Friday, August 21, 2009

Dog Days of Summer: Author Deborah Blake

Author Deb Blake has already made a name for herself in the field of pagan non-fiction. Currently working on her fifth book for publishing house Llewellyn, Deb's not settling with just non-fiction, but crossing over into fiction, too.

I asked Deb about her habits as a writer and she pointed out that she writes "Almost every day."

What are Deb Blake's strengths as a writer?

"Besides the inability to give up in the face of impossible odds, you mean? Creativity, the love of writing in general and fantastical worlds in particular, and a dedication to BICHOK. (Butt in chair, hands on keyboard.)"

(I have to add one for her--she's funny!)

I asked the authors participating in the Dog Days of Summer BlogTour to name their favorite authors and explain why they ranked as their faves. Here's what Deb said:

"Jennifer Crusie (contemporary humorous romance) and Katie Fforde (ditto, but British). Tamora Pierce, Diana Wynne Jones, Patricia Wrede, Madelyn L’Engle (YA fantasy with strong female characters). Donna Andrews (humorous mystery), Charlaine Harris (mystery and fantasy, author of the Sookie Stackhouse books). Carol Berg, C. E Murphy, Marion Zimmer Bradley, S. Dale Brittain, Patricia McKillip, Mary Janice Davidson, Rosemary Edghill, Kim Harrison, Maria V. Snyder, Mercedes Lackey (fantasy authors). Candace Havens, Jeri Smith-Ready, Mindy Klasky, Shanna Swendson, Julie Kenner, Molly Harper (humorous paranormal romance/fantasy).Elizabeth Moon, Lois McMaster Bujold, S. M. Stirling (science fiction). Dick Francis (mysteries).

"I like them all because they make me laugh and/or think, because the characters are so real I feel like I know them, and because the writing is so good I get lost in the worlds they create. And this is just the short list :-) I know I’m leaving people out!"

Deb's top three to five books of all time? Add these to your reading list (because Deb, like many authors suggests you "Write. Read. Write some more.")!

"Everything by Jennifer Crusie and Dick Francis. Seriously.

But also:
The Sword-Edged Blonde, by Alex Bledsoe (an amazing combination of noir detective novels and sword & sorcery fantasy).
The Broken Sword, by Molly Cochran and Warren Murphy (a modern telling of the King Arthur tale—with the emphasis on a jaded Merlin and a young Arthur—brilliant)—and no, I don’t just read books with “sword” in the title :-)
A Good Year by Peter Mayle (contemporary fiction)
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
Magic Spells by Christy Yorke (contemporary fiction with a magical twist)

And, of course, 13 to Life! (Since I was one of the lucky few to have read it already.)"
(See, one more reason I adore Deb! ;-)

Deb said:

The nonfiction books are available everywhere (one hopes), including Amazon and the Llewellyn website. The fiction: my short story is in The Pagan Anthology of Short Fiction (Llewellyn 2008) and also on my website --my hope is that if you read it for free on the website and like it, you will go by the book to support the other authors in it. You can get a sneak peak at the first novel by going to and looking for my name or WITCH EVER WAY YOU CAN.

Tonight you'll also get a peek at a snippet of Deb's current wip KING ME! That'll post at 9pm tonight. :-) Remember--leave a comment or question here for Deb and you'll automatically be entered in our weekly contest for free books!


Sheila Deeth said...

Looks like we have a few favorites in common. I like strong female characters. So maybe I'll look out for some more of your favorite authors. Thanks for the list, and the interview.

Deborah Blake said...

Sheila--you're welcome! I think you'll like anyone on that list.

Saoirse...BTW--You spelled Llewellyn wrong :-) Love you anyway...

Saoirse Redgrave said...

Ah, you see--I try to do something nice by mentioning a publisher's name and look what it gets me. ;-)

Dropping one "l" (and consistently, darn it) is most likely acceptable considering what I've been doing all glorious week. :D