This week I had the pleasure to interview an accomplished local author of historical novels, nonfiction works and a fast-paced detective series featuring a Cherokee Indian who is heiress to an oil fortune. The author’s name: Dewey Wayne Dempsey. Dewey expounded on his inspirations for his books and his life as an author. Thanks again to Dewey for sharing his time with us.
Question: Tell us about your writing process and the way you brainstorm story ideas.
Dempsey: I have researched all of the over a dozen books that I have written. I made a practice of "walking the land" before writing the first four and have done so for over 95% of the remaining. I never had to brainstorm. Typically, I would wake and write for two hours, around 2,000 words for me, first thing in the morning. I would also write in two-hour bursts at coffee houses and ski resorts during the afternoons. My second novel was written in 21 days but on the average my novels took 10 to 12 weeks for the first draft.
Q: What is your writing Kryptonite?
Dempsey: Boredom. If I get bored, I quit and wait for the next inspiration.
Q: Do you believe in writer’s block?
Dempsey: Never had it for more than a day or two.
Q: How did you celebrate the publishing of your first book?
Dempsey: A ski trip to Lake Tahoe
Q: If you were given the opportunity to form a book club with your favorite authors of all time, which legends or contemporary writers would you want to become a part of the club?
Dempsey: I have belonged to eight clubs in six different cities and the authors I admire would not fit: Faulkner, Hemingway, Asimov, Heinlein, Bradbury and Ursula Le Guin.
Q: How do you think concepts such as Kindle and ebooks have changed the present or future of reading?
Dempsey: Beyond imagination, and it keeps evolving into audiobooks and books on podcasts.
Q: What marketing strategies do you find most helpful?
Dempsey: Blind luck. I have spent thousands of dollars over 20 years and could never prove any strategy repaid the amount I spent.
Q: Can you tell us about your current projects?
Dempsey: I create meditation videos which I may start posting on Vimeo. I haven't written for publication in two years.
Q: Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers?
Dempsey: In 1999 when I decided to get serious about being a novelist I attended a Berkeley workshop run by two well-known agents. They said to write a good book with a strong opening. They made three other main points that I have returned to over the decades: The only predictor of publishing a best-seller is if you have published a best-seller within the last 18 months; the only way to get the first best-seller is to hustle as hard as you can and wait for the lightning to strike, as the odds are worse than any lottery; therefore, write about something that is fun to research and write.
Dempsey’s novel “Diamond and the Edinburgh Madam” is available to check out with a PINES library card.
Meanwhile, our library system has many services currently available. We are offering curbside service Monday through Friday, we are churning out new digital programming on social media for all ages, and we can always assist you with library card renewals, signing up for a library card or accessing our free ebooks and eAudiobooks.
Curbside hours and returns vary by branch. Please keep an eye on ngrl.org/curbside for the most up-to-date hours for your local branch.
To reach the Calhoun branch, please call us at (762) 219-9064 or (706) 624-1456 or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay tuned for more soon.
Brian Latour is the branch services coordinator for the Calhoun-Gordon County Public Library.