Hi Deborah Watkins, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?Deborah Watkins is a Retired Deputy Superintendent for the New York State department of Corrections and Community Supervision. She currently resides in Buffalo, New York. A single parent, she is the proud mother of twin sons. One is a graduate from the University of Pittsburg with a degree in Finance with a minor in Economics. He is currently in a Commercial Banking training program for a major Bank. The other son is currently enrolled in Buffalo State College majoring in Industrial Technology and will be graduating in the Fall of 2017. He is also presently employed with a Real estate development Company in Buffalo, NY. Deborah is a graduate of Medaille College of Buffalo, NY with a Master’s in Organizational Leadership. She holds a bachelor degree from Canisius College of Buffalo, NY in Business Management.
Deborah’s love for reading was the catalyst for her writing career. An avid reader, at one point in time she would read a book a week. Deborah started a newsletter for her family leading to their first family reunion. The family especially the elders loved the newsletter and encouraged her to keep it up. While attending a workshop Deborah had an epiphany she should write a book. She attended workshops and discovered her purpose. While in graduate school, Deborah became proficient at writing papers and just about all of her professors marveled at the quality and effectiveness of her writing. She self-published her first book in 2014 From Mediocre to Marvelous live a fulfilled life. She has a new Book due to be released February 2017 Some will be King Makers a single mother's journey raising African American males. She is presently working on a fiction piece.
Deborah loves to of course read, go to the gym, travel. She is a member of Toastmasters international and active in her club. She is involved with her graduate college alumni groups. She volunteers at a soup kitchen once a month, and is an active member of her church.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?I just want my books to reach the masses. I want my books to brand me as an Inspirational speaker.
Which writers inspire you?I would have to say most African American writers. However, Maya Angelo I know why the cage bird sings and the subsequent series was the first book that actually made me laugh out loud.
What are you working on at the minute?I just finished Some will be King Makers and working on getting it self-published. I am also writing a fiction book about females working in the prison systems.
What genre are your books and why?
My books are inspirational. My purpose in life is to help people find theirs. I am always the person people come to for advice. I am told that I have a lot of wisdom.
In 10 words or less can you create a quote that describes you and your writing?We were all put on this earth for a reason.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?My books are not fiction. However, if my book on raising black males were to made into a movie, I guess Angela Bassett
When did you decide to become a writer?I attended a workshop on purpose and had an epiphany moment, around 2011.
Do you write full-time or part-time?I write whenever I am inspired.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?I do not work at a job. I am home alone most of the time. So I write whenever something hits me. However, I am more productive in the daytime. Thoughts come to me all the time. I have to write them down. I have notebooks all over the house.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?No thoughts come to me all the time wherever I am. I have to write them down right away.
Where do your ideas come from?Being 57 years old, I have a lot of life experience I can draw from. I travel a lot and have friends all over the country and overseas.
Do you work with an outline/plot or prefer to see where an idea takes you?My inspirational books were drawn from a need. Once I determine the Idea. I just start writing and the content evolves. With my fiction book, I already have the characters now I am working on the plot.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?I am no longer afraid to put myself out there. This has given me energy to create. I know that I spark emotion in people who read my work.
What is the hardest thing about writing?Being disciplined enough to sit down and do it. I can skip days, which is not good.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?Writing the book was not hard at all, because it was coming from the heart and a place of experience. I was telling my story. What was hard was convincing myself that it was needed.
What is the easiest thing about writing?When you have a passion for something it is easy. It is like breathing. Stories are always in our heads writers. We never stop thinking. Writing helps us get those stories out of our heads.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?Well I only have two books so far and they did not take long at all because they were non-fiction. It was a matter of me deciding that I had enough information in them. I would say about two to three months.
Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time.I would like to become a brand and maybe having a talk show.
What advice would you give to your younger self?Go to school for journalism.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?President Obama. He had such great resolve. I would like to know if that is his personality or was he taught that.
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
Native Son by Richard Wright, he was my first love of African American writers.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
The writing industry just like any other industry, has a lot of vipers out there. Learn as much as you can about the business before you invest. Protect your property and yourself. Most of us learned the hard way.