PV: So, Drew. May I call you Drew?
DF: Drew is fine.
PV: How long have you been writing?
DF: I've been writing since I was 16 years old. I had a long distance relationship. I fell in love with a girl literally the week before my family and I moved 250 miles away from her. So, I wrote letters.
DF: Yes. Back then people wrote letters. A family had one telephone line per household--which had to be shared among all family members. So, the phone was not an option. We didn't have computers or texting yet.
PV: So you wrote letters?
DF: Yep. Daily. Ten pages and more.
PV: Every day.
DF: Yep. I was so in love. I pined away a whole summer for the sake of a girl I'd only known a week. It's kind of like that oldest child in Captain Fantastic--
PV: You mean, Bo?
DF: I don't know. Was that his name? Anyway. Rather pitiful when you think about it. I thought I had met the love of my life at age 15. Just because some mutual friends got us to dance together at the first party I ever went to. And the weird thing is, I know that they were trying to set me up with a whole bunch of other girls, too. (pauses) What would have happened if it had been one of the other girls who danced with me first? Would my life have turned out drastically different?
PV: A good question. One that you have, no doubt, thought about a great deal.
DF: Surprisingly, no. I have never given it much energy.
PV: And yet, you have such a vivd imagination!
DF: I'm not so sure about that.
PV: You write novels!
DF: Do I? The way I've learned to figure it out, I write down my own alternate life paths so that I can get past those musings and move forward with the life I'm supposed to live.
PV: The life you're supposed to live?
DF: Oh, I don't know. Let's just say that there have been many times in my life that I've struggled with which direction to choose for myself and that these stories have appeared--have burst out of me--that have enabled me to feel as though I have lived one or two of those directions. Once the story has helped me to get that possible choice out of my system, I've been able to move forward in my own happy-go-lucky, charmed way.
DF: Yes. I have had a very charmed life. I used to say that it was because I must have led a very bad past life and that karma is giving me an easy ride this time to make amends.
PV: You believe in past lives?
DF: I know past lives. My own and many, many other people's.
PV: Really? You sound so convicted. How do you explain your certainty?
DF: I have experienced glimpses or revisitations to some of my past lives.
PV: And you're sure they're past lives?
DF: They are as real to me--and so full of sensual and intellectual information--as this interview. And now that they have been opened to me, they remain accessible for further exploration, further information gathering.
PV: Like I said: You have a very vivid imagination.
DF: Okay. I've been nurturing a vivid imagination since I was a child--an imagination that has only been enhanced by years in the liberal arts, as an avid history buff (something I inherited from my mother and her father before us), as an elementary school teacher (with special interest in language arts, children's literature and social studies), as a parent of two now-grown daughters. When a story or letter or opinion piece comes to me it seems as if it flows through me--as if it were alive, the characters demanding to be given life through pen and paper. And it always turns out that the finished story is a way of purging or "molting" a version of me--of discarding something that is no longer useful or serving me--so that I can emerge new, refreshed, with less baggage to slow or weight me down.
PV: If you've been writing for so long, how come you've never published?
DF: The publishing and marketing side of writing has never interested me. You might say that it repelled me. Writing is beautiful, enjoyable, fun. And, as I said before, I learned early on that writing served as my "therapy." After I discovered and studied Jungian psychology and dream therapy, I lost interest in the world of fiction--both as a reader and a writer. My voice as a speaker of my truth needed to be bare--not hidden within the constructs of a make believe world.
PV: So, what has changed? Why fiction, now, after all the years of denying its usefulness?
DF: I've come to a place in my life in which I think my accumulated knowledge and experience, my truth and 'wisdom', has given me a rather unique perspective that might be beneficial to humans who are struggling with a decaying society and our repressed spirituality. Instead of pushing my opinions on everyone else with my opinion pieces, I am offering the reader an enjoyable, engaging story that can be enjoyed separate from the philosophies expressed within. People can read it, enjoy it, but not feel as if they have to react to the perspectives expressed within.
PV: Why the decision and commitment to publishing and marketing a trilogy much less a novel?
DF: The story that came to me, I knew--almost from the start--was going to be expressed best in three parts.
PV: And when did you know that I was going to be the main character, the lead and your alter-ego?
DF: I never said you were any of those. I mean, I know, now, that you are the main character--that the story follows your growth through your relationships with your school, with your Headmaster, with your girlfriend and all of the other members of the Order, but I never thought of you as my "alter ego."
PV: But I am, aren't I?
DF: I don't know. I have really thought about it much. Let me get back to you on that, okay?
PV: Sure thing!
DF: Can we stop the interview now?
PV: Yeah! Sure! Thanks for taking the time to sit with me.
DF: You're welcome.
PV: Does this mean you'll do it again sometime?
DF: It's possible.
PV: Anything is possible.
DF: Okay. It's likely.