- What genre are your books?
My main series P.A.W.S. is Young Adult Fantasy, although I also like to experiment in other genres, such as science fiction and horror, in short stories.
- What draws you to this genre?
I love fantasy both to read and write. I think it’s probably because I love to dream – I want to believe that magic is real and we just have to discover it and by creating my own fantasy world I’m halfway there.
- What project are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently working on two projects. The first is book 3 of my series and the second is a children’s picture book, Adana the Earth Dragon.
- What’s it about?
Well in book 3 of P.A.W.S. we get to travel to Israel (a country I lived in for 8 years) with Miri while she searches for the story hidden in the mysterious book she picked up in book 2.
Adana the Earth Dragon is the story of a small brown dragon who thinks she is boring compared to the other dragons who have the powers of water, air, and fire, but when a giant comes into the land of the dragons and starts destroying the flowers, Adana discovers that even a small brown dragon is capable of doing great things.
- Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is special?
Miri (my main character in P.A.W.S.) has powerful magic that emanates from the silver cat charm that she received from her grandmother on the day before she died. Apart from her shapeshifting abilities she has the power of empathy. She can read the emotions of others, amplify them, and return them. Her power can be used to help or as a weapon depending on the situation. But the P.A.W.S. saga is not just the story of Miri, rather it weaves the tales of many shapeshifters and spans generations.
- Have you written anything else?
Apart from P.A.W.S. I’ve written a number of short stories that are published in anthologies and also created a puzzle book, Paws 4 Logic, that I put together with my son, Joey.
- What are your ambitions for your writing career?
My main goal is to finish my series. I’m not sure how many books that will entail, somewhere between 4 and 8. I know where the story is leading (I’ve even written the epilogue of the whole series). However I’m not clear how we’ll get there, but am enjoying the journey.
- Which writers inspire you?
JK Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Cornelia Funke, Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett.
- When did you decide to become a writer? Why do you write?
I write because I need to write. I’ve been doing it ever since I was a small child, but I only started taking myself seriously as a writer a few years ago. At the time I’d had a terrible year: my father had passed away and I’d been going through chemotherapy for breast cancer. I’d always wanted to write a novel and had started plenty but never finished. I felt I had all the time in the world to do that. Maybe later after the kids had left home, maybe then? But cancer made me realize that I wasn’t immortal that if I wanted to write and be published I needed to do it now.
- Do you have a special time or place to write?
No, as a mother I tend to fit in writing time whenever I can.
- Where do you get your inspiration?
From anything and everywhere. Although I write fantasy there’s a lot of real stuff in there: people I’ve known, places I’ve been. I also love to people watch and can create whole stories from a look and a caught fragment of conversation.
- Do you work on an outline or do you prefer to see where the idea takes you?
I don’t outline. I have a basic idea where my series is leading, but I’m just as surprised as some of my readers as to where it takes me. I’m excited to keep writing because I want to know what happens!
- Do you ever get writer’s block? How do you overcome it?
Two things help. Showers (lots of ideas come when I’m in the shower) and walks outside. I think it’s inevitable that the best ideas come when you don’t have a way of writing them down!
- What is the hardest thing for you about writing?
Distraction, mainly from the internet and Facebook in particular. When I really need to work either on my writing or my puzzles I sometimes turn off the wifi altogether and won’t let myself go back on until I’ve completed a certain amount of words or finished writing a particular puzzle.
- How do you market your books? Why did you choose this route?
This is the bit I don’t like so much, but generally I try to stay low-key with my promo. I also try and do stuff that’s fun, so for example I attended a local sci-fi con (Archon) last fall and participated in a panel and in the dealer room. My thoughts are that if I’m going to spend money on promo I want it to be something that if I don’t sell books, that’s OK, I still had fun. Marketing is a time-suck and distracts you from creating content, so you have keep tabs on it.
- How much research do you do?
As much as is necessary for each story. For the first book of P.A.W.S. that was very little, but for Argentum (book 2) I researched some really odd things including exactly how long it would a hawk to fly from Vienna to Wales and the history of the tea bag!
- Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
Computer mostly, but occasionally I’ll write longhand if I’m out somewhere and my muse demands it.
- What are some of your favorite books/authors?
All of Harry Potter (but particularly book 3), Douglas Adams – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak, Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett and Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman are some of my absolute favorites.
I’ve also read a lot of fantastic indie authors in the last couple of years including Misha Burnett, Michelle Proulx, M.A. Ray, Jen Ponce, and Fiona Skye.
- Are you currently reading any books?
I’m currently reading a graphic novel (a departure for me), the first in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series. I was fortunate to pick up this copy for just a couple of dollars from the dealer on the next table to me at Archon.
- How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Blog: Paws4Thought: http://debbiemanberkupfer.wordpress.com/
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Debbie-Manber-Kupfer/e/B00DHPNJ5I/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1