Name D.M. Denovi
Where are you from Las Vegas, Nevada
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
The excitement never ends. With the conclusion and recent e-book release of Clara’s Bible, I’m taking a few weeks to structure a storyline for my next novel. In tandem with the latest release, I have also started the outline and first season of a series that I hope to span into ten seasons. An ongoing work in progress, I’m hopeful to be able to release the first season in episodes sometime beginning next year.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
When I was around 19 years old, I began to write my first book; however, back then, I didn’t own a computer, so I resorted to a thrift shop typewriter that used ribbons. On my tiny income, paper was a luxury that I just couldn’t afford. Needless to say, I gave up.
Although the desire to write was always lurking in the back of my mind, I never took the nagging seriously until 2014. One day in August, I found myself bored with TV and the internet. My husband asked me what I felt like doing. I responded, “I’m going to write a book.”
Once I plunked the first chapter into my word processor, I couldn’t stop until the first draft was finished. Into the Wilderness was intended to be a one-time stint, an accomplishment to mark an item off my bucket list, “write a book.” But I had the writing fever and felt lost, incomplete without something in the works. Into the Wilderness spiraled into a trilogy, which gave me and my characters closure; and five books later and, not quite, two years later, I finally have the long awaited answer to a burning question, “What do I want to do with my life?”
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The moment that I typed the words The End to conclude Into the Wilderness I felt like a writer; not a moment before. There is a powerful sense of wholeness when you dream it, write it and complete it. At 47 years old, I ask myself, “what did I do before writing?”; and although I began my journey just under two years ago, I can’t remember honestly what I did to keep my mind occupied.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Each book I have written was inspired by an odd dream. Luckily, I have vivid dreams (in color) at least two times per week; and gratefully, I remember those dreams with clarity. The dreams in their entirety don’t make up the storyline for the book; however a fragmented scene prompted me to reread the Revelation. From there, I took a stroll down memory lane to my Catholic School days and realized that the fragment in my dream would make a great story.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
In the process of writing my first book, I was timid, afraid to say something that may sound too terse; after all, my family and friends would eventually read it. I ended up, after two chapters, deleting the entire contents and rewriting it in a voice that felt comfortable to the story, a British male voice; and I set my fear of judgment aside, which I believe was the pivotal point that allowed me to hear the voice and style in which the story should be told.
Every story is different; and, as such, I have written in different perspectives. The trilogy, Into the Wilderness, was written in third-person perspective. The Blog and Clara’s Bible didn’t sound right in third-person and both novels, I knew, had to be written in a first-person’s perspective.
A third-person narrative gave me a broad range of content to release any time at my will; however, first-person presented me with the challenge of telling someone else’s story, relaying someone else’s feelings, etc.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Each title formed as I began writing the book. The trilogy: Into the Wilderness (book 1); The Last Time (book 2); Half a Time (book 3) were titled using the appropriate and respective events outlined in Revelation.
For The Blog, I had originally considered the title, Dante’s Blog, but after searching the internet for anything of the same name, I discovered that someone else had an actual blog with that title. I went with the simple title, The Blog.
Clara’s Bible was a bit more difficult to title. Originally, I called it A Diary in Hell, but that title conveyed a different feel for the book’s contents. Clara’s Bible is actually two stories, Daisy’s and Clara’s, both from different time periods. The simple title, Clara’s Bible, conveyed realistically the mood and message of the story.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
In all of my novels, the message is clear. Good is good and evil is evil. There is no fine line between the two characteristics. Although evil rears its ugly head in our lives daily, each and every one of my characters deals with the consequences of their choice in how they conquer adversity throughout the course of their trials. Do they fight fire with fire or do they challenge evil with a mighty sword of light?
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Very little of my storylines follow true experiences; however, personalities and traits of people I have known, both good and bad, bleed into my characters. The Blog’s main character, Dani, represents a combination of the self-absorbed, power driven female egotists that I have encountered in my life.
Dani was a hard character for me to write, especially in first-person, due to a conflict with my own values and moral beliefs. She’s a nasty creature, a self-serving charlatan who justifies her toxic behavior as a deserving reward for defeating the obstacles in her life.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
As cliché as it may sound, the Holy Bible has influenced my reaction to obstacles in my own life. A series of stories that involve lust, greed, murder, sin and redemption, I find myself inspired, horrified, intrigued and paranoid from the words.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
There are so many that naming a few would be an injustice to all of the other works I adore.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My adored friend, Jen. Fifteen years of her marriage were spent taking care of her husband, who was suffering from cancer. Her compassion and endurance in a situation that most run away from showed me that strength and hope still exist in this world.
With a whirlwind of pain and suffering surrounding her days, I have never seen Jen without a smile; and in the midst of her turmoil, Jen encouraged me to continue writing and helped me shed the fear of judgment.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Eventually. If I work hard enough, I hope to realize the dream of tucking myself away in a small town, away from the city, and awake every morning to a steaming cup of Italian roast coffee as I pull up my chair write. Until then, my adventures will remain an ongoing hobby. Everything in its own time, so they say.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not a thing. My initial concept of the story was much different and the ending I had carved out initially is lost somewhere amidst a stack of scribbles and notes in my closet. With each and every novel, the story takes over and breathes on its own. Being an extremely fast typist, I let it flow. Clara’s Bible, as well as my other novels, have their own story to tell. After the characters are developed, I let them tell their story.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I can’t pinpoint a particular instance, but the desire to write was always there. Perhaps a lack of self-confidence kept me from moving forward. Perhaps fear of being judged prevented me from continuing on that path.
A tomboy, I remember cutting English class in high school to work on my car. It’s ironic that I am now living and breathing to write, and I drop my car off to get an oil change. Life is funny, but I believe that it leads you eventually to your true path.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Not much at this time. I have two projects in the works: a series involving computer hackers; and a novel involving the kidnapping of a psychiatrist. Aside from that, it’s all I can tell you right now.
You may read an excerpt of Clara’s Bible and my other works by clicking the “look inside” button on my Amazon author page.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
An impatient reader, I need continual movement and action. As such, I write from my head and take for granted that my readers can see the characters as I see them in my mind. I spend a great deal of time picking through my original manuscripts to describe the characters and scenes for the reader. Always a work in progress, I am learning continually from each book. Thankfully, the writer community is a beautiful network of creators who embrace each other with support and a healthy, genuine camaraderie. I am grateful for my fellow writers’ advice, which serves to cultivate me as a writer.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No. As a new, independent author, I am embarking on the journey gradually. My number one goal is to write and produce enough material to feel comfortable both mentally and financially in the arena.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Having multi-interests in programming, graphic design, photography and video editing, I have designed all of my book covers. With Clara’s Bible, I had initially resolved to creating the shack using various software programs. Luckily, my good friend, Maureen, a professional photographer, released the use of one of her photographs to be used in the design of the cover. Although I used only a small portion of the photo, I am so pleased with the result of Clara’s Bible cover.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Editing, editing, editing. I write quickly, sometimes closing my eyes and letting my fingers tap away like playing a piano. The aftermath, however, requires a great deal of reworking. Editing is the rewarding part; however, it’s also the tedious smack in the face when I reread something and ask myself, “What were you thinking?”
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
With five books under my belt, I have learned a great deal. Grammar is number one. My aunt, a retired English teacher, edited my first book. The greatest lessons that I learned from my first book are: don’t write like you speak; don’t assume that your reader knows what you’re talking about, show them; don’t take for granted that your reader remembers what you described three chapters ago – remind them.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead
Heavens no; however, I do want to appear as one of the non-frequent characters, for example, Madame Fulce of Into the Wilderness.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
No matter how bad you think it may be, finish it. Everyone has a story or more to tell. There are so many lessons to be learned from that first book; and, though it may not be the one that propels you, it’s your first baby.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I love you! Thank you putting your time in my hands. There is nothing more rewarding than knowing that someone, somewhere has immersed their heart and soul into a world that I created.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Believe it or not, I am a very slow reader. I touch type at over 100wpm, which has earned me the nickname, “Chipper” – like a chipmunk tapping away at the acorn; but I read much slower than I can write (aging eyes don’t help much.)
Currently, I am inching my way through Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank. Originally published in 1959, this gem tells the story of “The day after the bomb dropped.”
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Short, snarky, dry humor (Monty Python) and sarcasm always prove a genuine gut-tickle; death, loss and onions are guaranteed to make me cry.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Oprah Winfrey – not in an official capacity; but, for a cup of coffee. An amazing woman, Oprah captured my heart at an early age. Her journey through a gauntlet of racism and female discrimination has always inspired me to believe that we can accomplish anything our hearts desire.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Well, no headstone, but I would like my urn to read, “Wrote my way out of hell and am now urning a new life!”
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Video, animation and video editing are my once first, now second love.
PS3 (now 4), Baby. Third-person, action adventure (I love you, Naughty Dog): Uncharted and The Last of Us, Tomb Raider, Darksiders (please, bring on the final two horsemen) and the oldies but goodies, Headhunter, Shadowman, Pacman, Tempest and Asteroids. And Batman Arkham Asylum, you punked me – I restarted my PS3 several times before realizing that it wasn’t a system glitch. Nice one!!!
Every now and then I’ll tickle the ivory or pick up my five string banjo; but, that’s not often enough.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
The select and elite: The X-Files, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones; and on my British preference: Keeping Up Appearances (Bucket residence, lady of the house speaking) , Father Ted (I’ve been drinking like a mad eejit), Fawlty Towers (Farty Towels), Monty Python (get me a bucket).
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
If the end of the world arrived and I had my choice of any ethnic cuisine, hands down Mexican food. Although a majority of my wardrobe has a shade of pink, Hunter Green is my favorite color. Music – well, that’s easy. ALL OF IT!
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I might have climbed Mt. Everest, nah, altitude; or I may have become an archaeologist, nah, King Tut kind of freaks me out; or I may have been an astronaut, nah – Think I’ll just write about’em.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
My website is: www.dmdenovi.com
I don’t blog, although, for the series that I’m working on, I may start my first blog and take your through season 1. To be foreseen.
Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/D.M.-Denovi/e/B00N82WU50
The Blog and Clara’s Bible are free today, June 4, 2016, and tomorrow, June 5, 20016
Thank you, Fiona, for your kind invitation. Not only did I enjoy taking the time to complete the interview, but I learned something from questions that I would never have asked myself.