Saturday, December 29, 2012

Introducing Author Dyane Forde

Hello Dyane and welcome to my blog. Why don't we start off with you telling us a little bit about yourself?

I am a working mom, so I do not have the time to spend writing that I would like, but I do my best to find the time. I am a Christian but not everything I write is 'Christian' based. I like to write about how I see the world, and the questions that I ask about the world; I like to focus on the internally driven character, the inner world and the motivations of the character . I guess that's what I get for being a social worker... My writing has been influenced by Hemingway (minimalist style) and Virginia Wolfe influenced me to examine the inner workings of a character.

Please tell me about your novel. Who or what was your inspiration behind it?

There are three books planned in the series. The Purple Morrow is the first. The second, Wolf’s Bane, is in the process of being completed and I’m very excited about that. It follows the main character‘s (Jeru) journey as he continues to discover his role in the unfolding events, and as he searches for Kelen, the Rover commander who wreaked so much havoc in book one, and whom we learn has a special role in Jeru’s life. Book three, still unnamed, tells of the conclusion of the clash between the Northmen and the Southernmen, and all mysteries are revealed.

 Here’s the blurb for The Purple Morrow: 

Ten years ago, the Northern Rover army nearly decimated the peoples of the Southernlands in their search to locate and destroy the one thing that could thwart their plans of total conquest: the Papilion. Only fourteen at the time, Jeru suffered terrible personal losses. Miraculously, that day he was saved from certain death, however, ill-fortune continued to shadow his steps, forcing him into a life of bitterness and solitude.

The Rovers return to the Southernlands, trailing death and despair in their wake. The Purple Morrow, agent of hope and renewal, comes to Jeru in his dreams, setting off a series of incredible events, which lead him to discover the redemptive power of love, and ultimately, his true destiny.

I love to write about people who are struggling through difficult things and who must learn something from the challenges they face or from the choices they make for the good (or the bad). That thread seems to run through everything I write.

What are some of your favorite genres to read and to write?

I generally like to read anything that is well-written and which doesn’t conflict with my personal values too much. I think fantasy and sci-fi are my favorites, but I often find that there is a major conflict of values in the themes or the story itself, which makes it difficult for me to continue reading. That’s actually one of the reasons I chose to write my own books; I wanted to produce the kind of stories that I wanted to read.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What was the biggest compliment? Did those change how or what you did in your next novel?

All criticism is hard to take. I think we all write with the hope that everyone will like our stories and the ways we choose to express them in a novel. We pour our hearts and soul into them, we sacrifice a lot to bring our dream into being, so it definitely hurts when someone gives a nasty review. That said, we need CONSTRUCTIVE reviews and comments to make sure that we produce the best story we can. The trick is to be able to pull the good out of every review, even the harsh ones. I’ve found that the most helpful and challenging reviews often contain the best feedback, but you have to have a tough enough skin to see and accept it.

The best reviews or comments are the ones when the reader tells me they were moved by something I wrote, or that they were able to connect with one of my characters. When that happens, I feel like I’ve done my job as a writer.

When you sit down to write, do you do it the old-fashioned way with pen and paper or do you use a computer? Do you prefer one way or the other?

I love working on the computer. I think way too fast for my hand to keep up with me, which makes for extremely messy pages, lol Besides, having to do all that rewriting by hand would be intolerable.

What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun?

Lol It’s been a long time since I’ve picked up a book to read for fun. Since I’ve started writing books, every time I pick up something to read, I end up analyzing it, trying to learn how the author did something I haven’t figured out how to do, or marveling at a phrase, sentence or something. Or, I figure out why I don’t like the story and try to make sure I don’t repeat it in my own work. But when I do choose a book to read, it has to be well-written. What happens is that whatever I read influences how I write, so if I read something great, I find my prose is suddenly much sharper, for example. The opposite happens when I read something that’s not quite up to that standard. I love to read Margaret Atwood. She is so witty and smart, and she has a magical way with words that I find intriguing. So I often tend to read her work, hoping that even just a smidgen of her genius will rub off on me. J

What has been your favorite part of being an author? What has been your least favorite?

I love getting into a flow, when the words start flowing and the ideas just come by themselves. I love seeing a bare first draft start to take shape as I fill in the missing parts. I love getting feedback from readers who were touched by something I wrote. What I do not like is the constant worrying that a book is never ‘finished’ or that there’s something I missed or that I need to keep fixing. Also, trying to find a means to get my story from my computer into print is a major challenge. Its very time-consuming and at times, very discouraging.

Did you get to quit your day job and become an author or do you still have a day job and writing is something you do for fun? If you still have a day job, what is it?

I’m a social worker by profession.

Did you have any teacher in school that encouraged you to write? Did you take their advice?

I had one high school teacher, I think 10th grade, who really enjoyed my stories. After my last English exam, she came to me and gave me a collection of the stories we had studied that year and she told me to keep writing. That was a very memorable moment for me.

We all have our little things when it comes to reading, is there anything that bugs you when you read a novel? What is it?

I am not a lover of reams and reams of description. After a while, I just find it too much and I start to tune out. That’s probably one reason I love Hemingway so much. He barely put any detail into his stories, but somehow, there was just enough so that I could still fill in the blanks. His was a style I tried to emulate for a while.

I also don’t like books that spend too much time on action and plot but don’t take any time to build their characters. I read one book like that, and when I got to the end, I felt cheated.

What genre are you most looking forward to exploring during your writing career? Why?

I would love to write literary fiction. I just admire the skill and thought that goes into those books, as well as the fact that often, those writers take risks. I set specific goals and challenges for myself in every book I write to test myself and to help me grow, but I’m no where up to that level, yet. But I’ll keep trying!

Read an excerpt: Purple Morrow | Wolf's Bane

Contact the author: Facebook | Twitter

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