Interview ~ D. Wallace Peach
I have promised to post an interview with D. Wallace Peach, Diana Peach to those that know here. Diana's recent decision to forgo traditional publishing, after a list of her books have been so published, to publish as an independent author. No need for me to say I applaud that, having blogged on that subject for years. I was sufficiently intrigued to go right to the source and inquire as to why she might have arrived at that decision. I received her reasoned response and posted it in two parts. Refer to the past two posts to read it in its entirety.
Here is the interview with D. Wallace Peach:
BCP: You have written that you became interested in writing upon picking up j.r.r. Tolkien's “The Hobbit”, whereupon magic happened. Can you expound upon that experience just a bit, to give the reader some insight into the world that drives you as a writer, perhaps shaping the genre in which you write?
DWP: Thanks, Grant, for the invite to appear on your blog. I love talking writing and books. Ah, Tolkien…When I was a kid, books didn’t interest me in the least. They were boring. Then a friend lent me the book The Hobbit. Well, I gobbled it up by the end of the weekend and finished the Lord of the Rings trilogy by the following Friday. I was entranced, and thus began a lifelong love of reading. When an opportunity came to write, I never considered another genre—fantasy was it.
BCP: You recently made a decision to reclaim the rights of your six traditionally published books and self-publish as an independent author. A subject I have blogged on for years. Can you tell us if this shift in publishing will have any influence on your writing in general?
DWP: The decision to go indie wasn’t impulsive; it simmered for nearly a year as I weighed the pros and cons. About a month ago, you posted my conclusions, and I hope your followers found them helpful.
So…has the switch influenced the direction of my writing? Not really. Maybe I was naïve, but I never wrote to please my publisher. I wrote whatever popped into my skull and reflected my moods. I’m still exploring the genre, and I love the creative freedom to follow my muse. That said, my publisher probably wouldn’t have appreciated my book, The Bone Wall. Their brand is a bit tamer and that’s a grim and gritty story. Now, it’s up to the readers to decide, and I’m good with that.
BCP: I'll leave your publishing decisions alone now. In my reviews of your books, I have used descriptors like 'master storyteller' 'brilliant author', and probably genius somewhere describing the stories that make up your books. I do this in good conscience because of the quality of your storytelling skills. You are a very humble writer/author, which is another most excellent reason I like you as an author. Please tell the readers something of what makes you think up your stories, what is the energy that drives your writing.
DWP: Okay, Grant, blushing now. Thank you for the sweet compliment. Well, this is an interesting question because I think only a small part of what I do is the nebulous stuff we call inspiration. My stories do pop into my head as loose skeletons that I rapidly jot down and flesh out before I forget them (which happens a lot at my age). I think inspiration is all over the place, triggered by a comment or news report or an element of something that we watched or read. We need to be vigilant and snatch them up.
Then two things happen. One is I work my butt off. I world build, outline, research, and produce character bios. Then I write with a lot of discipline, pushing the story onto the keyboard without a break, revamping the plot as the characters come alive. I revise and edit, line by line, word by word. There are paragraphs that I’ll rewrite dozens of times until the rhythm of the words sounds right. Then the book goes through a critique group! I think anyone who’s tackled a book knows that much of writing is just plain grueling work.
The other thing I do, harder to define, is dig deep emotionally. Author Anne McCaffrey said, “The thing is, emotion—if it’s visibly felt by the writer—will go through all the processes it takes to publish a story and still hit the reader right in the gut. But you have to really mean it.” I become emotionally inseparable from my characters. We go to some tough places and sometimes it hurts.
BCP: You have a recently released book “The Sorcerer's Garden”, which I have on my reading list, and review for the blog. Can you give the readers an overview of the story and perhaps how the story developed for you, as a writer.
DWP: The Sorcerer’s Garden was another fantasy experiment. I was a wreck, physically and emotionally, after finishing The Bone Wall, and I wanted to write something lighter and hopeful. The book is a blend of urban and medieval fantasy that takes place in modern Portland, Oregon. The main character, Madlyn, is probably the closest I’ve come to self-insertion in a book, and it was great fun.
Madlyn takes a temporary job reading at the side of a young man who’s in a vegetative state after a near-drowning. He was an amateur writer with an unfinished first book called The Sorcerer’s Garden. Bored with her literary selections, she decides to read his manuscript, and things go a little wonky. Not only does the book start writing itself, but she’s in the story. The boundaries between the book-world and the real-world begin to collapse, and Madlyn’s stuck in the middle.
BCP: Are there any planned books that you would like to talk about, or direction you might want to explore with your writing?
DWP: All new projects are on hold right now as I’m getting six books ready for re-release as an indie author. That project will finish by the end of August. It seemed like a lot of time, but it’s already creeping up on me. My stagnant work-in-progress is a 4-book fantasy serial. The first story is complete; the second has a first draft, and third and fourth are mere outlines. I’m hoping to have it out in about a year. I’ll release them in tight succession as it’s all one story, and I don’t like to make readers wait.
So that’s about it. Phew. Thank you, Grant, for the wonderful opportunity to ramble. Happy Writing to you and all your followers!