Claudia Osmond ~ Reader, Writer, and Ruminator

Posts Tagged ‘Deborah Kerbel’

On Writing: Deborah Kerbel

In writing on May 22, 2012 at 8:54 pm

Next up on my guest blogger series, On Writing, is Deborah Kerbel. Deborah has written several children’s and YA books, most notably:

LURE (2010)
And her most recent offering, UNDER THE MOON (2012)
If you haven’t yet read any of Deborah’s books, I’d suggest you start. Like, tonight.
And now, here’s Deborah’s wonderful take on writing:

Click for Deborah’s website

This might sound strange, but I don’t usually give much thought to the mechanics behind my writing until somebody asks me about it. It’s like trying to explain why I breathe. I just do. But that’s not what people want to hear from an author. And, when pressed, I have to admit I can come up with a better answer than that.

So yes, I must confess that there is something that compels me to cloister myself in my office and pound away at my laptop for hours every day. I’m sorry to say that the reason isn’t anything particularly exciting or altruistic…no, I don’t imagine changing the young adult world one book at a time. For me, I guess you might say it’s pretty selfish — I just love creating something out of nothing. I always have. There’s something powerful about starting with a raw idea, breathing life into it, watching it grow and spiral into a story and then, ultimately, releasing it into the world for readers to discover. The whole process is magical…like watching an illusionist conjure up a fluttering dove out of thin air. And it’s what drives me forward in my writing.

It’s no different than that feeling you got when you were a little kid and you sat down to draw a picture. Remember that giddy jolt of excitement you’d get when you’d pull out a blank piece of paper — so full of possibilities — and a fresh box of crayons? And remember the satisfaction you’d get, attacking the emptiness and filling it up with anything you wanted? No rules, no guidelines, no limits beyond the edges of the paper. A small universe waiting for you to define it.

I remember how, as a child, I’d get so caught up in the moment, the world around me would fall away and all that mattered was the story I was trying to tell in my picture. And when I was done, I’d hold the drawing up and revel in the finished product and that delicious rush of joy and pride achieved by making something from nothing. And then I’d run upstairs to show my Mom, bursting with the need to share my newest creation.

I guess a part of me hasn’t fully grown up because that feeling has never left me. I still love making something out of nothing and losing myself in the magic of the process. The thrill of uncovering the small universe hiding inside every blank page remains deliciously undiluted, even after all these years. The only difference is that now I tell my stories with words instead of crayons. And now, I get to share my creations with a much bigger audience.

Although my mom is still my biggest fan.

So in the end, that’s the reason why I write. Selfish? Yeah, maybe. But, just like breathing, it keeps me going.

Toronto Tuesdays Interview: Deborah Kerbel

In torkidlit, Toronto Tuesdays on October 19, 2010 at 9:00 am

If you’ve ever met Deborah Kerbel, you’ll know that she’s a very up-beat, postitive person. She’s absolutely a pleasure to be with and can put a smile on anyone’s face. Not only that, she’s a total writing machine! Deborah has so many ideas, it seems to me like her newly released book/completed WIP ratio is an even 1:1. Always. Please, someone, correct me if I’m wrong. Although, come to think of it, it could possibly even be 1:2.

Meet Deborah Kerbel.

Please introduce yourself to us.

My name is Deborah Kerbel, I’m a YA writer on never-ending quest for inspiration and spare time.  I was born in England 38 years ago and now live in Thornhill, Ontario with my husband and our two kids.  I’m impulsive to a fault, a bit of a trivia nerd, an unapologetic exercise-phobe, a fan of the colour pink, and a firm believer in the glass always being half full. I have an insatiable sweet tooth and a totally irrational fear of tomatoes and large dogs.  And of course, I love books.  Pleased to meet you!

I happen to know that your two kids are fairly young. Anyone who’s ever had young children knows how tough it is to be anything other than “mommy”. How do you make time for your writing?

I’m a ‘stay-at-home’ mom to two high-energy kids – my son is 8 and my daughter is 5 – so I have to search out the little pockets of silence around their schedules and use them for writing.  I usually write for two hours in the morning while my daughter is at kindergarten then another few hours every night after both kids are in bed, my husband is watching TV, and the house is calm.  For me, it’s meant exchanging most of my leisurely evenings for writing time…but until my kids are bigger, it’s the only way I can fit writing into my day.

Can you tell us a bit about your most recent book?

Click to buy

LURE is my third YA novel published by Dundurn Press. It’s a semi-historical ghost story based on actual paranormal events that are reported to have taken place at a haunted Victorian-era library near my home in Thornhill, Ontario.

Can you tell us about the journey to publication for LURE?

From first word to signed contract, LURE happened very quickly – faster than any book I’ve ever written.  The inspiration for the story came at me like a pie in the face one day in late August, 2009 and I started plotting the book out the same day.  For the next four weeks, I put everything in my life aside so I could write Lure ‘in the moment’ – capturing the sights and sounds of Thornhill in the dying days of summer.  I wrote into the early hours of the morning every night, driven by the need to finish the book before the season changed.  A month after I started writing, the first draft was finished.  Three weeks later, it was accepted for publication by Dundurn.  And now, almost exactly one year later, it’s ready and waiting on the shelf at your favourite bookstore.

When writing, do you think in words or images? How do you craft your scenes? Do you see them? Hear them?

Actually, it’s more like I feel them. I don’t think it’s enough to see or hear…a writer has to engage all her senses to create a world so vivid and believable that the reader finds themselves falling into the pages.  I often write in a quiet room with my eyes closed (good thing I’ve got the keyboard memorized!) to block out everything in ‘the real world’ so I can step into the scene in my head and let it play out.

Having three published YA novels under your belt, is there a particular book you’ve read that has inspired you to become a better writer over the years?

Well, I think every good book I read makes me a better writer.  I’m always reading something and, to a certain degree, I take inspiration from everything I read.  Whether it’s a lyrical turn of phrase, a unique voice, a fresh point of view, a beautifully crafted setting, or even just a well-paced plot – it’s all nourishment for my writer’s soul

What advice would you give your pre-pub’d self?

Don’t let the rejections get you down…a published author is a writer who never gave up!

What advice would you give an aspiring author?

Always be open to inspiration, write daily to practice your craft, and keep reading, reading, reading!

Can you share a favorite quote with us?

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss


Thanks, Deborah! I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of LURE!

If you’d like to contact Deborah, you can visit her website, find her on facebook, and follow her on twitter.