Name D. Wallace Peach
Where are you from?
I grew up in New England in the suburbs of Connecticut before making my home in Vermont. Then six years ago, my husband and I followed our daughter to Oregon on the west coast. We live in the rainforest of the Coastal Range.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
This past spring, I released The Rose Shield series, a fantasy tetralogy that took about 2 years to pull together. It was a big undertaking, and I’m taking the summer off from writing to do some reading and gardening and catch up on my sleep.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing after my husband’s job required a short-term move. I didn’t have a job and didn’t know anyone. My husband suggested I use my free time to write a book. I jumped right in and never looked back.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Right from the start. If you write all day, you’re a writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I used to work with young families, usually singles moms with children living in poverty. They often made poor choices, had low self-esteem, and would get into harmful relationships. My first book was for them – a reminder that they are worthy of kindness and love and can make choices for a better life.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I have a strange ear that is extra sensitive to the sound of words and sentences. It’s weird, but it does impact my writing. The prose has to sound a certain way to me, and I’ll spend an hour getting the sound of a paragraph right. My books tend to have a certain sound and rhythm, at least to my ear.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Usually titles just pop into my head at the books concept, but not always. Sometimes I have to wait until for that AHA moment when they appear in the text.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
My books have different messages but a couple themes seem to appears more than once. One is that we have the power of choice over our lives and it’s our responsibility to make wise choices for ourselves and others. Another theme is that wealth and power are corrupting when wielded without kindness. In my books, happiness doesn’t require a bag full of cash.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I write fantasy, but I take great care to make sure that my characters feel authentic. Their struggles are human struggles and many of the choices they face are choices that people face in their real lives.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings had a huge influence. I read those books and went from being a non-reader to a reader over a week’s time. I would never have enjoyed the hundreds of books I’ve read or decided to write if not for Tolkien.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I’m going to plug an indie author that I regularly blog with – Steven Baird. He writes luscious prose, captures a character’s voice beautifully, and his work is rich with emotion. I have lots of fantasy favorites: Scott Lynch, Joe Abercrombie, and Mark Lawrence to name a few.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I would have to say my writers’ group was the largest source of support in my desire to write and publish. I learned almost everything I know from them, and they painstakingly gave me the criticism that made my work better.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. I think it takes that kind of commitment because publishing and promotion is a long haul. It requires years of time and determination to even start showing some success. I love to write and would do it anyway, but calling it a career allows me to carve out the time I need to do it well.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, probably not. I just finished it a few months ago, and I don’t release a book until I feel it’s 100% ready. It represents the best of my ability at this time.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
In high school, I had to write a story for my English class and it received some recognition. Then I wrote in college, but it was mostly awful. I took about 30 years off from writing and started up again at age 50. Now, it’s in my life to stay.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Right now, I’m on a writing break and using the time to paint the illustrations for a children’s book I wrote a couple years ago. It’s great fun being creative in a different way. I hope to have an outline for the next fantasy novel completed by the end of August and then dig in.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Time. I always feel like I don’t have enough time to write. I love the process, but I’m intense about it and need big chunks of time. That said, I have nothing to whine about because I don’t have an outside job or kids at home. Just one time-consuming husband. Lol.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No. I do some research in the area (like sailing a tall ship), and I did make a trip to Colorado and Utah for my post-apocalyptic book The Bone Wall. But as a fantasy writer, most of the locations are inside my head.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The Rose Shield series covers, my latest books, were done by Deranged Doctor Design. They do wonderful covers, on time, and professional. Catling’s Bane recently won a gold star rating from The Book Designer blog.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
First drafts are more of a struggle for me, because the story comes faster than I can write it down. It’s like a race against time, and I’m always scared that if I don’t get it out and down, I’ll lose it. My brain is a sieve.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
The Rose Shield series is the first one where I tried to have partial endings to each book, even though the four books make one story. Serials are common in fantasy and I like them, but I did want to have some arcs wrap up. Eventually, I’d like to write stand-alone books in a single world (maybe).
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead?
This is a hard question because I don’t watch much TV or movies. And I don’t know any contemporary actresses or actors. Have to skip this one.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
I think the most valuable experience for me was joining a writers’ critique group. The pointed feedback was amazing, and I learned most of what I know from them, gleaned over years of constructive criticism. The most valuable feedback isn’t what we are doing right, but what we’re doing wrong. If a writer can’t find a group, I recommend starting one!
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Oh, I hope they know what a joy they are. When someone chooses to read my books, it’s a thrill. Even years into this writing journey, I still break out in a smile every time a sale or review or random comment comes my way. I write for the happiness it brings and readers make me happy!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m reading No More Mulberries by Mary Smith , another indie author. The book is fabulous and I’ll be blogging about it soon.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I remember the primers from the very early years when I was learning to read, but the first book that had a big impact on me was Charlotte’s Web. It was the first story that made me cry. I loved the emotional investment in the characters.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I find much about life poignant and my response is often tears. But those moments are infrequent compared to the many opportunities to laugh. I like to think that I take the mistakes and challenges of life with a light heart and find humor easily.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Probably my brother who passed away 14 years ago. I’d want the scoop on the afterlife if there is one.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
I won’t have a headstone, but if I did… “Tried not to waste her time.” Ha ha. Something like that.
Writing doesn’t leave much time for other hobbies, but I love to paint and garden. And I’m always game to try new things. The word “bored” isn’t in my vocabulary.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I don’t have much time for TV and we don’t have a movie theater near us. I watch 5 shows without missing an episode: The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Westworld, Outlander, and Vikings.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I’ll eat just about anything but a favorite is blueberries. I can eat a gallon of blueberries in one sitting. Favorite color would be nature’s green, and the favorite music is totally mood dependent!
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Probably continued working in mental health. I loved grief counseling. It was incredibly profound, heart-based work.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I do. http://mythsofthemirror.com. Visitors are always welcome!
For anyone interested in browsing, here’s my Amazon Author’s page: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8