Author Interview: D E Fox

Can you tell me a little bit about your book?
My book ‘Second Hand Rose’ is a about a Big City Reporter called Abigail who returns to her Hometown of Friendship to take over her Grandmother Rose’s Antique shop called Second Hand Rose after she sadly passes away.
Friendship is a beautiful Chocolate-box town with virtually no crime, no poverty, friendly people, flourishing economy and Abigail relishes the opportunity to start a new life in the town she grew up in with her trusted companion Jake a scruffy but fiercely loyal terrier.
Everything seems perfect to start with, but Abigail’s natural instinct has her digging into the towns past, people and her own shop as she uncovers some mysteries she cannot explain.
It becomes clear this town has a dark secret its townsfolk are eager to hide and the more she unearths the more people begin to disappear or perish in gruesome ways.

It’s up to Abigail and Jake to try and save the fate of the entire town in a race against time horror / thriller with some surprising twists along the way.

Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
Jake who is based on my own dog who sadly passed away a few years ago but was the inspiration to write this book.

I struggled with the loss of Jake and to help with the mourning process and to keep me occupied I started to write the story based on him being one of the main characters.

I wrote quite a lot about him as I want the reader to really get to know him and hope they can maybe see a bit of their dogs in him.

There are other reasons for his presence in the book that will become apparent to the readers.

What inspired you to choose the genre of the book?
I love the horror / thriller genre and do visit the cinema most weeks as have a passion for both reading and the big screen.

I was watching a horror picture on one occasion with my partner and was particularly disappointed as do love a good scare and this movie did nothing for me (I will not name the movie).
When I came out of the cinema, I commented to my partner that I could write a scarier story and so started writing this book and would like to think I have done better and hopefully the readers will agree!

What was your hardest scene to write, and why?
The first murder scene as 1 had to re write it several times as I wanted to really inflict a pretty scary and gruesome introduction into the sick mind of the main bad guy.

My partner was busy in the garden when I wrote this scene initially and asked him to read to see what he thought.

He is an avid horror reader and therefore an ideal critic and he said it had to be much more gruesome. It’s a lot easier to read or watch a scene by others but can be difficult when writing a scene of this nature yourself as you think you might upset the readers too much but once I understood upsetting the readers is what the book is supposed to do then I let my imagination take over.

By the third attempt he was not disappointed and the rest of the murders following that i didn’t hold back, which I guess the publishers must have been happy with. (Not necessarily some of my more faint-hearted friends that have read it though)!

What comes first for you — the plot or the characters — and why?
This is my first book but for me the plot came first because it was actually the ending I had down first I just then had to find a way of building the story to lead up to this and then introduce the characters after that.

I guess I always knew Jake was going to be a big part of the story and the main character Abigail was also based on a friend of mine. The rest of the characters followed suit as I started to write.
This may not be the same on my next book, but it worked out well for me on this story.

What do you think makes a good story?
I always enjoy a story with a twist a story that surprises me when you don’t see what is coming and don’t predict or easy to guess the ending or the killer for example.

There are a few twists in my book and so far, no one has guessed either and even the Publisher when I received the first draft back said they had no idea and it totally surprised them and I think this made the difference to me getting offered a contract.

I of course am happy to challenge anyone of the potential readers out there to give it a go and see what they think.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I wrote this book which is my first a few years ago and I have just turned 50 so you could say I’m a late bloomer!

I had no intentions of becoming an author I just wrote this book as per the reasons mentioned before and I was just going to give it to my mum as an xmas gift and that would be the end of it.

She enjoyed it and a few friends wanted to read it which they also enjoyed and then I thought it might be worth getting an independent verdict of the book as friends and family can be biased.

So, the best option I thought would be to try a publisher and Blossom Spring at the time were taking on submissions so gave them a try.

In hope I thought if I got a positive reply at least I knew I had done a good job but to my surprise they not only liked it but offered me one of the contracts to publish and a few months later here I am trying to promote a book which was just an xmas gift for my mum!

How important was professional editing to your book’s development?
I didn’t know how much a publisher did until I got my first draft back.

My partner and a friend both helped a lot on the editing when I first developed the book myself and with the current options available now with Word then I thought it was pretty polished.

When that draft came back with what looked like 1000’s of changes I was mortified and at first a little taken a back that they had butchered my story.

The reality of what they had done after I had spent many an evening and weekend working with them eventually hit home as a started to read through the revised copies.

They didn’t want to touch the story of course but things like understanding timelines as my story does go back and forth was important and once the layout, punctuation and book cover were sorted the final copy was amazing.

Only the people that read the original copy compared to the published copy can fully appreciated the transformation, but I will never underestimate the difference it made to my book and as much as it was hard work and time consuming to edit, I will never regret doing it now.

What have you done to market or promote your book.
Being a first-time author, this has been the biggest learning curve as have had no experience at all in book promoting.

The publishes have helped with their advice and initially I have used my social media sites and have tried to connect with as many other authors out there by sharing our works.

I have done 3 interviews now including this one. The other 2 were links from the publishers with The Authors Show and The Waking Writer.

I have also been contacting local libraries and businesses to display promotional posters I have created which has been a big success as most are willing to support.

The libraries have been great, and some have put my book in their branches for lending and some are organising talks i can do with the local book clubs.

This is very nerve racking for me but after doing The Authors Show Interview, I have gained a lot more confidence in talking about my book and would recommended to anyone to contact the library networks.

What do you do to get book reviews.
As my book has only been out for a few months the reviews so far have been from my circle of friends and social media contacts.

This is the most difficult part of the promoting process as a lot of people will be happy to buy the book but don’t think about reviewing but it’s such an important part of selling the book on Amazon.

I have recently started doing ‘Review for Review’ with some of the author contacts on twitter as this is a good way of helping each other out.

Book Available to purchase on Amazon –
Facebook –
Twitter – @debmac730

Leave a Reply