First Book Chat With D.L. Pitchford

How long did it take you to write your first book?

Technically, my first book took at least ten years to write, and I still don’t have a completed manuscript. Once I finally had a first draft, I set it aside, and I’m waiting for the right time to go back to it—when I have enough experience to properly tackle the complex story and themes.

My first published book, though, was a different story. The original idea began to percolate while I was a sophomore in college, and I wrote a few scenes—only one of which made it into the book—for one of my college writing classes. Several years later, when I was working as a freelance technical writer after my first child was born, I delved into my stories again and finally managed to finish the rough draft. After several revisions, I published it, a full six years after the characters began to take shape.

What inspired you to start writing?

I’m not sure there’s a particular item or instance that inspired me to write. I grew up in a home that encouraged creativity in all forms—my college years netted me not only a BA in English and Writing, but also in Fine Arts—and I have been coming up with stories for as long as I can remember. There have definitely been influential stories and writers—J.R.R. Tolkien, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jane Austen, Michael Crichton, and J.K. Rowling were some of my earliest influences—but nothing inspired me so much as my own mind and experiences.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

My writing process is relatively in-depth. Generally, I start with a discovery draft, which sort of combines scene drafting with outlining and character mapping. Then, I write the official rough draft, which is then updated in a revised draft. Occasionally, I need to make more updates and revisions after this, but either way, the manuscript goes through extensive line and copy edits and a final proofread before it’s ready to be published. Overall, that’s four official drafts, though  the majority of the actual writing occurs in the rough and revised drafts.

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

The moment was both thrilling and anticlimactic. I don’t know what exactly I was expecting, but there certainly weren’t any bells or balloons. I was pleased to be sure, but the most significant moment was when I received my initial copies of the book.

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

Although it has been two and a half years (almost) since I published my first book, I’m not sure my writing and publishing process has changed dramatically. I write and work slowly for most indie authors, and my revision process is extensive. Because of this, I focus on producing the best book I can, and often, I fall behind on keeping up with the publishing side of things.

How many books have you published since then?

In the years that have followed, I have only published a couple more books: two more books in the same series as my first and the first book in a series of contemporary fairy tale retellings. Aside from that, I’ve had books and short stories featured in box sets and anthologies.

You can buy the author’s book on Amazon for $0.99! Here’s the link:

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