... Debbie Kupfur
1. Tell me about your book “P.A.W.S.” and where you got your inspiration for it?
“P.A.W.S.” is the story of a young girl Miri who receives a very special gift from her omama (grandmother) the night before she dies. The gift is a silver amulet in the shape of a cat and has been passed down for generations in Miri’s family. The amulet bestows special magic powers on its owner, but Miri will only discover those powers several years later when she is being bullied and the amulet’s power helps her to escape the bullies.
Miri’s story along with that of her omama, Celia came to me in a flash last October and I knew I had to write it.
2. Who has had the most influence in your life? What lessons did this person teach you?
My own omama, Sophie Manber was probably the biggest influence in my life. She told me stories and taught me how to bake. She also loved cats. I dedicated “P.A.W.S.” to her and know that if she was alive today she would have loved the story.
3. Ninjas or Pirates?
Ninjas for the win! (In fact my daughter and I have talked about writing a story together about a ninja school!)
4. If someone came up to you and wanted to tell you about an idea or a book they were writing, what would you do? Or what advice would you give?
Go for it! I might encourage them to try NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month - http://nanowrimo.org/) – it truly helped me write “P.A.W.S.”
5. Would you rather write for children or adults?
Both – “P.A.W.S.” may be labelled YA, but I hope it has crossover appeal.
6. Have you ever killed someone in a novel and regretted it later?
Nope – all the deaths in “P.A.W.S.” are very necessary to the plot.
7. What are the most important attributes to staying sane as a writer?
You need to be pretty thick skinned – must learn not to take criticism personally. Also a sense of humour helps, and that’s for everyone, not just for writers.
8. Do you research your novels?
Oh yes. In my current work in progress, I seem to be spending more time researching than writing. Last week alone I researched a tiny island of the coast of Ireland, a mountain in Wales, and the history of the teabag!
9. What would you do with 1 million ping pong balls?
Cool question. I’d take them along with my two kids up to the top of a mountain and then let my kids roll them over the side and watch them roll down (and hope they don’t hit anyone on the head!)
10. What’s your favourite book and why?
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I love all of Douglas Adams work and recently shared the book with my son.
11. What do you like most about being a writer?
The ability to stare into space and say that you are working!
12. How do you overcome writers block?
I go for a walk. Ideas come best, when you’re outside and on the move.
13. What is your favourite quote?
“There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who believe there are two kinds of people in this world and those who are smart enough to know better.”
― Tom Robbins, “Still Life with Woodpecker”
14. How did you come up with the title for your latest book?
When I’m not writing, I create puzzles for puzzle magazines. In the puzzle community my nom (penname) is Paws. It seemed only natural to name my first book that. As yet the sequel that I’m working has no title. I’m hoping that the right title will emerge as I write.
15. What are your current projects?
I’m currently working on the sequel to P.A.W.S. and I’ve also written a short story for an anthology “The Fauxpocalypse Project” that all being well will be published later this year.
16. Do you recall how your interest in writing occurred?
I’ve been writing since I was small, but until recently I never felt confident showing anyone my work. I was amazed when I read my prologue aloud at a local writers group and folks told me it was good and I needed to try and get it published.
17. If you could chose one person, living or dead, real or fictional to mentor you, who would you chose?
Dumbledore (it worked for Harry, right?)
18. When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I held my published book in my hands!
19. If you could have an unlimited storage of one thing, what would it be?
20. If you had your own talk show, who would the first three guests be?
J.K. Rowling, Billy Bragg and President Obama (Wouldn’t that be a great show?)
Debbie grew up in the UK in the East London suburb of Barking. She has lived in Israel, New York and North Carolina and somehow ended up in St. Louis, where for the last 14 years she has worked as a freelance puzzle constructor of word puzzles and logic problems. She lives with her husband, two children and a very opinionated feline. “P.A.W.S.” is her first published novel and she’s currently working on a sequel. She believes that with enough tea and dark chocolate you can achieve anything!