Interview with Paige Dearth, author of Never Be Alone

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What can you tell us about your new release, Never Be Alone?

I put a lot of thought into writing this particular book. It was important to make my readers aware that regardless of our circumstances, we are all people. In the case with Never Be Alone, it focuses on homeless people. In this story, my protagonist, Joon is only 8-years-old when her parents die. With no other family she is put into the foster care system. The problem is, she is placed with a foster mother who on the outside appears nice but has other intentions for Joon. When things escalate to a point where Joon can’t take it anymore, she runs to the streets of Philadelphia where her homeless, yet more meaningful life begins.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

A Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor Bradford, Misery and Thinner by Stephen King, Kiss The Girls and Along Came A Spider by James Patterson. There are so many other great writers I have enjoyed over the years, it’s hard to pick just five.

What fictional literary world would you most like to visit?

The deserted island in the South Pacific where Lillian Linden spent two years in the book, Wreckage by Emily Bleeker. I’m not a real fantasy reader and Wreckage was one book that, while Lillian was stranded and lived in crisis, she was on an island. Anywhere with sand and sun is a place I want to be, albeit with food, people and amenities.

As a side note, I enjoyed Wreckage very much and would recommend it to others.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

The emotional and meditative transformation that happens to me with the books I write. The subjects I write about are difficult social issues related to children. As an author, in my mind, I literally become each character as I am writing them. I feel their pain, horror, happiness, love, bravery, courage and every other emotion they experience. You may have heard authors use the term method writer, well, that’s what I consider myself to be. If I can’t physically be in the situation I give myself the time to transport my mind into the scenes where my stories take place. I do this to the point where my vision is blurred by my tears (good thing I know the keyboard well).

It’s important to note that the real horrors of life are far scarier than any horror story I can write. There are lessons of life that could be learned from reading my novels. If I can inspire one person to advocate for children with any of my stories then I feel as if I have done my job and created change for the good. I also hope that my stories give a VOICE to so many victims who are VOICELESS.

What’s on your writing desk?

My laptop sits in the middle of my desk and I have a clear glass globe about 4” in diameter with a hole on the top where I can write small messages of my wishes or what I am grateful for and drop them inside. I do have a piece of artwork hanging over my desk. It is a large horizontal three-foot-long pencil with the word CREATE artistically painted across it. I found it in a small art store in Philadelphia and fell in love with it. Lastly, my baby and first novel Believe Like A Child sits in a book holder, to remind me where I came from, because my past matters.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Write what you know and don’t worry about the “rules”.

In the world of authors many rules come with writing a book. Don’t be afraid to break the rules. We don’t give a painter or a musician rules and boundaries. We tell them to play what’s in their heart. In the literary world I find there’s a more rigid approach to writing a book.

So, I write what I want, engage in my creative process and employ the best editor to make my work follow the rules whenever possible, but only if it doesn’t change my voice.

What scene in Never Be Alone was your favorite to write?

I am sorry I cannot answer this question on the grounds that it would be a spoiler.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

The quote below inspires me and sums up what I am trying to achieve with my writing which I call Real-Life Horror.

“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”  ~Ben Franklin

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