Write or Wrong Part 4: Where author Debbie Manber Kupfer lets the cat out of the bag about writing a series…

I’ve been writing stories all my life. As a child I would fill notebooks with tales and even wrote a series of four “books” based around the goings on in my school playground. As I became an adult I continued writing and filling notebooks. In my twenties I started writing a fantasy novel. Somewhere in the basement I still have the notebooks I filled with that first novel. Maybe I’ll dig them up one day – I remember there was a pretty cool ogre in it.

catThe problem was though, that despite starting all these stories, I never finished anything. I always knew I wanted to write a book, maybe even be published, but I thought I had plenty of years for that. But then I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I went through chemo, surgery, and radiation and I realized my own mortality. Thankfully today I’m cancer-free, but it got me thinking, maybe I didn’t have forever to write that book, maybe if I wanted to do it, I needed to do it now.

I started writing P.A.W.S. during National Novel Writing Month in November 2012. For those who don’t know the idea is that you write a novel (or at least 50,000 words of a novel) in a month. This worked for me – at the end of the month I had the bulk of the story of P.A.W.S. Over the months that followed I would edit it over and over until I felt it was finally ready to submit to a publisher. And in June 2013, P.A.W.S. was published by Rocking Horse Publishing. It was an amazing feeling to hold the book in my hands for the first time.

But P.A.W.S. was only the beginning. I have a whole world in my head waiting to come out. So during the summer of 2013 I sat down to start writing Argentum. When I wrote P.A.W.S. I did it with very little outline, just a few ideas scribbled in a notebook. When I started Argentum though I realized that the “pantser” approach that works well for a first book in a series is not quite appropriate when working on a sequel. Thus for Argentum I had to take a step back and spend some time working on a timeline and character list. When you have a couple of characters who are practically immortal and a tendency towards flashback a timeline is essential.

Argentum was published in October 2014 and now I’m working on book 3 and its already taking me off in directions I never imagined.

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Debbie Manber Kupfer grew up in London and lived in Israel, before somehow ending up in St. Louis, where she works as a puzzle constructor and writer. She lives with her husband, two children, and a very opinionated feline. She is the author of P.A.W.S and Argentum and has short stories in several anthologies including Fauxpocalypse, Shades of Fear, Darkly Never After, Sins of the Past, and Heroes & Villains. She believes that with enough tea and dark chocolate you can achieve anything! Connect with Debbie on her blog or Facebook .

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