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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Interview with Deborah Ann Davis, author of 'Fairly Certain'





DEBORAH ANN DAVIS has been writing since she was assigned to keep a Journal in her 5th grade English class. She began to look around for writing inspiration. Lo and behold, she found her world was full of funny stories just waiting to be told. As she grew older, occasionally she could manipulate one into some school assignment, but it never occurred to her to pursue writing, not even when she discovered her flare for telling stories at college parties.

After a string of college majors, she realized she could have a captive audience EVERY DAY in the public school system. As it turns out, teenagers love to laugh, and what could be more entertaining than Biology, Earth Science, and Environmental Science? Then there's the added bonus that once kids know you like to laugh, they want to make you laugh.

Go figure.

In addition to Writing, she is also an Educational Speaker and a Certified Personal Trainer. She taught for 25+ years, although somewhere in the middle of all that educating, she stepped out of teaching for 6 years to do the Mommy Thing, and run the office for their family construction company.

Even though they had followed separate paths, Deborah reunited with, and married her childhood sweetheart, twelve years after their first kiss.  Together they coached their daughter’s AAU Basketball Team, which swept States two years in a row. (Yay!) Then, for several years their daughter and their money went to college.

They currently reside on a lovely lake in Connecticut. She enjoys dabbling with living a sustainable life, writing novels for her Love of Fairs series, dancing, playing outside, and laughing really hard every day. She promotes increasing the amount of movement throughout your day via Wiggle Writer posts on Merry Meddling.

Remember, you can do anything if you set your mind to it— including becoming an author at any age— but it’s way more fun if you are grinning back when the Universe smiles down on you.

Deborah’s latest book is the new adult novel, Fairly Certain.
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About the Book:

What happens when a Computer Geek challenges a Medieval Outlaw?

PETIR TAKES A ROUGH TUMBLE IN THE CONNECTICUT WOODS, and awakens in the
middle of old England. His instinct to freak out is tempered by the arrival of a fair maiden wearing a bow… and arrow. In his college world, fair maiden types don’t ordinarily go for computer geek types, but for some reason, he is no longer in his world. Petir’s fairly certain he can try whatever he wants without consequence… but the fair maiden isn’t playing fair.

WITH THE CONFLICT BETWEEN THE ROYALS ESCALATING, MAID RIANNE has joined the outlaws hiding in the woods, outwardly defying the handsome and accomplished knight to whom she is promised. She is fairly certain she is simply flattered by Lord Petir’s uncensored admiration of her skills with the staff and bow, the same unmaidenly pursuits disdained by her knight. But, that doesn’t explain her reaction to Lord Petir’s unguarded gaze.

TO PETIR’S DELIGHT, AND MAID RIANNE’S DISMAY, the outlaws invite him to join their merry band. What better way to get close to her? Throwing caution to the wind, Petir decides he has nothing to lose by pursuing Maid Rianne. It’s fun and games, until Maid Rianne is captured by the enemy. Now, a geek with no ability to defend himself must find a way to rescue a fair maiden who has become much more than fair game.

“Adorably romantic!”   An absolutely fun, adorable, romantic read that will thoroughly entertain you, no ifs, ands, or buts! The plot was extremely unique and I l-o-v-e-d just how unusual it was. It was thoughtfully planned out and written with a smooth glide, seemingly effortless on the author’s part. The ending was surprisingly unexpected and I’m thinking I really, really like this new-to-me-author, Ms. Deborah Ann Davis! I’m already anxiously awaiting her next book. Don’t miss Fairly Certain or I’m completely certain you’ll be upset you did!
-- Review by bookshellz

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Tell us a little about yourself. I’m a former high school Science teacher turned full-time author and speaker, who happens to be a Certified Personal Trainer. I married the first boy who kissed me 12 years later, had a daughter, watched our daughter and our money go to college, and am about to celebrate our 28th anniversary. I dabble with living a sustainable life, I love to dance around my house, and I try to laugh really hard every day. I love it when readers contact me. Fun Fact: I cured myself of Lyme disease without using antibiotics.

When did you begin writing?  About 10 years ago I ended up on my couch as I struggled with Lyme disease. I was too weak to continue teaching, and in too much pain to do anything else, including watching TV. So I listened to music. Those three to five minute segments of time were short enough for my concentration level. As my mind wandered to the tunes, threads of stories cropped up. I found myself daydreaming like I had as a child. As I recovered my strength, I began to write the storylines down. I returned to teaching, and from that point forward wrote during the summers. A couple of years ago I gave in, and began writing full-time.

Describe your writing process. Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? I do both. I begin with a song, and the story pours forth from there. It goes back in time, and forward in time. Eventually I’ll realize where the story has to end. At that point, I plot out everything. Think of it as connecting the dots. 

When and where do you write? I love to write in restaurants. The perfect day is to get up early, go to the gym, and show up at Dog Lane Café on the UConn campus, and write for a couple of hours while I eat a salad for breakfast.

Can you tell us about your most recent release? This book tour is for the new and improved “Fairly Certain.” It has a new cover, and all those little tweaks an author is itching to do after the book is printed. I would also like to shamelessly plug my second book, “Fairly Safe” which comes out in 2 weeks. (Yay!) They are both from my Love of Fairs series.

“Fairly Certain” is a story about the classic clash of Computer Geek vs  Medieval Outlaw. Okay, maybe it’s not so classic. Petir takes a tumble in the Connecticut woods, but awakens in old England. His instinct to freak out is tempered by the arrival of a fair maiden wearing a bow… and arrow. In his college world, fair maiden types don’t ordinarily go for computer geek types, but for some reason, he is no longer in his world. Petir is fairly certain he can go for it without consequence.

With the conflict between the royals escalating, Maid Rianne has joined the outlaws hiding in the woods, outwardly defying the handsome and accomplished knight to whom she is promised. She is fairly certain she is simply flattered by Lord Petir’s uncensored admiration of her skills with the staff and bow, the same unmaidenly pursuits disdained by her knight. But, that doesn’t explain her reaction to Lord Petir’s unguarded gaze.

To Petir’s delight, and Maid Rianne’s dismay, the outlaws invite him to join their merry band. What better way to get close to her? Throwing caution to the wind, Petir decides he has nothing to lose by pursuing Maid Rianne, until she is captured by the enemy. Now, a geek with no ability to defend himself must find a way to rescue a fair maiden.

How did you get the idea for the book? I was at my first Renaissance Faire, immersed in a completely foreign time. It occurred to me that a confused person might believe this world was real. Then, BOOM BABY! The plotline magically appeared.

Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why? You are asking me to choose between my children. I can’t because I love Petir and Maid Rianne equally. They both doubt themselves and admire other people. They both help each other recognize their own power. They both are awesome young people who need someone to point out their awesomeness before they can test it to see if it’s true. They epitomize vulnerability and brazenness, a wonderful human combination.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book? Finding time to write when you have a fulltime teaching job and a family is difficult. Anyone who teaches knows that your job isn’t done after the school bell rings at the end of the day. I began by writing during the summers, but graduated to summers, and Sunday afternoons during the school year.

Which authors have inspired your writing? Isaac Asimov (The Foundation Trilogy), Anne McCaffery (The Dragons of Pern), Mary Stewart (Touch Not the Cat), Richard and Florence Atwater (Mr. Poppers Penguins), Sally Watson (Witch of the Glens), Astrid Lindren (Rasmus and the Vagabond).

What projects are you currently working on? My third book in the Love of Fairs series, “Fairly Obvious” is about a seventeen-year-old who whisks her younger siblings away when their parents are killed in a car accident. Intending on keeping them away from foster care until she can become their legal guardian, she hides them out in a traveling carnival.

I also have my upcoming workbook for teenage girls, “Girl’s Guide to Good Guys: The Power of Being Patient and Picky.” My mission is to help teenage girls who repeatedly make bad dating choices. They’re stuck in a loop because they’re afraid to be alone, afraid of being unpopular, and afraid they’ll never find a good guy. After 20+ years teaching high school, raising a daughter of my own, and spending seven years as a teenage girl myself, I created a series of exercises to help teen girls become self-appreciating and independent. The workbook solutions teach them to become comfortable with being single, to live their lives more fully, and to be patient and picky until they are ready for a healthy relationship.

What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors? The first thing is never throw anything away. Your early writing is a testament to the progress you’ve made, even that silly stuff from the third grade. 

The second thing is never take criticism or “negative” reviews personally. The people who have the same taste as you will LOVE your books. The people who differ won’t get them at all. Your job is to get your books to the people who are waiting for something exactly like what you wrote.


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