Thank you so much for being here, Debra.
Thank you for having me, Roseanne!
1: what genre do you write?
My newly released novel is YA (Young Adult), as is the novel I recently completed. However, I did have a flash fiction story published by Apollo’s Lyre last year.
2: How long have you been writing?
3: What do you like the most and least about writing?
Because I don’t outline my books, my favorite part of writing is finding out what happens to my characters as the story progresses! My least favorite part-I don’t have one, other than the fact that I have to stop writing to go to work and bed.
4: What do you for fun and relaxation when not writing?
Read, of course! I also love spending time with my family and my three dogs. Recently, I purchased a fixer-upper house, which needs a great deal of work. Believe it or not, I love working on the house and can hardly wait to start working on the yard and garden.
5: Which authors do you like to read?
I read everything I come across, from Shakespeare to Asimov to Dick Francis. I especially love Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series. The world she created is so believable and her characters so wonderfully real that for years I’ve had a crush on Master Robinton!
6: What’s the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?
I would like people to know that I have the most wonderful family imaginable! My father was my hero and my mother is one of the nicest people I know. My sisters and brothers are terrifically rowdy and funny and my children are the best!
7: Tell me about your current novel, where I can find it?
Fallon O’Reilly & the Ice Queen’s Lair is the first book in the Magic in the Americas series. Set in the Alaskan wilderness, the book tells the tale of a young girl’s first year of magical education. Together with her wheelchair-bound cousin and new friend from Wyoming, she seeks the source of a great evil in Alaska and fights to protect her school and friends.
Fallon is currently available at museituppublishing.com in various e-formats and available for Kindle at Amazon.com. MIU Publishing plans to release Fallon in print form in 2011.
8: Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?
Read, read, and read before you write. When your manuscript is complete, spend lots of time on the editing process.
9: Do you base your characters on real-life people?
None of my characters are based on real-life people, but several were inspired by real-life people.
10: How did you come up with the idea for this book?
Someone asked J.K. Rowling if she planned to put Americans or other nationalities in her books. She said...if anyone wants to write about American wizards they are of course free to write their own book! That made me wonder what differences we’d see in an American school of magic and I started plotting the book. Then, my oldest son referred to my living room, which I keep very cool in the hot Wyoming summers, as the ‘Ice Queen’s Lair.’ Instant title!
11: What are you currently working on?
I recently completed another YA novel unrelated to the Magic in the Americas series, which I am busily editing. The second Fallon O’Reilly book is also in progress.
12. Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?
Hmm, maybe that I’m happy to have found such a terrific publishing company. MuseItUp Publishing has a wonderful team spirit.
13. Where can we find you? Website? Blog?
You can find my blog at http://debrakdunlap.blogspot.com/ I have to admit that my blog has been woefully neglected, but I promise to update soon!
My website is a work in progress and located at http://debrakdunlap.com/ Be patient-it’s a bit slow to load.
The snow glittered in the moonlight as they trudged through the darkness toward the castle. Fallon was lost in thought about the beautiful mare that saved her life. She did not notice anything amiss until Madame Epona grabbed her arm and hissed, “Stand still for a moment. Quiet!”
They stood silently and Fallon heard it. Strange sounds emanated from the direction of the forest. A cold, clear voice radiated menace, even though the words were unintelligible in the distance.
Madame Epona whispered urgently. “Drop down and stay quiet. Perhaps they will pass without seeing us. If they spot us, I will signal you to run. Run as fast as you can to the entrance doors. I will be right behind you, but stop for nothing. Get inside the doors and go straight to the Headmistress for help.”
Madame Epona silently watched the forest, tucking herself behind a small boulder that furnished the only cover. Fallon’s heart pounded and ice scraped her cheek as she flattened herself on the frozen ground.
A guttural voice spoke and the cold voice responded. “Where? Are you sure?” Rolling her eyes to peek toward the forest without lifting her head, Fallon saw several of the creatures like the one that attacked them on the cliffs. A tall, pale woman wearing a mask and wrapped in white furs accompanied them. The pale woman turned to the furry creatures. “Borag says we’ve been spotted.” In a low, urgent voice, the woman commanded, “Quick! Capture them before they can alert the castle!”
Fallon felt a sharp jab in her ribs and heard Madame Epona hiss, “Now! Run!” Fallon ran. She ran as if her life depended on it and she suspected that it did. The deep snow clutched at her feet and tore at the hem of her cloak. Her breath came in great gasps and she paused to grab her cloak, lifting it up to free her feet. She risked a glance behind her and saw two of the creatures loping after her. Madame Epona stood, arms uplifted, facing the pale woman. Fallon saw a jet of white light strike Madame Epona and she realized that the pause to watch had wasted too much time. The creatures gained on her.She ran toward the castle. How could she hope to outrun those things? She knew how fast they ran. The creature on the cliff had nearly caught her and she had been riding Snaefaxi that day.From 300 yards, she squinted at someone moving near the front entrance to the castle. Please, please turn around. Can’t you see that Madame Epona needs help? She moaned as a sliver of light gleamed through a crack in the door and the unknown person slipped inside the castle.Fallon’s pace slowed as she struggled for breath. She heard the sound of the creature’s raspy breathing and a horrible, musky stench made her gag. Her foot snagged on a rock hidden beneath the snow and she fell.