Monday, May 3, 2010

Interview of Deanna Proach Author of Day of Revenge

If you are a regular reader of this blog then you must already know that I sometimes post interviews here. I should try to take interviews more often. I got interested about Deanna Proach because of two reasons. First of all, her blog her blog Everything Historical is related to History and History is my favorite topic. I wanted to open a blog on this subject but I knew that I cannot earn money from it. In a history blog, you would expect that there will be (real) stories of Kings and Queens. However, Deanna has used the blog to post excerpts from her yet to be published novel ‘Day of Revenge’.
I am reading the excerpts regularly because I have a plan to write a historical novel. I liked the way Deanna has used the dialogues of the characters. It is natural. I wish that I can develop this skill. I have read about the French Revolution quite a bit and while reading the excerpts of ‘Day of Revenge’, I felt that Deanna Proach could make the time alive in her novel. You can know more about her in her website:
So, I sent her the interview questions by email. Here is the interview for the readers:  

Razib Ahmed: First of all, there are not too many History blogs in Internet.What made you go for opening a blog on this topic? Is there any particular reason that you selected WordPress as your blogging
Deanna Proach: At first I wanted to blog about a different historical event every month. I had in mind to blog about the Olympic Games in February, and then blog about famous Pirates in March, and so on. But, to do something like that would take a lot of time and a lot of research. I really wanted to share a little bit of ‘Day of Revenge’ with people. Not only is it excellent exposure, but I wanted to get the feedback, the validation that my work is publishable.
 I used WordPress as my blogging platform because it has a way bigger selection of themes than Blogger.

Razib Ahmed: I think that History was my most favorite branch of knowledge but I did not study it because in my country, studying this subject in university level does not ensure jobs with a decent salary for most students. What about Canada? What are the job prospects for History students there?

Deanna Proach: In Canada you have to get a Masters and a Ph.D. in order to get a good paying job in the field of history. Most historians, if not all of them, are College and University Professors. Bachelor graduates, like me, can get into positions in this field. For example, they could easily work in a museum, but the pay in this kind of job is not great. Besides, most of the jobs in this field are in Ontario and Quebec. I live in British Columbia and there are very few job opportunities of this kind in this province.
Razib Ahmed: Although more than half of the population lives in Asia, we cannot find that much information about Asian history in Internet. In your University, did you have to study about Asian history? If so, can you say something about it?
Deanna Proach: UNBC, the university I attended, unfortunately did not offer courses in Asian history. Since the university is located in Prince George (central British Columbia) it is more dedicated to offering courses on the History of Northern Canada. I wish I could say more about Asian history.

 Razib Ahmed: You have posted significant part of your novel ‘Day of Revenge’ in your blog. Some writers feel worried to post their works in blogs because they feel that it may hurt the prospect of publishing a novel. Did you have this kind of worry at first?
Deanna Proach: ‘Day of Revenge’ is 387 pages long, double space and 12 font on computer, so I know I didn’t share the majority of it on my blog. I don’t believe that posting part of my book will hurt my chances of getting published. For a while I might have thought so, but not now, especially knowing that publishers want all authors, especially new authors, to have a marketing platform.

Razib Ahmed: I noticed in your website that you offer a number of services as a freelance writer. What is your most notable success as a freelance writer until now?
Deanna Proach: My most notable success is networking with other people in my community, online, and establishing great friendships with people who are like-minded.

Razib Ahmed: Your novel “Day of Revenge” is set on the time of the French Revolution (The Reign of Terror). Why do you think that such a
glorious revolution was followed by the Reign of Terror?
Deanna Proach: In the 1790s, France was ruthlessly divided. While many people supported the revolution and its ideologies, many more people were still strongly attached to the old regime and were not ready or willing to submit to the new order. The revolutionary government feared a counter-revolutionary invasion, so in order to protect the revolution; they took severe disciplinary action against those who were against the new order. That is what led to the Reign of Terror.

Razib Ahmed: How did you feel after finishing the writing of “Day of Revenge”? Did you face any problem writing it?
Deanna Proach: ‘Day of Revenge’ was a hard book to write for two reasons: it was my first book and I was going through some really tough personal issues at the time. Because of these two things, I did face a good deal of writers block. Also, I started writing the book nearly half way through my university training, so between school and summer work, I had little spare time to write it. It took me four years to write it and almost a full year to edit it.
 When I did complete ‘Day of Revenge’ I felt really good about myself. This was the first big thing, aside from my degree, that I accomplished in my life.  And it really boosted my confidence. When I finished the first draft, I had a glass of wine with my family. When I completed the edit of the final draft, I partied.

Razib Ahmed: Is there any particular time of history (for example Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance) and history of a particular region (like
History of France, History of Latin America etc) that attracts you a lot? If so then why?
Deanna Proach: It is obvious that the French Revolution is my favourite period in history. But, I’m also particularly fond of 16th and 17th century Spain and France. I am incredibly intrigued by the flowery, extravagant clothing fashion, tall, wooden sailing ships, magnificent architecture, and pirates. Granted that, in those days, pirates were not the sexy, romantic anarchists that we of today have made them out to be.

Razib Ahmed: What is your future plan about your career?
Deanna Proach: Well, I plan to get my book published with the hope of it becoming successful. I’ve already started another book; a contemporary suspense titled To be Maria, but will be writing more historicals in the near future. I will also be acting in a series of short story plays this summer. The story theatre board is put on by Driftwood Players, a local theatre company.
I do know a friend in Washington State who owns and operates his own video production company, so I’m very interested in seeing how things will play out this summer in terms of acting. I do consider pursuing it as a career as well as my writing. I just have to work hard and let God lead the way.

Razib Ahmed: I typically ask this question to everyone. If possible let us know something about your personal background.
Deanna Proach: I went to university to train to become an elementary school teacher, but, in my grad year, I decided this career wasn’t for me. I always loved writing, but I had no desire to make it my main career. However, all of this changed in my final year at UNBC. My creative writing professor, Dr. Rob Budde, accepted my application to do an independent novel writing study. The study was based on the writing of my book. Dr. Budde’s constructive, helpful feedback really motivated me to pursue a career in writing.
I’ve been a member of the Sunshine Toastmasters for five months and am a should-be active member of the Federation of BC Writers.

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