Question 4

(I have intentions of adding a new question every week.  Sometimes life gets in the way.)

Q4: What do you find the hardest part about writing? And what’s your favorite and/or easiest part? Anna.

Sometimes the hardest part is getting started; then again, sometimes that’s the easiest.  Consistently though the most difficult part about writing is keeping the flow going. All stories need to go from point A to point B to C etc. It’s tempting to skip D to get to E if E is going to be exciting, and then I have to backtrack. My head knows what happened during D, but the reader doesn’t. I hope that makes sense. After I exhaust point E, it can be a “now what?” situation, and I have to step back and figure out something new.

Another difficult part is getting involved with the characters. I had someone recently tell me that my stories are so real. That is a goal of mine: to keep it real. The way I do that is to feel what everyone in the story is going through, and that’s both good and bad. I’ve had the story affect my real life, and my real life affect the story.

My favorite part of a story is making things happen the way I want them to be. I can make someone happy or I can kill them off. That’s kind of powerful if you think about it.

Question 2

Q: How much time do you devote to writing? Rita M. What’s your process of writing like: Do you set a daily “this many pages” or “write for this long” goal? Do you send chapters to editors/beta readers along the way or wait until the end? Do you outline the story arc ahead of time or wait for the characters to tell you what happens next? Anna.

I thought I would answer this question next since a similar question came up twice. For the most part, I try to write something every day. I generally start around 10am and write for 4-6 hours, depending on my mood. Remember, for some of us, writing is a job and there must be a certain amount of time every day that you devote to work.  I aim for one thousand words each day; sometimes I get out 500 words and I have to stop; sometimes I keep going and do 2500 words – that’s a good day.  There are days I don’t write at all, days when I need to clear my mind and have a real life, not an imaginary one.

I have an idea what I want to happen in a story, so I do a basic outline, but I allow the characters the freedom to tell me when, where, and how that happens, or even if it doesn’t. I have found that if I allow that, the story is much more realistic and believable.

I use three Beta readers and they each offer me something different. One is “Sherry”: she loves my stories and gives me a different female view of how the story is progressing. I will give her a file of the book every 15k to 20k words, with all the changes from the last time; this is to check the new flow. The second one is my son Eric, who checks anything military or involving weapons; He’s not afraid to criticize his mother and to tell me ‘that sucks’; I give him a file halfway done and then the complete story. The final one is my older brother, Tom, who can be critical of his little sister – and that’s good.  I don’t want a “yes” person as a beta reader I want someone who can help me to make the story better. Tom doesn’t want to see anything until I’m done and can give him a printed copy to read. He has been very helpful in getting me past writer-block at times, since he lives across the street from me, we can sit down, face to face and talk about it.

The publisher I use doesn’t offer editorial service until the manuscript is complete.   The first editor I was assigned is a ‘content’ editor.  She offered suggestions and structure and we would pass the manuscript back and forth several times, we even talked on the phone; she edited ten of my twelve books.  The next editor I got is a ‘line’ editor.  He fixed punctuation, spelling, paragraph structure and it was one pass. The publisher said that I had grown so much and was an experienced writer now, that I didn’t need a content editor anymore. This last editor did Time Shadows, and will likely do EMPulse2.

Question: How do you pick character names?


How do you pick character names?

Every writer has a different method of selecting names for their characters. I was told early on, that I should write what I know, but don’t use a person’s real name. Yes, you can get sued. So if the character was based on a real person, I would change the name slightly so I could personally keep the characters straight in my head. Dan would become Don; Alice would be Anna, and so on. I especially changed names if I had the character do things or act in ways the real person would never do. When I do use someone’s real name, it’s with permission.

As I grew as a writer, I started creating totally fictional characters.  I also started running out of names. I read somewhere that a writer’s best friend was a baby name book.  It has been invaluable! I also keep a list of names that I plain like! Time Shadows is filled with those names for no other reason than I like the way they sound or the image they bring to me.

There are times too, that I want to pay honor to someone. In The Journal: Crimson Skies, I introduced several new characters. James Geneva is my nephew who died several years ago, now he lives on.  Also in Crimson Skies I created the four nuns and the priest.  In my family there are four girls and a boy.  I gave the nuns and priest our middle names. In case anyone is wondering, Sister Doris was me, so I killed myself off. As an interesting side note, not one of my siblings caught the connection.

Another thing I was taught early on was to create a character biography sheet: a list of that character’s information, description, history, and such. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve gone back to see if I gave “X” blue eyes or hazel eyes.  Consistency matters!



to help me write an informative biography, I’d like my readers/fans to ask me questions.
What would you like to know about me? it can be anything … though if it’s too personal I might not answer.. LOL

So far I have questions like:
How do you pick character names?
Is John a real person?
when did you start writing and why?

I’m going to select a new question to answer every few days.

Ask your questions in the comment box.

Time Shadows

Good news! I’ve got another book that was just released,

Time Shadows is a fun paranormal time travel.

What happens when an 800 year old sorceress sends a modern day woman back in time?

answer: anything!

Bonus chapter for the Reef Roamer



“So she’s finally come back?” Miguel said to his cousin.

Daniel had tracked him down in Marsh Harbor and asked if he knew Jayme Haller.  There were only two Miguel’s in the area that were certified Dive Masters, it was a fifty-fifty chance his mother’s brothers second wife’s nephew was who he was looking for.

“You do know her then?” Daniel repeated the question.

“Yeah, I sure do.”  Miguel thought back five years to the incident that nearly cost him his career – and his life.

He had been guiding a group of experienced divers for almost two weeks when one of them was attacked by a rogue blue shark.  Donald Haller had died from the attack, and his widow disappeared.

Miguel blamed himself for taking them to the remote region to dive his favorite place, Horseshoe Wall; a place known for sharks, usually passive angel sharks.  The weather was perfect.  The day was perfect.  The group was leaving the next day and was excited about the final dive.  He should have done a pre-dive; maybe he would have seen that blue shark lurking around.

The long high-speed boat ride back to the mainland was too long.  Donald had bled out before they even docked.  Miguel blamed himself for not trying more to save Donald.  It was all that blood.  Miguel had frozen.

After the group had removed their gear from his boat, he drove it out into the clear water and washed it by hand. Bucket after bucket after bucket of salt water still didn’t get the red stains out.  And bottle after bottle of island rum couldn’t get the red stains out of his head.

Two months later, Miguel almost drowned when he did the unthinkable: he went diving drunk.  Fate was not going to let him go that easily though.  His boat captain had seen him in distress and saved him and then got their small group back on the boat and back to land.

Two months after Miguel dried out, he tried to find the young widow to make amends.  She was gone – and now she was back.  Maybe it was time for both of them to put their ghosts to rest.


Book #6 of the Journal Series is now available on Amazon.  This is the final episode.  It’s been quite a journey for me.  Thank you, everyone.

The Journal: Martial Law by [Moore, Deborah D.]


Book #6, the final episode, in The Journal Series, is now live on Amazon in ebook.  Print will be available on May 18.  It has been an awesome journey for me.  Thank you all.

The Journal: Martial Law by [Moore, Deborah D.]


The Journal

What an incredible journey writing The Journal Series has been for me.  I’ve learned a great deal about writing and about myself.  I’ve always loved to write, to make things up, every since I was a young teen.  The Journal: Cracked Earth, was my first published novel, and I just finished The Journal: Martial Law, book #6 in the series, and….. the finale.  I don’t have a release date on it yet, but look for it in the next six months.

In between the six books that comprise The Journal, I’ve also written A Preppers Cookbook: 20 years of cooking in the woods, which has numerous tales of my life in the woods; There is also EMPulse, another dystopian book which may (or may not) be my next series; and The Reef Roamer, the very first full length novel I wrote, a light romance novel written almost 25 years ago and finally now in book form.  I’ve got a couple more books rolling around my mind, but I need to take a short break from writing.

For everyone who has followed Allexa Smeth in the Journal, thank you!  She might not be back but I will!!!


new book release

Today is the day!  My latest book, EMPulse is now available in ebook!

A step outside of The Journal, it’s still a disaster that could happen.

EMPulse by [Moore, Deborah D.]


In the UP of MI

Author of The Journal Series