Saturday, 24 September 2016

Friday LiTerview with the sweet-toothed ex-tomboy Deanna Sletten

Hey everyone,
 This week we get all up close and literal with the amazing writer Deanna Sletten. Am sure you know who she is. We even hosted a release day blitz for her latest book Finding Libby a couple of days ago. Just scroll down, it should be somewhere on the right hand corner of the blog. But before that:

1. Tell us about yourself, Deanna.

Hello Chiomaah. Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your blog today. I am an author of both women’s fiction and romance novels. I’ve been publishing since 2011, starting as an indie author until I was discovered by an acquisition editor at Lake Union Publishing in 2014. My latest novel, Finding Libbie, is my second book with them. On the personal side, I grew up in southern California and moved to northern Minnesota in my teens. I’m married and have two grown children, a son and a daughter. I love spending my free time walking the trails in the woods with my dog, relaxing in the boat on a sunny day, and spending time with my family. I also enjoy traveling and my favorite vacation spot (so far) is a tiny island in the Bahamas.

2. Is there any particular thing you hate about being a writer?

I actually enjoy the entire process of writing. I find research before writing a book to be interesting and I love planning out each character and the story’s setting. Writing, of course, is the best part when I can let my imagination run wild. Once a book is finished, there is the editing process, which can be tedious, but I really don’t mind it. It gives me a chance to make sure the story is exactly the way I meant it to be. And of course, once the book is done and readers share their thoughts, that is the best part of being a writer. Those first few days a new book is out can be stressful, hoping that readers will like it, but it’s worth all the worry. I waited a long time to be able to share my stories with others so I’m enjoying all of it

3. Tell us about your new book. Finding Libbie.

Finding Libbie is a bit different from what I’ve written in the past. It is more emotional and delves deeply into the tough subject of mental illness and drug and alcohol addiction. But at its core, it’s also a love story. The story begins in the present, then takes you back to 1968-1975 before bringing you back to the present again. If you love stories with drama and a good love story, then this is the book for you.

4. What was the inspiration behind it?

Finding Libbie starts with the character, Emily, opening an old hatbox at her grandmother’s house and finding photos from her father’s first marriage; a marriage she’d never known about. Then it goes on with the telling of Jack and Libbie’s story. It is that old hatbox that was the inspiration for the story – except in my case it was a small box of memories. We all have a box somewhere in our closet, basement, or attic that holds a memory from long ago, be it family pictures, old high school memorabilia, maybe even clippings from some glory days of sports. You may even forget about that box until you run into it one day and when you look inside, all the memories of the past come pouring out of it. That’s how the story of Finding Libbie came to me. I opened a box of memories—not mine but someone else’s—and it was as if the story of Libbie and Jack washed over me in that one moment. I had to write it. That had never happened to me before. It was almost magical.

5. What's your favourite food?

I am not much of a foodie but I do love baking. Cookies, brownies, anything that isn’t good for you. I guess my favorite is something I make for Christmas every year (because if I made it more than once a year, I’d gain a hundred pounds!). They are called Nut-Goodie Bars, and they are delicious! If you want the recipe, let me know. J
Are you kidding? Of course we'd love that Deanna! Better still, I'll send you my address so the next time you make them you can...

6. What kind of a child were you?

Ooh, childhood. Sometimes I feel as if I was never a child. I grew up with two older brothers so I was a tomboy who kept up with whatever they did, much to my mother’s chagrin. I was quiet in school, made good grades, and loved to read. My other favorite subject in school was history. I still love to read anything historical. I was stubborn, too. Anytime I was told I wasn’t capable of doing something, I set out to prove that person wrong. I guess I’m still like that—I’ve received over 200 rejection letters from agents and publishers for my novels throughout the years, but I wouldn’t take no for an answer. Thank goodness I didn’t. 

7. Do you have a support system. Tell us about it.

My husband has always supported my writing goals and encouraged me to keep doing it even when I wasn’t doing very well. I also had a couple of college English teachers who encouraged me to pursue writing, as well as an editor at a small magazine who gave me my first break as a writer. My editor at Lake Union has been my greatest ally and supporter since she first signed me with them. She is encouraging and truly believes in my writing. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her support.

8.What are your top five favourite Shakespearean plays

Yikes! I have to be honest with you, I don’t have any favorite Shakespearean plays. Of course, Romeo and Juliet comes to mind as a favorite, but that’s about it. I can tell you my favorite authors though. I’m a huge fan of everything by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Charlotte Bronte, Truman Capote, and Louisa May Alcott. Other authors I love to read are Stephen King, Janet Evanovich, Dorothea Benton Frank, Melanie Benjamin, and Paula Brackston.

Finding Libbie Is on sale now and can be purchased in ebook, paperback, and audiobook formats on Amazon:

All my books can be viewed on my Amazon Author Page:
Readers can also connect with me at my website:

Twitter: @DeannaLSletten