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.