Tuesday is Interview day. Today, we’re delighted to welcome Debbie Manber Kupfer to the tank!
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PP: Welcome to the Paisley Piranha’s aquarium, Debbie. Make yourself at home. Don’t stick your fingers in the tank, we’re not sure how well trained the piranhas are. Can I get you a cup of tea? Would you like some chocolate? Silly question; you’re a writer – what sort of chocolate do you like and I’ll see what I can set my hands on?
DMK: Oooh chocolate – I love any kind of dark chocolate, particular if it has almonds or mint in it. I bribe myself while I’m writing with mint chocolate M&Ms. (Oh and I’ll definitely take you up on that tea too – Earl Grey, hot with milk please!)
PP: Okay, well, a big thank you for coming. P.A.W.S. piqued our interest and wanted to find out more about it and you. When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
DMK: Thank you for inviting me. I’ve been writing ever since I was small. When I was 8 years old I wrote a story about changing into a ladybird and sent it to the Puffin Post. You see back then I already liked to write about shapeshifters! Anyhow I was really excited when I few months later I got a mention in the magazine for my story. And that kind of started it all.
I carried on writing all through the years, but despite starting many books along the way I never finished one until I tried NaNoWriMo back in 2012. That November I wrote the first draft of P.A.W.S. – and the rest as they like to say is history.
PP: Which of your characters would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?
DMK: Oh definitely my wild Welsh warlock, Gromer the Green. He appears first in Argentum (Book 2 of P.A.W.S.) and is going to make an appearance in Umbrae (Book 3 that will be released in early 2017). He has seen a lot in his long life and would have many fascinating stories to tell filled with magic, pea soup and wizzlewoops. Would easily pass the time in the lift – and you never know maybe if he put his mind to it he’d concoct a spell to get us out of there.
PP: If we suddenly descended into a totalitarian police state where the writing of fiction was banned, what would you do instead?
DMK: Can I still write my puzzles? When I’m not writing fiction I write word and logic puzzles for magazines. If that was still allowed, that’s what I would do. (And probably I’d sneak in a puzzle or two even if it wasn’t allowed.)
PP: What one thing that you know now do you wish you’d known when you were sixteen?
DMK: That life would get better. I was bullied as a kid and when you’re in the middle of all that you assume that it will always be that way; that you’ll always be on the outside. People tell you that your school days are the best in your life, but for a lot of folk, the good stuff comes later.
PP: In three words, what’s the best thing about books?
DMK: Magic, Imagination, Escape.
PP: What are you working on now – and when does it hit the bookstores?
DMK: I’ll be rereleasing Argentum (P.A.W.S. Book 2) in December and then book 3, Umbrae will, all being well, be out in early 2017. I’m currently finishing off the edits for that one and will plunge into writing book 4 this November during NaNoWriMo.
PP: And finally, the Paisley Piranhas like to share the love because we know how wonderful it is to find a new book or author to fall in love with. Can you recommend a (YA) book or a writer we might not have heard of that we really should try?
DMK: Way too hard to choose just one here – so I’ll pick 3 – Firstly check out Michelle Proulx’s hugely entertaining YA space opera series starting with Imminent Danger and continuing with Chasing Nonconformity. My whole family loves these books which remind me a lot of the late and great Douglas Adams. Next there’s George Sirois’s Excelsior – a YA science fiction superhero tale with a twist. And last but not least check out, the YA portal fantasy, The Other Inheritance by Rebecca Jaycox and fall in love with the nice, but naughty Brwyn. Both George and Rebecca have the second books of their series coming out soon and I can’t wait to read them.
PP: Oh, they all sound fabulous! We’ll see what we can cram into the Paisley Piranha kindle – and hope nothing falls out!
Bargain alert! Debbie’s book P.A.W.S. is on sale 99p/c from today until 3rd October. Grab a copy now!