Name: Dorothy Featherling
Genres: Fiction: Thrillers, Mysteries, End Times, Romantic Comedy, Romance, YA Time Travel
Non-Fiction: True Crime, How To, Self-Help, Inspirational
What has been your most rewarding moment as an author?
When a reader of one of my early books sent me a card telling me how my book had gotten her through a difficult time. It was a romantic comedy. Her daughter was dying of cancer and in a coma. The reader sat by the daughter’s bedside for many hours, often reading to pass the time. She said my book was the only thing that got her through that difficult time. I was so honored and continue to be when readers tell me stories about how my books have helped, entertained, or enlightened them.
If you could offer one piece of writing advice to a novice author, what would it be?
READ. Read everything you can get your hands on. Preferably in your genre, but in other genres as well. You’ll absorb what another author does well and be able to apply it to your own writing in the future, often unconsciously.
Have you ever based characters on real people? Give us a couple of examples.
I don’t consciously use real people in my novels, but I do take their personalities or habits, especially if they are unique, and give those to characters on occasion. I probably also put some of myself into my characters without realizing it. I think most authors do. I had a friend who was twenty-five years older than I and I used her peppy personality in one of my end times novels for a landlady character. Without mentioning any names, I’ve also used people whom I’ve worked or been acquainted with as both good and bad guys in my novels.
How do you find your ideas for a book?
They find me. Everything I see, hear, do, is fodder for a book. A writer can take the most mundane situation, see something a bit unusual in it, and it may well develop into a book. Observing human nature and situations that occur is all I need to have ideas strike. I take the nugget and start asking ‘what if?’ and go from there. Many times the idea isn’t sufficient to carry a whole book. Those I can use in a scene or chapter rather than as the theme.
What kind of books do you enjoy reading and how often do you read?
I most enjoy mysteries, suspense, and westerns especially. I read voraciously. On average at least one book a day (I read fast). I also tend to re-read books I really like, so there are a number of authors whose books I’ve read a dozen times, and still enjoy re-reading on occasion. Those are the ones you’ll find on my bookshelves.
Do you have your books edited, critiqued, and/or beta-reviewed? If so, what is your usual procedure?
The procedure I’ve developed over the years works for me. Once I’ve finished my first draft, I go back over and edit, re-write as needed, look for ‘weasel words,’ and listen to the computer read the book back to me while looking at the pages on the screen. Once I’ve made all my changes, I send the book to my critique partners and ask for their input. When that’s done, I send it to a group of beta readers and get their final comments. I then submit the book for publication (I independently publish) and order a paper proof copy. I re-read every word again, make any changes (including back cover copy) and re-submit for final publication.
Daphne du Maurier Mystery and Suspense Award
D. A. (Dorothy) Featherling is a multi-published, award-winning author of over thirty books, print and e-books. She writes fiction and non-fiction for both adults and young adults. A visit to her website details all of the books available and links directly to Amazon where the books may be purchased. Featherling is retired, writes full-time and always finds time for public speaking engagements for clubs, organizations, schools, and churches. She lives in Central Texas in a small town that often furnishes fodder for her novels, or, at least, provides entertainment while observing the foibles of human nature.