Hi everyone! The doorbell just went and I have to hurry to the door to see who is there. (Looking through the peephole in the door). Oh how wonderful, it is author Debbie Manber Kupfer! Hi Debbie, welcome to the Parfait-verse. I hope all is well.
What’s that? Oh yes, I have restocked the shelves. After Raymond Alexander Kukkee ate all of the ice cream sandwiches, I went and got us Oreos instead. Here, sit down and let’s talk a bit about you.
Debbie, please tell us a little about yourself and how you first became interested in writing.
I grew up in London and have lived in Israel, North Carolina, and New York before ending up in St. Louis where I live with my husband, two kids, and the real ruler of our household, our kitty, Miri Billie Joe. I divide my time between writing fiction and writing puzzles for magazines and my puzzle blog, Paws 4 Puzzles, and recently published my first book of logic problems, Paws 4 Logic, together with my son, Joey.
I’ve been writing stories ever since I was a kid. I used to fill notebooks with my tall tales and even wrote a series of “novels” in elementary school. It wasn’t until 2012 though that I first started to take my writing seriously. In October 2012 I had a vision of a young girl being given a silver cat charm by her grandmother, and I knew the vision was important, from this the story of P.A.W.S. was born.
I decided to try NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I put the rest of my life on hold for a month and wrote my story. At the end of the month I had the first draft of P.A.W.S.
And we are so glad you have taking your writing seriously or we would not have gotten these books! That’s great that you completed NaNoWriMo successfully as I have heard it is quite the challenge. Okay, now I am wondering, if you had to choose, which writers would you consider to be mentors?
J.K Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett and the late and great Douglas Adams.
Can you imagine if J.K. Rowling reads this interview? Perhaps a combination of P.A.W.S. and Harry Potter could be in the future! (Christy finishes eating an Oreo; can’t rush it). Debbie, who do you think would enjoy reading P.A.W.S.?
Although P.A.W.S. is classified as a young adult fantasy, I’ve had readers of all ages including many adults enjoy my series. I think that is partly because I focus not just on the teen characters in my books, but explore the background and motivation of the adult characters too.
That’s wonderful that P.A.W.S. appeals to a wide range of ages. How would you describe your main character in P.A.W.S.?
There’s a lot of me in Miri Katz. I, like Miri, was bullied as a child and the experience has made me stronger. I also loved (and still love) to immerse myself into stories and my favorite childhood book was Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Also like Miri I was close to my own omama (grandmother) who died when I was 10 years old.
I am sorry to hear about your grandmother passing when you were so young. I have a feeling she would be proud of your publishing successes. What is the main message that you want to tell people who read P.A.W.S.?
Keep reading. There’s a lot more to come. The second book in the series, Argentum, is already out, and I’m currently working on the third.
That’s an insider scoop! Hey, let’s watch the book trailer Argentum (P.A.W.S. 2):
What did you learn while writing your first P.A.W.S. book, and will that impact future books you write?
The main thing I learned is I can do it. Understand that I started many books throughout the years, but P.A.W.S. was the first one I finished. Achieving it has empowered me – I know I have a whole world inside me that needs to come out . . . and it will!
Motivational, Debbie. And now for the last question. What tips would you give to someone who is interested in writing his or her first book?
Write the book that you would like to read . . . oh, and try NaNoWriMo. It worked for me!
Thank you for being here today, Debbie! It’s great to chat about books and writing.
And thank YOU to everyone who stops by to read this interview. You can connect further with Debbie Manber Kupfer at her blog Paws4Thought. As well, find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads. Find all of Debbie Manber Kupfer’s books, including the P.A.W.S. series, at Amazon.
Now, who else wants an Oreo? 🙂
©2015 Christy Birmingham