Q&A with Marie Drake, author of Three Rules
1. Tell me how you came to love writing.
The first time I remember writing a story was in third grade. When the teacher handed it back to me, she said, “Very well done,” and discussed my story with me. I was hooked.
2. What other jobs have you done while working to become an author?
I worked in a motel for several years before I had children. I ran a home daycare for over ten years after I had children. My husband and I became foster parents because of an emergency within my own family, and once it was resolved we decided to continue to foster other children. We fostered fifteen children over a five year period. More often than not we were raising eight children at a time. Currently, I have a small home based online business. I design and sell crochet afghan patterns on my website.
3. Tell me about your book.
I thought about writing this book for years — the setting, the characters, and so forth. I didn't have the time to actually put any of it on paper, however, until my kids grew a little older. The book takes place in a small, fictional town. It's near a lake, like my own hometown. It isn't anything too specific because it is centered on the main character's feelings and state of mind more than the location. It is written from Hope's perspective, the main character. She suffered years of abuse and never told anyone about it for fear that no one would believe her, and later that there would be repercussions within her nuclear family causing her mother and step father pain. She buried all the pain and anger inside, year after year. When her former abuser is pronounced dead in a mysterious boating accident but they don't recover the body, it magnifies her feelings of paranoia and fear. She has recurring nightmares, and she thinks she sees him, feels him following her.
4. What kind of research did you do for the book?
Well, the story is based in a small town, on a lake, so I didn't have to stretch my imagination very far on that. I drew on my own personal life experiences when describing the feelings and emotions of the main character. I survived some things in my childhood that scarred and changed who I was forever. It affected my outlook on life, on the world, and affected my decisions and the way I lived until I was nearly thirty years old. I often wonder how different I would be if they never happened. I have also been a care giver for children who had suffered abuse, which I can't go into detail about for privacy reasons.
5. What's a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write?
I usually get up at 5:30 AM when my husband leaves for work and our four boys are getting ready for school. They are all out of the house by around 6:20, and I sit down with my coffee and write for a couple of hours before I have to start the regular day —answering emails and doing customer service for my online business, cooking, cleaning, laundry, taking care of our dog, Lady Jade. I sit at my desk in my office and write, usually in my pajamas, always with a cup of coffee. I find that is the best time for me. I have tried going back in the afternoons to write a little, but I think my best ideas come early in the morning.
6. What is the hardest part of writing for you?
The hardest part for me is letting others read what I write. Writing it is thrilling, exciting; I am passionate about it. It wasn't until recently my husband convinced me I should let other people read it. To me, it is very personal. It is a piece of me, and when others read it, it doesn't belong to just me anymore. Then it becomes a book, material for random people to pick over, piece apart, and find fault. Accepting criticism is a difficult task, but it is a necessity. I try to do so graciously, and use it constructively.
7.What’s the best thing about being an author?
I have found the best part of being an author is also letting others read what I wrote, when some one enjoys reading it — when somebody else shares the excitement I felt writing the book while they are reading it.
8. What advice would you give writers?
Don't give up. Life gets in the way; it may slow you down but it can't stop you if you keep moving toward your goals, even if it is an inch at a time. It can be challenging, but follow your dreams.
9. What question do you get asked the most, and how do you answer that question?
I think the question I get asked the most is “Was it worth it, spending all this time writing a book?” My answer is yes, to me it was worth every moment I spent at the keyboard. I know they are most often speaking financially. That is not how I measure my success. I feel accomplished and proud of finishing something that I set out to do. I feel the most reward when some one enjoys what I wrote.
10. What are you working on now?
I have started writing my next novel, tentatively called Don't Cry For Me. It is another fiction novel that I hope to release in 2014.
You can read more about Marie Drake @ http://www.mariedrake.com or contact her @ firstname.lastname@example.org