Author Interview: 10 Questions with Deanna K. Klingel

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Our interview today is with Deanna K. Klingel. Thank you Deanna for being here today and for agreeing to do this interview.

Deanna Klingel


Question: Tell us about your newest book. Make us want to read it.

Answer: I am passionate about getting this book into the hands of young readers. There is an award winning YA book by a very talented writer that is in most high school libraries. This is the story of four teens who are left alone at a boarding school over the holidays, three boys, one girl. Accountable to no one, their goal is to break every rule. They are promiscuous and drunk. There are no consequences for this behavior. As adults reading this book, we know these kids are alcoholics. We also know there are always consequences. But do young readers know this? Not necessarily. The word alcoholic is never used. Alcoholism is never named. Instead, the author makes this look like a great dream world, fun and funny, falling down drunk life of the party funny. In the end when the girl crashes her car into a barricade and dies, the police report says her blood alcohol was normal and drinking wasn’t a factor. Excuse me, the girl has been drunk since chapter two! My beef with this book isn’t the subject matter. This is an important subject and we need to talk about it. We have eleven year-olds who are binge drinking, did you know that? We have to talk to the kids, now. My book is about a girl with a dream of Olympic gold as a figure skater. Almost there, and tragedy strikes. Like many of our athletes who are sidelined, Gina loses her self identity off the ice, and spirals into despair. My book is about addiction to pain medication. It is about her becoming an alcoholic. The readers will see this happening before she does. They will cheer for her when she turns to Al Anon. The book ends hopefully as she learns to use her talent in other ways. Turning back to the faith of her childhood and with the help of two people who never give up on her, she restores her family and her life, one day at a time. The end of the book has book club discussion questions. Moms and daughters can enjoy this book together and talk about it. This can be the opening to that conversation. Cracks in the Ice is the title of my book. It’s YA/ Teen Fiction. It is a Selah Award finalist. I’d love to get it into high school and middle school libraries.

Cracks in the Ice


Question: What is the message of your writing? For example, is your purpose to encourage old-fashioned values, encourage romance, or do you have different purposes in different books?

Answer: My purpose in writing all my different books is the same: To write good literature that readers will enjoy and want to share and read again. I don’t really plan on any message. But the characters in my stories show their own values. I hope they are characters readers will like and who they will laugh and cry with. They are all “good” people, strong, true to their convictions, and hanging out with those kinds of people is always good for us. Their message might simply be, look, if I can do this, so can you.

Question: Share something that makes you laugh.

Answer: I was making an author visit at an elementary school. I told them I wanted to tell them something I’d learned that I knew was true because I was so old. “I’m probably older than your grandparents,” I said. One fourth grader was awe struck with my accomplishment. “Wow. How’d you get that old?” he asked. “I have no idea. I guess I wasn’t paying attention,” I answered. He looked very serious. “Oh. You better be careful,” he said. Makes me laugh to think about it! I’ve had a lot of funny and fun things happen on my adventures selling books. You can read them at www.BooksByDeanna. The blog tab is “Selling Books.”

Question: Share something that’s amazing, touching, or that makes you angry.

Answer: I think I’ll go with the touching. My parents are 90 and 91. Dad has macular degenerative blindness, Mom has dementia. They live in the same little house we moved into in 1946. A few weeks ago I called them to remind them they had a wedding anniversary. I told Mom. She said, “Oh?” I told Dad. He said, “Oh, I know. It’s on Monday. Our 71st. And you know something? I’d do it all again. All of it.”

Question: What’s your next project? Tell us so we can’t wait for it to come out! What is your current WIP

Answer: Well, that makes two of us; I can’t wait for it to come out either. I’ve got projects in various stages. I hope the next thing that happens is that The Mysterious Life of Jim Limber will find a publisher. This is another middle grade historical fiction, Civil War and will be a good companion for the two that I’m on the road selling every weekend at the sesquicentennial reenactments. I’d like to get it out while the sesquicentennial commemorations are still going on. That one is with an agent. I have a series of Little Beth books for the prek-grade1 set that will begin rolling out this fall. I have other middle grade and YA finished that are shopping for publishers. Rebecca & Heart, Waiting With Elmer, Walker Hound of Park Avenue, Rock and a Hard Place and Blue-Eyed Doll are all polished and ready.
The working title of the YA fiction I’m working on now is Spokes. This is a mystery centered around triathlon training.

Question: How many books do you have out?

Answer: In the market place as we speak: Just for the Moment: The Remarkable Gift of the Therapy Dog; Avery’s Battlefield, Avery’s Crossroad, Bread Upon the Water, Cracks in the Ice, and in a few weeks, Beth’s Backyard Friends. You can find them all at I’m in the process of creating “Discovery” pages for each of the books for young readers to have some interaction with the characters and learn some behind-the-scenes secrets about the book while visiting the website.

Question: What are your future projects?

Answer: Every weekend I’m at an event selling books. I meet the most amazing people, salt of the earth. They tell me stories. I’m fascinated by the colorful threads that weave lives together. I have so many ideas for so many projects, I probably won’t live long enough to get them all written.

Question: What is your favorite book or character?

Answer: This is like asking a mother which is her favorite child! The answer is probably close to the same. Whichever one needs me the most at that moment. It’s the one I have to concentrate on, figure out what’s going on inside, listen to what he’s saying, or not saying, the one who’s story needs to get told right then.

Question: What is your writing style?

Answer: I’m not a genre writer. I’m a literary writer, and my books are fiction, non fiction, historical, biography, children’s, and memoir. I’m all over the place. But when I go back and read them as a reader, the style is the same. Simple, straightforward, not wordy or sophisticated. Just honest, simple stories that bring people pleasure.

Thank you for having me. I’ve enjoyed it. Deanna

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1 comment

  1. Deanna is amazing to me. She writes good books, books that all of us can enjoy, and she travels all over to promote her business. She is a good story teller and a very nice person. I wish her books were in all schools.

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