August 19, 2013

interview with the author of 'keeping score'

Blogger's Note: Today, I'm pleased to welcome Jamie Deise, debut author of Keeping Score, on the blog for this interview.

Change the Word: What surprised you most when writing this book?
Jami Deise: How long it turned out to be. I thought it would be too short and I'd end up stretching things out to have enough words for a novel, and it went up to 106K and I had to do a major edit to bring it down to the appropriate length for women's fiction.

CTW: What is your writing style? Are you a plotter? A pantser? A combo of the two?
JD: I lean more toward plotter. I used to write screenplays and I'd outline every single beat before ever writing "fade in." I'm a little less strict than that with my novels, but I still end up outlining major plot points while I'm writing. My philosophy is that writing is like driving -- you don't get in the car without knowing where you're going, and you should write with certain plot points in mind as well.

CTW: What approach do you take when editing your own work?
JD: There are different levels of editing, and I think the brain works in different ways depending on what you're doing. My first few edits, I concentrate on plot, character, and structure, so I re-read the book as fast as I can to get a feel for the complete story. I make notes through comments on what needs to be changed -- which scenes can be deleted, which ones should be expanded, which subplots don't work. Then I get the book to beta readers and take their opinions into account. Then I do an edit for wordiness, word choice, etc. The last one is for grammar, punctuation and spelling.

CTW: What's one thing you have to have (i.e. music, socks, juice, silence, etc.) when you sit down to write?
JD: Definitely silence. I need to be able to hear the voices in my head.

CTW: You're stranded on a desert island with no way to connect your e-Reader to electricity. What three books do you take with you?
JD: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; Stephen King's The Stand,  and Gone with the Wind.

CTW: If you could swap places with any literary character, who would you choose?
JD: Hermione Granger

CTW: What character from a book would you like to have as your best friend?
JD: LOL, again it would be Hermione Granger

CTW: What literary character do you have the biggest crush on?
JD: Rhett Butler

CTW: What's the best piece of writing advice you ever received?
JD: To set daily goals. I took a class in which the teacher required us to sign a contract pledging to write 90 minutes a day. I tried that, but I found that what worked best for me was a daily word count.

CTW: Anything else you'd like to add?
JD: Keep reading!

About the Author
A lifelong resident of Maryland, Jami Deise recently moved to St. Petersburg, Florida, along with her husband Tom, son Alex, and dog Lady. A baseball mom for over 10 years, Keeping Score is her first novel. Jami is an associate reviewer at and a generalist reader for an NYC-based literary agency. Along with women’s fiction, she loves all things horror and watches too much TV.

Connect with Jami
Twitter: @JamiDeise
Facebook: Jami Wann Deise

Buy the Book

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1 comment:

  1. Great interview, ladies! I should try to edit more like you, Jami. I get so caught up in the words the whole way along that it takes me forever to finish a draft!