Monday, April 29, 2013

Meet the Author: Devon Flaherty

WOWZA! Have things been hopping around here at JLB Creatives.
Just last week we were invited to exhibit at Silver Springs to meet n' greet several local school groups. It was an amazing time, and we want to personally thank Silver Springs for the invitation.

Here's a glimpse of the fun we had between groups:
Pictured left to right JLB Creatives Executive Team Members and authors:
Mark Miller, Janet Beasley (holding Aires the baby gator), and Jean E. Lane

Below are some extra pix of Silver Springs - a beautiful place of nature, famous for its glass bottom boats, large cypress trees, and crystal clear waters.

We're gearing up for our next JLBC exhibit which will take place on May 18th, 2013. We will have our books available for sale along with tons of information on JLBC's services, Author in the Park Events, and much more!  
Come to Lakeside Inn in Mount Dora Florida to check it out.

There's tons more coming stay tuned to the JLB Creatives Blog to not only keep up with all the fantastic news, but also our stunning line-up of featured authors from around the world!

This week we are featuring an interview with author Devron Flaherty. So let's jump in head first and find out all about this amazing writer. . .

Hi Devon. Thanks so much for being here.

My pleasure. It's great to be here.

Are you ready for some spontaneous questions?

I sure away!

OK, here goes. What book or books are you currently working on? Can we expect a
new release soon?

After this week (with my big book launch) I will be headed back to the novel I
am currently writing. The working title is The Date and the Cockroach, but I’m
also considering Buried Treasure and a whole slew of other titles. For what’s not
already down on paper, the story is already all there in my head. The tentative
release date is Spring 2014, and I am really pumped about the story line: seven
siblings making their way back home to their mom’s funeral and each of them
uncovers a secret about her. The first chapter (it’s literary fiction) is at the end of
the paperback version of Benevolent.

After that, I actually have eleven books floating around in my brain. So I have
plenty of material I am excited about, including a fantasy trilogy and a YA series.

We all love stories – especially yours! Would you be willing to give the
readers a synopsis of your current book?

So Benevolent is coming-of-age literary fiction, which is sort of a mash-up of
genres because the characters are mostly teen and early-20s. Gaby is a die-hard
do-gooder and also a bit of a klutz, and we watch as she blazes her way through

high school, college, and hard-core volunteerism, as well as romance (her best
friend is secretly in love with her) and through some crazy disasters (a soup
kitchen stampede; a nursing home fire; a concussion suffered trying to free
frogs). She’s surrounded by a large cast of characters who we learn about through
lots of flashback, and also by a second storyline created by fictional legendary
characters (think Arthurian legend or Robin Hood). A little bit of satire comes in
because we’re dealing with the Midwest and the Detroit suburbs, which I know a
whole lot about, but ultimately the story is character-driven. In the end, sure, we
love the characters, but we also love the bang at the end of the book.

Creativity. Where does yours come from? This is something
writers are asked about much of the time. Would you be so kind
as to elaborate on where you get your ideas and what sparks your

I often have my stories delivered to me “whole.” Really, there is a ton of work
that then goes into getting that storyline and those characters onto the page. But
when an idea comes to me—sort of in a flash that is brought on by any number
of external stimuli (a radio commentary, a movie scene, a gnarled tree)—it has a
beginning, an end, and is populated by people, a place (or two), and even a few
scenes. The hard part is waiting for the time to come back to those people and
that place to observe and write.

I also believe, though, that writers just have to sit down and write. I often
have the big idea floating around, but it’s every scene—bit by bit, sentence by
sentence—that makes a novel. So I sit down and put my fingers on the keys and
do my job, even if I’m not feeling particularly inspired.

What are your favorite genres of books to read, and what are your
favorite genres of books to write?

I have usually been a literary kind of girl. I love the classics. I love Shakespeare.
But I have also have grown to love philosophy, travel, memoir, pop, YA, fantasy,
and more, as long as the book is wonderful. I love good writing—the kind where
you gasp at the sheer nerve of someone to put that down so you could share it—
and you can find that lots of places, but not many places, if you know what I

I always thought I would just write literary fiction, but now that I have written
a general-literary mash-up (and my next book is literary), I am hankering to get
to a fantasy trilogy set between two modern kingdoms; a YA series where Jimmy

and Penny use their exceptional skills while apprenticing as… well, I don’t want
to give it away; and also a science-fiction novel featuring time travel. While most
of my ideas are still literary, I have been surprised to discover I have other things
to say, too, other writing muscles to flex. And because I am an indie writer, I get
to do that if I want to.

How much time do you devote to writing? Daily – weekly – monthly –
whenever the urge strikes?

I am a stay-at-home mom and my husband goes to school full time and works full
time. This past year I have started a small publishing company, finished writing
my first book, and published my first book. I am now marketing and selling that
book. Thanks very much to my mom’s relocation last spring, I have one day a
week at the coffee shop. That said, I work just about every day, Monday through
Saturday, anywhere from a few snatched hours to eighteen hours (while changing
laundry loads, sautéing chicken, and setting up train tracks). I expect I won’t have
to sustain this forever, and I would love to have a home office (as opposed to the
dining room table) and work from the time I drop the kids at school until I go
back to pick them up, weekdays. That would be awesome.

Did you ever study writing?

I have been a writer since age five. Since I have always wanted to be a writer, it
is a little weird that I did not go to college for writing. I did take some classes,
but I figured that a degree in philosophy with a minor in literature would put
me in a nice place to write conscientiously; beef up my brain and my ethics. I
also thought that I didn’t need to study writing because I already had talent. I
was wrong about that last part, and I would study more if I could have a re-do. I
would also have a stronger writing community, in a perfect world. I still consider
going on to a Masters or a Doctorate in the field. Either way, I “study” plenty of
writing books and industry magazines, all the time.

What is your favorite make-believe place you’ve ever created in a
story? Is it a town? A hide-out? A futuristic city? The possibilities are
endless! Please tell us all about your fav as we’d all love to escape with

Since I only have one book so far, I am forced to choose a place from Benevolent.
I would love to hang in Afentra’s treehouse, since I love treehouses, especially
all to myself. I love reading the description of the sun shifting in the home-sewn
curtains and the smell of new wood gone old. Another place in Benevolent I
would love to be is hiking the Golan Heights and finding the cave in the water
with the rainbow arching through the mist. I have hiked the area I describe in
the book. Just imagine slipping out of your dusty/sweaty clothes, slinking into
the cool pool, and looking out over the water at the drop-off to the desert and the
calm Sea of Galilee under a sinking sun.

I also have this great farm in a future book that reminds me of a Tim Burton
movie as seen through rose-tinted glasses. That will be fun to write. That and the
house in the Appalachians where the Bigfoot visit.

If you could cure something in this world, what would it be?

I am very passionate about certain issues, and I love to help out. One of the issues
constantly on my radar is human trafficking. I have met victims, have travelled
around the world trying to do my little piece, all the while thinking that if I could
help one person it would be worth it. If I could cure anything in this world, it
would be the festering wound of human trafficking in all its forms.

As a self-published author do you recommend having your novels
professionally edited?

I can’t tell you how many times in the past month I have come across some
blogger’s review policy telling me that I can not apply for a review with them
because I am self-published. It seems, by many of their explanations, that they
are sick of receiving half-baked books riddled with errors and inconsistencies.
Who would blame them? So the long answer is yes! Please have your book
professionally edited. Have your book professionally-anything that you can not
do professionally yourself. You may think you know what you are doing, but there
is a reason these people get paid and do it for a living. Most importantly, spend
time in the editorial stage of publishing. A long time. You may feel impatient, but
for the sake of all of us self-publishers, Stoppe tthe Madniss!

If you could spend a day with an author, who would it be? And of
course we’ve got to know why.

Hands down, Haven Kimmel (author of Iodine, etc.). For one, she disappeared
several years ago so I want to know where she went and why. For two, she is an
awesome writer and I could learn a lot from her and also just bask in her writer
coolness. For three, she happens to live in my town, Durham, which I heart. And
for four, I have been to her readings and she seems like a down-to-earth, funny,
interesting person.

Fantastic! Interviewing you has been a real treat. We certainly wish you the best the literary world has to offer. One last thing - where can we find you on the web?



TWITTER HANDLE: @devtflaherty

Brilliant! OK - blog readers and fans, now it's up to you to help Devon continue being discovered. We'd love nothing more than for you to visit the links provided, buy the books, and help spread the word by sharing this post with your friends. 

Until next week - stay casual, live life to the fullest, and have a piece of chocolate for me ;-)

Your blog host:
Author Janet Beasley 
(I just loved that little guy!!!)

JLB Creatives

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JLB Creatives Blog Hosts
JLB Creatives Editor Dar Bagby (L) and JLB Creatives CEO Janet Beasley (R)