Today's interview is with Laurie Darroch-Meekis, whose work will appear in the upcoming anthology, Elements of the Soul.
Jennifer Walker: Tell me about the work you have in Elements of the Soul. What is it about, and what inspired it?
Laurie Daroch-Meekis: I have a short story called Kleio. The name was inspired by the Greek muse of history. She is mentioned in a well-known painting in the story. Kleio is about a treasure found at a flea market and the search to uncover the origins of the treasure. (I love flea markets, garage sales, antique shops, old book stores and hunting for unknown surprises, the thrill of the discoveries. It is the adventurer in me.)
I was also chosen as the featured poet and have four poems in the book, all inspired by things and people in my life. Poetry and lyrics are a great love of mine and have been since I was very small; I was thrilled to be chosen for that title.
I enjoy using elements from my real life in my fiction stories. The flea market I wrote about really exists. Some details are real too. Others are loosely based on people or places and things I know--or they are made up.
Anna, the antiques dealer is how I think my mother would have aged if she had lived past her 50’s, a gracious, intelligent and beautiful lady. The other characters are based on people in my life, my immediate family.
Even the stroller used to carry flea market finds was real. One of my best friends used to bring one when we went to that particular flea market. The reactions to her pushing it around were hysterically funny at times.
The treasure at the end ties into my cultural heritage. I am fascinated with antique books too, the craftsmanship and symbolism in them. History has always interested me.
Jennifer Walker: Did you have any misgivings about entering the contest? How did you get over them?
Laurie Darroch-Meekis: I am always nervous entering contests, but someone has to win and you can’t ever win if you never try.
Jennifer Walker: Have you entered any more contests since the one that got you into the book? Do you plan to enter any more?
Laurie Darroch-Meekis: I have entered many of them. Yes, I will continue to do so. I like the challenge. Winning is nice too. It reinforces the love of writing on another level. Some you win and some you lose. The point is to try.
Jennifer Walker: How have the Accentuate Writers Anthology contests helped you grow as a writer?
Laurie Darroch-Meekis: I think belonging to a writing group has spurred on my writing even more. It is nice to have more feedback from people who understand and appreciate the art of writing. This was the first place I started entering writing contests.
Jennifer Walker: Tell me about other writing projects you have going, unrelated to the contests.
Laurie Darroch-Meekis: The specific list is too long to write here. I write articles online and in print. I have about 1,000 pieces published so far. I am always working on articles, stories, poetry, lyrics and a couple novel ideas besides that. I enjoy trying to write in most genres and for most age groups.
Jennifer Walker: Is writing your full time job, or do you have a "day job"?
Laurie Darroch-Meekis: It is more than full time but so far it isn’t a living wage. I know it can be, so that is my goal. At the moment, I am a struggling writer. I would like to be a success at this. I know I can be.
Jennifer Walker: To what do you attribute your success as a writer so far?
Laurie Darroch-Meekis: Faith, I guess, that and sheer bullheadedness.
Jennifer Walker: Tell me about your family. Are they supportive of your writing?
Laurie Darroch-Meekis: Yes and they are big book and reading fans too, so that helps. My husband and daughter’s creative minds sometimes give me great ideas for my writing. Light bulb moments is what I call them.
Jennifer Walker: What was the last book you read?
Laurie Darroch-Meekis: I haven’t had much time to read lately. I love books with a passion though. The last one I read was “The Shack”, very uplifting.
Jennifer Walker: Tell me one thing about yourself that you think most people don't know.
Laurie Darroch-Meekis: I suppose there is a lot people don't know about me. Some things I keep very close to myself, others I share.
Thanks, Laurie, for stopping by!