Steff Deschenes – The Ice Cream Theory

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

The Ice Cream Theory is a charming, tongue-in-cheek exploration of the parallels between human personalities and ice cream flavors. Utilizing humor and satire, it brings together anecdotes from my own adventures with broader-reaching social commentary to help others recognize the wisdom and joy inherent in a beloved dessert. In the same way people have ice-cream preferences, people also have people preferences. Like ice cream flavors, social preferences shift based on age, experience, even mood. There are exotic flavors that one craves when feeling daring, comforting flavors to fall back on, flavors long-enjoyed that eventually wear out their welcome, and those unique flavors that require an acquired taste. Like people, no ice cream flavor is perfect every single time, and it’s in this realization that the crux of the theory lies!

Tell us something about yourself.

I began writing when I was very young and knew that this was what I wanted to “grow up and be.” It’s still what I want to be when I grow up, so I think I’m on the right path!

I’m from the great state of Maine, and, while I’ve lived all over the world, it’s this state that I feel the most alive – the most me! – in. Besides, there’s really nothing as glorious as New England in the autumn. I love apple orchards so much, I actually got the longitude-latitude (in my handwriting) of the apple orchard I grew up going to. It’s different, and I like it: it pays homage to autumn, my childhood, and this glorious state.

What do you feel has been your greatest achievement as an author?

The Ice Cream Theory has won twelve awards. Twelve awards! That’s huge! And I think it’s what people are most impressed by when they meet me; especially given I’m relatively young (just turned a quarter century old!). When I won the first award, I remember thinking it must have been a fluke or that the judges were just throwing me a bone. But eleven awards later, I know without a doubt that there’s something very special about The Ice Cream Theory and it’s being recognized and appreciated by people from all different walks of life.

If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?

Knowing what I know now about the massive shift happening in the publishing industry (more books are now self-published than traditionally published every year), I would have jumped on the self-publishing route a lot faster. There’s nothing wrong with being an indie writer!

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?

William Goldman really helped me define my literary voice. His works (specifically The Princess Bride and Which Lie Did I Tell?) encouraged me to embrace satire, my erratic thoughts and fragmented sentences, and most importantly, the ability to manipulate a true encounter and create it into something where the truth becomes questionable. Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin; The Driver by Alexander Roy, and The Shack by William P. Young, are all great books, too. I also thoroughly enjoy kid’s books, specifically anything by Graeme Base or Maurice Sendak.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

For the past four years I’ve been working part-time as a beer model – you know the girls, the ones who dress a little scandalously and go out to events or bars and give away free alcohol paraphernalia? That’s me! The next book is going to be about my adventures as an alcohol spokes model, because some of the stories I have from my experience are just too funny, profound, or totally bizarre to not tell!

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

Everybody is going to offer their two cents on how to become a published writer. But, in the end, just as it is with living life, you’re going to have to pave your own way. You simply gotta believe: believe in yourself, believe in the process, and believe that your book is good enough.

Also, I think writers have the tendency to forget that reading and writing really do go hand-in-hand. So, writers: READ! Get lost in someone else’s world for a while! It will help keep your own literary voice fresh!

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

I think my book has really struck a chord with three main groups: 1. older female teens just graduating high school or going into college; 2. male twenty-something’s (I kid you not!); and 3. middle aged women who are part of the “sandwich” generation (taking care of both their parents and their kids at the same time). I couldn’t have asked for a more diverse or wonderful plethora of readers!

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

The Ice Cream Theory can be purchased at Amazon.com. For more information you can check out TheIceCreamTheory.com (where you can download the Electronic Press Kit!); or even Facebook! The Ice Cream Theory has its own Fan Page which is regularly updated (and if I hit 1,000 fans I’m giving away 10 books!). And if you’re bored, feel free to stumble over to SteffDeschenes.com where for the past year I’ve been photoblogging my dinner – it’s both bizarre and really interesting!