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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

An Interview of Deborah Coates Author of Wide Open

I enjoyed looking at your blog and your website. Thank you for your willingness to be interviewed. I have included a link to your website here.

I will keep this brief but feel free to expound to your hearts content.

1.) Why did you write this book?

WIDE OPEN came from things I love: contemporary fantasy with a strong sense of place, the High Plains, working people in rural America. But it mostly grew out of what most of my stories grow from--a couple of characters in a place with a problem. I want to tell interesting stories about places that most people don't visit or even think much about and I hope WIDE OPEN does that.

2.) Does your story line develop organically or is it a gestalt before you begin?

There are certain things that I know before I start. In the case of WIDE OPEN, those things included the characters of Hallie Michaels and Boyd Davies (or at least solid beginning versions of their characters), the setting and one or two key scenes. I tend to write to those key scenes (which might not even be 'key' to anyone else. To me, they are critical moments of character or setting). My first draft involves a lot of writing to those key scenes. Revisions involves a lot of moving everything around until it finally works.

3.) Would you really want your dogs to talk? (Magic In A Certain Slant of Light)

HA! My dogs DO talk. Don't yours?

4.) Do you have a favorite character in the book and if so why?

I don't know that I do have a favorite character. I like Hallie a lot because, unlike me, she is far more about acting than thinking about acting. She sees that something needs to be done and she does it. If there are consequences, she deals with those too. But I also like Boyd because he is so careful and precise in ways that I'm not. He thinks A LOT, but he's strongly driven by his sense of what's right and that's what compels him to act, I think, that need to do the right thing, even if it's hard.

5.) What do you like the most about writing?

There are two phases of writing I like--the first draft, when it's all about the promise and potential of the story and the final revision, when I can see that things are actually going to work and I know, finally, how to make them work.

6.) Where do your new story ideas come from?

My story ideas come from all over, they come from things I'm reading or places I visit or something I see, even a conversation I overhear. There are times when I think I'll never have a good story idea again and then, in one day, I'll have two or three.

7.) Who and what do you enjoy reading?

I like contemporary fantasy. I also like more traditional fantasy, though I've read so much over the years that I've become pretty picky about it. Thanks to a friend, I've recently discovered Lois McMaster Bujold (I know! How could I have missed her all these years?). I love her Miles Vorkosgan books, but I've also recently read (by which I mean listened to as audiobooks) THE CURSE OF CHALION and PALADIN OF SOULS, both of which I liked a lot. I also read a lot of mystery novels.

8.) What advice would you give for the want to be writer?

Read. Write. Be as open as you possibly can be to learning.

Thanks for the interview!

Thanks for asking me!

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