Franki deMerle grew up in Huntsville, Alabama in
the same timeframe as Deception Past's main
character, Sand Strasberg, and her experiences
provide the basis for Sand's story. The author's
name is on the Wall of Tolerance at the Southern
Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama. She
is a founding member of the Build the Dream
Foundation to build a monument to Reverend Dr
Martin Luther King Jr in Washington, DC. She now
lives in the Pacific Northwest.
Books-and-Authors.net: Where did you grow up and was reading and
writing a part of your life? Who were your earliest influences
Franki deMerle: I grew up in Huntsville, Alabama, where
my earliest influences were the Civil Rights Movement and the
early manned space program. I never understood the insanity of
racial prejudice. In school we were taught about the US Civil
War, but I could never see the point of view of the Confederacy
or Governor George Wallace's bigotry. I started writing poetry
in my sleep as a young teenager. Eventually I transitioned to
writing while conscious. My Dad taught me to pay attention to my
dreams, and I've always used them for creative inspiration. When
I was a teenager I spent a lot of time alone with Nature in
contrast to the race riots at school. As a young adult I was
influenced by the author William Bradford Huie, who married a
former teacher (Bill's second wife Martha) of my husband. From
Bill I learned to set aside time to write, tell the human story,
and just keep at it.
Books-and-Authors.net: Why do you write?
Franki deMerle: I write when I feel I have something
worth saying. I just need to express myself.
Books-and-Authors.net: Briefly tell us about your new novel
‘Dragonfly Dreams’. Where did this plot come from?
Franki deMerle: When I wrote Dragonfly Dreams, I started
by writing the Major's daily gardening attempts and processing
his thoughts from being recently retired. His friends were
originally inspired by people I knew, but they changed and
became their own characters as the plot developed itself from my
own personal reflections on choices people make while under
stress, choices people want to make but avoid until an outer
catalyst pushes them, and how some people seem to avoid changing
themselves at all costs. The story turned into a reincarnation
romance, and I chose to give the characters symbolic
Books-and-Authors.net: Who is Daphne Robin?
Franki deMerle: Daphne is part of me. I'm an idealist, a
romantic, and a classic guitarist who knits and loves cats.
She's also the Major's shadow, since he hides her in his home
until he feels safe bringing her out into his life. That also
means that the Major is my shadow.
Books-and-Authors.net: What are your thoughts and beliefs in
'Dreams', ? What do you think we can learn from our dreams?
Franki deMerle: Most people either start out life in a
belief system or develop one as they grow up. They interpret the
world and events around them through whatever beliefs they hold
onto. Whatever symbolism we use in our dreams tends to come from
our beliefs, and those same symbols are what guide us in making
decisions and choosing our friends. My beliefs share common
ground with Nature, as expressed in the symbols used in
'Dragonfly Dreams'. I think the rainbow is probably one of the
most powerful symbols worldwide. I love rainbows.
As I said earlier, my Dad taught me early on to pay attention
to my dreams. The subconscious communicates ideas and messages
to us that we might overlook in the bombardment of waking
sensations. We can be more true to ourselves if we listen to
what our dreams tell us. Dreams can demonstrate for us cues
others give us that we might not understand otherwise.
Books-and-Authors.net: If Hollywood called and asked you to cast
‘Dragonfly Dreams’’ . Who wold you cast and why?
Franki deMerle: I've never worked in Hollywood and know
very little about the casting business. Someone else's
interpretation of the characters would probably give me more
insight into myself, so I think I'd want to be surprised and
learn from the experience.
Books-and-Authors.net:What advice do you have for other authors
working on their first novel?
Franki deMerle: You can never edit, rewrite, and
proofread enough. Don't get attached to a draft. Nothing's set
in stone until it's in print. Editors are fabulous teachers.
Books-and-Authors.net: Discuss briefly your other book
"Deception Past: A Novel".
Franki deMerle: This was my first novel. The character
Sand grows up the same time and in the same places I did. I used
actual events in the book, but the characters are fictional.
Most of them were inspired by mentally combining traits of
people I've known who didn't necessarily know each other. The
narrator Brenda uses Sand as a role model to overcome her bias
against traditional marriage and gender values. Brenda
recognizes that Sand had her own issues to overcome, and she
admires Sand for the way she's dealt with things. The telling of
Sand's story helps Brenda find peace with her family traumas.
Deception Past is also a reincarnation novel, but more of a
mystery than a romance. As a young child Sand remembers her past
life and death in Dachau. She also has premonitions of a murder
in her present family. She discovers her past life identity only
when a former friend steals it. Meanwhile, Brenda's family has
to deal with deception in other ways. Both characters succeed in
learning to forgive.
Books-and-Authors.net: What do you hope to achieve with your
Franki deMerle: In writing my books, I learn more about
myself and my reactions to events in my life. In sharing them
with others, I hope readers find something meaningful or
symbolic that helps them in some small way. I also hope readers
enjoy reading them.
Books-and-Authors.net:What was the last book you read?
Franki deMerle: Postwar, A History of Europe Since 1945
by Tony Judt, and I highly recommend it.
Books-and-Authors.net: What's next?
Franki deMerle: I have another collection of poetry I
would like to publish one day, and I'm currently writing a novel
of group reincarnation using 3 different groups of historical