What’s your name or pen name?
I write under my real name – Deanna Lynn Sletten.
What are your genres?
I have written two novels in the romance genre and two in women’s fiction/family drama. I’ve also written one that is a middle grade adventure novel. The novel I am currently writing is in the contemporary women’s fiction/family drama genre.
What have you written?
I’ve written five full-length novels so far and am working on my sixth. My latest release is Maggie’s Turn. It’s a family story about a wife and mother of two teenage children who just drives off one day without planning to and goes on an adventure of self-exploration. While she’s away, her husband soon learns how much he’s been taking advantage of her and finds out that what she does for the family is much more important than he’d thought. As the story unfolds, we soon learn why Maggie felt compelled to leave, and what it will take to compel her go home again.
When did you begin your writing career?
I started writing years ago as a freelance writer for parenting magazines. During that time, I also wrote three of my novels. Back then, self-publishing was looked down upon and was also expensive to do, and the only other choice was to find an agent and publisher. After countless rejections, I just put my manuscripts away and moved on. Years later I was once again freelance writing, this time for blogs and websites, when I learned about the new self-publishing phenomenon going on. That’s when I put all my energy into publishing my past novels and writing new ones.
Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How do you make time to write?
I am lucky enough to be in the position where I can now spend all my time writing and I no longer have to work at a nine-to-five job. I no longer freelance as an article writer either. Of course, this came after years of working outside the home and raising children. But it was worth the wait. Now I can focus completely on my writing and on promotion which is at least fifty percent of a self-published writer’s job. How do I make time to write? I usually write in the evenings and late at night when the house is quiet and there is nothing to interrupt me.
What’s your writing process? (Number of days you write per week, a.m. or p.m., specific music you play while writing, or anything else that you feel is a vital part of your creative process.)
I don’t set a schedule to write, but I do try to write a little every day. I generally write an hour or two in the afternoon and then about two hours at night. I have to have total silence when I write. That way I am able to concentrate completely on the story with no distractions. While I am writing, I picture the story like it is a movie playing out in front of me. Silence allows me to immerse myself into the story.
Do you keep a journal? If so, for how long? Do you find it helpful for your professional writing?
No, I don’t keep a journal. All my free time is spent writing my novels.
What’s your inspiration?
Anything can inspire a story. A line from a movie. A song. Even a conversation I might overhear in a restaurant. I never know when an idea will hit, but when it does, my mind takes off with it.
What kind of legacy do you expect your writing to leave?
I’ve never thought about my writing in terms of a “legacy”. I just hope that people will enjoy my stories for as long as possible.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
I would encourage aspiring writers to not give up no matter what others tell you, and finish your novel. Always have an editor, or at the very least, a proofreader, look over your manuscript before publishing. Even if you have perfect language skills, an editor or proofreader will be able to find any small errors or flaws in the story that might make a big difference in your story. You don’t want to receive bad reviews just because you missed a few typos or used the wrong name once in your story. Readers will notice, so be sure to put out the best story possible.
What’s on your bookshelf or in your e-reader library?
I have many, many books in my e-reader to be read right now. I am always looking for new authors to read, so I do download freebies that look interesting or .99 cent deals from indie authors. I have three new ones I can’t wait to read by Melanie Jackson. I also recently bought The Help, and am looking forward to reading it since I loved the movie. Currently, I am reading The Christmas Contract by Jan Romes. I love her books.
What are you currently working on?
I am only a chapter away from finishing up my next novel which is a Contemporary Fiction/Family Drama. It’s the story of a teenaged girl from California who goes to live with the grandfather she’s never met in northern Minnesota after the death of her mother. She doesn’t want to go there and he doesn’t want her there. And the drama ensues. Since this is more of a summer novel, I plan to publish it sometime around March 2014.
Latest release and book blurb?
My latest release is MAGGIE’S TURN. It is a Contemporary Women’s Fiction/Family Drama novel. Here is the book description:
Sometimes you just have to walk away…to rediscover who you are.
Maggie Harrison is a devoted wife and mother, always putting the needs of her family ahead of her own. Then, one day, without planning to, she drives away, leaving behind an indifferent husband and two sulking teenagers. Maggie goes off on a quest of self-exploration, enjoying adventures, meeting new people, and rediscovering her passions. For the first time in years, she dreams about what she wants out of life, and she realizes that her deteriorating marriage can no longer continue as it is. Can she and Andrew repair their floundering relationship, or is their marriage over?
Andrew Harrison likes his life to be in perfect order. He enjoys his work and status in the community, leaving Maggie to take care of everything at home. He knows his marriage isn’t perfect, but after twenty-three years and two kids, whose marriage is? When Maggie leaves without a word, he is forced to start paying more attention to his home life and his almost grown children, and he begins to do a little self-exploration of his own. Slowly, he begins to understand what drove Maggie away, and how important she is in his life. Is it too late to resolve their differences and save their marriage? Or will Andrew lose Maggie forever?
Tell us about your main character? What actress or actor would you cast to play him or her in a movie about your book?
Maggie is your everyday mother who takes care of all the family’s needs as well as works outside the home. She’s tired, and feels unappreciated. Plus, her marriage is hanging in the balance. All of her dreams have been pushed aside by the needs of her kids and her husband’s dreams. One day she drives away to spend a day doing something she loves and finds she doesn’t – simply can’t – go back until she is able to resolve the problems in her marriage and make changes in her life. What ensues is a road trip of self-discovery as she shares meaningful conversations with her husband and daughter on the phone, trying to fix what went wrong.
I’m not sure which actress would be right for Maggie in a movie. I see Maggie as a real person already, so it’s hard for me to pick an actress who can play her.
How can we purchase your work?
You can view all of my novels at my Website: http://www.deannalsletten.com
Maggie’s Turn can be purchased at:
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Maggies-Turn-ebook/dp/B00DZVZ1FK
Amazon Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Maggies-Turn-Deanna-Lynn-Sletten/dp/1491277289/
How can we stay in touch with you?
My Blog: http://www.deannalynnsletten.com
Deanna Lynn Sletten writes women’s fiction and romance novels that dig deeply into the lives of the characters, giving the reader an in-depth look into their hearts and souls. She has also written one middle-grade novel that takes you on the adventure of a lifetime.
Deanna’s romance novel, Memories, was a semifinalist in The Kindle Book Review’s Best Indie Books of 2012. Her novel, Sara’s Promise, was a semifinalist in The Kindle Book Review’s Best Indie Books of 2013 and a finalist in the 2013 National Indie Excellence Book Awards.
Deanna is married and has two grown children. When not writing, she enjoys walking the wooded trails around her northern Minnesota home with her beautiful Australian Shepherd or relaxing in the boat on the lake in the summer.
OMG, aren’t you just dying to know what kind of adventure awaits Maggie? Find out by getting your copy of “Maggie’s Turn” here!