Interview with Kathleen Duhamel

An interview with Kathleen Duhamel, author of ‘Deep Blue’26192938

I haven’t read your novel yet. Why would I want to? From your other published novels, are there some that I should absolutely read?

You will enjoy reading it because it’s not a conventional romance. The characters are much older, in their 50s and 60s, yet still vital and interested in love and relationships. As you might expect, they have issues – career demands, children, grandchildren, exes. And in Robert’s case, he has to deal with the pressures that come with being a well-known and somewhat controversial musician.

There’s romance, a touch of suspense and a lot of drama.

Deep Blue is my first published novel.

I both love and hate novels that don’t leave a discrete ending for the reader. Have you ever felt the need to write sequels for specific novels?

Deep Blue has a satisfying ending, but I deliberately left the door wide open for a sequel. When I was about halfway finished with Deep Blue I decided that I loved my characters so much that I was unwilling to let them go. After a few weeks I came up with the plot for Deeper, which will be published in March 2016. It’s the second book of a planned trilogy.

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 4.45.57 PMThere’s always another novel in the pipeline to write… Tell me about it! Does it have even a working title?

After I finish writing and publish book three (working title Deep End), I might write a novella or two featuring some of the trilogy’s secondary characters. Then, my next big project is a contemporary novel about a group of baby boomers who lose everything in the Great Recession and have to start over.

Some advice other writers have given is that your first novel is best sitting in a drawer for a while, because then you feel stronger about chopping up ‘your baby’. Do you still have a copy of your first novel? Whether this was published or unpublished, I need to know!

Ha! I did a lot of chopping on “my baby” before I ever submitted it to a potential publisher. Deep Blue went through many revisions before I felt like it was worthy of publication.

Do you have a dedicated writing space? Do you have colourful post-it notes on the walls? How does it meet your writing needs?

My writing space is an upstairs bedroom in our house. It’s painted a soothing gray-blue and I have many of my favorite things to inspire me – Native American artwork, some vintage Barbie dolls, a small collection of spirit bears. Overall, it’s pretty uncluttered. I have an antique farm table that I use as a desk, an oversized swivel chair with back support, and another upholstered chair for guests, which usually is occupied by my cat.

What is your writing process? Have you ever thought about changing it? Other authors I have interviewed talk about having an outline – post-it notes in an office, or writing in paper journals. Is there something like that in your writing technique? Or is it all digital for you?

I have a spiral notebook for making notes to myself or writing down pithy bits of dialog before I forget them. Otherwise, everything is on my laptop. I start by writing a synopsis that includes most of the major scenes, then go from there. I don’t usually prepare a chapter-by-chapter outline. Because my work is character-driven, I strive for those moments when the character takes over and dictates what he or she will do. I’m merely conveying their story.

Do you have a preference for ebook or paperback format? This is for both your own reading and your novels.

I must admit it was a thrill opening that first box of soft-cover copies and seeing my name on the cover! Personally, though, I love my e-reader. I bought a kindle paperwhite that I take with me everywhere. If I’m not writing, I’m probably reading.

Social media is becoming a big thing. How does managing media outlets come into marketing your brand and your books?

I have a blog: https://kathleenduhamel.wordpress.com/ and a presence on Facebook. I’m not so much into Twitter although I know I should be. The reality is, unless you’re one of a handful of best-selling authors, you’re going to spend time marketing your own work. I have a background in public relations, so that helps, but I’m always torn between spending time marketing or dedicating time to writing. My goal for next year is to begin searching for an agent.

You have answered other sets of interview questions, is there something you wish someone would have asked you? Or conversely, something you wish they hadn’t asked?

I wish someone would ask, “What’s the best thing a reader can say to you about your book?”

It makes me feel great when someone tells me they related to the characters, felt as though they knew them, and couldn’t wait to find out what comes next.

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