It’s another hump day treat here on my blog. Today I am featuring Debbie Manber Kupfer in her own author interview. Stop by and check it out to get to know this amazing fantasy author.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a writer, puzzle maker, editor, tea drinker and cat lover. I grew up in London and lived in Israel, North Carolina and New York before somehow ending up in St. Louis. I believe that with enough tea and dark chocolate you can do anything.
What genre do you write in? Why?
Fantasy that takes place (mostly) in our world. Because I love to dream of magic, but when I do I kind of want to believe that it’s out there somewhere hidden in our world if you know where to find it.
What does your daily life look like? What do you wish it was like?
I get up in the morning and make tea, then I open my WIP and either write or edit. I make myself do this each day before I go on the internet. The internet and in particular Facebook is my biggest timesuck and in order to get work done I have to turn it off.
After I’ve completed my requisite words for the day I go on to editing for clients and writing my puzzles for Penny Press. Sometimes I take the puzzle work out to a local cafe or fast food place for the same reason as I write without the internet in the mornings. Out of the house I’m away from distractions and puzzles work better on paper than at my computer.
Tell us about your latest release?
COTULA is book 5 of my P.A.W.S. Saga. It continues the story arc that started in the previous book, LONDINIUM. A young girl, Rifka has been kidnapped and held by magic by an insidious werewolf. In the last book she received a magical stone from an old animagus camel, Shirley, in London Zoo.
This special stone is called a cotula and comes from an old witch in a faraway village. The witch Grisela is the keeper of the stones and she sends a number out into the world. When all the stones come together only then will Rifka be released.
How did you come up with the story within your book? What inspired your creativity?
The story kind of evolved as I was writing it as truly this whole series has. When I’m not writing fiction I write puzzles for magazines and this particular book is the most like a big puzzle of any of my books. All of the pieces have to come together for the story to be told.
Tell us about your main character in your book. What makes them unique?
I would guess that Rifka is the main character of this particular episode of the P.A.W.S. Saga, though all the books are pulled together by the cat shifter, Miri Katz.
Rifka comes from a sheltered background as she grew up in her family’s compound in Safed and never ventured much out of it until the day she was kidnapped. Though her family has magic, Rifka has yet to find hers. Yet she is filled with compassion for others and finds it hard to hate anyone even her captor. Many have hinted that Rifka would make an excellent healer and maybe this is her destiny.
What is your writing process like?
I’ve written most of my first drafts during NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNo months. I spew out the words over the course of weeks and generally believe that everything I write is crap. But I keep going until I reach the end of my story and resist the urge to edit as I go along. Then I put my manuscript down for a few weeks and work on something else (editing for my clients and puzzles usually). Then when I come back to my manuscript to edit I do so with fresh eyes and usually I discover that it’s not half as bad as I thought it was. I self-edit a few times until I’m satisfied and then send it off to my beta readers. I currently have four betas who are awesome and are not scared to tell me when stuff doesn’t work. After I get back my story from my betas I edit again responding to their suggestions. Then my book goes to my editor, Rebecca Jaycox. After her edits I edit again and then format the book and send up for a proof copy. I proofread on paper (I catch more that way) and then finally after all that I publish and then start all over again.
Who is your biggest support system in your life?
Not one, but a bunch of people, my beta readers, my editor, my family (including my kitties) and some wonderful FB groups, Dragon’s Rocketship, YA Author Rendezvous and AAYAA. It truly takes a village to write a book.
Are you Indie Published or Traditional? Why did you choose this route?
I began my publishing journey with a small traditional publisher that has since gone out of business. Today I self-publish with Amazon’s KDP and I love the control it gives me and honestly would only go back to trad if it’s with the big boys.
What should we expect from you in the coming months?
Cotula comes out August 6th and I’m already writing book 6, Jhara which all being well will be out in 2020. In addition I’m attending two events as a signing author and panelist in the fall: Penned Con in St. Louis on Sept 13/14 and Archon in Collinsville on Oct 4-6. Sooo … if anyone is going to be at either of these events feel free to stop by and say hi.
Debbie Manber Kupfer grew up in the London. She has lived in Israel, New York and North Carolina and somehow ended up in St. Louis, where she works as a writer, editor, and a freelance puzzle constructor of word puzzles and logic problems. She lives with her husband, two children, and a very opinionated feline. She is the author of the young adult fantasy series, P.A.W.S. which features a secret institute of shapeshifters hidden deep beneath the Jewel Box in Forest Park, St. Louis. In addition she has stories in several anthologies including Fauxpocalypse, Stardust, Always, Winter Wishes, Sins of The Past and Sins of the Future and is the editor of the Sins of Time anthology series. She has also published a book of puzzles, Paws 4 Logic, with her son Joey. She believes that with enough tea and dark chocolate you can achieve anything!
Follow the Cotula. The stone will show you the way. Rifka is lost, far away from home. Kidnapped by an insidious werewolf. Far off in Manus Wu, a plan is set in place. An Old One sends colutae out into the world. These stones when brought together have the power to release Rifka. Yet does she truly want to go home? Meet an empathic goat, a family of otters, a girl who loves to draw fairies, and a dragon in this new installment of the P.A.W.S. Saga.