Pre-Interview : Drēma Drudge suffers from Stendhal’s Syndrome, the condition in which one becomes overwhelmed in the presence of great art. She attended Spalding University’s MFA in Creative Writing Program where she learned to transform that intensity into fiction. Her debut novel, Victorine, is now available. For more about her writing, art, and travels, please visit her website, www.dremadrudge.com, and sign up for her newsletter.
1.What inspires you most to write?
Artwork, specifically paintings and sculptures excite me! They get my writing muse in gear!
2. What is your favorite genre?
I adore literary fiction. My current novel is both literary and historical fiction. Literary fiction allows me to get deep and philosophical in a way that some genres do not; you do a deep dive into character.
3. Who is one author you admire if any and why?
I have a whole list! Some of my favorite authors are Amy Tan, Anne Tyler, Sena Jeter Naslund, and Toni Morrison.
4. How do you overcome blank writing spells?
I don’t permit myself to have blank spells. I continue to push myself, to write something, anything, even if I have to open the refrigerator and list the contents. Writing begets writing; prime the pump and eventually the water will run clear.
5. What legal publishing advice can you give?
Consult an attorney well versed in media law.
6. How many books have you written, are any a bestseller yet?
I have one published novel and am finishing up my second. Just having Victorine out in the world makes it feel like I have a bestseller out there, even though that isn’t technically true. 😊
7. If you had the opportunity to rewrite one movie script which would it be, why?
I adore the movie You’ve Got Mail, but some of its aspects trouble me, such as Tom Hanks’ character walking right into Meg Ryan’s character’s apartment building, into her apartment, etc. He takes liberties I don’t abide by. And why doesn’t he apologize for being such an ass in the first place rather than this roundabout bit of intrigue?
8. What are some difficulties you've experienced in your writing career; how do you handle book critiques/criticism?
I don’t mind people having different opinions or tastes than I do, but when they fundamentally misread my work or introduce errors that aren’t there, that irritates me.
9. What are your best experiences in your writing career?
Holding my novel in my hands for the first time was very much like the birth of a child.
10. Do you prefer to write in silence and or have some sort sound in the background?
If I’m deeply into my subject, I prefer silence so I can “hear” the writing voices in my head more clearly. But if I’m just revising or doing light editing, I don’t mind classical music.
11. What are some encouraging words you'd give to another author/writer?
Never give up. If you want to write, no one has the right to tell you not to. What you make that rough draft become, however, is up to you.
12. How did you decide the pricing of your material; how did you go about promotion/advertising and distribution of your work?
My publisher set the price of Victorine. I, however, hired a book launch coach to teach me how to promote and have hired someone to organize my book blog tour. That’s been such a blessing. You have to be willing to reach out, to get outside of your comfort zone.
13. Why should anyone read your book?
Anyone who loves art, who likes to take a deep dive into the world of Paris in the 1860’s and beyond will enjoy this. Anyone who is for giving a voice to the voiceless, to giving women their due, will want to read about Victorine Meurent, a painter who is only remembered as Edouard Manet’s favorite model, when she had so much more talent than that.
14. Did you have a book coach?
I did not have a book coach, but I am one. 😊
15. What was your favorite subject in school?
English, naturally. In our school we had grammar one semester, literature the next. While I prefer the literature semester, I learned so much during the English one that I was never sorry to have taken it.
16. Are you self-published or have an established publishing contract elsewhere?
My novel has been published by Fleur-de-Lis Press out of Louisville, Kentucky. I’m so honored that they have published my first book.