Monday, March 9, 2015

Q&A with Deirdre Verne

This week, we sat down with Deirdre Verne, debut author of Drawing Conclusions, which was released last month!

Midnight Ink: How long have you been writing?
Deirdre Verne: I’ve been writing on and off for eight years. The first few years were exploratory—thinking through potential plots and characters. The last five years have been full steam ahead.

MI: What influence have other authors had on your writing?
DV: When my oldest son was a year old, he caught the flu. I was up all night, every night. A friend handed me the first three Janet Evanovich books to keep me occupied, and I was hooked from the first page.

I’m also a big fan of Harlan Coben and Nelson DeMille. 

MI: If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing?
DV: Writing is my third career.  I worked for ten years as a marketing professional after college. Then, I became a college professor.  As for a fourth career, I have visions of running a bed and breakfast in a seaside town. I’m not sure I can pull this off, but it’s definitely on my bucket list.

MI: If you have a job outside of writing, what is it?
DV: I’ve been teaching marketing for fifteen years at Westchester Community College. I have a popular college blog where I unravel the mystery of what is really going on in a teacher’s head. 

MI: What is/are your favorite thing/s to do when you’re not writing or working?
DV: My main character, CeCe Prentice, is a dumpster-diver. Although I have pulled some choice pieces of furniture out of dumpsters, I much prefer a good flea market or antique fair. However, if the opportunity to dive presents itself, I’m game.  I recently salvaged a set of antique windows from my neighbor’s renovation project and had the windows converted into a china cabinet.

MI: Who is your favorite mystery sleuth and why?
DV: I have a crush on Nelson DeMille’s Detective John Corey. He’s got the right balance of sarcasm and swagger.

MI: Do you have a favorite murder case from a book (either yours or another author’s)?
DV: A few years ago, a publishing insider gave me an advanced review copy of the third book in Stieg Larsson’s  Millenium trilogy. I couldn’t bring myself to read it because I didn’t want the series to end.  The Girl With The Dragoon Tattoo was such a great read that I’m still saving The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest for a rainy day.
MI: How does it feel to have your first book published? Tell us about your publishing journey.
DV: Unlike other creative careers, writing is difficult to communicate until your book is published.  A musician can hum a few bars and a painter can hang a painting. I’m sure other authors would agree that there is nothing more awkward than explaining that you write without anything to show as evidence. As a result, having a physical book in hand feels really good.  

MI: What was your inspiration for this series and/or book?
DV: My inspiration for this series was the positive energy surrounding the Green movement. I’d love to tell readers that I’m an avid environmentalist or that I’m growing my own food, but the reality is that I’m a pretty average consumer. The topic, however, truly interests me and I think it’s important.  As a result of writing this series, I’ve tried to change my family’s consumption behavior, and I hoping to continue on this path.

MI: Tell us about CeCe.
DV: CeCe Prentice always takes the road less traveled, never looking over her shoulder to see if she made the right decision.  She’s confident and challenging with a razor-sharp wit, and although you might be put off by her life choices, you’ll quickly find she’s a steadfast friend. 

MI: Do you have a pet? Tell us about him/her.
DV: Welcome to our on-going family debate. My husband and children want a cat. I want a dog. This stalemate has been going on for two years and I’d like to open the voting up to readers.  Dog or cat? Please help us decide.

MI: If you don’t have a pet, do you have a favorite animal?
DV: Clearly, I’m a dog person, but I married a cat person. Maybe there’s a support group for us?

MI: What food could you live off of for the rest of your life?
DV: Grilled cheese on rye with bacon and tomato. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the last time I had one!

MI: Do you have a favorite recipe?
DV: I cook a good old-fashioned family meal at least five nights a week. I do this under protest, but my family seems appreciative and my children are meeting their growth chart milestones, so the meals keep coming.  My children’s favorite is chicken potpie. Like all of my meals, I don’t use a recipe.  I make it up as I go, but I’d be happy to share my favorite staple—College Inn chicken stock.

MI: What’s your favorite part about being an Inker?
DV: Writing is lonely, especially when you’re toiling away as unpublished author. I’m gratefully for the support and friendship I received as a member of Midnight Ink.

 Drawing Conclusions is available online and in bookstores now!

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