Author Interview: Denise Walker - Part 1

by - 8:00 PM

Every now and then, I like to take a moment to introduce an author to all of you! With this interview series, I've come to know an amazing group of writers and I want you to know them too! 

For today's installment, I've had the pleasure of interviewing author Denise Walker! I  sent her an in-depth questionnaire with 75 of the most intriguing questions I could come up with! And since Denise is such an amazing interviewee, she took the time to answer every single one of them! So not only do we get one interview with Denise, but we actually get three!

Let's get started :)

About the Author:

  • Where are you from? I am from Edmonton, AB, Canada and I’ve lived here all my life.
  • Are you a full-time writer? If not, what else do you do? Writing is not my day job. I work full-time as an Emergency Communications Officer at Ambulance Dispatch. I take 9-1-1 calls and dispatch ambulances for central Alberta. However, at work I do get downtime here and there and while some people knit or draw, I write.
  • If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be? Why? I would love to do something with wine and food. Become a sommelier and open a winery, hire a skilled chef, maybe even have a literary theme to the branding. Wine is a huge passion of mine, though all of that would be much more labour intensive than writing books!
  • What’s your favorite genre to read? My personal favourite genre is thriller/suspense. I love a book that’s dark and twisted. If it shocks me and my mind is blown by the end, the book has done its job.
  • What’s your favorite book? CREEPERS by David Morrell

About Being an Author:
  • When did you know that you wanted to be an author? I’ve always enjoyed writing, as far back as grade 3 when my short story THE MAGIC HARP was published in the neighbourhood newsletter. The first time I realized I wanted to be a published author, I was 13 or 14 years old. Well, guess what, teenager me, you did it!
  • Were you ever discouraged about pursing your passion? I’ve been lucky enough to never experience someone saying “you can’t do it” or “that’s crazy” or “but there’s no money in that.” I’ve only had people say that they think it’s really cool and that it’s something they could never do themselves. However, negative reviews can really hinder my creative drive, it’s difficult to overcome someone disliking something you worked so hard at.
  • Does your family support your writing career? Yes. My dad was one of the first to finish reading CEDAR VALLEY. My mom teaches English to adults and is an avid reader so she’s always been supportive, however she says my novel is too violent for her. I think she’ll cave and read it soon, though.
  • Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym? Not for this book, but I’ve considered for another that is extremely personal and honestly, a bit scary to write about. It’s a story I need to tell, but I wouldn’t want certain people knowing that I’ve written it. Perhaps I will find the courage to keep it under my real name!
  • Is writing your passion or your hobby? I would have to say both! I don’t occupy my time with much, but writing has always been a constant through the years.
  • What has been your best experience so far as an author? Throwing a launch party for CEDAR VALLEY. I invited all my friends/family/coworkers, there was prosecco and snacks, I did a reading. It was so amazing to celebrate my accomplishment with others. I highly recommend this to everyone!

About Your Book:
  • What gave you the ideas for your most recent work? I was camping with friends and one night around the campfire, one friend said, “What if at a certain age you had to kill your parents?” Dystopian premise at it’s finest. I took that idea and ran with it.
  • What inspired your novel’s cover? My designer and I played with many ideas over many months and decided we wanted something unique and graphic oriented. The inspiration came from an image where the words were buried in flowers. We tweaked that to match the tone of CEDAR VALLEY. I love the final product.
  • What was the hardest part of finishing your novel? Accepting that it was done. As a writer, you tweak and edit and revise and rewrite a million times. Eventually, you have to say enough is enough and let that beautiful book fly free.

About Your Writing:
  • What’s your favorite genre to write? Anything dark. I want my readers to be surprised and entertained.
  • What’s one genre that you secretly want to write? Secretly? Maybe something with more romance. Not erotica romance but I do enjoy a tortured love story now and again.
  • Where do you get your big ideas? Usually when walking, people watching, or when I’m deliriously tired.
  • Did any of your books stem from dreams? Yes, definitely. My current work in progress THE GEMINI BOOK is based on a dream I had.
  • How do you come up with the names for your characters? Sometimes it’s first instinct but with Peter and Ari, I had them labeled as P for protagonist and A for antagonist for a long time before they had real names.
  • Who’s your favorite character you’ve created so far? Why? Definitely Ari. Writing from the antagonist’s point of view was challenging and exhilarating. Peter is a close second. In the beginning, I had created Peter out of necessity but by the end I had fallen in love with him. I hope my future readers enjoy both of them as much as I do!

About the Process:
  • What is your writing process like? I write the 1st draft all at once. No editing, no stopping, just unabashed words on the page. Then I rewrite, revise, replot if I need, and then go through a series of edits. I trade chapters with my critique partner. More edits. Edit a printed version. Then beta readers. Then more edits.
  • Is there any part of the process you wish you could delegate to someone else? Finding plot holes. Through all the revisions, I’m bound to change something and forget to change it in another section.
  • What’s your favorite part of the writing process? The blank page. The very beginning. It’s the moment where absolutely anything is possible.
  • Are you a planner or a pantser? Definitely planner. I will never finish if I don’t have an outline. The creativity just dries up if I don’t know where I am going.
  • Writers block, how do you cope with it? Many say writer’s block doesn’t exist and I am inclined to agree with them. If you just start writing, the words will come. Even if it is a heap of garbage.
Author Bio:

Denise Walker is an indie writer based out of a tiny apartment in Edmonton, AB. Between dreaming up imaginary people in imaginary worlds, she enjoys fine wine, good food, and travelling. She works full-time as an Emergency Communications Officer at Ambulance Dispatch which provides her with a unique insight into people and crisis.

If you want to follow up with the author or purchase a copy of her books, please follow these links: 

Have another question for the author? Ask it in the comments below!

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