Interview with Regina Duke

Bio: Regina Duke has been writing since she was thirteen! Her alter ego is Linda White whose career at University took up a lot of time for thirty years, but she still managed to accumulate a daunting pile of encouraging rejections slips. Is that an oxymoron? Regina and Linda inhabit the same body and do battle daily over what to write next. The family is made complete by two papillons and a tiny Sheltie.

What prompted you to write that first book? Did you always want to be an author?
I wrote my first (horrible) novel at 13. Prior to that, there were no extra pens and paper in the house, or I might have started earlier. I remember copying words from a book page at the age of five, because I wanted to write, but I had no idea what they said at that age!

You have multiple stories published, how do you decide which story to write?
I let the characters tell me. The ones who make the most noise in my head are the ones who have to go on paper first. I make rational choices about which book to do next, and my characters, waiting in the wings, just shoot me down and take over.

Can you tell us a little bit about your latest release?
Trickster and Other Stories is a collection of my soft science fiction and quiet horror stories that have languished literally for twenty years. Three of them appeared in semi-pro magazines in the early 1990s, and three have never been published. I love these stories and the characters in them. I just wanted to share them.

Your book, Trickster and other stories, contain paranormal elements. Have
you ever had a paranormal experience?
Yes, I have. Not a ghost or anything sexy like that. 🙂 But as a child I saw visions of the future which I could not explain until enough time passed for them to become reality. The visions stayed with me all through life. They were quite comforting actually. Proof to me that there is more to us than what we see with our eyes. One vision was about square black boxes with slots for flat cubes that turned into movies on a wall. The moment I saw my first video recorder, I had an electric jolt of a realization that my dream had just become a reality. The movies on a wall: flat screen TVs. Fun stuff.

Do you plot your stories out or do you just start writing?
I used to fly by the seat of my pants. Now it depends on the genre. If I’m writing a short story, the seed of the idea is full blown and I sit down and pound it out. If I’m writing a novel, I now spend a lot of time working out the details. But usually I can’t wait to start writing, so I plot out a chapter or two, decide what the ending will be, then I start writing. I end up plotting between chapters. LOL!

What was the funniest thing you learned about your hero/heroine from writing
their story?
Wow. For Terri in North Rim Delight, it was learning she had a feisty streak that could really get her into trouble. She just has to get in that last dig. It almost got her killed at the Canyon, and it certainly played a role in the way that book ended!

Which of your characters is most like you and which is least like you?
Gosh, these are probing questions! I have to think.
Least like me would be the vampire-like creatures in “Trickster,” the title story of my collection.
Most like me… well, Terri and I have a lot in common. We’ve both been through crazy times with crazy people, and we’ve dealt with it by pretending life is normal and trudging onward until things got better. But Terri gets to grow and mature at a much quicker rate than I did. But then, no writer was plotting my course for me!

Can you describe your office or where you normally write?
I love my home office! Don’t laugh, but the walls are pink because it makes me feel happy. And there are pictures of handsome men plastered on the walls. TV characters, musicians, and posters. And of course, there are photos of my dogs! I also pin my goals to the wall by my computer. Boxes of files, filing cabinets, and paper everywhere. Dog beds and toys (and dogs) scattered about. Fun place to write.

Which came first the plot or the characters?
In the case of North Rim Delight, the characters came first. They told me their story and we went from there. The same with Woof in the Wedding Plans, a novella that follows them three months later. In Trickster and Other Stories, the ideas for the stories came first, and the characters were born out of a need to know how a person would react to those “what if?” situations.

Have you ever gotten stuck while writing a scene or chapter? How did you
overcome it?
Oh, yes! Sometimes I am stuck so badly that I have to change projects. Go write something completely different. The interesting part? Several times the “something completely different” turned out to be exactly what the story needed and ended up as the next chapter!

What is the wackiest thing that’s ever happened to you since you started
writing?
The wackiest thing since epubbing had to be when The Woof in the Wedding Plans hit #24 on the Amazon Top 100 list for Home and Garden, Wedding Planners!

Did you do any research for you book and, if so, did you find any
interesting information that you had to include in the story?

For North Rim Delight, I researched veterinary technicians. I even interviewed a veterinarian to learn about types of surgery that could be used to hide diamonds in a dog.
For Woof in the Wedding Plans, I had to learn protection-dog training terms in German!
For Trickster and Other Stories, I did a great deal of research for several stories, including reading research papers on the life habits of coyotes. Sounds dry, but it inspired the story!

Where can readers find out more about you?
I have two websites, http://www.reginaduke.com and http://www.lindalouwrites.com . More doggy stuff on the latter. My Regina Duke blog will hopefully be functional by the end of the October. One step at a time in this indie pub world!

URLs for my books:
Regina Duke & Linda White’s Trickster and Other Stories http://www.amzn.com/B005OKJMGY
Regina Duke’s The Woof in the Wedding Plans (a novella) http://www.amzn.com/B005JSPBV6
Regina Duke’s North Rim Delight, http://www.amzn.com/B0050Q57SY

About Linda Andrews

Linda Andrews lives with her husband and three children in Phoenix, Arizona. When she announced to her family that her paranormal romance was to be published, her sister pronounce: "What else would she write? She’s never been normal." All kidding aside, writing has become a surprising passion. So just how did a scientist start to write paranormal romances? What other option is there when you’re married to romantic man and live in a haunted house? If you’ve enjoyed her stories or want to share your own paranormal experience feel free to email the author at www.lindaandrews.net She’d love to hear from you.
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14 Responses to Interview with Regina Duke

  1. Thanks for having me, Linda! It’s such a pleasure to be here. 🙂

  2. LOL, I don’t think any writers are normal! Glad I’m in good company. Love the dog and wedding cake cover, it makes me want to buy the bool.

  3. Thanks, Pepper! My cover designer Sandy Edwards is amazing. I love your comment! No, writers are not normal at all. If we were, we would be watching TV and playing canasta. 🙂 But no, instead we hunker down over our keyboards and play in different universes. 🙂

  4. Great interview Regina! I’m always interested in how other writers craft their books. I’ve written entirely by the seat of my pants, plotted and outlined heavily, and done a combo of both. I can’t say which is better.

    • Hi, Kathy! Yes, the plot vs “flow” controversy is never ending. I find that letting a whole new idea unfold during a break in writing one project can often lead to filling a plot hole. At the very least, it starts a new project. Win-win! LOL

  5. bellastreet says:

    Hey, Regina! Great post! And of course, Linda’s blog always rocks 🙂

  6. Thank you, Bella! I’m hoping around playing catchup to 360 emails and goodness! How many tweets? Next time, I’m taking my Mac to the dog show and hope my hotel has Wi-Fi. LOL!

  7. That is hopping around. Morning spelling. Argh. More coffee!

  8. Hi Regina! Great interview, great questions! You have the perfect writing office filled with perfect companions :>) Congrats on your new release, Trickster and Other Stories!

  9. Hi, Cherri! Thank you so much! BTW I was just tweeting about you again. Love that TRACKING PERCEPTION. Your books inspire me, and they make me want to add more dogs! LOL

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