It's my great pleasure to introduce you to debut author Dalia Dupris. Like me, she believes in the magic of books and is a big reader herself. I was so fascinated by her writerly journey I asked if she would be willing to sit down for an author interview. She agreed. So grab your favorite beverage and join us! Take it away, Dalia.
What is your writing process?
My favorite time to write is in the morning, before anyone else in the house is awake. I like to have a cup of hot tea before I begin to review the work from my previous writing session.
Do you have any odd writing habits?
Nothing that I find odd, however I do visualize the characters before I begin writing and think of the scenes almost as if I am watching a movie.
What book do you wish you could have written?
Kindred, by Octavia Butler.
Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?
Beverly Jenkins, Brenda Jackson, Shirley Hailstock, Nora Roberts and Robin Carr.
If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?
I would have Brandy, the singer, play the main character whose name is Rebecca.
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
I think of the names before I have the plot fully developed. I think of the city they live in and their character type and try to match a name for them.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
In terms of writing, I would say having two debut novels published within a month of each other. Personally, my two biggest accomplishments are my relationships with my husband and daughter.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Well, I already live in sunny California, so this place has some aspects that are very much like Paradise, especially in terms of the weather, which is why, for the most part, my stories are located here. I’d love it if I was still publishing and had several more novels under my belt. That would be super exciting.
Have you always liked to write?
Yes, I have written stories, poems and opinion pieces since I was a child. I have very early exposure to books, magazines and all things literary from an early age.
What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Study the craft of writing, read books, write, edit, submit and repeat until you have a publishable manuscript.
If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?
I’ve been a psychotherapist and a social worker in my past life. I loved that too.
Are you a plotter or a pantster?
I’m a combination of both. I do not do detailed plotting, however, I do have a clear vision of the entire book. As I write, the characters speak up and let me know what details I need to add, change or keep the same.
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
A Whirl With My Mocha-Chocolate Swirl comes out on September 9 and Orange Blossoms-Love Blooms will be released on Oct. 19, so I have only read a couple of reviews so far. They have been positive. I’m preparing myself for the fact that not everyone will love what I write. No, I won’t respond to negative reviews.
What is your best marketing tip?
Give it everything you have. Work hard for the book you’ve spent months, possibly years writing, to be read by as many readers as possible.
What is your least favorite part of the publishing/writing process?
I’m adjusting to the social media aspect and the fact that readers like to feel that they can connect with me as a person.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
I can’t think of any topic that is taboo, although writing about politics can be tricky. Mostly my stories are about universal emotions that everyone can relate to.
Do you have a favorite spot to write? What is it?
I have a converted home office at home, that looks out on a tall, flowering rose bush and what I call my Zen garden.
Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?
Yes, sex scenes. Initially, I was concerned about my family reading them and being shocked, but after all the work and energy that goes into writing, editing, publishing and marketing a novel, I don’t really care what people think as much as I just want them to read the book already.
Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)
This is actually my third book, but it is being published first. My second book will be published in October and the first book I wrote will never see the light of day. I wrote that book before I really put time and energy into learning the craft.
What are you working on now? What is your next project?
I am writing Book 2 in my California Heart Series. I love the story.
Do you write naked?
Have you ever been in trouble with the law?
Never. Thank God. I am a person who very much follows the rules.
Have you ever gotten into a fight?
What secret talents do you have?
I can hold a conversation with anyone. I love talking to people and find them very interesting.
Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
Title: A Whirl With My Mocha-Chocolate Swirl
Author: Dalia Dupris
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher The Wild Rose Press
Rebecca Layton returns to her beachside hometown of Sunnyville, California, determined to explore the possibility of rekindling her past relationship with the love of her life, Raymond Colton. She's devastated to discover that he has moved on and is now engaged.
Raymond Colton harbors resentment towards Rebecca for abandoning him to pursue her dreams of life in the big city. Now she's back and more beautiful than ever. But Raymond's heart has been broken more than once and risking more heartache with Rebecca isn't a gamble he's willing to take.
When Rebecca agrees to use her marketing expertise to help Raymond's father salvage his failing family business--Colton's Ice Creamery--she and Raymond are thrown together, and old flames are ignited. Can they heal the wounds from their past and embrace the possibility of a brighter tomorrow?
“Leah Ann is headed directly for us.” She puckers her lips and looks at me sympathetically. “She’s actually quite nice, and, well, I hope this won’t be awkward.”
“I’m sure it won’t be,” I lie, even as I silently vow not to stare at the infamous engagement ring that the whole town seems to be gushing over.
“Hello, Leah Ann,” Cindy greets her guest, eyes anxiously darting in my direction. “You remember Rebecca.”
“Definitely.” Leah Ann’s voice hasn’t changed since high school. It’s still as soft and sweet as ever. How can I compete with that alluring tone that’s like a siren call for most men? Then again, come to think of it, I’m not competing. My ex is hers. Not her fault. My bad. I left, so there we go.
“It’s good to see you again, Rebecca.”
“You too,” I say with all the sincerity I can muster, while I involuntarily zero in on her jumbo-sized rose quartz crystal. Forcing my stunned gaze away from her delicate fingers, I pretend not to be crestfallen at the physical evidence of her betrothal to the man I love. “I didn’t know you had moved back to town.” Focusing on her distinctive hazel eyes doesn’t make me feel any better. If there were any way I could slink out the exit door without Cindy noticing, I’d be out of here, but, of course, I can’t ditch my best friend at her bridal shower.
“I always loved Sunnyville,” she says while tossing her auburn curls over her shoulder. “After completing my education degree, I was lucky enough to land a job at the elementary school.”
“So lucky.” I nod. “And in so many ways.”
“I will leave you two to get reacquainted.” Cindy appears distracted. She’s peering at Sam, who’s frantically waving to her from the opposite end of the spacious room. “Sam needs me.”
Cindy departs to check on her fiancé, and Leah Anne continues to regale me with stories about the delights of teaching kindergarteners. It all makes sense now—why she isn’t uncomfortable around me—she’d left before Raymond and I had started dating. However, childish it may be, I can’t help wondering if he likes her more than he ever cared for me. Heck, even I like her. She’s gorgeous, smart, and loves kids.
She smiles, and I wonder what toothpaste she uses to get her teeth that white. She’s signaling someone to join us. Moments later, Raymond, looking as awkward and uncomfortable as I feel, saunters over to where we are standing near the punch bowl.. He always did look good in blue, and tonight is no exception.
“Rebecca, you probably know Raymond.” She reaches for his hand, and I inwardly wince. “After all, you two graduated from Sunnyville High. Let’s see…” She bats her incredibly long eyelashes. “I was only at Sunnyville for about three months before we had to move. Did you know each other?”
Raymond has yet to acknowledge my presence, and I can’t stop staring at him. He grunts and clears his throat before finally glancing in my direction. “Yeah, we knew each other.”
“Right, what he said.” Did I really just say that? I’ve lost the power to articulate a coherent sentence as I notice that the room seems eerily silent. I’m probably imagining that people are not-so-discreetly listening in.
“Rebecca and I were close way back in middle school, right?” She runs a perfectly manicured hand through those silky tresses.
“Yep.” I ball my hands into fists, quickly covering the unpolished, slightly nibbled-on nails. The sight of a beautiful woman clinging to Raymond’s arm has stifled my ability to speak and, oddly enough, stimulated my appetite. “Food,” I say, pointing to a cluster of tables directly across from us.
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08FGLDXV1
Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08FGLDXV1
Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08FGLDXV1
I’m one of the authors participating in the Read a Book Month Giveaway and you can win an e-copy of Orange Blossoms-Love Blooms by Dalia Dupris.
Runs September 1 - 30 and is open internationally for most prizes.
Winners will be drawn on October 1, 2020.
I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing and grew up surrounded by a wide variety of books, from westerns to romance novels. I love stories—watching them, listening to them, reading them, and writing them. I have a degree in English Literature and am a licensed psychotherapist. My contemporary novels include complex and diverse characters that grapple with family legacy, love, loss, and laughter as they face the challenges of life. When I’m not working on my next manuscript, you can find me bike riding along the beach with my husband or exploring the mysteries of the universe with my daughter.
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