On Being a Small Press Author – Deborah Riley-Magnus

Running a small press is just like running a business with a group of employees – well almost. I don’t actually get to see them every day and we can’t gather around the water cooler to chat. Since we all see each other only virtually, I thought it might be nice to ‘introduce’ our authors to both each other and their readers via a series of short interviews. These interviews will run every couple of days for the next month or so – it’s a neat way of finding out how similar authors can be, and yet so different.


On this Monday morning, I’m happy to present Deborah Riley-Magnus. She is the author of The Twice-Baked Vampire Series and Finding Author Success. Deborah’s novels are fun and different – a mix of fantasy, paranormal and mystery with characters unlike anything I’ve read before. I met Deborah over Twitter, her wonderful interviews and advice on publishing were what caught my eye. She’s a great gal, and a great chef – and I wish we lived a little closer so we could get together to share ideas and recipes.

1. The first book I can remember reading is: The first book I remember reading will age me greatly! But I will tell you that the author who most influenced me over the years is Barbara Kingsolver. She’s amazing and her work always touches me deeply and inspires me to write better and better.

2. The first book I ever wrote was:  The first book I ever wrote was a contemporary fiction entitled “Blind in the Light”, the story of a Catholic priest struggling with a crisis of faith that takes him through an amazing journey of spirituality. Someday I’ll polish that book and look for publication.

3. An average day in my life goes like this: Oh my, let’s see. Of course my first intention is to write, I’m always working on my fiction and the next book in The Twice-Baked Vampire Series … but the reality is that I’m not just an author, I’m also an Author Success Coach. In any given week I could be teaching online or doing live workshops on marketing, promotions or publicity for authors, doing one-on-one coaching with an author, speaking live or doing various author chats. Sometimes more than one of these activities happen in a day. I forget to eat lunch almost every day, LOL. I’m a retired chef, so my roommate expects dinner when she gets home from work. In the evenings I love my Pittsburgh Pirates if it’s summer, and the Steelers and Penguins in the winter. Oh, and I’m also addicted to most reality contests shows like Top Chef, Project Runway, The Voice, etc. Before bed, I write, of course.

4. I found out about Central Avenue Publishing from:  I met Michelle Halket on Twitter and was extremely impressed with her approach to the publishing industry, her authors and her business. Central Avenue Publishing became my choice for publication.  I decided to submit my book because: Because of the Central Avenue Publishing attitude, I wanted Michelle to publish my first non-fiction, Finding Author Success: Discovering and Uncovering the Marketing Power within your Manuscript. After talking at length by phone with her, I also offered Cold in California, book #1 of The Twice-Baked Vampire Series. The rest is history.

5. The last book I read was: I read several books and review them on one of my blogs. The last book I read was Touching Smoke by Airicka Phoenix. I’m currently reading Amber Polo’s Released, Book #1 of The Shapeshifters’ Library.

6. In order for me to sit down and write, I need:  TIME and QUIET. I carefully block off time to write, I don’t answer the phone or emails during those hours every day. It’s easier, of course, at night time. I listen to no music, no radio, and I even turn off that bonking noise that tells me there’s another email.

7. My ‘day job’ is:  Author Success Coach. Luckily I do this at home, over the phone, on skype or on MSN Live. I write tons of guest blogs for groups. I teach workshops through my own website, The Author Success Coach, through Savvy Authors, WOW (Women on Writing) and with a few state writing organizations and individual RWA chapters. It takes up a lot of time, but it’s so rewarding! I especially love speaking at writers’ groups and conferences and signing books. It’s a blast!

8. I carve out time to write by:  Prayer? No, What I do (because I need it) is block off hours every day to write or plot. I don’t worry about word count, I just make sure I’m on track and faithful to the time I’ve promised myself.

9. In order to find time to write, I feel as though I sacrifice:  Absolutely NOTHING!

10. I am currently working on: I’m working on several books right now. Book #3 of the Twice-Baked Vampire Series entitled Amsterdamned is being plotted. I’m working on a women’s fiction, and a romance as well as my next non-fiction which focuses on Cross Marketing for authors.

11. The best piece of advice I ever got was from:  My chef instructor in culinary school. and it was: Don’t sweat the silly stuff … after all, it’s only a meatball, not brain surgery, just a few simple ingredients mixed together and rolled for saucy deliciousness. That simple statement changed the way I look at life!

12. The best piece of advice I would give is: Two things. First, remember the most important four letter word in the world is … N E X T. So it didn’t work, try again or try something else! And second … Hey, it’s only a meatball!


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