This blog was featured on 11/27/2019
An Exclusive Interview with Diane Dewey
Contributor
Written by
She Writes
May 2019
Contributor
Written by
She Writes
May 2019

She Writes got the chance to chat with Fixing the Fates author Diane Dewey about her writing routine and the surprising intimacy of publishing.

Share your writing routine.

While I make tea in the morning, I read a poem so that the first thing that goes into my brain is positive and so that I remember there’s another world beside the ‘factual’ one.  Then I read everything I can lay my hands on; Instagram feeds, newspapers on line and off, blogs, magazine articles, and obituaries, when ideas pop into my head, whether or not they have anything to do with the reading.  Still in my nightgown, I take the boost that exposure to language and whatever news has given me and head to my writing desk to tackle existing or start-up projects.  This is provided that I defer the black hole of e-mail immersion, which is in itself, an act of counter-compulsion.

What’s the first/worst job you ever had? 

Pulling out UPI news stories from the teletype machine at a local TV news station was pretty bad.  I don’t remember anyone else ever being in the room, only the occasional out-basket messenger, the sporadic sound of that machine in no light, except fluorescent.  That was aside from my reading about horrendous events that were reported in detached, staccato style.  It was a laboratory of disconnection.

Describe your writing style in three words.

Emotional, scenic, powerful.

What is the first thing you can remember writing?

Daily journals that started out as boating log books: then I realized I could log, too.

When did you start to feel like a writer?

When I found out that people kept the notes I’d sent to them—in their nightstand drawers, or just in memory.  They talked about them years later.  I realized I could have an impact.

Was there something about the publishing experience that surprised you?

How intimate it is, how individuals respond with their own accounts from reading your story.  Also, that I’m more involved than I imagined.  I crunch learned a lot.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Really think about what you like to read, how it sounds, when it ends, how it begins, the structure—everything—and transfer those ideas into your own work.  That’s what develops your unique consciousness.  Then listen to it.

What do you do to help develop your craft?

Nothing original: I read Merriam-Webster’s e-word of the day and the origin of those words; I take writing seminars, talk to other local writers, workshop my own writing, and read as though I were starved.  For me, play shakes things up, so I walk, swim and ride my bicycle because that movement generates new ways of thinking.

Why is it important for women to share their stories?

Because by not sharing stories we internalize the message that no one cares.  It’s a way to be validated and this is something that dominant forces count on—that even when no response is given, there will still be a backslide in female self-esteem.  And, they’re right, so we have to fight that.

What’s your favorite way to support other women writers?

I teach female classes at a local school for underserved populations and love to be available to read another women’s work when I’m asked.  Usually, to the astonishment of the writer, there is much to praise.  This is another thing about women—our innate inferiority complex, which comes as no surprise given our historic placement deficits, but that sense of being lesser needs to be actively rooted out.

About Diane

Diane received a BA from Villanova University, The Honors Program in Liberal Arts. She later earned a certificate from The Art Institute of Philadelphia. As assistant to the director at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in the 1990s and then the National Academy (also in New York), she solidified her interest in the arts with a certificate from New York University School of Appraisal Studies. She is the founder of an art appraisal business, The Realization of Art, and is certified in contemporary art. Throughout, she wrote freelance, contributing to Shared Space, a monograph of the Joseph Cohen art collection and to Artes magazine. Dewey graduated with a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling from Capella University in 2015, after which she began working in the field of adoption counseling. She has since returned to writing full time; Fixing the Fates is her first book.

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