Interview with Dragonfly Publishing

Published 2022-03-16.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first long story I ever wrote was about a teenager who visited relatives at a ranch in the southwestern US. She met a guy named Levon (yeah, I really liked Elton John, even then), who was a Native American and being accused of some trouble on the ranch. She befriends him. Of course, he's not the bad guy all along. I wish I had kept that story.
Describe your desk
My desk is free of junk. I do have two big monitors, but other than that, my desk is a slab of pine and the only thing on it really is a wooden coaster, where I'll have a water glass.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in central Indiana, but we also visited the Appalachian hills of eastern Kentucky a lot as well as Louisville. I still get on people for how they pronounce these places. Lou-uh-ville is how you say it. Just watch Elizabethtown, the movie. Appalachian is always pronounced wrong. It's more like I'm gonna throw an "apple atcha".

These places informed my later writing because we were always outside, in the hills, in the parks, along the rivers. The importance of nature is a huge part of my novels.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Well, caring about the effect of excessive consumerism on our natural world is something that also defines my approach to publishing. I know I'll never make it big, and so I won't be tearing down trees to promote my words. In fact, I ran a press for over a decade and offset books with tree-planting.

But also, I'm not happy with the publishing industry overall. It is a capitalistic entity. I am happy if a few people really like my books, and if they do, I will reap the royalties.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Creativity is a necessity for me. I'm happiest when my brain turns from the technical aspect of my day job to a more artistic one. I have a lot of stories in my head to tell.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite author is Gabriel García Márquez, especially 100 Years of Solitude. He's so brilliant with words and scene and metaphor and play. I like authors who dabble in the ecological weird, like Jeff VanderMeer, Christiane Vadnais, Pola Oloixarac, Tlotlo Tsamaase, and China Miéville.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
My husband and I have a house with a couple acres. We've planted over 50 trees in the past couple years and do a lot of gardening and some canning each year. We also have apple trees, so in the fall we make apple cider and apple butter. It's great living out here. We have bonfires in the summer in the meadow and watch deer roam around throughout the year.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I remember when I was young I read Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell. Ever since then I have been fascinated by the idea of island survival. I also loved the television series Lost, and I think part of it is my early fascination with islands.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
These days I try to not support big ebook corporations. Because I do a lot of book interviews, I often get standard digital files that can be read on multiple readers. Lately I've been using a generic reader on my Android.
What's your next book?
This fall I will be publishing the sequel to my first novel, Back to the Garden.

The sequel almost never got written, but finally I wanted to give more life to my original characters. The new book comes out in the fall of 2022 and is titled The Stolen Child. It follows the futuristic setting of Back to the Garden, and sort of an apocalyptic aftermath to the worst of climate change, but in reality, it's not a gloomy story, even though a child is kidnapped. I always write resiliency, strength, and determination into my stories because lighting a candle in the darkness proves we, as humans, can get through anything.
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