Meet Deborah Coates, author of Wide Open

Welcome to The Debuts, a series of posts introducing you to brand, spanking new authors you really should get to know.

Meet Deborah Coates!

Byrt: If one of the top Hollywood voice-over guys was narrating your book trailer (in a hammy Hollywood way), what would he say?

DC: In a world where dead soldiers walk, ghosts rise, and magic draws on ancient powers as powerful as thunderclouds…a soldier wants nothing more than to find her sister’s killer. If she can’t find the truth in ten days, Hallie Michaels must return to Afghanistan and the man who murdered her sister will be free to kill again.

Action! Adventure! Romance! (No, really, it has all those things)

Byrt: So what’s the story behind your story?

DC:In the case of Wide Open, I started with a couple of characters – Hallie and Boyd – and a setting. I knew that I wanted to tell a story set in a part of the country that most people never see or pay much attention to, that I wanted it to be contemporary fantasy and that I wanted it to be about these two characters. In general I don’t outline. I have some specific scenes or images in mind and I write to those scenes or images. Once I have a draft, I spend a lot of time making all those scenes and images and bits and pieces cohere into a real plot that (I hope) makes sense.

Byrt: If you like ________, you’ll like my book

DC: If you like PUPPIES!!!, you’ll like my book. Because I mean who doesn’t like PUPPIES!!! Which have nothing to do with my book, by the way, but, hey, look, PUPPIES!!!

Byrt: The silliest/craziest author moment you’ve had so far?

DC:I’m afraid to say that I don’t think I’ve had either a silly or crazy author moment so far. Hmm… nope, I got nothing :)

Byrt: Book you own with the most tattered, scotch-taped cover, the most battered spine? (And why you love it)

DC: I used to read RA Lafferty’s Past Master every year from about 9th grade through college. I loved that book literally to pieces. It’s been long enough now and long enough since I’ve read it that I’m not even sure I can tell you why and I’m a little afraid that if I read it now I’d have no idea why I loved it so much. I just thought it was this great spectacular book and I loved it more each time I read it. It was odd and a little crazy and involved Sir Thomas More resurrected in a failing future utopia. It had programmed mechanical killers and sacrifices for causes one doesn’t quite understand and friendship and horrible poverty and, wow, now I want to read it one more time.

Byrt: Book you’re reading right now?

DC:Currently, I’m reading Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, and Entwined by Heather Dixon. I’m also listening to The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis in the car and A Share in Death by Deborah Crombie when I walk the dogs.

Byrt: Biggest Fangirl moment you’ve ever had?

DC: As I’ve known more published authors and as my own publication date approached, I began to realize how much most authors appreciate knowing that readers liked their books (because I know I like knowing when readers like something I write). I’d always kind of figured that buying the books was the important thing, and it’s definitely important. But I decided that if I really liked someone’s book, I should write and tell them so. I’m a big fan of Louise Penny who writes mysteries set in the small town of Three Pines in Quebec. A few months ago I sent her an email telling her how much I’d enjoyed the most recent book of hers I’d read (Bury the Dead – it’s really, really good!) She wrote me back a lovely note almost immediately. I was like – Louise Penny wrote to me. Louise Penny! To me!!

Byrt: The TV show/movie you feel guiltiest admitting you love?

DC: 27 Dresses.

Byrt: First song lyric that comes to mind right now. Go.

DC: “Clang, clang, clang went the trolley. Ding, dong, ding when the bell.” (well, you said the first thing…)

Byrt: What’s up next for you?

DC: I have two more books in the same universe/setting as Wide Open. The second book, currently titled Deep Down, is with my editor and should be coming out in March 2013. I’m currently working on book three right now and it should be coming out a year after Deep Down. I have several ideas for books to follow those two, probably also contemporary fantasy, but not in the same series.

Thanks again to Deb Coates for stopping by the Yurt!

For more on all things Coates, check out her website here.

And you can read an excerpt of Wide Open here.