Welcome to my official website. Here you will find information about me and my books, along with upcoming news.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Want to Read an Excerpt?

First comes the title, then comes the cover, and now comes the excerpt.

That's right, you can now read the first chapter of Black Tree right here. In this chapter, you'll get an introduction to the three narrators and start to get a feel for the world they live in.

You can use one of the page links on the right or you can simply click here to read the chapter. Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Writing Adventures: Part 9

Click here to read Part 8.

I have already shared elsewhere my quote upon holding my published book in my hands for the first time: "This is creepy." Not the cover. I knew what the cover would look like, so I was just concerned about it printing right--and since it did, I only felt relived when I saw it. No, it was flipping through the pages that felt so strange. I saw my words, the words that I had written, here on these pale pages.

Years ago, I used to sometimes look at the shelves in Barnes & Noble to look for the "S" section (since fiction is, of course, organized alphabetically according to the author's last name). I would find where "Skaggs" would go and try and picture what it would be like to see my name there, in between the rows of random books, so many kinds and varieties written by so many people. It was hard to imagine, so intangible.

Likewise, even though I've printed out portions of my book and even the whole thing from time to time, it was very unreal to hold it in actual published form, wholly tangible. Something I can take my usual terrible snapshots of:

At first, I was afraid. Heading to the post office and leaving with the slim cardboard box, I felt sick. I was convinced it hadn't printed right. I felt . . . shy, I suppose, to even have it printed. But oh, you'll never have that experience again--that experience of opening that first box for the first time. Anxiety turns into relief, which turns into excitement.

For a while, I was finished--finished with writing the book, that is. Now I am at the beginning again--the beginning of bringing this book out.

You can buy my book, Black Tree, at this link.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Title & Cover Reveal

Eight years ago I wrote the beginnings of this novel, without even realizing that those words would eventually turn into a novel. I was aiming for a short story but quickly realized that whatever I was writing was bigger than just a few pages--so I let it sit while I slowly added to it during my college years, awaiting the time in which I would be able to devote more focus to it. That time came and I finished my book and now it is at last in print. So now I bring to you my book, Black Tree:

           To stare at the ocean and yet to crave the desert. To leave home to wander endlessly across the land and yet to be glad. To watch heartache fade away with the new rising of the sun.
            To see the greatest depths of despair outlined in the very sky and earth—this is the fate of three women unalike in all ways except in their struggles. Abigail is the youngest, Julia is the oldest, and the third has neither age nor name. Their place is the past and the present and the future, and their landscape is the Southwest, which they hold in dearest regard.

            But to love the land, will that save them or will it be the thing that holds them back from life?

As this book grew and developed, I wanted it to be something Southwestern unhindered by genre constraints. Don't get me wrong, there are great Westerns out there and wonderful books about the West, border issues, questions of race and culture, and such. But I wanted to present my Southwest--the book that I wanted to write in the setting that I wanted to place it. And my book has nothing to do with these usual Western or Southwestern topics. It's like when you see a delicate and pretty painting of a cactus: it isn't in the usual Western style of art and yet it shares the visuals. It belongs to the same world but is its own genre.

You can buy my book now at lulu.com/spotlight/deannaskaggs. It will also be available on Amazon and other sites in a few weeks, but I will be honest with you here and explain why I ask that you purchase straight from Lulu instead: I receive a much lower cut if you buy the book from other sites. There will also be hardcover and digital versions coming, if you prefer either of those; I will let you know as soon as those are available.

Thank you so much for letting me share this debut with you, and I hope you're as excited as I am.