No longer seeking employment- Now I will work from home WRITING.
Changing careers was a choice I made out of survival, not on purpose. Not once in my life did I ever think “switching gears” would be a phrase written or spoken about me and my life. I mean really- here I was heading down the pike to the days of retirement, or so I thought, at the company where I worked in healthcare management for the past sixteen years. Little did I know that was not at all the plan; at least not retirement with that particular company.
No one likes to hear the word “downsized”, but I did hear it and was heartbroken. The abyss was dark and never-ending as I searched for employment; not in the old conventional way as I had done long ago, but on the internet. I pounded a keyboard instead of scouring the want ads and then pounding the pavement.How times have changed.
It seemed that no matter how hard I ‘pounded’; how well I interviewed; or how good a fit or asset I could be for a company, I was not hired. Someone was more qualified, or I even thought, much younger than I and the words ‘age discrimination’ popped into my head a few times. I never disclosed how old I am and I know I do not look my age – so what was the deal?
Here I was, full of not just life experiences; but on the job experiences as well, and yet no job. My worries about growing older every day played havoc with my mental being; I was not getting any younger.
With no job but plenty of time, and not being the “sit on the couch watching soap operas eating bonbons” type, I looked diligently for work daily. But what was I to do with the other 23 hours of the day? Sit and fret because I was not getting any younger or cry about who wants to hire an over fifty-year-old woman? No. I got back to my dream. I never thought my intended fate would be to become an actual author, but I did.
Being jobless gave me ample time to do what I loved to do most: write. I needed to see if I had a book in me. Therefore, I picked up the proverbial ‘pen’ and I wrote. I pulled my bootstraps up, sat at my computer, and pulled up the novel I started in 2007. By golly, ten years after starting it I finally typed “The End”. This was the start of my getting back to writing to stay busy to keep my mind off my immediate employment worries.
Fifteen months later, and still without a job, a longtime dream became a reality with a published children’s e-book. This accomplishment pushed me to work on an idea of a crime novel while I continued to look for work. Ten months from when I began writing this particular novel, an offer from a publisher landed in my email! I’ve since completed the second novel in this series and am working on the third.
The most satisfying chapter
Becoming published was the prompt I needed to be able to say, “I have switched gears”- and take that leap of faith. A writing career was something I needed to pursue, and I knew then my life was just beginning. Being downsized ended one phase of my life and pushed me into the next by providing me with time to pursue my passion. It was time to live again!
The adage that life begins or ends at a certain age is just that, an old proverb if you will. Life can truly begin at any age, not just at one of those milestone ages we assume will suddenly be the one where we finally “start our life”. Unfortunately, life can abruptly end at any time too. We can end one chapter to begin a new one at any time; and not write “the end” due to our age. Age is just a number, everyone says that – and with good reason. It is true.
At this point in my life I plan to focus on my dreams, dreams that are now a reality. I am beginning what I believe will be the longest and most satisfying years of my life!
Author of Gracie’s Stories
Deanna King has been writing since 1986 but, as it does for many writers, life got in the way. She wrote when she could but with kids, a husband, work, work, and more work, she wasn’t able to dedicate very much time to her writing. After 16 years of working at the same company, Deanna was downsized from her job. While job loss is always difficult to handle, Deanna turned this into an opportunity to focus entirely on her writing for the first time in her life. Publishing a book was always something she dreamed of doing, and now, with the support of her family, she was determined to pursue it. One night when she couldn’t sleep, the idea for Gracie's Stories came to her! The next morning she started writing out all her ideas, and it flowed onto the paper so naturally. Deanna was just looking for an opportunity and a publisher who believed in her. The Publishing Project gave her that chance! Deanna hopes that Gracie’s Stories will sweep readers out of their everyday lives and into a place where they can smile, laugh, and root for the hero! Download Gracie’s Stories here https://www.ebooks2go.com/searchebooks?q=Deanna+King
Thank you for participating in Who’s That Indie Author, a regular feature on Book Club Mom.
What’s your story and how did you become a writer?
I've loved to read since I was 8 years-old. I began writing in my Jr. year of High School but not seriously. In 1996, I began writing again romance/with a hit of intrigue or history- yet never finished any manuscript, as my life ( husband-kids –work- divorce-kids- work and single life) got in the way of 'my life'. Met a man and remarried after 24 years of being single. A few years later, downsized from my position, I found myself with plenty of time and support from my husband, and picked up the proverbial pen.
How do you balance your work with other demands? By setting myself a schedule for a daily routine, be it marketing- scheduling book events- to home chores and personal chores. Once these are out of the way on the days they need to be cared for I try to write- re-write- or research- My biggest goal as of late is trying to find more time to write and stay in the groove.
Name one of the happiest moments in your life: The births of my children
What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner?
Pantser- I keep a white board with all important story lines& people so I do not leave any story holes
Could you write in a café with people around? Absolutely not.
Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it?
Yes- some dialogue- RESEARCH on Google
What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now? No favorites- there are too many books I truly love- as I kid though, I loved Charlotte's Web & the classics . Currently reading The Last Precinct by Patricia Cornwell
What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader? Hard cover or paperback I love turning to the next page
Do you think print books will always be around? YES!
Would you ever read a book on your phone? No
What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else? I use the I-pad- not for reading
How long could you go without checking your phone? All day
Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening? No
Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform? Yes- Face Book and LinkedIn
Website and social media links: ( working on website ) FB- Deanna King Writing- LinkedIn- Deanna King- Twitter- @DKingnovelist
Awards/special recognition: None ( yet)
WordPress: bvitelli2002.wordpress.com Book reviews, author biographies, guest blogs, interviews, original fiction
First off, thank you so much for taking the time for the interview!
1) Welcome to Uncaged! You just released a book, Twist of Fate, a Jack West novel. Is this the start of a new series for you? Can you tell readers more about your vision for this series?
Yes, it is. I am very excited about this series. My publisher had slated my second and third Jack West Novels for release between February 2021 and October 202. Crime is not new, so what I hope is to take the age old 'whodunit' and keep the reader engaged and on the edge of their seats. Since the backdrop is Houston, Texas, my detective will more often than not, always have two cases to work in each book.
2) You’ve also written one children’s book, Gracie’s Stories, and are you planning on writing more children’s books?
Absolutely, I have several story ideas but have yet to dive into this project. Gracie's Stories is about adapting to changes, and I loved being a six-year-old- girl again. My plans are to touch on things that are important to talk to your kids about, but from a kid's point of view. Scary secrets-Bullying- Peer Pressure (even at a young age)-Pet Responsibilities. I was challenged by a new reader to add in Home-Schooling during a Pandemic. (I might have to do some interviewing since my kids are all adults.
3) What are you working on now that you can tell us about?
One thing I want to mention is my first Fantasy Novel, with time travel and a lot of magic, releases August 13, 2020. 'Saving A Sioux Legacy-The Story of Blaze'. The back drop for this novel involves the American Sioux Indian and magic. There was a lot of research put into this novel about the Sioux Indians. I have several projects going- it just depends on the day and where my head is. The fourth Jack West Novel is in the works, and the second fantasy novel started. Another idea I've been toying around with an idea of taking a character from my Jack West Series and creating a break out character, a new protagonist. I also have a new one book idea, but I am keeping that to myself right now. Don't want to give anything away!
4) How has the coronavirus pandemic changed your lifestyle?
Oh gosh, I miss people! They say most authors are introverts, and I can understand that and why. However, not me, I am an extrovert to the max! Meeting new readers, telling them about my books and projects — I love book events and I had a full calendar for 2020. When this pandemic put the brakes on, I felt as if I got whiplash! I also love to smile and see smiles, but that has changed,at least for now.
5) Do you write full-time or part-time? Does your family/colleagues read your books?
I write full-time and have a supportive husband who believes in my work, and he also brings home a paycheck. (Lol) It is a long story on how I got to this point, so let's just say that fate took over my professional life. Past colleagues have read the crime novel and have been supportive. I do not come from a family of 'readers'— a couple of family members have read my work and thankfully enjoyed the read. You know, family critiques are scary!
6) Past or present, which authors would you love to sit and have lunch with and why?
Mickey Spillane.The man was ahead of his time. He never considered himself a novelist. He wrote for money when he needed money. His first Mike Hammer novel, I, The Jury written in 19 days! He is a master of the hardboiled detective stories. Hmm, there are so many to choose from. Michael Connelly. I'd like an inside look in to his thought processes when he writes about Harry Bosch.E. B. White. Charlottes' Webb was an all-time favorite as a kid. I'd love to pick his brain about how he comes up with his stories and learn about his make believe world.
7) Have any of your characters ever done something that you didn’t intend when you began?
I am laughing right now because I really never know what my characters are going to do until I write it.They (my characters) surprise me at every turn. I do not outline, I write. Words appear from my brain to my fingertips as I type. I keep notes on a whiteboard for the story I am working. My Beta readers read the rough drafts of a finished manuscript to let me know a multitude of things. They make comments such as; I can’t wait to find out why Jack's new captain hates him. When I reply back I say, yeah, me too!
8) What are some things you like to do to relax when you aren’t writing or working?
I really did like yard work until I found out I am allergic to 'outside'. My husband and I will pick a series and begin with the pilot and watch it thru to the end, sometimes binging on the weekends. When time permits, I like to travel. I love the movies (popcorn!) and reading.
9) What does success as an author look like to you?
I feel as most authors might say that success is having your name and title on the New York Times Best-Selling Author's list. Of course that would be outstanding. I feel successful when I have written a story that has entertained the reader, giving them an alternate world to run to, escaping reality for at least an hour. When I have a reader who gets invested into my fictional characters caring about them as if they were actual people makes me successful. My first achieved success was when I typed 'The End', because I accomplished what I set out to do- 'write a book.'
10) Do you prefer ebooks, audiobooks or physical books? Are you reading anything now?
A physical book, always! The feel of the paper, the turning of the page- it's how I love to read! I've been reading (off and on) "Book of The Dead" by Patricia Cornwell.
11) What would you like to say to fans, and where can they follow you?
Thank you for believing in me enough to purchase my novel and giving me the chance to entertain you. Second, please give the book a review. In this day and time, word of mouth is terrific, but as we are a world that is internet based, authors depended highly on what others say- especially on Amazon.My Website is DeannaKingWriting.com- Face Book- Deanna King Writing- if you message me I will answer you!