DEIDRE J OWEN
STANDARD TWEEP TATTLER INTERVIEW:
1) Where do you live?
On the outskirts of Tampa Bay, Florida
2) What is the first thing you remember writing?
When I was eight, I wrote a story for school about being stranded on the planet Mars, aptly titled “Stranded on the Planet Mars.” I encountered friendly aliens, not-so-friendly aliens, and fun little rock people. Typed on old typewriter and bound in fading purple construction paper, my first book has a proud place on my bookshelf alongside an ever-growing stack of proofs of my current and future publications.
3) Why do you write?
Not to sound bland, but I love it! The whole process. I love catching myself staring at a doorknob as I explore a strange new idea. I love translating my crazy dreams and ideas into a narrative, if only to find out what happens. I love words flying from my fingers onto a glowing screen and having two dozen tabs open on my internet browser. It’s exhilarating! And I love bending rules and exploring different genres…I derive just as much joy from watching children’s faces delight over my silly humor as I do watching my husband recoil over my latest gruesome ghost story. It’s a process, a craft, and a true pleasure.
4) Have you published any of your work?
Yep! I have published three children’s picture books, five (going on six) children’s chapter books, a photo book, and several short stories.
5) What are you currently writing?
I’m exploring another dream-inspired tale that lies somewhere between sci-fi and horror. Right now it stands to come out as a novelette, but it may well tie into another idea that’s been percolating which would easily carry it into novella territory.
6) Are you currently querying?
Nope. I went down that road only briefly before deciding to pursue the indie route.
7) Finish this sentence (three lines or less):
IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT…
“Okay, stop,” said Charlotte, flashing her palms at Tony. “You didn’t seriously start your novel that way, did you?” “What’s wrong with it?” he asked, crestfallen. “What’s wro—really? You might as well go with ‘The night was moist.’ At least your over-40 readers would smirk.”
(Oops, I rather bent the “sentence” part of your rules haha…but it’s still three lines or less!)
8) Which activities do you like to participate in, in the Twitter writing community (VSS365, etc.)?
I participate in the odd little tagging game, the occasional #FF, and try hard to acknowledge others when they include me, but lately things have been pretty busy and I get lost in notifications. I enjoy interaction, though, and horse around as much as the next person.
9) Do you have any formal training/education for writing?
Nope…unless you count growing up with an English Lit teacher in the house, haha.
10) Do the people in your life know that you write?
Some do. My family does, and a few of my close friends. My daughter loves telling people what I do. But outside of the home it’s not really a major topic of conversation. Life is also happening.
11) Tell me about the people in your life. Family? Pets?
I’m married to a fantastic guy and we have an amazing eight-year-old daughter. We also have a cat named Mishka, who we call the “puppycat.” He follows us around like a puppy, enjoys a little belly rub, and will sit for treats. I also have parents and a sister less than an hour away, which is nice…I love my little nephews to bits.
12) Where do you wish your writing to take you?
As a creative individual, I long to see people—strangers—enjoying and discussing my work.
As a shy introvert, I long to see said people doing this over there, not looking at me.
And as a realistic adult with a family, it would also be nice if my work ultimately supplemented the household.
13) What did you expect when you joined the Twitter writing community? Did it turn out as expected?
I joined because, as an author, you’re “supposed” to have a social media presence. I cringed at the idea and fought it pretty hard, but finally conceded. It would help build my platform and giving me a place to announce releases, right? But lo! What fun there was to be had! My first six months were a bit dry, but once I started making friends and interacting I found it much more rewarding. Now my content is maybe 20% authory stuff (mine and others), 30% family-related shenanigans, and 50% general horsing around.
14) Where do you write?
There’s a loft in my house that has been designated “my office.” I have a little desk, some furniture, natural light…it’s a nice, clean space. And I prefer to work at my desk because I’ve gotten spoiled using two monitors. It’s almost essential when I’m illustrating and designing.
15) How much time do you dedicate to writing, weekly?
I am so fortunate! As a stay-at-home parent, I am able to dedicate 20-25 hours a week to my work during school hours. Now, actual writing? Less. Much less. Since co-founding an indie publishing house, I’ve been incredibly busy with the publishing end of things. But I do try to carve out an hour here or there to pick away at my WIP. The craft is still important.
16) Do you have other talents?
I enjoy art and do graphic design, so I get to tap into my artistic nature by designing book covers and working up little illustrations. I was a talented and versatile musician once upon a time (but alas, I no longer play). I have a way with animals which led to work as a veterinary professional. And as a somewhat ungainly individual, I have the innate ability to fall up stairs, stumble on a bicycle, fist bump doorknobs, and develop mystifying bruises in dumb places. I mean, who bruises their calf? That’s a talent, right there.
17) CHOOSE ONE:
- I do not mind when other writers ask for advice.
- I’d rather keep to myself!
A! I’ve come a long way in the last few years and I love sharing what I’ve learned if it can help somebody else along. We’re colleagues, not competition. Besides, it’s a neat place to be when I discover I can actually answer somebody’s question. “Oo! Oo! I know this!” I enjoy being helpful :)
Deidre J Owen is a versatile writer, taking joy in exploring a variety of genres. She began her publishing journey with some simple children's picture books and light Christian themes, but quickly expanded into humor, speculative fiction, and horror. In early 2019, Deidre partnered up with author/editor Ronald Linson to found Mannison Press, LLC, a small indie publisher. Although born in Kentucky and moderately well-traveled, she is currently loving life with her family on the outskirts of Tampa, Florida, as an author, publisher, and work-from-home mother.
Children's picture books (The Heaven Zoo series)
The Heaven Zoo (2017)
The Heaven Zoo 2: A Zoo in Your Hands (2017)
The Heaven Zoo Coloring Book! (2017)
Children's chapter books (We're All Just People series)
Volume 1: The Housewarming Gift (2018)
Volume 2: Patch's Pages (2018)
Volume 3: The Pickle Fairy (2019)
Volume 4: Cameron's Warrior (2019)
Volume 5: The Blue Dress (2019)
Coming soon, Volume 6: Souling Seeds
Charmingly Creepy: A Photo Book (2018)
Mannison Minibooks (short stories)
Overworked: A Legal Fiction (2018, with Ron Linson)
The White Mannequin's Game (2019)
I Actually Dreamed This Crazy Nonsense (collection, 2019)
The Salted Cabin (2019)
Coming soon, Little Girl Lost: Thirteen Tales of Youth Disrupted
Deidre J Owen links
Amazon Author Central: https://amzn.to/2kLJ6d5
Smashwords Profile: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/deidrejowen
Mannison Press links