Featured Blogger: D. Wallace Peach

The cover of an ebook by D. Wallace Peach to open an interview with her as featured blogger
The Bone Wall by D. Wallace Peach

My Featured blogger for October is author D. Wallace Peach from Myths of the Mirror.

Before we begin, thank you for accepting my invitation.

Thanks so much for inviting me, Robert. I’m honored to be chatting on your blog.

Tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from and how that affects your point of view?

Great question as I do think our roots inform who we are. I come from a family that spent its free time in the forest. My parents used to drop my younger brothers and me off at a trailhead in the Green Mountains and pick us up 4 days later, 25 miles down the road. Sort of “Hansel and Gretel” except we carried maps. The first time we hiked without adults, I was about 11 years old and my youngest brother would have been 7. We were fearless and adventurous kids. Sometimes the raccoons got into our food or we got stuck in a snowstorm, but we survived. Those are some of the best memories of my life, and they had nothing to do with “things.”

I was also raised by left-wing liberals, and though I labored in business for 18 years, I hated the focus on money. After 9/11, I started working as a volunteer with grieving children, quit my job, and returned to school for a counseling degree, which I loved. Today, as an author, my fantasy books reflect an appreciation for a simple life, nature, and the human pathos that arises from choices: fear, greed, power, compassion, sacrifice, and love.

You mention that your profile that as a child you preferred television to reading until you read the Hobbit by Tolkien. What was it about the Hobbit changed your life?

Reading was b..o..r..i..n..g until I turned 13 and opened The Hobbit. I plowed through it and the LoTR series in about 2 weeks. I was entranced by the characters and the epic story. When the book ended, I had a serious book hangover and cried myself to the library. I’m certain I would never have considered writing if I hadn’t cracked that magical book. Books can change lives.

September 11 was another life-changing event and as a result, you returned to school. What was that like for you?

I wasn’t in New York, and I can’t claim any heroics or personal sacrifice. I still choke up thinking about that day: the fear, the lives lost, the families forever changed, the first responders and hundreds of souls who toiled tirelessly in the rubble, risking their own health. I was working in business and suddenly couldn’t deal with the sales and profits and money-is-king mentality. None of it mattered. What mattered were human beings, love, bravery, compassion, kindness. I quit my executive job and went back to school so I could be poor and happy doing something of value.

Portrait of D. Wallace Peach
Portrait of Author D. Wallace Peach


You graduated with a Master’s degree in counseling. What kind of counseling did you do?

I became a pastoral counselor – basically mental health with a spiritual (not religious) foundation. I wanted to work with people who were dying and grieving, and an openness to all variations in spiritual faith seemed important. I ended up doing most of my grief work as a volunteer and got a job counseling little kids (0-5) and their families. It was all transformative heart-based growth – especially for me.

What draws you to fantasy?

Oh. I’m a believer in magic – basically that the world is far more complex and interconnected than my pea-brain can possibly imagine. Just because we can’t prove something, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Just because we can’t see or measure something doesn’t mean it isn’t real. I know a teeny-weeny tiny fraction of all there is to know, which to me, means anything is possible. I like asking what-if questions about the nature of reality and ushering them down the path of my imagination to see where they go.

What do you find easiest about writing?

I find all of it rewarding but none of it particularly easy. The first draft is the most challenging for me. The story is outlined but unformed, and the characters can’t help but share their opinions about who they are and where they want to go. We’re in a constant state of negotiation and I’m often backtracking. Sometimes the words pour out and sometimes I have to wrench them out with plyers.

 

The cover of the fantasy novel, The Melding of Aeris by D. Wallace Peach
The Melding of Aeris

 

What writers give you inspiration?

I love character-driven stories and beautifully crafted words. I read a lot of fantasy, and like both stand-alone books and big, fat series. My favorite fantasy authors are Mark Lawrence, Scott Lynch, Brandon Sanderson, and Joe Abercrombie to name a few.

I read with a highlighter and mark up my books when I find something wonderful.

When did you start blogging?

I started in 2013, but I was completely clueless for the first 2 years. I didn’t know that social media was supposed to be social (duh) and had 7 likes my first whole year. I was so bad. I started watching what the successful bloggers did, the ones I enjoyed following, and finally the light-bulb flicked on. Now I have lively interactions with a large community on a daily basis. Much, much better.

  1. What advice do you have for writers who want to use their blogs to market their books?

I’m no expert, Robert, but here are my two cents: Go ahead and market, but remember that the most important part of blogging is building relationships – interact and reciprocate. Be yourself, of course, but remember that your blog is also your professional platform; you are sharing yourself as a person and author as well as posting content that represents the quality of your work. Pay it forward by doing for the community what you would like the community to do for you. And most of all, enjoy yourself.

Some Word Press bloggers think of Word Press as a community. Do you think of it as a
community?

Absolutely. I love that aspect of blogging. I love the way the world shrinks, the rich feelings shared by wonderful people all over the globe, the empathy and support of strangers who become good friends. There’s talent and kindness, beauty and compassion everywhere. It gives me hope and makes me smile.

How do you define success?

In all parts of my life: Happiness.

We only get this one life, Robert; there are no second chances, no do-overs. We are each miracles, here through the perfect alignment of billions of years of evolution, choices, and chance. It’s not a gift to be wasted. Happiness means different things to different people, but for me it’s choosing an attitude of kindness, care, and compassion and acting on that choice. Writing is something that brings me joy, no strings attached.

The Cover of fantasy novel, Myths of the Mirror by D. Wallace Peach
Myths of the Mirror

 

Thank you for your an enlightening interview.  It was a pleasure.

And thank you for asking! I didn’t talk much about my books (for once, Lol). If anyone is interested, my Amazon author’s page line up (9 books) is here: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8, and my blog is Myths of the Mirror: http://mythsofthemirror.com. Visitors are always welcome!

 

RG 2016

 

 

 


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82 thoughts on “Featured Blogger: D. Wallace Peach

  1. I’m a little late to the party! (Not unusual for me, I suppose.). But Diana’s party of blogging and writing and community and sharing is neverending. In fact, she has inspired me in my own blogging and brought me out of me ‘shell,’ to get out there and enrich/expand my blogging world. Although our blogging time may not sell more books, it does so much more: expand our world as we read about each other’s worlds, enrich our writing as we post blogs of fiction and non-fiction, expand friendships that never would have occurred if we didn’t blog. Oh, and expand the genres we read. I thought I didn’t ‘read fantasy,’ yet I got up the courage to read one of Diana’s books, and WOWZIE, I guess I do read fantasy, because her books are fabulous! Great interview – I learned more about one of my favorite bloggers and authors.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, Pam. Thanks for the awesome comment. You can arrive late to the party anytime 🙂 Thanks so much for the friendship, for your humor and the enthusiasm you bring to YOUR blog. It’s a joy to read. I’m glad I offer some inspiration, but I think you’re already inspired. Hope you have a wonderful week, my friend. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  2. LOTR changed my life too, although I was already a big reader. I had my epiphany after having my first son… I couldnt go back to selling and retail management after that, the latest designer furniture seemed so unimportant after that. In fact, that was my job and I was heavily pregnant with said son on the day that 9/11 happened; I can even remember what I was wearing, which is saying something about that the unfolding of that awful day, as my husband complains that I have been forgetful as a leaky old sieve since the day we met! It’s great to learn more about you, Diana. And you took me on a trip through My younger days at the same time. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Weird, Ali. I did furniture too at the time. I project managed furniture installations in office buildings. You would think life depended on a someone getting their new conference table. Ha ha. Ugh. Thanks so much for reading and I hope your life is full of adventures 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I liked your questions, Rob. They were interesting and created a great interview! 🙂
    You managed to bring all kinds of fascinating stories about childhood and Diana’s choice of leaving a business career to become a counselor of young children.
    This was simply lovely all around. Thank you, Rob and Diana. 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I have been guided here through my dear friend, Diana and I am delighted at her success. Thank you for such questions Robert, which make Diana shine more. Also glad to know what an adventurous and fearless life she had while growing up! This is a refreshing style of interview. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wonderful to see you here, Balroop 🙂 Robert does ask some refreshing questions that required some thought to answer. I loved that. Hope your weekend is adventurous and full of peace and kindness, my friend. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  5. This is a great interview of a lovely woman who shares my definition of success. I am so pleased you decided to feature her today and hope many more people check out her blog as well as her other writing.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Oh how wonderful to read about Diana here! Great interview, Robert. In particular I liked when she talked about the experience of reading The Hobbit and having a “book hangover” 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for visiting, Christy. Yeah, that Tolkien hangover was BAD. I cried and cried and my life felt emptied of magic. Ha ha. Fortunately, the world of books had just opened up to me. Have a great weekend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for reblogging the interview. Robert is a great supporter of authors and artists, and it’s been a blast to show up here on his site. Have a wonderful weekend, and thanks again for the share 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Lovely to learn more about you, Diana. Wow, what a crazy wonderful adventure at 11 coping by yourselves in the wilderness – it must have been exhilarating and how different in today’s overprotective world! Blogging is a wonderful community and I feel I’m making new friends and learning something new each day – where you once looked to professionals bloggers, you now set the benchmark for many of us (definitely me – through your blog and comments I realised the way to go – thank you!) Terrace interview, Robert. Wishing you both a lovely weekend. 😀

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Annika. I know the biggest surprise for me about blogging was the amazing friendships and support. And it seems to give back even more than we put into it. I still feel like a blogging newbie, so it feels funny to actually give advice! Pfft! Ha ha. About the childhood… definitely crazy. We were regulars at the emergency room 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Philippa, for the kind comment. I’m honored that you feel that way about my writing (and person). It’s a fearlessness that I continue to strive for and wasn’t always easy – a silver lining, perhaps, of some tougher times. Be well, my friend. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. “Sometimes the words pour out and sometimes I have to wrench them out with plyers”
    I agree with everything, but especially the quote. The thing D. Wallace Peach didn’t mention, though, was that after the hardwork of her first drafts, the stories themselves appear effortless!

    Great interview. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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