Interview with an author: Deborah P. Gómez
Deborah is a Journalist and Writer; she is the author of La Piedra del Sol, La Luna de Plata (both parts of El caso McGowan) and La noche que Thor conoció á Catwoman. In 2023 she will publish De "La Vie en Rose" a la Vida en "Grease" with Penguin Random House.
What got you into writing your own stories?
I have loved reading and writing since I was very young, but I always thought that it was a dream impossible to achieve so I was a bit lazy about writing a book thinking that no one would ever read me. It was during the first lockdown when I found the time and motivation to finish my first novel and since then, I haven't stopped writing!
What genre do you write?
I write romantic thriller as an indie author and romcom for Penguin Random House.
Tell us about your WIP.
In 2023, I will publish two romcoms with Penguin Random House Spain and the third part of El caso McGowan as an indie author.
How would you describe your writing style?
I like to surprise my readers constantly so I am trying to create stories that cross different genres (i.e. you can have a good laugh with my thrillers, why not?) and also have a lot of plot twists. I´m always seeking to create something out of the box, but keeping a fresh touch and sense of humour.
What comes more easily, plot or characters?
Always the plot. My characters often start with a vague personality that evolves chapter by chapter. And then I have to come back and rewrite the story thinking how this now-mature character would really react to that situation, now that I got to know him/her better.
Do you cross over genres or like to stick to only one?
I love crossing genres and the formula is working well for me both as a writer and as a reader. If I find a book that crosses genres, it already has my interest.
How do you get into the flow for writing? Do you have any rituals?
My ritual consists in waking up every day at 6 and start shaping the ideas I had previously written in notes. The inspiration process is another story... it can happen whilst I'm having a shower, travelling or sleeping. At any time really, I just need to make sure that I have my phone or some pencil and paper to write everything down.
What is your personally most significant achievement as a writer, and why?
As an indie author, I feel very proud of every little step because I don´t have a big publisher promoting me, everything costs time and effort, but when you see results... you feel so rewarded. I think my biggest achievements are both to see my novels in Barnes & Noble bookshops in the USA and soon, if everything goes as planned, publishing for Penguin Random House in Spain in 2023.
What would be the greatest achievement for you to aim for as a writer if anything were possible? Seeing my novels in Netflix or the big screen. I would cry... badly.
What are you most grateful for as a writer? The feeling when the readers contact you to let you know how much they enjoyed your novels is indescribable. When they generate content about your books, telling others how they have imagined the characters, creating reviews... knowing that you made them feel something with your stories is overwhelming.
Do you have a day job? What is it? I am a digital marketer. I am very lucky because I love both jobs.
Has a real-life experience informed your writing? Share the scene it inspired. I use a lot of real-life experiences in my writing, but I will keep that for myself LOL. I don´t want my friends and relatives to question every single thing they read...
Do you read the same genre you write? Why, or why not? I can read anything really, I like to combine genres. But yes, my favourite books are always thrillers and romcoms.
Do you read fellow indie authors' works? Why or why not? Since I have discovered the Bookstagram community, I mostly read other fellow indie authors. I have met so many amazing indie authors lately that my library keeps growing every day and I don't have time to read all the books I committed to. So far it's been a great experience because we are sharing tips, helping each other to promote our books, meeting to have a coffee and a good talk...
Is there an author who inspires you?
Carlos Ruíz Zafón (RIP) was an amazing source of inspiration.
Give us three fun facts about yourself.
As a Spanish speaker living in the UK, I had very awkward situations with the language when I first arrived in this country. For instance, I told my manager that I was waiting for him in his office "naked" instead of "knackered", or recommended someone to cook "pasta with vegan mice meat" instead of "mince meat".
I am very clumsy and can easily ruin a romantic moment with my husband by doing something stupid. I am my own source of inspiration for a silly romcom situation.
I am very easy-going and open-minded with everyone, and when I travel, I often live dangerous or awkward situations because I believe everyone could be my friend. My mistake!
What is something few people know about you? I worked as a model for fantasy art projects and hairdressing magazines. Spanish photographers used to feel very attracted by my red hair for those fantasy art projects because it´s unusual in Spain.
Do you have any hobbies?
Too many. But my real passions are travelling, writing, reading and dancing. And drinking coffee, is that a hobby?
What's your favourite holiday? I couldn't choose just one place, but I love New York, Mexico and Bali. There is a vibe there that I easily connect with. I always try to find destinations where I can do a bit of everything, water sports, jungle, enjoying the local communities, good food and coffee, a bit of city break...
What's your favourite season?
I am a summer person :) But I don´t like extreme heat, so I would say Northern Spain / Southern England summer to be more specific.
Do you have pets?
My lifestyle doesn't allow me to have them as I am always travelling and socializing, but I love animals.
Featured book: La Piedra del Sol (El caso McGowan I)
Why would you like to feature this book? It's my favourite book. It was the first one and the most difficult one to write, because I had all those fears that newbie writers have. And also the one that got the most compliments.
What's your favourite review of this book? My favourite review was from a bookstagrammer who said this trilogy will be as epic as The Lord of the Rings or Hunger Games. That would be a dream come true.
What's your favourite quote from La Piedra del Sol?
"That night of nocturnal mysteries, mist and secrets, Ethan McGowan stole my dignity, pride and sleep." (It makes sense when you read the book)
Who was your favourite character to write? Ethan McGowan, the male character, because he is a mystery for the readers, nobody really knows who he is or what he's doing in London, nobody really discovers until the end if he's a good or a bad guy, if he is the murderer or the victim, and playing with that ambiguity is super fun.
What was your favourite scene to write and why?
It was a scene that happens in Kyoto Garden in London, because there was something crazy that I added last minute. My characters were in a taxi and suddenly, I asked them to jump a fence and break into Kyoto Garden in London to find something in a pond that is a key part to resolve the case. The scene itself is a bit silly, but also sexy, mysterious, intriguing and very steamy. Some of my readers told me that they went to that park after just after reading the book because they wanted to see the pond.
What was the spark that started La Piedra del Sol? I think it was my holidays in Mexico. The novel was in my mind already as a romcom, but after travelling all over Mexico, I knew I needed to write something more complex.
What was the most interesting random fact you researched for La Piedra del Sol?
Well, it´s not something I researched as such but the story is written in two different times. It's a trial were the main character is explaining what happened to her a few months before. The problem here was that I started to write the book in 2019, and what I call the future, was just a few months after, 2020. The last thing I could expect was that I would have to rewrite the end and also the beginning of the second part because in 2020 we were in lockdown because of Covid, what were the odds? In the same way, I published the second novel this year and had to rewrite a few things because when I finished writing the novel in June 2022, I couldn´t expect that in just two months, Boris Johnson would no longer be the president and the Queen would die. My book ends in January 2023, so I had to rewrite some key facts.
What's the message you worked into La Piedra del Sol?
It´s purely fiction but my mission was to present the other side of the story of the discovery of America, that Columbus probably wasn´t the first to arrive in those lands and that he didn't "discover" anything, he was just the one to get the credit for invading those lands.