Monday, May 2, 2016

Author Spotlight, Debbie Manber Kupfer, Author of P.A.W.S.

I recently starting branching out into the world of online book conventions and other author events.  In doing so, I started to see the same names popping up.  I recognized one of the covers below from Twitter and was happy to finally meet the author behind the books.  Debbie Manber Kupfer was kind enough to attend my event during the Brains to Book Cyber Con and I had the opportunity to learn more about her series P.A.W.S. and Argentum (P.A.W.S. 2).  During our interview I asked her why she had become an author and was surprised to find that she is a breast cancer survivor.  Thankfully, she is cancer-free, but it made her understand the importance of doing these things she always wanted to do.  Writing a book was one of the those things.  I admire her strength and courage, but I also admire the fact that she understood how important it is to follow your dreams.  Please see Debbie's full interview below.  This week, her books on sale for $0.99, so please check them out!

Book Genre: YA Fantasy
Suggested Reading Audience: Teens and adults.
Content Warning: Book 1, P.A.W.S. – PG, Book 2, Argentum – PG 13

Book blurbs for both books:
When Miri receives a silver cat charm from her omama on the night before she dies she has no idea that the charm holds a secret, a powerful magic that saved her omama's life and is about to make Miri's a whole lot more interesting.
Join Miri on a mysterious and supernatural journey with her new friends, members of an underground St. Louis society known as the Partnership for Animagi, Werewolves, and Shapeshifters, better known as P.A.W.S.
Argentum (P.A.W.S. 2)
Argentum is the thread that binds all magic – the silver wands, the silver scrying bowls, and the silver charms of the shapeshifters all contain the essence of Argentum.
The destruction of Alistair has brought a measure of peace and calm to those at P.A.W.S., but his silver charm remains in Miri’s possession and it seems to almost have a life of its own.
Nightmares and questions torment Miri until the charm mysteriously disappears and Jessamyn seeks help from Quentin, who claims to have repented his past association with Alistair. But can he be trusted?
And Jenna, the young girl once held captive by Alistair, is carrying a terrible secret - a secret that could determine the future of P.A.W.S.

Purchase P.A.W.S. (US)

Purchase Argentum (P.A.W.S. 2) (US)
Signed copies from author website

What made you decide to become an Author and write a book or a series?
I’ve been writing stories ever since I was small and always knew I wanted to write a book, but felt I had all the time in the world for that. Then in 2011 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I went through treatment and today I’m cancer-free, but going through this made me realize my own mortality. I understood that if I really wanted to write a book I couldn’t wait as you never know how long you have.

So, in November of 2012 I started writing P.A.W.S. and quickly learned that I had a whole world waiting for me to unlock, for more than just one book. P.A.W.S. was published in 2013 followed by Argentum in 2014 and I’m currently working on books 3 and 4 in the series.

Why did you choose to write in your genre and what are some of the difficulties associated with the genre?
I love fantasy both to read and to write. With magic you can go anywhere and do anything – it’s exhilarating. The genre itself gives me little problem. What is sometimes challenges is keeping all the little details of series straight. I have a huge cast and some of my characters are many centuries old. When I was writing the first book I wrote without an outline and let the story goes where it pleased. When I sat down to write the second book in the series I quickly realized that I couldn’t do it in the same way. So I took a step back and created a character list, family tree, and timeline. Now whenever a new character or event emerges as I write I add it to my documents and I helps tremendously in keeping the series consistent.

What is your favorite book you have written?  What was the hardest part to write?
Argentum (book two of my series). I love the quirky places (the Welsh mountains, the tiny isle off of Ireland) that it took me too and the twists and turns of the story. But it also contains one of the hardest scenes I’ve ever written – a rape of a minor – fairly early on in the book. I knew it was necessary for the story, but that doesn’t make it easy to write and I felt a sense of dread as I was coming up to that particular chapter. (This is also the reason I would rate this book PG13 rather than PG. It’s not a particularly graphic scene, but shocking nonetheless.)

Who is your favorite character to write for and why?
I have a couple. Firstly it’s always fun to write about my kangaroo animagus, Joey Marks. The character is based on my son, Joey, who shares a lot of his personality traits. Super smart, super bouncy, and getting passionate about new things!

Then there’s Gromer the Green, the last wild warlock of Wales with a fondness for pea soup and wizzlewoop hunting. The character first appeared in Argentum and has a cameo in both P.A.W.S. 3 and 4!

What is your writing process?  Do you have the story planned out or does it surprise you as you write it?  Do you write at night, or in the morning?  Do you listen to a play list?
The bulk of my novels so far have started out as NaNoWriMo projects during November, April and July. During those months I set myself a daily target (usually 2K words) and write first thing each morning and don’t let myself go on the internet until I’ve finished my words for the day.

In between NaNo months I edit my novels and write short stories.

Do you enjoy writing a series or individual stories?
Both – I love writing my series, but I project it to be a long series, so in between I write short stories for anthologies. It’s my way to experiment in different genres.

What are the strangest events or advertising methods have you used to get your name and books into the public eye?
Haven’t done it, but this summer I plan to go to Warped Tour with my daughter and hand it bookmarks for my series to all the kids waiting in line. 

What would you like your readers to know about you or your books?
I adore it when my readers reach out to me and am more than happy to answer questions about pretty much anything!

Looking ahead, what can we expect to see from you in the future?  What are you working on?
Well, I have a book of silliness entitled Tea and Dark Chocolate out at the beginning of May. Then towards the end of the year Umbrae, (P.A.W.S. 3), will be out. In Umbrae we travel with Miri to Israel and discover a world beneath the shadows. I also have a couple of picture books in the works for younger readers.

Author bio: Debbie Manber Kupfer grew up in the London. She has lived in Israel, New York and North Carolina and somehow ended up in St. Louis, where she works as a writer and a freelance puzzle constructor of word puzzles and logic problems. She lives with her husband, two children and a very opinionated feline. Her first novel, P.A.W.S., was published originally in June 2013 and her second book in the series, Argentum, was released in October 2014. In addition she has stories in several anthologies including Fauxpocalypse, Shades of Fear, Winter Wishes, and Sins of The Past. In February 2015 she published a book of logic puzzles, Paws 4 Logic, with her son Joey. She believes that with enough tea and dark chocolate you can achieve anything!

Contact Debbie: 

No comments: