Saturday, July 2, 2011

Wednesday Writer ~ Deirdra Eden Coppel

Author & Illustrator Deirdra Eden Koppel

CRW: When did you begin to write?
Deirdra:  I wrote the lyrics to my first song when I was four. I was standing on top of a playground slide so I was high enough I could look over a fence and see the sunset. It was so beautiful I just started singing. I felt inspired to write the song down. Later in my life that song was recognized and published. When I was fourteen one of my songs, “The Song of Freedom” was used as the theme song for a musical.

CRW: How wonderful. Sunsets inspire you to write. What else?
Deirdra:  Everything … especially trials. When life’s disasters happen now I just think “This would make a great scene.” A lot of times I work though my real life problems as my characters are working through theirs.

CRW: Do you try to write daily, and if so, do you set a goal of a certain number of words?
Deirdra: I write when I can. On my “normal” schedule I have eight hours a day blocked out for writing or illustrating. I have to be flexible because “normal” days are hard to come by. Sometimes I have to start my day at 4:00 A.M. to get my eight hours in. I don’t set word goals, I find myself checking how many words I’ve written instead of just writing.

CRW: What gets in your way of writing?
Deridra: Life. When I start to get down on myself or stressed I can’t write properly.

CRW: How do you get past it?
Deridra:  I read my scriptures, workout, sing and take vitamin B12. My husband is good about taking care of our kid so I can have “thinking time” where I sit and do nothing but think.

CRW: What makes you CRAZY about writing? Crazy good and crazy bad?
Deirdra:  The creative fairies whisper into my ear and keep me going. Unfortunately because they are fairies they don’t understand that I have to eat, sleep and maintain relationships with other humans.

CRW: I have triplet fairies flying around me all the time right now, so I know what you mean. Where is the strangest place you have ever worked on your book?
Deirdra:  I’ve written in a tree house, bath tub, quiet roof top and a medieval theme park.

CRW: How long does it take you to complete a book?
Deirdra:  It takes me three months to write a book. The first month I just write the raw story. The second month I go through and add more detail, fix POV and expand scenes. The third month I focus on editing and add things as I feel inspired. It takes me another three months to illustrate a book.

CRW: How wonderful that you have the talent to illustrate as well as write. Please tell us more about where you get your ideas?
Deirdra:  They strike me like how some people get struck with seizures. I could be looking at a jar of peanut butter in the store then suddenly a scene flashes across my mind and I start hearing dialogue. I get some of my ideas from dreams and from ancient scriptures, especially the Old Testament and Book of Revelations.

CRW: Where do you get your character’s names?
Deirdra:  Usually the Bible. Sometimes I will Google names and meanings. I will match a character to a name based on the meaning. I like to use a lot of symbolism.

CRW: What is your favorite writing food?
Deirdra:  Chocolate truffles. LOL. I love this question. Only another writer would ask me that.

CRW: So true. Okay, here comes the big question. Why are you a writer?
Deirdra:  I have to be. I can’t stop. If I stop I will start to die a slow and miserable death. I also feel that it is my own personal mission.

CRW: Agreed. Writing and creating in one way or another are in the blood. What do you think would be the best complement you could receive from a reader?
Deirdra:  I just hope the books I write will inspire people to do great things and help them as they face “Real Life” challenges.

CRW:  I had the opportunity to read a draft of  your "Knight of Light." The unique cover was illustrated by you as well. Were there really women Knights?
Deridra: Yes, Scotlyn, the Knightess in "Knight of Light" is based on a real Lady Knight. Her story is fascinating.

CRW: What is the name of the next project you are currently working on?
Deirdra: I’m on my second re-write of “Battle of the Twelve Tribes”.

CRW: Please tell us more about it.
Deirdra: This book is an epic allegory about preparedness, patients, humility, courage and friendship. There is a dragon, pixie and army of other magical creatures that come to the aid of a young man who is destined to be a king.

CRW:  I know you are available to do illustrations for books and other artwork. What else do you do?
Deirdra:  I create the art for book covers.  I also create the artwork for children's coloring books that go along with authors books.

CRW:  What' are your website and blog addies?
Deirdra: and

CRW:  What a pleasure to visit with you and get to know you better. Good luck on your writing and your artwork.
Deirdra:  Thank you for this opportunity, Cindy.


  1. Great interview done by two outstanding women, each superb in her own way. I read with keen interest. Deirdra, you amaze me more and more. You followed your dreams to be different right from the beginning, while I was happy to be middle-of-the-road, loving to do what came handy, fulfilling my dreams with my head in a book, not writing one. Thanks for the refreshing read.

  2. Thanks Anna. High praise coming from one of my heros! You are an inspiration to me.


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