Please join me in extending a warm welcome to the wonderful Denise Baer–author of Net Switch and Fogged Up Fairy Tale.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Denise Haschka (Baer), and I’m a born and bred South Side Chicagoan. I’ve had hardships and successes, like everyone else, and somehow they make their way into my works. Every year, I learn something new about writing and publishing, but one thing is for sure, I’ve found a voice in the writing community. To write full-time, has been the best opportunity of my life.
After self-publishing a few books, I created my own publishing imprint, Baer Books Press, for my own publications as well as offering creative services and publication to other authors. I live in a small town in Germany with my husband, our furry-one, Shakespeare, and I’m currently working on a crime mystery novel.
2. When did you start writing?
I wasn’t born with a pen and paper in my hand. It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. While I searched for the answer, I worked many full-time jobs and went to school part-time. Sixteen years later, I received my Bachelor of Arts in English. In my last trimester of school, I wrote my first unpublished novel. The book didn’t have a great hook, but I was hooked on writing.
3. Tell us about your books’ titles.
I have published two books through my imprint, Baer Books Press. As you will see, I’m not a genre specific writer. I’ve tackled suspense thriller, women’s fiction, and currently a crime mystery. Of course, it doesn’t help to write in different genres when you’re an unknown author. My first book is a dark, psychological suspense thriller, Net Switch. The title defines the book in its entirety. Since it’s a suspense thriller, I’m unable to go into explanation regarding the title without divulging the suspense.
My second is a women’s fiction / contemporary romance / chick lit novel, Fogged Up Fairy Tale. The book is about amnesia, but it also has romance, sex, sarcasm, and adventure. It’s a play on words, F***ed Up Fairy Tale. The main character has amnesia and her husband helps with recovery by talking about her past. As she begins to learn about herself, she doesn’t like what she hears. Who she is and the troubles in paradise are somewhat F***ed up.
4. Of the characters you’ve created, which one is your favorite?
I’d have to say Brand Rye from Fogged Up Fairy Tale is my favorite character. She’s a lot like me. Some of her troubles reflect a few of my own. Her sarcasm is a reflection of mine when it decides to emerge, which isn’t much anymore.
5. How do you feel about outlines? Are you for or against them?
I wrote my first novel, Net Switch, during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) without much to go off other than an idea of the plot. During drafts, I had to create some sort of character/chapter document to keep track of the plot and to avoid contradictions. As I wrote my second novel, Fogged Up Fairy Tale, I wrote a character and description sheet while writing the novel. I find documentation of characters and chapters helpful, especially during the revision stages.
6. What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie. I’ve read it before, and suggested it for my book club. Since I enjoyed the humor from the television series, House, the same went for this book, written by the main character of the series.
7. What is on your to-be-read shelf?
Books that I’m looking forward to reading this summer are Match Me If You Can by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult, The Book of Speculation by Hope Dellon, and Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira.
8. In your opinion, what makes a story ‘good’?
Experience makes a good story. Fiction and non-fiction are weaved with truths, reality, so if you don’t have much life experience, it constricts vision along with imagination. Once the experience is there, it breathes life into characters and plot. A good story has characters readers can connect with and a plot that is consistently moving forward.
9. Any project in the works?
I’m finished with my second revision of a crime mystery novel (two book series), Shadow of Madness. Set in Chicago, two detectives try to solve gruesome murders occurring within the city limits. The second book, Shadow of Perdition, is set in Germany with the same main characters.
And now for a game of “Which Do/Would You Prefer?”
1. Books or movies?
2. Dogs or cats?
Definitely dogs. My baby, Shakespeare, is a Jack Russell/ Maltese mix.
3. Ebook or physical book?
4. Living in the city or living in the country?
5. Being able to travel to the past or being able to travel to the future?
Travel to the past. There are few wrongs I’d like to make right.
6. Making a phone call or sending a text?
Phone call. I truly abhor texting.
7. Working in a group or working alone?
8. Losing all of your money or losing every picture you’ve ever taken and every picture that has ever been taken of you?
All of my money. Pictures are remembrances, and I want them when my body is physically unable to do much more than reflect about memories.
9. To find true love or to win the lottery?
Win the lottery! I already have my soul mate. No need to look for anyone else.
10. Going without internet access for a week or going without watching any movies/television shows for a week?
Without internet access. I like disconnecting from all the noise out there. It allows me to focus on what’s important.
11. Drinking a glass of expired, curdled milk or eating a bowl of cold, slimy worms? (Note: the worms would be dead, though not cooked.)
12. To never again eat a piece of chocolate or to never again drink a cup of coffee?
Thank you for joining us, Denise!
Readers: want to connect with Denise? You can find her on Goodreads, Amazon, and Pinterest. Also, be sure to check our her blog, author website, and publishing imprint.