Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Ronlyn Domingue

M.E. Wood interviewed Ronlyn Domingue, author of The Mercy of Thin Air.

The Q & A opens:

Moe: Looking back was there something in particular that helped you to decide to become a writer? Did you choose it or did the profession choose you? When did you 'know' you were a writer? Were you a good writer as a child? Teenager? Etc.

Ronlyn Domingue: My third grade teacher noticed I was a precocious reader and let me spend several hours each week reading and writing on my own. I started my first novel in that class, a mystery called Ghost Mountain. I knew at the age of eight I wanted to be a writer. It’s hard to judge one’s early work, but teachers and friends thought I had talent. Now, if I read something I wrote as a young person, I can see flickers of promise but most of it is just awful.

I hardly wrote fiction at all during my 20s. It wasn’t a practical thing to do. I knew the odds of getting published, much less what it would take to make a living as a fiction writer. During those years, I had what I call my “dead baby dreams.” In the dreams, I’d lose babies to abortion, stillbirth, or adoption. I felt very guilty about the fact I didn’t want these children. One morning, I woke up and realized those dead babies were my unwritten books. I broke the code and never had another dream like that.

From that point on, I became serious about my work. I took some fiction writing classes for fun, and then decided to get an MFA in creative writing. Although all of my past jobs involved writing in some way, I never called myself “a writer” until I got my first book deal.
Read the entire interview.

The Page 69 Test: The Mercy of Thin Air.

--Marshal Zeringue