Who’s That Indie Author? Darlene Foster

Darlene Foster

Author Name: Darlene Foster

Genre: Middle Grade Fiction

Books: Amanda in Malta, Amanda in Holland, Amanda in New Mexico, Amanda on the Danube, Amanda in Alberta, Amanda in England, Amanda in Spain, Amanda in Arabia

Bio: Darlene Foster, a long-time dreamer and tale spinner, is the author of the exciting Amanda Travels series featuring spunky Amanda Ross, a twelve-year-old girl who loves to travel. All ages enjoy following Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another in unique destinations. When not travelling herself, Darlene divides her time between Canada’s west coast and the Spanish Costa Blanca with her husband and entertaining rescue dogs, Dot and Lia. 

What got you started as a writer? I’ve been telling stories since I could talk. My grade-three teacher encouraged me to write my stories down, so that got me started. I had a short story published in a local newspaper when I was twelve years old. And I’ve been writing ever since.

What is your writing routine? Now that I am retired I don’t have as much of a writing routine as I did when I was working full time. I still try to write for a couple of hours each day. It often ends up in the evening after dinner as I tend to get busy during the day—walking the dogs, going for coffee, reading on my terrace, you know, things retired people do.

What route did you take to get your books published? I spent five years sending out query letters looking for a publisher for my first book. Every rejection letter was like a stab to my heart. But, as time went on, the letters became nicer and more encouraging. So I didn’t give up. Eventually a small independent Canadian publisher showed interest in e-publishing Amada in Arabia. I was delighted as e-publishing was just taking off. It did well and my publisher decided to offer the book in a printed version as well. She also asked me if I would consider a series. As it happened, I had another book written by then and had ideas for a couple more.

What things do you do to promote your books? My favourite thing to do is visit schools and libraries, reading from my books and discussing writing with young readers. One young boy was so excited to meet me, he made me feel like a rock star! He loved my books and I’m sure he told his friends. I also visit book stores and coffee shops to do signings. The other part of promotion is on-line. I am on all the popular social media sites and have a blog. For the past two years, in person visits have been limited so promoting online has been essential. I have also been doing virtual school visits which has been fun. I’ve been to Ireland, England, and a number of places in the US and didn’t have to fly there!

What is your favorite genre to read and why? I read a mix of genres but my favourite are historical novels. I love reading about people and events from the past. I’m currently reading War and Peace as part of a read-along, and I am learning a lot about Russia during the Napoleonic wars. We can learn a lot about people by reading historic books.

Do you prefer to write dialogue or description? Initially I preferred writing description, but I soon learned that readers, especially young readers, prefer dialogue. Now I enjoy writing dialogue. I have learned that it can move the action along and provide description as well. Better to hear someone describe something than to read detailed descriptions by the writer.  Dialogue keeps the reader connected to the characters.

Have any of your characters ever surprised you? Did this change the plot of your book? Characters do surprise me at times. Amanda sometimes does things she shouldn’t, but I let her as she has to learn how to get herself out of bad situations. Since I am a pantster and don’t plot out my books, this doesn’t change anything but moves the plot along.

What is the most difficult thing you have accomplished in your life? I packed up and moved from Canada to Spain seven years ago. That was very difficult but it was something I wanted to do for a long time. I’m happy that I stepped out of my comfort zone and did it.

What three events or people have most influenced how you live your life? That’s easy, my mom, my dad and Miss Roll, my grade-three teacher. My parents taught me the value of hard work, honesty and kindness, my teacher taught me to follow my dreams.

What would you tell your younger self? I would tell my younger self to stop worrying. I come from a long line of worriers and have spent way too much of my life worrying about things I have no control over and many things that never happened. I have found that if you don’t worry about things, they always work out the way they are supposed to.  

Have you ever met up with a bear on a hike? If so, what did you do? If not, are you looking up what to do right now? I have never met up with a bear on a hike. They say to play dead but I’m afraid I would run like hell! I used to have nightmares about bears as a child, even though we lived in an area where there were no bears. I believe it was Goldilocks and the Three Bears that caused this fear.

You’re locked in your local library for the night with no dinner. Thank goodness you have water, but you only have enough change to buy one item from the vending machine. Choices are limited to: Fudge Pop Tarts, Snickers or Doritos. Which would you choose and why? I would choose the fudge pop tarts because they would keep me full longer. There are worse things than being locked in a library!

What’s the largest number of people you’ve had in your kitchen at one time? My kitchen here in Spain is very small and I have ever only had myself and one other person in it. Even that was awkward. I loved those huge old farm kitchens where dozens of people would gather.  Great memories. The kitchen was the hub of family life.

Closing thoughts: Thanks so much for featuring me here on your interesting blog. I enjoyed answering your thought provoking questions. Some of which stirred up memories. Now I hope I don’t have any bear nightmares.

Website and social media links:
Amazon author page
WordPress Blog

Are you an indie or self-published author?  Do you want to build your author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

103 thoughts on “Who’s That Indie Author? Darlene Foster

  1. It’s so nice to see Darlene here. I read and enjoyed Amanda in Malta. I enjoyed your questions and Darlene’s responses. Many made me smile. 🙂

    1. Hi Jacqui – I’m glad you liked this interview. Wasn’t that a great story about the boy giving Darlene the (well-deserved) rock star status? Thanks for stopping by and commenting 🙂

  2. Hi Darlene, lovely interview and I agree moving abroad is no easy task. One tiny step at a time. Love your Amanda books! It’s great to travel abroad with Amanda! Been to Malta and Arabia with her… now have to go there in person! Lol x

    1. Thanks Marje. Because of the distance, we couldn’t do it in tiny steps. We had to just jump in and do it. It was scary but worked out at the end. Glad you enjoyed Amanda’s adventures.

  3. It’s fun to read your interviews with authors. I love that Darlene allows/admits that “Amanda sometimes does things she shouldn’t.” That seems like an important message to have in children’s books, that we’re all not perfect.

    1. Hi Ally Bean – thank you for such an insightful comment! And it’s so right. I’m glad you enjoyed this interview with Darlene. Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

  4. I’m glad to have learned more about you, Darlene. Your patience paid off to get your first book published after five years. I enjoyed Amanda in Malta. Wishing you continued success in your books. 💖📚 They you for the interview, Barbara!

    1. Hi Miriam – thanks so much for stopping by to read about Darlene – that’s so great that you enjoyed Amanda in Malta! Hope you are doing well. 🙂

      1. I’m glad you didn’t, Darlene. My writing had a speaker who tried for 10 years to find a traditional publisher. Finally one publisher asked her to write something they would publish, not her novel. That was how she started! What a daunting path.

  5. Darlene is Very, Very familiar to me, supporting my book and blog for as long as I can remember. I reciprocate too. I bought at least one of her “Amanda” books to give to my grand-daughter but I can’t remember the title. One new thing I learned here: Her first book published was an e-book via a Canadian publisher. Thanks, Barbara, for spreading the word on this beloved, and very prolific author! :-

  6. I’m with you on those Fudge Pop Tarts, Darlene! I could be happy with those and a library for a night. Looking forward to the next Amanda book. Thanks for hosting, Barbara!

    1. Hi Teri – yes the Fudge Pop Tarts would hold me through the night. I prefer the brown sugar ones, but I do like chocolate! Thanks so much for stopping by to read about Darlene!

  7. Darlene is such a great storyteller and I enjoyed reading your interview with her. Those are wise words to tell your younger self and something I need to do a better job with as well. How exciting to have moved to Spain!

  8. Nice interview Darlene, when you do these interviews I’m never sure whether to post a comment here or on your own blog. I also feel inadequate to comment as I haven’t read your books, though we both read each other’s blogs and you always comment on mine. I perked up when I saw you reading War and Peace, it’s an excellent way to get inside the culture and people of Russia at that time. I can certainly recommend Tolstoy’s other books, as well as Dostoyevsky and Zola. I read all of their works immediately after university in the late 70s and it gave me a heck of a perspective on those times too. Dostoyevsky was a bit “Dark” but I survived!

    1. Thank you so much for commenting. I love the Russian writers and have read Anna Karenina, Crime and Punishment, and The Brothers Karamazov. War and Peace just seemed so huge to me so I have put it off. I´m so glad I´m reading it though as it is so very good, has amazing characters and is a great way to become more aware of the times and culture. Although my family was not Russian, they did live in Russia at the time of this story. Many Germans are mentioned in the book.

    2. HI Dr. B – I’m so glad you stopped by to read Darlene’s interview. She had some great responses. I enjoyed your comments here too about Russian literature. I’ve only read War and Peace and The Idiot (both in college) although I re-read The Idiot recently. I’d like to read more and was inspired to read Darlene’s posts about The Brothers Karamazov. Thanks for the visit!

  9. Wonderful interview, Darlene. It was interesting learning about your writing habits, the two hours daily, such discipline. As for the bear, my father would ask us kids, “If you were being chased by a bear, where you you go, into a church or a school?” No matter the choice, a school or church, his answer was the same…”with a bare (bear) behind?”

      1. I’ve told it yo our kids and my daughter still laughs about it. Of course, my wife rolls her eyes and says, ‘Corny!’ No sense of humor 😂

  10. i so enjoyed reading this…so upbeat and inspiring. It is wonderful to hear about people who follow their dreams. I liked hearing about that third-grade teacher. Ultimately, that is what teachers desire to do…help their students to follow their heart and their dreams.

    1. Hi Linda, thank you for reading and commenting! I’m glad you enjoyed Darlene’s interview 🙂 Isn’t it great when teachers connect with their students? Even if it’s just one experience, we carry that with us.

  11. I enjoyed this interview greatly. It’s always nice to learn more about the authors I admire. I loved Darlene’s answers to the “locked in the library” and “meeting a bear.” 🙂 Thank you for sharing, Book Club Mom, and congrats to Darlene!

    1. Hi Robbie – thanks for taking the time to read Darlene’s interview. I also enjoyed her answers! Her Amanda books are on my list. Hope you are off to a great weekend 🙂

  12. I enjoyed this interview so much. Darlene is the kind of person I’d enjoy having a cup of tea just to pick her brain. I love her response about coming from a long line of worriers. My mom was a world-class worrier. I’m always worried about offending someone, which is silly because I never say anything offensive.🤣

    Great to read about Darlene’s journey. Thanks for the excellent questions, Book Club Mom.

    1. Thanks, Pete. I would love to have a cup of tea with you too. We would have a lot to talk about. It would be a long chat. Our moms have a lot in common as well. I learned how to worry from mine as well as my grandmother. They truly believed it was their job to worry. Bless them.

    2. Hi Peter, thank you for reading and commenting. Can I get in on that tea with Darlene? 🙂 As for the worrying, I was never a worrier when I was younger, but I tend to be now, so Darlene’s advice (even though I’m old) is well-taken.

  13. Barbara, a wonderful, fun and informative interview with Darlene. I love your variety of questions and smiling at the bear scenario. I’m afraid I’d run too! When my husband came to Sweden the first time I’d teased him about bears (there aren’t any really where we go!) and he was terrified of going further afield into the forest!😀

    Darlene, it is a joy to learn more about you. 😀 I hadn’t realised you moved so recently to Spain – an exciting adventure! Will you move back full-time to Canada at any stage, do you think? Hooray to your parents and your teacher for championing your writing! Oh, I can relate to advice to your younger self – worrying can eat away inside oneself and takes so much energy and all for nothing! I love how you write about Amanda, sounds like a dearest friend who can be headstrong and has to learn to find her own way in the world! 😀 Congratulations on all your books, your success and well done for all the work promoting your book! Happy Writing, my friend … we all eagerly await Amanda’s latest exploits in Paris! xx

    1. Thank you so much Annika! We´ve been in Spain for seven years now and, although I go back to Canada as often as I can, this is our home with our two dogs for now. One never knows the future of course. No point worrying about it!

  14. So are you currently writing your next book in the series? I am with you with bears. When I was 14, my family visited many national parks, including Yellowstone. We had a camping trailer, where the beds pulled out. In the middle of the night a mama bear and her two cubs wondered into our campsite. I was up against the canvas and my dad motioned to me to move slowly over, because the bears were beneath my bed looking for food. Remember being frozen with fear. Never liked bears much after that!

    1. Oh my. What a scary experience with bears. And they look so cute in picture books! I am doing the final edits on Amanda in France and it should be released in September 2022.

Comments are closed.