Interview with Skye Blaine

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the white-glove culture of upper-middle class Cincinnati. I never liked the stiffness. I'm a casual, blue jean girl, and broke away from my family's style early.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote terrible poetry and steamy romance as a teenager. In my first year of college, I took creative writing. The instructor reamed out my story--and me--in front of the whole class. He was dismissive and mean. I stopped writing for twenty-five years, and now I'm sad I gave him that power to silence me. I recently found the little story I had presented in a box my son was storing. It wasn't good; it wasn't even a complete story--but it showed a love of words and clean, spare style. Why couldn't he have encouraged that?
What do you read for pleasure?
I read novels and memoirs. I loved to be carried away by a good story. In general, I like "soft" novels that are not filled with violence and guns, although I will take on the occasional thriller or mystery.
How do you approach cover design?
I wanted my cover to be bold, clear, and able to be read in a thumbnail size. I thought my son's sweet face would draw readers in.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I'm happy either reading on my iPad or Kindle. I find my phone too small, although if I'm stuck in a waiting room, I'll pull it out.
Describe your desk
My desk is a wrap-around affair with two monitors--lots of screen space! I still keep an old-fashioned Synonym Finder--I love the Rodale version, although I notice that more and more, I use an online dictionary and thesaurus.

Okay, I'll admit, it's messy: little stacks of paper, reminder notes, pens, pencils, highlighter, laptop nearby. I do clean it up, but I can't seem to keep it that way.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Raising a disabled child is difficult for any parent. I felt our story might benefit other families, and I certainly needed to write it to delve into my own strengths and weaknesses--to make sense of that period of my life.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I am not young. The whole process of traditional publishing seems to take too long. In addition, I started this memoir twenty-three years ago. It has been rewritten countless times, and spent ten years on the shelf while I waited for memoirs to return to favor after James Frey's ("A Million Little Pieces") betrayed the honesty the form demands. Then I went to graduate school to rub shoulders with all kinds of writers, and earned my MFA. I know that any publisher would want me to rewrite this book yet again, and I'm not willing.

I'm in the second draft of a novel, which is much more fun than parsing my own painful experiences!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Finding just the right word to express my intent. My writing style is circular, or spiral--I go over what I've written hundreds of times prior to publication, feeling the rhythm, looking for duplicate words or phrases, deepening characters and setting. I read it out loud, as well.

In fiction, I struggle to develop enough conflict, so I'm always rewriting to intensify the story.
What do your fans mean to you?
The kind people who give of their time to read my writing are precious! I adore them.
What are you working on next?
My novel, which will come out next, is called "Bound to Love." There are four point-of-view characters, and one of them is a dog. I've always been interested in human/dog communication, and this novel touches on that. Rowan, the eleven-year-old, takes home a pound dog, a Scottish deerhound-Irish wolfhound mix, whom she is sure understands her.

After that, I've been working on a day book of reminders to be present, called "The Heart of the Matter." Book number four will be a sequel to "Bound to Love," set about eight years later.
Published 2015-10-07.
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Books by This Author

Bound to Love: A Memoir of Grit and Gratitude
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 84,140. Language: English. Published: October 7, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir
Bound to Love is the true story of a single mother who encountered and navigated a complicated nightmare for any parent. My child, the only child I could ever bear, was born with a life-threatening congenital heart defect, and suffered a more brutal health diagnosis soon after. Walk with me as I birth the courage and grit to meet Thom’s compounding challenges.