It is my pleasure to feature D.A. Serra and Primal.
I hope you enjoy the interview!
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I always wrote: as a
little girl I wrote limericks and long-winded birthday cards, as a teenaged
girl I wrote morose romantic heartbreak poetry (of course), and as an adult I
moved toward more complicated prose. So,
while writing has always been a natural part of my life, it took me a long time
to see it as a possible career; consequently, there was no specific moment when
I knew I was a writer – but there was a specific moment when I committed to
making a living at it. That was when I
moved to Los Angeles from New York and started working in the television
industry. I knew that if I was going to
support myself I needed to be where the work was. So, that was how I began.
How many jobs did you have before you became a writer?
Before I committed to a career as a writer, I probably had
nine or ten other jobs. I wasn’t happy at any of them. I was an exceptionally
hard-worker, and I cared a great deal about doing the job perfectly, but I was
too sensitive, and not political enough, for an office or retail environment.
How long does it take you to write a book?
It is widely variable and depends mostly on how good my
outline is, and how intricate my theme.
I have one book I’ve been writing on-and-off for seven years, and
another I finished in six months. Since
I came from the film and TV world, and there you are forced to write in stages,
I am used to having a fairly good outline.
My thriller, Primal, is a bit
different, because I wrote it as a speculative screenplay first. I had a loose outline in my mind when I began
the screenplay, but I was free to move around in the plot, since it wasn’t a
studio assignment. I was delighted when
it sold to James Cameron. The film rights
are now with FOX and I’m grateful to them for giving me the rights to turn it
into a novel. I loved fleshing it out
and going deeper. It went quite quickly
from screenplay to novel since the script functioned as an excellent outline.
What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
I open my eyes and start writing. I begin writing in the morning, before I’m
even out of bed. After a bit, I get up
and dress – but I start while barely awake.
My husband hands me a cup of coffee in bed around 6:30 a.m., I roll over
and open my computer.
Do you have a routine to get into the right frame of mind?
I need coffee while I write.
I don’t know why exactly. For me,
there is something very comforting about a hot frothy cup of coffee. It makes me feel like musing.
How do you decide what to write about?
I am regularly bombarded by things I want to write, and most
specifically by phrases that pop into my head.
It is a matter of culling and choosing for me. Nine times out of ten, I will gravitate toward
a character, or an interesting philosophical idea, before I will be captivated
by a plot device. And I am always
writing several different projects at a time.
Currently, I’m working on a humorous non-fiction travel memoir, on
another thriller with a young girl as the protagonist, and on a very serious
novel exploring the idea of Free Will and the unconscious. That one is in final editing, so I’m most
excited about it.
What is the first book you remember reading by yourself?
Charlotte’s Web –
I still feel my fingers gripping the pages of that book.
What is your favorite comfort food?
Spaghetti with butter & cheese – any day – all day –
when sick, when well, no matter.
What book, if any, do you read over and over again?
There are a number of books I pick up over and over: Bel
Canto by Ann Patchett, A Supposedly
Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace, any of the hinges of
history series written by Thomas Cahill.
Dogs – all the way!
Coffee – see above
Dark dark dark chocolate – yum
Flowers (does someone like rocks?)
Night time is the best time – work is done and the wine is
More About the Author: Deborah Serra was a screenwriter for twenty years and recognized by the Writer’s Guild for her long term continuous employment. She has written ten TV movies, four feature films, and numerous TV episodes including two years as a staff writer for NBC. She worked for top producers, directors, and actors. She has taught writing at the University of California, San Diego, Wofford College and at writers’ conferences nationwide. Serra has now turned her attention to novels, and she was honored as a recent recipient of the prestigious Hawthornden Literary Fellowship, and as a semi-finalist for the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Award given by the Faulkner Society in New Orleans, LA. ~~~ Deborah’s Website.
Primal by D.A. Serra
What if the worst happens and you are not a cop, or a spy with weapons training and an iron heart? What if you're a schoolteacher - a mother? In this gritty crime thriller a family vacation takes a vicious turn when a fishing camp is invaded by four armed men. With nothing except her brains, her will, and the element of surprise on her side, Alison must kill or watch her family die. And then - things get worse.
This virtual book tour is presented by Teddy Rose at Virtual Author Book Tours.