Author Interview: Denise Walker - Part 2

by - 7:00 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!

Part I | Part II | Part III

About the Author:
  • Be honest, do you judge a book by its cover? Yes! Absolutely, yes. The cover is vital. When it comes to books, first impressions are everything. I’ll be really honest now: I have purchased mediocre books because they have beautiful covers, and I have skipped over good books because their covers were sloppy (this pertains mostly to self-published authors). To me, the cover reflects the passion the author has for their work.
  • If you had the power to unread a book, which book would you choose? Why? I wouldn’t want to unread a book because I disliked it, however there are a few I’d love to unread so I could read them again for the first time. My favourite book, CREEPERS by David Morrell is one of those. And, don’t judge now, THE HOST by Stephanie Meyer.
  • Who has been your biggest inspiration so far? I’d have to say David Morrell. He has a few short horror story collections that feature a preface before each tale. In one he mentions his University writing mentor and how he unlocked his ability to dig deep and really find what is truly scary. I took the same advice and it led to my first adult attempt at writing a novel. Maybe I’ll tell you about it some day.
  • If you could tell your younger writer self anything, what would it be? STOP USING SO MANY WORDS. Less is more. All my teenage musings were rambly and muddled with extraneous words. Cut that shit out.

About Being an Author:
  • What’s one thing you said you’d never do as an author? Have you? I really didn’t want to bombard social media, especially twitter, with endless self-promotional posts. I think I’ve been successful at that so far. I believe a fan base comes from making meaningful, personal connections, not shoving your work down people’s throats.
  • What does author success look like to you? Have you achieved it yet? Author success to me is learning that a complete stranger has read your book. Someone who organically chose your work as their next read. I believe I have achieved that though it is difficult to tell who exactly buys your book unless they review it.
  • What is your ultimate author goal? What are you doing to make it happen? Or is something awesome already in the works? I would love to become somewhat of a household name in my city. With social media the way it is, I think it’s attainable. I have unofficially been offered a vendor booth at some popular farmers markets this summer so hopefully my fellow Edmontonians will meet me and buy my work!
  • Do you read your book reviews? If so, how do you react/cope with them? I do read them. Most have been very positive. My most honest review came from a coworker in person and it definitely hit me hard. However hard it may be, I have to remember that my book and my writing style are not for everyone.
  • Do you Google yourself? What’s the funniest thing you’ve found? I have never done this but hold on, I’m entering my name into google as we speak. Oh, hey! My twitter handle is the 7th result. That ain’t bad. And the 3rd image is me sipping wine in Venice. Not bad at all.

About Your Book:
  • Is your book a part of a series? If so, can you give us a little preview of something that’s ahead? Because of the ending, many of my readers ask me if there will be a sequel, but no, CEDAR VALLEY is a stand alone book.
  • Which formats are available for your books? Kindle and paperback.
  • If you had to compare your book to another published work, what would it be? Why? That’s a hard question. I tried to create a story that was unlike anything I’ve read. If I had to say, my antagonist is reminiscent of Caroline Kepnes’ YOU.
About Your Writing:
  • If you could spend time with one of your characters, who would it be and why? I’d take Peter for a drink. I’d tell him how sorry I am for all the hell I put him through.
  • Do you have any new projects coming out? Nothing in the immediate future. My next novel, THE GEMINI BOOK, I hope to have out late 2017/early 2018.
  • What’s your favorite piece of work so far? CEDAR VALLEY as it’s my one and only, but I have a feeling it will always be my favourite as it was my first.
  • Are there any secrets or patterns hidden in your writing? Well, that would be a secret.
  • Do you try to include a moral or lesson in your writing? Nothing outright, but I think there are things that the reader can take away from my work. Things to think about.
  • What’s the hardest scene you’ve ever had to write? *Trigger warning* for cutting. I used to self-harm and there is a scene in my work in progress BROTHER that was extremely personal and definitely hit home. That whole book is hard to write.
  • What made you choose to publish the debut novel that you did? I’m sure that you had other awesome ideas to work with :) CEDAR VALLEY was the first novel I ever completed. I could have focused on something else unfinished but there was something about having a completed work. I couldn’t let go of the idea that publishing was now achievable. I didn’t want to push it back any longer than I needed to.

About the Process:
  • How often/how much do you write? During NaNoWriMo, 1k-2k/day. When I am editing, it’s about a chapter/day, but that’s all based on time and motivation. I’d like to write more often, to be honest.
  • What does your day look like as a writer? The earlier I can get up, the better. I am much more productive when the sun is up. I write sprawled across my bed in the daylight until dinner time. Taking time to eat, of course!
  • Do you have a special writing routine or playlist? I have a playlist which I am always adding to. 100 Mile House’s new album Hiraeth fueled most of the draft of THE GEMINI BOOK. Ambient music is perfect for editing.
  • How long does it take you to write a book? CEDAR VALLEY took me about 10 months.
  • Do you support/participate in events such as NaNoWriMo? Why or why not? YES. 100 times, yes. I cannot say enough good things about NaNo. CEDAR VALLEY was born from NaNo. It’s the best motivation available.
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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