C.L. Denault’s book Gambit was published late March 2015. I have not had the pleasure of reading it yet but I plan to because it sounds incredible!
Why don’t we start off by you telling us a little about yourself?
Well, I’m a stay-at-home mom with a background in computer programming and a houseful of active kids that keep my on my toes. When I’m not taking care of my family, I’m usually writing, blogging, or working out.
What do you like to do for fun?
Any free time I get is mostly devoted to leisure activities, like watching movies or sunbathing, or playing Wordz on the iPad with my husband. Those things provide the relaxation I need to help me combat my hectic schedule.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Writing was never a realization for me. It was something I did automatically, like breathing. It started in kindergarten, when I began writing stories and poems for my grandmother. Then I did quite a bit of creative writing in junior high and high school. College forced me to focus on papers and essays, and my job as a programmer required business e-mails, instruction manuals, code, and documentation. It wasn’t until I became a stay-at-home mom that I started blogging and writing creatively again.
What does your family think of your writing?
They love it! My youngest son was my original motivation for writing a novel, and he’s been involved every step of the way. And my husband works from home twice a week so that I can get out and write. The whole crew was ecstatic when I signed a contract with REUTS Publications, and now that I’m published, they’re helping me with promotion and marketing. I’m so blessed to have their support.
What do you think makes a good story?
For me, a good story has a unique plot and relatable characters. But even if the plot is lukewarm or predictable, great characters will keep me reading. My favorite books are ones with characters that I love as much as the real people in my life.
Is there a subject you would never write about as author? If so what is it?
I haven’t really given it much thought. I write what I’m passionate about, and my passions tend to evolve over time. As long as an idea comes from my heart, I’m comfortable expressing it.
Do you create an outline before writing?
I tried this once, and it was a dismal failure. For me, writing works better if I work out some background details and then give myself the freedom to connect the dots as I go along.
How much research do you have to do before writing a novel?
Most of the time, I research as I go along.
Any advice for getting through the dreaded writers block?
I haven’t experienced a significant block yet, so I wouldn’t know what to tell someone. There are times when my muse disappears, though. When that happens, I take some time off and relax until my brain prompts me to get back to work.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors, like myself?
My sincerest advice would be to write from your heart. Write the things that you love, because when all else is stripped away, that love will drive you to keep going.
How is the publishing process? Any advice?
Before signing with REUTS, I knew very little about publishing or the steps involved. But they’ve been amazing at helping me through the process, and I’m thrilled to be working with them. I also received some excellent publishing advice from established authors in my area, including Julie Cross (Tempest series and Letters to Nowhere series). If I could offer any advice, I’d encourage writers to form connections with local authors. Asking for help can result in some great connections.
What’s next for you?
I have quite a few writing projects going, but I’m currently focusing on the sequel to Gambit.
Okay now for some lighter questions.
Coffee or Tea?
Both. Coffee in the morning, tea in the evening.
Do you write more in the morning, afternoon or at night?
I write whenever inspiration strikes and the keyboard is in front of me.
Are you an early bird or night owl?
Depends on the day and what’s going on with my family.
What is your favorite genre to read?
I’m all over the place, but I generally enjoy sci-fi, horror, and paranormal.
Is there a book that you wish you could have written?
What is your favorite book at the moment?
Narrowing down a favorite book, even for the moment, is impossible for me. But I recently picked up my copy of Watchers by Dean Koontz and got sucked in. That book is a poignant mix of intrigue and moral complexity. And I always cry at the end.
Is there anything else you would like for your readers to know?
My oldest son has Down syndrome, and his needs were the primary reason I gave up my career to stay at home. Caring for him has taught me more about compassion and persistence than anything else in my life. Without him, I wouldn’t be where I am today. A big high-five to my Bubby!
It was great to chat with you C.L. Denault, you sound like such a family person and I think that’s awesome! I can only hope I can find a great publisher and am able to form such bonds with them, and other authors. I wish you and your family well!