publishing options. I’m always amazed when an author jumps at the first chance to publish their novel and signs away their rights. You don’t want to unwittingly give away the rights to your novel, so always read the fine print at the bottom of the page (or website) and if you don’t understand what you are signing, then ask someone to help you.
Most writers are readers. Share a few books on your currently reading and must read lists.
I love reading. Over the past year, I’ve been reading books by several independent authors and have been enjoying them immensely. I just finished reading “The Phantom Student” by Ann Swann and “Lucky Ducks” by Jan Romes. Currently, I’m reading a brand new romance novel by Ann Swann titled “All For Love”. So far, it is absolutely riveting. I have a very long to-read list. Some of the books on my to-read list are: “Broken Glass” by Tabitha Freeman, “One Pink Line” by Dina Silver and the entire Joilie Wilkins series by H.P. Mallory.
Where can others find out more about you and your book? (Please add links to website, blog and social media links)
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Romance
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/memories-deanna-sletten/1110466739?ean=2940014845793
Widow, Virgin, Whore
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Family Drama
Genre: Children’s-Middle Grade Fiction/Action/Adventure
How to find me online:
Just a question for fun sake—what was your favorite birthday present and why?
Last year my two children surprised me with a beautiful diamond mother’s necklace – quite unexpected! I love this necklace and wear it all the time because it always reminds me of them when I’m wearing it.
Deanna Lynn Sletten is a novelist who writes women’s fiction and has also written one middle-grade fiction action/adventure novel. Her novels include Memories, Widow, Virgin, Whore and Outlaw Heroes. She started her writing career as a freelance writer for parenting publications in the early 1990s and transitioned to writing for blogs and websites until she made the jump to novelist. Deanna is married and has two grown children. When not writing, Deanna enjoys walking the trails around her northern Minnesota home with her beautiful Australian Shepherd.