Meet the Author: D. Wallace Peach
Good morning world!
Today I’m stopping by with the first author interview of 2021, and I’m having it with D. Wallace Peach, fantasy author.
I got to know her through other WordPress author friends late last year as well as GoodReads. She is currently celebrating the latest release in her trilogy Unraveling the Veil.
D. Wallace Peach
D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked. Diana lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two owls, a horde of bats, and the occasional family of coyotes.
Hi Diana, thanks so much for stopping by. To keep things interesting, I like to ask my interviewees a random question to get the blood flowing. Here’s yours!
A spaceship comes crashing out of the sky into your backyard. As a last act of kindness, the alien is willing to bestow upon you any power you choose. What is your decision?
Diana: Hi, Jonny. Thanks for having me over at Jaunts and Haunts, and for the great questions. As I read through your options, I came to the conclusion that I’m a total scaredy cat! Lol. No chance that I’m going to time travel, walk through mysterious portals, battle zombies, or spend a lifetime fleeing demons. So, I went with the softball question above.
I’d request the power to heal through a mere touch. That would be most satisfying. I’d start with children’s hospitals and go from there. I’d be invading everyone’s personal space right and left. Strangers would be mortified at my touchy-feely friendliness, and I’d probably be told off a few times, but I wouldn’t care. And I’d keep my power a complete secret, so I wouldn’t have to run from nefarious characters and secret government agencies who’d want to capture me and control my talent.
Jonny: Thanks, and welcome! Haha, no worries about going the more peaceful route. Many of the potential situations I came up with are kinda scary.
I love your choice of power. That’s very selfless of you, and I think this world could use the healing now more than ever, even if you’re knocking down doors saying “Hey, I’ve got a bone to pick with your medical condition. Let me in!” Good choice to lay low. Superheroes may sound great on paper, but I think people would covet that ability of yours and things may take a turn for the worse.
Today I’m gonna go escapist and wish for multiplicity. I’d multiply myself several times over to do things like work and run errands, while the true me would just sit back and relax. Of course, I’d take turns to ensure the other me’s are content, but life would be such a breeze!
Diana and the Writing Process
For starters, tell us a little bit about your writing.
Diana: I’m a fantasy author with a writing addiction. I finished my 19th book, the last of the Unraveling the Veil trilogy in October 2020, and I’m taking a writing break to read a backlog of kindle books, vacuum up tumbleweeds of dog hair, and muse about my next writing adventure.
I love writing fantasy. I love all aspects of this craft, but being free to stretch and twist my imagination never tires. Incorporating fantastical concepts into a believable and cohesive narrative that has the power to suspend a reader’s disbelief is like putting together a puzzle. It’s scary, and it’s exhilarating.
Jonny: Wow, congratulations on your success! I can’t wait to start your series soon.
Extra kudos on taking a break. Sometimes you just have to live and take a breath to remember what normal life is like. Right now I’m in between projects and I’m kind of working on multiple things at once, but it’s a lighter, less stressful feeling than I’m used to and I love it.
What do you think made your blog successful?
Diana: At the end of my first year of blogging, I had 7 likes and 0 comments. Yeah, I was clueless. And because I’m a slow learner, my second year was hardly any better. I thought I just needed to hit the WP publish button and then could return to my writing obsession.
At some point, the dim lightbulb in my head got a little brighter. It occurred to me that social media required this old hermit to be “social.” I started visiting other blogs to read and comment. My time spent blogging went from 10 minutes a month to 4-8 hours a day (which still isn’t enough to do every blog justice). It’s time consuming, but for now it’s worth it. I truly enjoy the friendships, and I hope it shows.
Jonny: It’s definitely a journey, that’s for sure. I started much the same way. I had no idea what I was doing and did a lot of looking at others’ sites and tried to make up something for myself. My second year of blogging has been better than the first since I knew what I wanted, but I continually have to hold myself back so I don’t overextend myself, which apparently happens every year. Lately I haven’t been nurturing my blogging friendships due to finishing up my next book, but since I’m in an easier place right now that’s definitely about to happen.
The blogging community really is great, and I’ve made so many invaluable friendships along the way. Looking forward to making more!
What do you find most challenging about writing/blogging?
Diana: That’s an easy question. Time! To write well takes time and to blog well takes time. Doing both leaves few hours for anything else. Now you know why my house is a hazard zone, why I wear the same clothes for a week at a time, and why I serve up hard boiled eggs for dinner. I have no idea how anyone with a job and/or children manages it. I couldn’t do it, and for that reason, I didn’t start writing until I was 50. So, to all those writers who are juggling multiple priorities, kudos to you. You’re amazing!
Jonny: Haha, you stole my answer! We both know that blogging or writing alone can be a time killer, but combining the two? Yeah, it makes for a very tight schedule. I’ve had to scale back a bit for sanity’s sake on the blogging front and am hoping to have a bit more relaxation and writing time.
Oh, I have no idea how anyone with a family does it either. It’s just me and my cat, and I constantly feel like I’m running behind or barely keeping up with things. For all the writing moms and dads out there, you are a magical unicorn!
Describe your writing style.
Diana: I wrote my first book as a pantser. It was 300K words, loaded with amazing tangents and rich with description. I loved it. Publishers hated it. For two years, my writing group helped me cut 65% of my beautiful words. It felt like a flaying. Whole chapters GONE! I was heartbroken. But of course, everyone who counseled me to “kill my darlings” was right. When I finished, the book found a publisher, and I became a plotter.
Now, I plot all my stories and save myself a lot of time and pain. Over the years, my plotting has become more detailed. I attribute that to coming up with more complex stories as well as writing multi-book series. That said, my plots are never fixed. They leave lots of room for characters to be themselves and negotiate changes, which they frequently do!
Jonny: Thanks for sharing that journey with us. I think we all have our misconceptions about writing when we are early on in the process. The road to publication definitely has its thorns, but I’m glad you were able to find a compromise and still enjoy the end result of your hard work and determination.
I’m also a plotter and have stubbornly been so from the start (I blame it on my being a Taurus, ha!). I spend hours and hours of plotting on bigger projects and simply refuse to write until the movie in my head is pictured strongly enough. You bring up a good point. Even with plotters, there is still some pantsing to be had. It’s impossible to think of every detail in a plot summary, and giving your characters and even the plot a little bit of leg room allows them to grow and develop in ways you may not have originally planned.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Diana: I read my reviews. I’m not sure that I catch them all, but it’s not for lack of interest. Of course, I love a great review, but I also accept the less than stellar ones with grace. I’ve learned from many of them, especially when I just started writing, and on occasion, I’ve made changes based on a reviewer’s feedback.
What I think is most important is to keep in mind that there are billions of readers with different preferences. No book is going to appeal to everyone, and it’s silly to expect the impossible. We have to do our very best as authors to create something worthy of a reader’s time and money, and then trust that our books will find their audiences.
Jonny: Great answer! I think the way you approach reviews is very healthy. At first I had fairly thin skin, but at the end of the day sometimes your work just isn’t for everyone. Everyone has negative reviews, and that’s normal.
These days I put less emphasis on reviews and try not to check very often, though sometimes curiosity wins out. Finding those little nuggets of wisdom in a review can definitely be a blessing in disguise.
Could you tell us a couple fun facts about you?
Diana: My parents used to drop my brothers and I off in the woods when we were little (ages 12, 10, and 7). We had packs, sleeping bags, food, and a map. A week later, they’d pick us up at a spot about 20-25 miles away. If not in the woods, they’d leave us on a river with a canoe and pick us up days later under a specific bridge. To us, those Hansel and Gretel experiences were completely normal. We grew up with decent outdoor skills and an appreciation of the natural world. Those adventures were the highlights of my childhood, but I think about them today and can’t help but cringe.
Jonny: Oh my gosh, that sounds terrifying! I consider myself a latchkey kid, but that’s a whole other level!
Mainly I’d ride bikes or hike around the neighborhood with my friends for hours on end, then return home whenever I felt like it. My parents did get mad at me fairly often for staying out too much, but they were nothing like the helicopter parents you see today. No impromptu camping trips for me!
Diana and Her Works
Tell us about your new book.
Diana: My latest trilogy is titled Unraveling the Veil. It’s about three races – goblins, elves, and changelings – and how blame and lies almost destroy their lives and civilization. My trio of heroes are products of their cultures and biases, and yet they have to trust each other and work together to learn the truth of a series of mysterious disappearances. Things get awfully grim before they accomplish their goal.
Jonny: This sounds so amazing! I’m a fan of epic fantasy, and a collaborative mission amongst unlikely allies sounds quite tense. Extra points for grimness!
Do you have a favorite character in your new book? Why are they your favorite?
Diana: When I started, I thought Alue, my elf, was going to be my favorite character. Her personality was the most defined, and I liked her arc. But you know characters… they have minds of their own and often reveal who they are as we write. Talin, my changeling, was the most fun to write because he’s a bit of a wise guy. But Naj, my goblin, is the one who stole my heart. I think I like him the best because, in a way, he’s an underdog. He’s a misfit who’s never fully belonged anywhere, and he tries so hard to do the right thing. He’s quite noble.
Jonny: What a toss up! They each sound like they have their own strengths , and I bet I’ll have a hard time coming up with a favorite myself.
Alright, last question before we go! What kind of research went into writing your book?
Diana: I wanted the magic in the book to be “somewhat” grounded in science. But I’m no scientist, that’s for sure! I decided to go with kinetics – the movement and manipulation of energy. My characters can manipulate earth, fire, water, and the physical mass of their bodies by controlling the energy that binds them. My research started with how fantasy has dealt with these principles in other works. Bloggers helped me decide whether shapeshifters end up naked or clothed once shifting from animal form. That was pretty hilarious!
Then I moved on to real science, starting with the Laws of Conservation of Mass and Energy. I got familiar with types of light and heat, how lightning occurs, and how electrical imbalances hold matter together, as well as how matter transforms. The fantasy stuff was easier, but I stuck with the science, and eventually came to what I think is a good balance.
Thank you so much, Jonny, for the invite to your blog and this fun interview. I’m delighted to be here, chatting with your followers. Happy Writing to all.
Jonny: Wow, sounds like you had quite the hefty dose of research with this series, but I bet it paid off. One of my WIPs involves superpowered humans, and a large part of my research was figuring out how elements interact with one another and where their weaknesses lie. I can’t wait to delve into your series, and thanks again for stopping by and letting me pick your brain a bit.
That’s a Wrap!
All righty book worms, that wraps up my interview with D. Wallace Peach. I always have a great time chatting it up with her, and I hope you enjoyed the experience too!
If you’d like to learn more about Diana and her work, she can be reached at the social media links provided below.
Thank you for stopping by, and have a great day!
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