Spotlight on Debbie DeLouise
I’m happy to welcome author Debbie DeLouise to my blog. Today, Debbie shares her writing journey and novels.
My writing journey began when I was a child and enjoyed and excelled at creative writing in school. My publishing journey, however, took a bit longer. My first published piece, unless you count the articles I wrote for my college newspaper, was an article about my cats for Cat Fancy Magazine. Several pet articles followed before I published my first story, “Stitches in Time,” in Cat Crimes Through Time, a mystery anthology compiled by Edward Gorman and Martin Howard Greenberg in 2001. It took seven more years before I published my first book, Cloudy Rainbow, that was recently reprinted by my current publisher. I wrote this paranormal romance after my cat Floppy died and featured him in it as a character. Told through flashbacks of each of the five main characters, this book was originally self-published and contained some of my own personal experience working as features editor on my college newspaper.
The original Cloudy Rainbow was self-published and, as a new writer, I had no experience marketing it, so not many people purchased it. Also, at the time, I had a young daughter and was working full-time as a reference librarian at my local library. I couldn’t find the time to write another book. I would’ve been a one-hit wonder if it wasn’t for a patron at my library who’d read my book and encouraged me to keep writing. I kept putting it off but finally, in 2015, I started a mystery that I ended up selling to a small publisher. That mystery, A Stone’s Throw, became the first book of my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series. When I first published it, I didn’t consider it a cozy or the start of a series. I thought it was a romantic suspense standalone novel, but reviewers called it a cozy because it took place in a small town, featured quirky characters, and even two pets – a library Siamese cat called Sneaky and a golden retriever dog named Fido.
After I finished A Stone’s Throw, I decided to write another book with the same characters because they’d grown on me, and I had an idea for a mystery that took place in the town near the holidays. When I finished Between a Rock and a Hard Place, I found a different publisher who I not only sold the manuscript to but who also requested the first book. I’ve been with that publisher, Solstice Publishing, since 2016 and now have four books in the Cobble Cove mystery series. My latest, Love on the Rocks, is a Valentine’s Day themed mystery that introduces a Calico kitten. KittyKai is the name of a real-life cat whose owner won my newsletter contest when I was seeking the name and breed for a new character cat for my series.
Besides my Cobble Cove books, I also have a standalone mystery, Reason to Die, that involves murders of handicapped residents of a small town, nearly a dozen short stories of various genres, and a romantic comedy novella, When Jack Trumps Ace.
I’m currently working on another short mystery story and hope to finish a half-way completed paranormal mystery that includes a ghost cat. In addition, I have a psychological thriller and the first book of another cozy mystery series that I’m querying to agents in the hope of publishing with a larger publisher. However, I also want to continue my Cobble Cove series with Solstice, as I have an idea for the fifth book.
As with most writers, my journey has had its ups and downs. I never realized how much time and work went into publishing books and how difficult it is to gain followers in the overcrowded book market. I’m active on social media where I promote my eBooks as well as my paperbacks on Facebook and Twitter and also try to reach local fans by appearing at author events at libraries and book fairs. I’ll be at a holiday book fair in Islip with the Long Island Author’s Group on Saturday, December 8 and at the Broadway Commons in Hicksville on Sunday, December 15.
Where to find Debbie…