Name Isabelle Drake
Age Over 21
Where are you from
Cincinnati, Ohio, originally. Now I live in Michigan.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Right now, I’m revising SERVANT OF THE UNDEAD for publication later this year. It’s a project I’ve been posting on Wattpad.
I’m excited about it because its different from other things I’ve written recently. It’s dark and strange, so fun to write.
Later this spring I’ll be attending RT Booklovers in Atlanta. That’s always a great event. Can’t wait.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
When: Seriously, after college. I wrote some stories while in high school and college but didn’t start writing with the goal of publishing until after I graduated.
Why: I love stories.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
My first publication was a story in True Confessions magazine. The day I bought the issue with my story in it, that was the first time I truly considered myself a writer. Seeing my words in print made it real.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
After publishing short stories, I wanted to try writing something longer. I think it was the challenge that inspired me. My first novel, a young adult romance, HIS FRIDAY GIRLS, is still available under the pen name Melissa Ford.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Good question, if I do I don’t think I can describe it well. I try to match the tone and voice to the story. Or maybe it’s the story to the tone and voice. I suppose it goes both ways.
Fiona: Are there messages in your novels that you want readers to grasp?
No, not that I intentionally place in there. I suppose I do challenge ideas about relationships and identity but I steer away from thinking I have the right to influence readers on what they ought to think about life or situations.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?a mentor?
1984 and A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN are two that influenced me personally. They made me think about things I hadn’t considered before.
GONE WITH THE WIND was one of the first books I admired for the writing and story-telling. I appreciated the depth of characterization and the way the setting influenced the storyline.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes and no. I approach the business side of it like a career but the actual writing like an art and passion.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
My most recent book, BEST FRIENDS NEVER, is an edgy YA thriller. If I could change anything, I would make it even edgier. The new CW show, RIVERDALE, shows that the YA market can really handle controversial elements.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
My mother read to us all the time, so I grew up loving stories. Later, when I’d babysit neighborhood kids, I’d make up stories for them. I suppose those things contributed to my desire to tell stories for a living.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
SERVANT OF THE UNDEAD features a tribe of zombies who acquire humans and use them as sexual servants. Instead of eating the humans, they live off their sexual energy. The story is told through the point of view of Hayden, who has been captured by Mattie, a powerful woman zombie, who wants more from him than sex.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Time! There is never enough!
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I love to travel and do it a couple times a year for book signings or other events. When I travel for my writing business, I always make a point of doing some fun things as well. Even if it’s just a trip to a park or walk in a particular neighborhood, I try to see something unique about the place where I am.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Typically, the publisher’s art department creates the covers. For my indie published series, CUCKOLD BEACH, I created the covers.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing?
Patience. When a story is in my mind, I know what’s going to happen. Writing it all down takes so much longer than imagining it.
Fiona: Do you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?
Patience. Flexibility. Determination. Those are the “big” things writing teaches me. Every book teaches me something new about craft and I do my best to apply that to the next book.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead.
If SERVANT OF THE UNDEAD was made into a film I’d like Eva Green to play my female zombie, Mattie. She’s very good at being complicated.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Its common advice because its good advice: write what you love. If you love it, someone else will too.
The less common advice—don’t take yourself or the writing too seriously. Work hard, yes, be dedicated, also yes, but don’t neglect having a good time.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for reading!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
THE GIRL BEFORE by JP Delaney
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Wow—no, don’t remember the very first. Nancy Drew was an early favorite. My mom gave me her collection and I read all of those. CATCHER IN THE RYE was probably the first “literary” book I read. Loved it but read it in a much different way later in life.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I’d like to meet one of the pioneer women who traveled out West. What an experience that must have been!
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
I’d prefer to not have a headstone. Just spread my ashes somewhere nice.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I collect vintage comics: Betty & Veronica and Katy Keene, especially. Katy Keene’s are my favorites but they are really hard to find.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love horror movies. Not so much the slasher type, but ones with a high level of psychological suspense. I’ll watch pretty much anything I think might scare me.
TV shows…I’m a big fan of RIVERDALE and BATES MOTEL.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Foods: hot wings, steak, fried chicken and cookies.
Colors: red, lavender – but not together.
Music: pop/techno dance and country.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
…maybe I’d be a traveling fortune teller…with a horse-drawn covered wagon. I’d travel from town to town telling people the stories of their lives.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I’m also all around social media. Just look for Isabelle Drake!
BEST FRIENDS NEVER: https://www.finch-books.com/book/best-friends-never
UNFINISHED BUSINESS: https://www.totallybound.com/book/unfinished-business