Q) When did you start writing? What keeps you going?
A) I was happiest as a child when making up stories. This was my favorite ‘game.’ Eventually I started telling these to younger kids and writing the tales down. Today, I keep going—because I have to. My characters demand to be let out and usually surprise me by their behavior. Working out plots can be a challenge--but eventually evolves into a kind of game--that I become addicted to and must keep playing.
Q) What was your most encouraging moment as an author?
A) Publishing my first novel through Wild Child Publishing. That was a great day! Also, way back when, when a story of mine was published in my high school lit magazine and ‘shy, sweet Molly” actually succeeded in scaring her friends a little.
Q) What was your most discouraging moment as an author?
A) It was probably my first magazine rejection slip when I was fourteen. I was so, so sure ‘Lady’s Home Journal’ would publish my story in a snap, and, of course, rave about it to the world! I’ve had plenty of rejections since—but that one brought pure, raw pain.
Q) What’s your antidote to writer’s block?
A) Forcing myself to set a story aside and think of something else. Going outdoors and enjoying nature helps. I can pretty well count on being inspired on rainy or foggy days. Also, writing down my more fantastic dreams (last night I was a Sherpa in the Himalayas). Another tact is to switch stories around. Just now I’m working on three, each very different in tone from the others.
Q) Describe the typical writing day:
A) I look after a lot of people and creatures, but I try to get at least two hours of work in during the morning (the hour of 10 a.m. is good for me—ideas and words usually flow), and again during late afternoon. I always have big plans to churn out chapters at night, but often, I’m ashamed to admit, doze off with a cat in my lap. I probably snore, too.
Q) From where do you draw your inspiration?
A) Again, nature. And, other books, films, music. Sometimes just little vignettes—a reflection of lights in a puddle—a glimpse over a wall into someone else’s garden—a look on a stranger’s face. Or, a look on a well-known face I don’t understand. Anything that starts me thinking and wondering.
Q) Tell us about your latest book:
A) It centers on a bed-ridden, fifteen-year old boy who, due to an accident, cannot walk. He drifts into a fantasy world where he can walk, run, leap, and achieve heroic quests. How his actions in the fantasy world affect his life in the ‘real world’ is the idea I am exploring.
Q) What author have you been most influenced by?
A) Probably, Tolkien. The Lord of the Rings fascinates me—it is fantasy, yes, but feels so real. I enjoyed The Hobbit years ago, but the LOTR trilogy simply blew me away. It is one of those books I read over and over.
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After studying at Newcomb College in New Orleans and at the London Polytechnic, Molly became a full time freelance journalist and photographer, and published over 80 articles in magazines, like Fine Gardening, Victoria, Petersen’s Photographic, Flower & Garden, Family Circle, Woman’s Day, Country Living, and American Horticulturist. Many of her credits are listed on her web site: www.mollydean.com.. Molly’s first love, though, is writing fiction. She has completed three novels for teens and tweens, including The Twilight Garden. She lives in the northeast Georgia mountains with her husband, her granddaughter, and a number of cats.
Twitter: Molly Dean@mollydean1