Dellani Oakes makes her home in Florida, but she grew up in Western Nebraska. Before that, she had lived in four other states. Since then, she has added two more, giving her a unique perspective on life. Always a people watcher, Dellani put that talent to use when she became an author.
Bitten by the writing bug early in life, Dellani first pursued poetry as her medium of self-expression. Soon, she moved on the song parodies and then short stories and humorous essays. Once she got to high school, it became apparent that she needed to learn to spell when she got a paper back from her English teacher, “For content – A+. For mechanics – F.” That comment changed her life, forcing her to focus as much on how she said things as what she said.
Dellani took up writing full time when her youngest son started kindergarten in 2002. Since then, she has published seventeen books. Five of her romantic suspense novels are with Tirgearr Publishing. Twelve other books ranging from historical romance to sci-fi, round out her resume of published works. She has also contributed to several anthologies. In addition to being an author, Dellani also chats with other authors on her two Blog Talk Radio shows: Dellani’s Tea Time and What’s Write for Me.
Tell me more about your latest book
My latest book is called Room 303. It’s the third in the Deputy Marshal Marice Houston series. The other two books are Room 103 and Room 203.
Set in Pittsburg, Kansas (because that’s where I was when I got the idea for it) Room 303 follows the antics and adventures of Deputy Houston, her fiance Kris, her good friend Todd, and police detective Darla Scrivener.
Todd Englund is finally getting his life back together, and has been making videos for the college forensic sciences department. The head of the department, Emily Snowden, asks him to a movie in the college plaza. While there, she’s shot and seriously wounded. Events take off, pulling Todd, Marice and the others, into an action packed whirlwind. Why was Emily shot? Who is the mysterious Mr. Smith? And can Todd finally find love with a pretty cop?
What was the most challenging aspect of writing this book?
I was fortunate that this book moved fairly quickly. Sometimes, a novel will bog down and not move for years, until an idea pops into my head and I’m able to finish. This one kept going, and I finished it in about 6 weeks. Others, I’ve completed in as little as 4 days.
What is your normal procedure to get your books published?
I do have one small publisher, Tirgearr Publishing, with whom I have published 5 of my books. The other 12 are independently published.
What motivated you to become an author?
I’ve told stories since I could talk. Once I learned how to write, they kept coming, and I tried to write them down. As I got older, I decided I wanted to publish a book, so I went in search of a publisher. Eventually, I found one willing to publish my work, and the rest is history. I am no longer with that company, but I found Tirgegarr, and I’ve been happy there ever since. I severed ties with my first publisher, and decided to reissue them myself. After getting over the initial panic attack, I realized it wasn’t too hard, and continued.
How many books have you written so far?
I’ve finished 129 and am working on 55 more, so I won’t bore you with them all. The published ones are:
Indian Summer & Savage Heart – historical romantic suspense set in 1739 & 1740 in St. Augustine, Florida.
Room 103, 203 & 303 – romantic suspense
Lone Wolf, Shakazhan, The Maker & Lone Wolf Tales – futuristic romance/sci-fi
It Takes a Thief – romantic suspense
Conduct Unbecoming – romantic suspense
The Ninja Tattoo – romantic suspense
One Night in Daytona Beach – romantic suspense
Undiscovered – romantic suspense
Under the Western Sky – retro romantic suspense – set in 1976.
So Much It Hurts – sweet romance
Bad Fall – romantic suspense
Lone Wolf is also available in audio format from audible.
I also have an adult age coloring book, called Doodle Your Stress Away.
As an author, do you prefer the traditional book or online version? Why?
I like both. E-books are easier to produce, and less expensive to sell. Also, they’re wonderful when you’re always on the go. I love paperbacks and hardbound, as well. For an independent author, these are more complicated to do, but it’s so great to hold your book baby in your hands.
How hard or easy is it to establish and maintain a career in writing?
It takes a lot of work to get your name out there. I’ve been published for 13 years, and I’m still trying to get myself recognized, where I make more sales. Authors are, mostly, not gregarious extroverts. We’re artistic, and don’t really grasp the intricacies of marketing. We like to hope that something magical will happen, and we’ll be the next best seller, but that usually doesn’t happen. Even big name authors are having to do their own marketing, and it’s tricky to maintain your visibility.
What is your advice for aspiring writers?
Don’t give up. If writing is your great, true love and you desperately want to be published, keep trying. Find a writing community to help you, learn to take (and give) constructive criticism. Realize that you can be a success, even if you don’t traditionally publish.
Visit Author Dellani Oakes book links:
New titles coming soon!
To Follow Dellani’s Blog: www.dellanioakes.com
To Find Dellani at Tirgearr Publishing: www.tirpub.com/doakes
My books are available at all on-line retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, etc
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