Welcome to author Devon Delaney – we had to tear her away from her myriad of hobbies for our interview. Thank you, Devon!
Describe your favorite writing spot or space.
My favorite writing spot is in my living room next to the picture window. I can peer up and watch the neighbors walk their dogs down our street. That all changed when Covid hit. My husband works at home and my daughter moved home and works from our house. Now I go up to the bedroom, sit at a small desk and watch the dog-walkers from a smaller bedroom window. Not my favorite, but not bad either.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
I am on a schedule to produce a book about every nine to ten months and that has worked for me. The time crunch catches up to me toward the seventh month, especially if the writing period extends over the summer, a time of year I admit to allowing more distractions to creep in. So far, so good with producing each of my books in under a year.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
At this very moment, I have one full book waiting for the editing process and I’m nearly finished developing the synopsis for another.
What comes first for you, the plot or characters?
In my current cooking competition mystery series the characters are established, with the exception of the ones I introduce with each book. So, I would have to say the characters. I am always making mental notes of potential story lines to fit the series and if I don’t have the appropriate character existing yet, that new character is born as needed.
How do you select the names of your characters?
I am obsessed with names. To me that is a huge part of my writing happiness. I use family names, tennis partners names and I research interesting and historic names.
How much time do you spend on research before starting a book? While writing?
I do spend a lot of time researching before I start a book. It gives me such good information as to where the plot may lead while being true to the setting, my food and recipes inclusions, and any technical information I include. The reader can tell if the author is fudging information, in my opinion, that serves to detract from the book itself. I also spend a lot of time researching as needed while I’m writing. Maybe too much time. I dive headfirst into a topic and that often branches out to a full-blown research study until I am able to reel myself in. I love to learn!
What kind of research do you do for a book?
My research knows no bounds. In one of my books I needed accurate technical information about wind-sailing. In another I needed to bone up on Irish folklore. In yet another I studied what poisons would kill the quickest, while being undetectable.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I am an eternal hobbiest! I develop recipes and compete in recipe contests and cook-offs. I play USTA league tennis. I walk my standard poodle. I garden. I needlepoint. I paint. I swim.
I won the first recipe contest I entered. I was hooked. Mealtime became an exercise in recipe experimentation. Success in cooking competitions has earned me multiple trips and valuable prizes over the past twenty years. Meeting fellow cooking competitors has enriched my life immeasurably. Throughout my journey, writing has always been a passion. Combining the two hobbies was as destined as the pairing of sea salt and caramel, and just as addicting.