Posted on 10/14/2016 at 12:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
D.A. Featherling has done it all throughout her professional career — working at state agencies, a university physics research center, and the home staging business she launched — so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that she writes it all.
Her oeuvre includes mysteries, romantic comedies, futuristic suspense, and romances, making her website’s tagline of “Fiction A La Carte” especially fitting.
We let the versatile author, who also has experience with journalism and nonfiction, take a turn as the interview subject rather than interviewee recently. Here’s what she had to say.
SADYE: What prompted you to pursue writing and publishing fiction?
D.A.: A number of years ago, I read an article published in Reader’s Digest. It posed the question, “If you could do anything in the world you wanted [in terms of a profession], regardless of education, training, finances, etc., what would it be?
To my surprise, the answer that popped into my mind was “I’d write books.”
It took a couple of more years before I actually tried to write. I finally started my first novel (a romance) during my lunch hour at a “regular job.”
I wrote for several years, went to conferences, acquired an agent, etc. ... all the things a writer is supposed to do, on a part-time basis. Later, I got sidetracked into pursuing my own small business as a home stager, and that kept me from devoting much time to writing.
In January 2013, something just clicked, and I figured if I was ever going to be published, I needed to do it now. Since then, I’ve indie-published twelve books, with two more due to be published this fall.
SADYE: Do you find it difficult to switch among genres?
D.A.: I really don’t have a problem with switching genres. If I’m writing a series, I go back and read the preceding book(s) to get back into the character’s speech patterns and head, then start writing.
I’ve enjoyed writing all of my books, but I have to admit, I really enjoy writing the mysteries. That’s what I like to read, along with suspense, so I guess that’s to be expected. I try to be fair with my readers and plant clues as to “whodunit” along the way without giving away the ending, and that can sometimes be challenging.
SADYE: You’ve said that nothing compares to having fans tell you how your writing has affected them. Can you share a few such stories?
D.A.: The first time it happened was after a fan read one of my romantic comedies. She was an older lady whose adult daughter was dying of cancer. The reader told me, after her daughter had passed, that she couldn’t have made it without my book to read to take her away from the terrible situation she was facing. I couldn’t have been more touched.
Recently, an acquaintance told me of a couple where the wife has incurable cancer. Her husband reads her a chapter of one of my books every night. The thought that my writing can help her escape for a while is truly humbling and inspiring.
SADYE: What has been the best way for you to promote your work?
D.A.: I admit to being technologically challenged! I’m trying to do better, but to date, the best way for me to promote my work has been through book signings and talks where I also sell my books.
I love meeting other people who love to read (as I do) and it’s especially nice when they have read some of my books and are eager to read more. I hope to use social media more as I try to understand and master the basics.
SADYE: What has been the best writing-related advice you’ve received?
D.A.: Don’t give up, keep writing. And read, read, read. I’ve always pictured myself, over the years, as having a great big bucket, rather like an old-fashioned milk pail, poised over my head.
All the words I’ve ever read (and it’s been a lot) have gone into that bucket — from books, newspapers, magazines, the back of cereal boxes, whatever — and when that bucket got filled up, the words had to spill out into writing of my own.
I like to think of myself as replenishing the contents of that bucket with every word I read even today.
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Categories: Author Interview