peeps: Tellulah Darling
After earning an M.A. in Film Theory from the University of British Columbia and all the career opportunities that began presenting themselves, Deborah Peraya had a reality check. “Working at Starbucks was not what I had in mind,” she quickly realized. So, she began teaching in various film programs, and eventually managed to segue to a freelance screenwriting career.
For twelve years she wrote “everything from one hour paranormals to half hour animated kids shows and a feature screwball comedy.” Not bad — she’s on IMDb! — but things don’t really move very fast in the film and television world, she reports, and she “was getting antsy waiting for the huge financial deals to make anything happen to be put into place.” It also did not help that she was burned out; screenwriting was no longer fun. But with her lifelong love of books, being a novelist had a lot of appeal. So…
How Deborah Got Started Self-Publishing
… Deborah spent a bit of time researching ebooks and POD, arranged for the help of a talented crew of editors and designers. and in 2012, she published her very first novel: Sam Cruz’s Infallible Guide to Getting Girls by Tellulah Darling.
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, Tellulah is Deborah’s nom de plume. “Tellulah” even has a second book out now: My Ex From Hell, the first in her Blooming Goddess Trilogy.
With her ability to blend “smart sassy heroines and satisfying happily ever-afters,” Deborah quickly gained a following as Tellulah for her Young Adult romantic comedies. With Sam Cruz being more for the adult part of Young Adult, Deborah listened to the demands of her tween daughter and began producing Blooming Goddess, something more suitable for younger YA readers. The second book in that series, My Date From Hell, is scheduled for an October release. When the third book’s out and the series is complete, Deborah plans to explore the New Adult genre, “with a new series involving mayhem, magic and love.”
Self-Publishing Tips and Observations
- “While it was great not having to raise a million dollars to get a story out into the world, the most exciting and enticing aspect of self-publishing has been creating an immediate connection with my readers. It’s an incredible rush to hear from someone across the globe that they’ve read my story and loved it. That’s something really special and it’s amazing that the technology is there to allow authors to get out there on our own and put our stories into the world without jumping through hoops for years.”
- “My biggest advice would be ‘don’t rush.’ As wonderful as it is that anyone can publish a story, the flip side is that there are thousands and thousands of stories being put out there. Take the time to hone your craft, be professional and give yourself a fighting chance.”
- “Once you do release that first book, be aware of its reception… [F]eedback is valuable. If people love something you’re doing, keep going. If a lot of people are reacting to the same thing [not too positively] — maybe think about how you can hold on to your vision but take it to a whole new level.”
- “Be willing to keep doing the hard work. Self-published authors need to work much harder to prove ourselves because there isn’t this huge publishing machine behind us that has already given us some form of validation. So keep pushing yourself.”
- “And be gracious to your readers. They are giving you the most precious gift of their time. Respect that, and respect them by crafting the best story you can.”