Picture Perfect 

I'd like to welcome the talented and fun Deatri King-Bey to my blog today...

About Deatri

Hello Everyone, my name is Deatri King-Bey, and I am a read-a-holic. LOL. Just kidding—sort of. Seriously though, my love of reading and storytelling led me into becoming a developmental editor and author. I have edited titles by authors such as NYT Bestseller L.A. Banks to President Clinton’s Diarist, Janis Kearney, to aspiring authors. To date I have eight titles published and won the 2008 Emma Award for the Best Steamy Romance of the year for my title Whisper Something Sweet. At the end of the day, I’m like most of you and just want to read a good book. So I do my best to put good books out there and help other authors do the same.

Briefly describe your journey in writing your first book.

I’m a voracious reader. Many moons ago, I hit a string of awful novels. AWFUL. I was in the bookstore with my sister and complaining about the quality of novels I’d been reading lately. My sister turned to me and said, “Stop complaining and write some good books then.” As children we’d make up stories to entertain each other and continued this into adulthood. It never dawned on me to actually try to have my work published. Three months later, I had written my first full length novel. Excellent concept, but poor writing. That’s when I learned that just because you’re a good story teller doesn’t make you a good author. So I began learning the craft. I also wanted to edit, so returned to college and also hired a writing coach. Wrote two more novels, but I knew I needed more work. By the forth novel I knew was good to go. I sent it to two agents and they both wanted to pick it up. Instead of going with an agent, I submitted to a publishing house and they picked it up. My mainstream, Caught Up, published in 2006 was that title.

What is your latest novel?

My latest novel is Picture Perfect, a women’s fiction novel which is available in eBook and Print formats. 

What inspired you to write the book?

I was so moody I just knew I must be pre-menopausal. As if I didn’t have enough going on with our sudden move from Illinois to Arizona, my youngest was a teen and going through finding herself and my husband was going through whatever men do instead of menopause—some call it a midlife crisis. Let’s not forget my oldest and my grandson who had to throw additional chaos into the mix. In general, we are a boring family, but the essence of our crazies gave birth to the Reynolds family featured in Picture Perfect.

What's your favourite part of writing a novel? 

Character development. I get to explore the complexities of human nature through my characters. Great fun. 

Are there any aspects of writing you struggle with?

The most difficult part for me is finding a balance where setting is involved. I hate reading novels where every blade of grass is described. I also don’t like it when the author continually tells you what the characters look like. Give me general descriptions here and there and I’m good to go. So when writing, I have to be sure to go back and add extra setting and descriptions to ensure I have enough. 

Where do you get your ideas from?

All of the personalities that live in my head demand to have their stories told. Seriously though. Aside from the voices in my head, ideas are everywhere. I actually give Back Story, to each of my books on my blog.

How long does it take to complete a novel?

I write several books at once, so if I count only the time for one novel, two hours a day for 4 months gives me a first draft for the longer novels. 

Did you query agents or traditional publishers before self-publishing?

Yep. I’ve been traditionally published and just began self publishing. I worked as a content editor in the industry a few years and learned the ropes and decided I can do this on my own now. 

How did you handle the rejection letters? 

I think because I started off in acquisitions before I ever submitted anything, I have an easy time with rejection from publishers and agents. I had to turn away good novels that didn’t fit our house or that weren’t what we were looking for. It’s all part of the business.

What’s your writing process?

An idea usually comes to me and I write a short outline of sorts and file it away for when I’m ready to write the novel. I limit myself to writing four novels at a time. When I’m ready for a novel, I read the outline then just start writing the book. It rarely comes out like the rough outline which is often times incomplete. It’s extremely rough. 
What factors influenced your decision to self-publish?

I’ve learned the craft of writing. I’ve learned the ins and out of publishing from working within the industry. I’ve learned how to market. Now that much of the upfront cost associated with self-publishing have been eliminated, I figured why not. I still take my books through the same process as a traditional publisher only I keep my rights.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Learn the craft. I thought because I could tell great stories that translated into being a good author. WRONG. Invest in your passion. Go to writing workshops. Take classes. Have your work professionally edited (content/developmental, copy and proofed) so you can truly make your work the best it can be. If you get a good developmental/content editor, you’ll learn A LOT.

What's next in the pipeline? 

I love fairy tales and fables. Soooo, I’m doing my version of The Ugly Duckling. It’s called Diamond In The Rough. I’ll be releasing it in March 2011.

Do you think your books would translate well to the big screen? If so who would you like to see play your lead characters ? 

My romances, nope. I don’t like romances translated to big screen pictures. But my mainstream titles, Caught Up and Picture Perfect would. Especially Caught Up. 

I can’t even begin to name who could be the lead characters. I’m horrible with names. I’d jack up some stars name and they’d come after me. No thanks.

Tell me three random things about yourself.

I have a learning disorder called Dyslexia and my parents were told I’d never learn how to read.

My pinkie toes work similar to opposing thumbs. LOL. Yep. I can move those bad puppies like short fingers. Used to creep my hubby out with that one.

I am a movie-a-holic. Love to see movies on the big screen. See one or two every weekend and am upset when there is nothing new out I want to see.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

Besides playing with my grandson, I read a lot. A book or two a week (not including the books I read to the baby).

Do you write in just one genre?

Nah, I can’t write just one genre. I write: mainstream, women’s fiction, romance (contemporary, fantasy, sci fi), straight fantasy and sci-fi, and suspense/thriller. I’m only published in mainstream, women’s fiction and romance. 

Do you use Social Media for marketing your novels? 

I use Facebook mostly.

Who are your writing influences?

I have writing mentors. I’ve been blessed enough to know several published authors who were willing to take me under their wings and help me grow as an author. Lately I’ve been leaning on Beverly Jenkins quite a bit. I’ve been writing historical and she’s the queen. 

If you weren’t writing, what would be your favourite job?

Im blessed enough to have my favourite job (outside of writing fiction). I maintain websites for a healthcare system. 

Which five people would you invite for dinner?

Do they have to be authors? If not, President Obama, Michelle Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton

Describe your latest novel in fifteen words or fewer.

Menopause + Midlife Crisis + Terrible Teens = the not so perfect picture in Picture Perfect.

What are you reading at the moment?

Naked, by Megan Hart. I just downloaded it yesterday so can’t give an opinion yet. She was recommended to me by a reader of mine so I had to try her.

What three things would you add to your bucket list of things to do.

Spend a year on each Continent. Meet at least ¼ of the people I’ve met online face to face. Go to culinary school.

Do you write full time? If not, how do you balance writing with another job?

I write in my free time. I have two hours a day slated for writing.

Do your characters talk to you?

Yes. Thus I write to keep from having to be medicated. 

Have you ever used a friend or foe as a character? 

Nah. I’ve used people’s essence to help inspire characters, but never used a real person. 

About Picture Perfect

To the outside world, the Reynolds family is picture perfect. In the Reynolds’ home, Jacob Reynolds, CFO of a major corporation, is experiencing a midlife crisis; Anna Lee Reynolds, happy home maker who isn’t too happy with her life choices, is slipping into menopause; and Junior, the sixteen-year-old son, is proving the terrible twos have nothing on the terrible teens.

When Anna Lee decides to return to college, the family portrait is torn to shreds. Jacob wants a new and improved portrait with his entire family. Anna Lee insists it is time to take separate portraits. Junior begs for the old portrait to be refurbished. All three are hurting and unsure, and the changes in their lives have just begun.


Reviews: APEX | APOOO

Links to Picture Perfect
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Amazon(print)


Link to purchase any of Deatri's books: http://deatrikingbey.com/books/

Many thanks for your time Deatri. Wow. I can't believe you write four novels at a time! And to think you were told you'd never read because of your Dyslexia. That's pretty inspirational!

Sibel XX