Deidre Huesmann is a Young Adult (YA) author who works hard for a living and enjoys being a big kid in her off time. Her family and children are her world, and she spends as much time as she can with them.
She is a very prolific writer with a large catalog of books to choose from.
It is my pleasure to introduce, Deidre Huesmann.
Hey, Deidre! Thanks for taking the time to stop by for a visit. I can’t wait to find out more about you and your writing. Let’s jump right in with this question. When did you decide to become a Young Adult writer?
Deidre: I was ten years old and had just finished my third novel in the NIGHT WORLD series by L.J. Smith. I knew then and there I was not only going to write Young Adult–it was going to be paranormal or fantasy, and there would be romances to remember! Still holds true to this day.
In your most current work in YA, are there dangers your characters face that you couldn’t handle yourself? How would you respond instead?
Deidre: Oh, tons. I don’t live between the veils of ancient and modern Greece where the gods roam free! I actually wrote Azalee to be the antithesis of me in a lot of ways. Where she faces danger head-on, I’m definitely a runner. I’d tuck and run long before I’d face confrontation. I loathe confrontation. But Azalee? She goes through more than I ever would. She squares off against the actual Greek GODS, so that’s pretty damn heroic, in my opinion.
That sounds like an awesome story! When you develop characters, do you already know who they are before you begin writing, or do you let them develop as you go?
Deidre: I do a very basic outline to get a general feel for each one. IE, eye color, hair, height, weight, scars, etc. I’ll write up a vague background, maybe some quirks or particular traumas or triggers. But once the story gets going, I almost always end up with a character completely different from the original outline. Lucky me–I’m as surprised as some of the readers!
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?
Deidre: It’s a little of both. My outlines tend to be very loose, especially in the first novel of a series. I like to wing it and see where the cards land, then go back and tidy up the mess after. But I have found that the longer a series runs, the more I tend to outline. Still nothing extensive, but enough that I have to add it to the story corkboard.
Yeah, I’m like you. I don’t outline much except for epic historicals. I keep forgetting the sub-plots if I don’t. But other than a reminder I need to add the weather, I just start writing. Do you write with a specific reader in mind?
Deidre: My niece. *laughs* She’s my target audience, at least for the next few years. Which is a little vain, because she’s a LOT like me when I was her age.
How cool that your niece is your muse! What are your thoughts on good or bad reviews?
Deidre: They’re for the reader. I’ve been writing and publishing anonymously online for a long, long time. I’ve received everything from, “This is amazing!” to “Kill yourself, this is dreck.” (Yeah. Seriously. I was told to kill myself. Good thing I was a relatively positive teenager at the time!) In the end, the reviews aren’t for me. They’re for potential readers. If a good review draws in a loyal reader, awesome! But if it turns away someone who would have hated the book anyway, then that review did both me and that potential reader a favor–my ego is slightly less bruised, and the reader doesn’t waste their time on something they’re sure to hate.
Good outlook. What’s your views on social media for marketing, and which of them have worked best for you?
Deidre: It’s a LOT of work. More work than I honestly have time to commit to with a full-time job and family in addition to the writing bug that plagues me every day. But it’s work I’m happy to do (even if I do fall behind). I like Twitter for connecting to other writers, and Facebook is great just to post pictures and teasers.
What do your fans mean to you?
Deidre: E-ver-y-thing! Seriously, they mean everything. The occasion I get a personal message or nudge asking about a book is a brilliant light in my day. I love writing, I’m happy to share, but I’m happiest when someone just GETS it. It kind of reminds me of being in a fandom: we’re now a little more connected over a mutual interest. It’s unique in experience. Fans are the best… even if my niece is, for the time being, my personal favorite.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote? What was it about?
Deidre: I physically cringed when I read this question if that tells you anything! I remember it vividly: it was Sailor Moon fanfiction, written on notebook paper, and was basically an episode synopsis with an imaginary villain who was left in the dust while the hero and heroine kissed under the moonlight. It. Was. BAD. So bad I almost wish I still had that notebook. I swear, lines literally read something like, “He saved her! ‘I love you,’ she cried. Then he proved his love forever with a romantic kiss.” I’m tearing up (in pain!) just thinking about it!
That’s funny! Every writer has that story hidden way back down deep in the closet. You are not alone. Let me ask you, what is your guilty pleasure?
Deidre: True Crime. Especially the TV shows. Snapped, Deadly Women, Homicide Hunter, the works! I don’t know what it is about these shows, but I can binge-watch them all day and barely flinch. It fascinates me how evil some people truly are in this world. Oh. And did I mention I have a weak spot for Cupcake Wars? Never baked one in my life, but I’m already convinced I’ll open a bakery if I burn out on writing.
I love those shows! Deadly Women is my favorite, and I’m pretty sure I could open a cupcake shop with you! Thanks so much for giving all of us a peek into your world. I had a blast!
When she isn’t writing, Deidre works full-time in the local shipyard, decked out in safety gear and getting her hands dirty. She lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest, enjoying the changes in seasons year-round. When she isn’t working either job, she’s catching up on the stack of books on her dresser, kicking it with her children, or playing RPG video games.
To find out more about Deidre Huesmann and see her entire catalog, please stop by her profile on Author Central, friend her on Facebook, and follower her on Twitter. She has a cool Youtube channel you should take a look at, and she blogs on GoodReads.
Click on the covers for links: