Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Please Welcome Our Guest, Deb Baker, Author of Ding Dong Dead

Make Mine Mystery is Happy to Host Deb Baker today. Here's what she has to say:

Focusing on the Prize
by Deb Baker

Thanks to the wonderful authors at Make Mine Mystery for hosting me. I’m on a blog tour to promote the launch of Ding Dong Dead, which hit the shelves last week. Book number seven for me. I can’t believe it. Not only that I’m a published author, but that I even managed to finish the first book, let alone seven.

I’m a flitterer. I flutter between projects, working a little here, a little there. And I love to try new things. So writing was a natural for me. It’s in the same category as cooking and gardening because it’s always evolving. I can cooking tonight and whip up something completely different than anything I’ve made before. Gardening plans for spring? I can change the color scheme every year by adding new annuals. Writing? The process, the topic, the voice, the POV can all be changed at my whim.

Cooking, gardening, writing. They are all dynamic.
Anyway, back to flitting. My brother (he’s exactly like me) said when he heard about my plan to write a book, “You’ll never finish it.”
Oh, yeah, Bro. The gauntlet had been thrown down. I’d been challenged.
But how to focus long enough to complete my mission? I would have to learn to keep distractions from creeping in, at least until I finished the book.
Here are a few tips that worked for me as I proved my brother WRONG, WRONG, WRONG:

• Focusing exercises – I had to train myself to concentrate for long periods of time. One simple exercise I used to learn control: pick an object (mine is usually nature-based like a tree), concentrate on its shape, color, texture. Then close your eyes and visualize it as long as possible.

• Walking – it clears the mind chatter and sets a rhythm that allows your thoughts to flow. Walking opens your senses. For creativity purposes, the walk must be solitary.

• Meditating – Another brain trainer. Learning to bring my mind back was invaluable when I needed to stay in my seat and write. There are many forms of meditation. Here’s what worked best for me: get in a comfortable position, close your eyes, be aware of your breathing, watch your thoughts come and go but don’t dwell on them, simply observe and gently draw them back.

Of course, sheer determination and stubbornness play an important role in accomplishing our goals. What are some of your favorite tricks to keeping your eyes on the ball?

To celebrate Ding Dong Dead’s release, I’m running a contest. You can win a $50 gift certificate to the bookstore of your choice!

Here’s what to do. Get a copy of Ding Dong Dead, read it, go to my website at http://www.debbakerbooks.com before January 15th. Correctly answer three easy questions pertaining to the book. You will be entered into the drawing, which will take place at noon on January 15th. Winner will be notified through email and announced on my homepage Good luck!


Morgan Mandel said...

Hi Deb,
Your book sounds delightful. I just love your cover.
Have a great time at Make Mine Mystery today.

Morgan Mandel

Jean Henry Mead said...

Enjoyed your post, Deb. Good for your brother for tossing down the gauntlet. Sounds like it was just the push you needed to actually finish your first book.

Dana Fredsti said...

Nothing like a challenge to make us rise to various occasions! I look forward to reading your series!

Deb Baker said...

I guess it's time to thank my brother. Why didn't I think of that before?

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

What a great title!

Blog tours are really fun--have a good time on yours.


Camille Minichino said...

I'm not stalking you, Deb -- just glad to see you "on the road." I think I can answer any DOLL question from your great books, but I'll let a new fan apply for the prize!

For me, there's nothing like a contract deadline to keep my focused. The amazing thing is that I ever wrote the first one, with no takers in sight!

Camille/aka Margaret Grace