Interview with D. Wallace Peach

book photo lower resToday’s guest is the lovely Diana Peach, whose blog, Myths of the Mirror, I highly recommend. Welcome to the Beauty of Words, Diana.

Thank you, Cathleen, for the opportunity to talk about writing on your blog. I can do that for hours but promise to keep this short.

It’s wonderful to have you. Let’s start at the beginning: when did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I wrote stories and poems in high school and college, but it never occurred to me for one second to be a writer. I was a theater girl, and that too went by the wayside as the demands of work and raising a family took precedence.

Then, in 2010, my husband took an 18-month job in another state. The kids were already living on their own, so we sold our house and moved. I flipped a house (once is enough, thank you), and with nothing pressing, my husband suggested I write a book. β€œOh, okay,” I said, and just like that I became a writer.

I wonder what would have happened if he’d suggested I arrange flowers. Hmmm.

In that case, I imagine your garden would have been a sight to see. πŸ™‚ What’s the craziest story idea you’ve ever had? And did you write it?

I like crazy ideas. The craziest one so far is based on the notion that our characters are real beings and live energetically outside our books. Characters move us emotionally, influence our choices, and stay with us throughout our lives, no different than real people.

So what if the created world and real world collided? I facilitated this idea by having a fantasy book that writes itself. The book pulls a real person into the fantasy story, and the fantasy story bleeds into the real world. To make matters more complicated, I also wanted to explore the idea that the β€œself” can also live Sorcerer's Garden Final ebookenergetically outside they body just like characters do. This crazy idea turned into my novel, The Sorcerer’s Garden.

Any basic writing philosophy or tips?

My main philosophy is Write What You Love. There are so many different kinds of readers with different tastes that no matter what we write, someone is going to love it and someone is going to pan it. On one book, I received a comment that my sentences were too long and a comment that my sentences were too short. Yes, the same book! I laughed and groaned, but it taught me to just enjoy this wonderful, creative vocation.

Β This is so true. By all means improve, but if you’re going to go down in flames, at least do it for what you are. What about structuring your stories? Do you use a particular structure, or do you pick and choose?

I balk at the idea of using a β€œstandard” story structure. I was a stubborn mule of a kid, and apparently, I still am! For me, prescribed structure shuts down the creative flow. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to learn new things about this craft. I’m eager for ideas and tips, and when something resonates, I incorporate it, but my outlines are story-based not method-based. They come from the inside out.

Any advice for aspiring authors?

I love working with aspiring authors, both teens and adults. I get excited about their excitement! Advice? Here are the biggies:

  • I was part of a writer’s critique group for 5 years, and I’m convinced that I would never have published without the constructive criticism of other authors. Positive feedback is nice, but we MUST learn our weaknesses in order to grow.
  • If you can’t pay for a full professional edit, pay for as much as you can, even if it’s only for 3 chapters. You’ll learn tips and techniques that you can apply to your whole book.
  • Be a sponge and learn everything you can about writing from books, blogs, and other writers. Take the time to incorporate what you learn into your work.
  • Read your work aloud.
  • No shortcuts! Writing is surprisingly hard work. Do the time, be meticulous, and produce the very best work you can. You owe it to your readers and yourself.
  • Read, read, read.

THE BONE WALL EBOOKWhat’s the best part about being a writer?

I love living all these lives and stories in my head. They’re real for me.

Mine are very real to me, too. What is the single most important quality in a novel–what must an author do to win you over?

I’m a fan of rich characters, emotionally complex or conflicted, faced with challenges and choices that test them and force them to change. To me, the plot is secondary, a vehicle to reveal the human story and propel the characters forward. So, authenticity of thought, emotion, and action is vital. I have trouble sticking with a book if the characters feel flat or aren’t believable.

Β What is the best part about being an indie author for you?

TMOA EBOOK Low ResI’m switching all my books from traditionally published to self-published and am thrilled with the choice. Above all, I like the control. Publishing my own books, I have control over content, covers, pricing. The quality is better because I can fix errors, and the sales are higher because I effectively promote. Success is 100% my responsibility, and the only one who can hold me back is me.

What about your most recently upcoming work?

Β I’m working on a 4-book fantasy/sci-fi serial called The Rose Shield that I plan to release in early 2017. That seems far away, but I’m only about 1/3 of the way through the project with a ton of writing yet ahead.

A quick (unpolished) blurb:

The members of an elite guild have discovered how to enhance their bodies so they can manipulate the emotions of others, and they do so to rule the world. A young girl, Catling, has a marked eye that grants her the power to disrupt their influence. Established methods of civil control disintegrate before her, and most of the guild wants her slain. One woman protects and trains her, plotting to use her shield, her eye, to further her imperial goals. No longer a helpless child, Catling has other plans. As chaos shakes the foundations of order and rule, will she become the realm’s savior? Or its executioner?

Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us today. πŸ™‚

Thanks again, Cathleen for the fun on your blog. Happy Writing!

Diana is the author of:

The Sorcerer’s Garden
The Melding of Aeris
The Bone Wall
Sunwielder
Myths of the Mirror
Sequels to Myths of the Mirror:
Eye of Fire
Eye of Blind
Eye of Sun

Avid writer and reader, especially of fantasy. Learning about social networking and always interested in honing my writing skills. Contact me at cathleentownsend.com.

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Posted in Author Interviews
78 comments on “Interview with D. Wallace Peach
  1. Again, I am inspired by Diana’s words on writing, self-publishing, promoting. But, Diana, have you really written nine books since you started writing in 2010??? If so, I am a slug and damn, I better sit my seat on this chair in front of my computer even more hours than I already do. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 5 people

    • I write full time, Pam, 10 hours a day, 6 days a week. No kids at home either. Now that I’m blogging, my book-writing is about 1/2 what it used to be so the books are coming slower. I don’t cook and my house is…well… Pretty soon I’m going to have to start exercising too. My butt is taking on the shape of my recliner! Ha ha. Thanks for the comment and making me laugh. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 9 people

      • “my butt is taking on the shape of my recliner” – too funny. Yes, I’m not as devoted as you to the writing chair. I make myself walk/dance/yoga every day, which doesn’t produce words but does help me think more clearly. But STILL, I need to spend more time writing. 10 hours a day is impressive. Keep it going, Diana!!!

        Liked by 4 people

  2. jlfatgcs says:

    Great interview, Cathleen!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks for the wonderful opportunity to chat books on your blog, Cathleen. I so appreciate the opportunity. Have a marvelous day and Happy Writing!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I agree, roughwighting–not only did Diana write eight, but she edited and published them as well (my current hurdle). That’s an awesome accomplishment–enough to inspire us all.

    Thanks for the kind words, jlfatgcs, and most of all to you, Diana, for stopping by to visit with us. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 4 people

  5. A fascinating woman and an intriguing interview. I’m always up for learning what works or doesn’t for other authors. Thanks for the interview Diana Peach and for hosting, Cathleen. πŸ™‚ ❀

    Liked by 3 people

  6. […] Continue reading at The Beauty of Words… […]

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wonderful interview and sound advice. So nice to get to know you, Diana. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Reblogged this on Musings on Life & Experience and commented:
    An interesting interview with D. Wallace Peach

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I’m not at all surprised this interview is so popular–Diana is an amazing author. Thanks so much, everyone for stopping by. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Wonderful interview and excellent advise for authors too! Thoroughly enjoyed learning more about Diana. Thanks! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Great interview! It was fun learning more about Diana.

    Stephanie
    http://stephie5741.blogspot.com

    Liked by 2 people

  12. You are so inspiring Diana. Lovely interview, I am so happy to know a little more about you and your life as a writer. Have a wonderful day πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the kind comment, Lynne. I don’t feel that inspiring…just another bozo on the writing bus, really. πŸ˜€ But this ride is always great fun and full of enthusiasm. Have a lovely day, my friend.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Great interview. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Thanks so much, although I just asked the questions. Diana’s the one with the answers. πŸ™‚

    Like

  15. Great interview with one of my favorite bloggers. Thanks!

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Reblogged this on Art by Rob Goldstein and commented:
    Great interview with one of my favorite bloggers.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Sean P Carlin says:

    Great interview — and I second all of Diana’s advice to aspiring authors! I’m so envious that’s she’s been so prolific in the relatively short span of just six years!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. What a phenomenal and inspiring lady you are. Thank you for the advice. I’m so glad you are a rule breaker. The book sounds epic. Good luck with it. Thanks Rob for this . A very inspiring lady indeed.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    The lovely Diana Wallace Peach has been interviewed by Cathleen Townsend.. Head over and find out more..

    Liked by 3 people

  20. reocochran says:

    I enjoy feeling like Diana is my friend.<3 I love her terrific excerpts from her books. I am not sure if my library will ever order her books, (I fill out requisition purchase slips!)so one day I will need to buy them. How lucky we are to have blogging that connects published authors with some of us who Dream of writing. I was happy to get acquainted with some of the commenters, along with the talented Cathleen, too. Great interview post! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  21. If anyone had any doubt how lovely a person Diana is, and how inspiring people find her writing, all they’d have to do is read these comments. I’ve enjoyed every one.

    Although it’s going to take me a few days to visit everyone’s blog. Diana’s extremely popular. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

  22. dgkaye says:

    Fantastic interview Diana! I’m almost finished reading The Sorcerer’s Garden and hate when I have to put it down. And wonderful learning more about your writing world. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Great interview with evocative questions. And, kudos to you Cathleen for picking one of our favorite writers/blogging friends. Diana is one of the best. ☺

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Thanks so much. And I agree, Diana is a classy lady. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Andrew Joyce says:

    Great interview Ms. Peach. And I must take exception at person who called you a “bozo.” Oh, that was you? I still take exception (on your behalf).

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ha ha ha. Thanks for reading, Andrew. I can be something of a goofball, really. When I left the corporate world, I left that whole persona behind too. The current bozo-ish life is much more fulfilling. Give Danny a scratch for me and Happy Writing!

      Liked by 2 people

  26. Heartafire says:

    Wonderful interview, I had no idea Dee is such a prolific writer, only that she is a fantastic one. thanks for letting us have a glimpse into this fabulous author!

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Annika Perry says:

    A lovely interview and great to get to know you even more Diana and particularly your thoughts on writing. Very sound advice for all aspiring writers! In five and a half years your output has been astonishing – what a quick and steep learning curve and now self-publishing all your novels as well as working on a new series! I’m flabbergasted!! πŸ˜€ Best of luck for your future writing…wishing you much peace and joy.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for reading, Annika. I haven’t been able to keep up the pace now that a grandkid and blogging have entered the picture, but still going from 5 am to 8 pm pretty consistently. 6 more books and I’ll take a couple weeks off to relax πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

      Liked by 2 people

  28. adeleulnais says:

    A wonderful interview filled with good advice too. I agree with you about indie publishing, it`s about taking control of your own work. Oh and my characters are real too, I love them except when they are banging on my head at 3a.m. telling me about something that just has to be written. lol

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Kev says:

    Lovely to see Diana here, Cathleen. Good to learn more abut how you started out, Diana… Flowers, hey? If you put as much into it as your books you’d have a garden fit for a queen. ☺

    Liked by 2 people

  30. What a spirit of adventure you have. Just like that, you became a writer. I think we have those words and images with us all our lives. A lucky few, commit the words to print to share with the world. Thank you for sharing your talents. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Great interview! A great source of inspiration! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Ali Isaac says:

    Great interview, and lovely to know a little more about you. I love how you say characters are more interesting to you than plot… I agree! But we get very hung up on plot these days. None of the classics did. I’m so delighted to read you saying this. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy writing flash these days. There is no plot, it’s all about character. 😁

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Thank you Cathleen for hosting this meaningful interview. Diana, you are an inspiration to me and to a lot of writers. I love how you free yourself from form and expectations. I do the same and believe that as we have read so many books, some sort of form will shape itself into our work. You provide us with fantastic pieces of advice here. Thank you both, Cathleen and Diana, for taking to the time to share your experience with us. It is much appreciated.

    Liked by 2 people

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