Delia Wynne: The New York Southerner

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Delia Wynne is a native New Yorker with the gift for words. She made her debut in May 2014 as an author with her novel titled, Hope’s End – a story many know all too well of domestic violence, drug abuse, and depression.

I've met Delia a few months ago as she was promoting her novel online. ‘Quiet, but fiery with passion’ was my initial impression. The more we exchanged pleasantries, the more I wanted to know her story – and reading Hope’s End only furthered my curiosity for this character-driven novelist.

It was an honor to hear her speak with candor in The Lounge. What she conveyed, I’m sure many authors and readers can relate. 

Imani: Delia, thank you for joining me in The Pink Lounge -- welcome. Let me ask you this question, something different from what I ask my guest: Tell the readers more about you and the type of work you write.

Delia: Thanks so much for having me. I am a native New Yorker now happily living in the South. Ironically, I place almost all of my stories outside of my own settings. They are stories of women attempting to overcome barriers and great odds. Sometimes, by the final page, they do succeed. Oftentimes, there is a twist that comes along with whatever resolution they end up with. One common thread in all of my stories, though, is that they are always character-driven. Their decisions and actions move the plots forward, not the other way around.

Imani: When did that epiphany hit you and you realized you were a writer?

Delia: I realized it pretty young- by the time I was twelve, I was already writing novellas. Before that, I was very imaginative, daydreaming all of the time. My childhood caused an “anywhere but here” mentality in me, so I created different worlds to live in. That gave me a lot of practice when I started to seriously plot novels. Once I was out of my teens, I concluded that other people may want to read this stuff and that maybe I could do it professionally.

Imani: What's your methodology of a solid storyline?

Delia: A solid storyline of mine always contains a likely threat of disaster. Too often I’ve read novels, especially literary ones, where I am bored stiff because there is clearly nothing that can or will harm what the author is describing. Everything is too pat. When I am plotting a storyline, I always make sure that there is something that can wreck the characters’ lives, whether that is a hurricane, an extramarital affair, or a bankruptcy. This will always be the main plot, and of course, a good storyline is always comprised of scenes that absolutely function, whether they are to advance the plot or deepen characterization- no filler allowed.

Imani: Let's talk about your book, "Hope's End" and the wayward teen, Frances Mitchell. It's a powerful read; especially, how you centered the focal point on a host of important issues -- domestic violence, alcoholism, and drug abuse. But the honesty you have put forth for Frances, bearing the darkness of clinical depression, is all too real for many. Please tell the readers the importance of writing this character dealing with these issues.

Delia: I think it’s always important to address uncomfortable issues such as these in fiction. Wounds heal best out in the open. The fact remains that domestic violence is all too common, and too many people are self-medicating themselves, like Frances does, with drugs and alcohol when they have a diagnosable mental disorder. As for clinical depression, this may be the most taboo of all subjects, especially in the black community. It’s just not taken seriously enough. Most people think to be suffering a mental illness, one has to be -an axe-wielding maniac or drooling at the mouth. Clinical depression is not treated as the grave, uncontrollable disease that it is, which is a tragedy. Another relative issue I’d like to bring up is everyone’s ignorance of Frances’s condition. Lots of times people in reality, too, fail to recognize the symptoms of depression until it is too late. It often takes a suicide attempt, a drug overdose, or worse, for people to realize that something is really wrong with their loved one.

Most people think to be suffering a mental illness, one has to be -an axe-wielding maniac or drooling at the mouth. Clinical depression is not treated as the grave, uncontrollable disease that it is, which is a tragedy. Another relative issue I’d like to bring up is everyone’s ignorance of Frances’s condition. Lots of times people in reality, too, fail to recognize the symptoms of depression until it is too late. It often takes a suicide attempt, a drug overdose, or worse, for people to realize that something is really wrong with their loved one.

Imani: When I read the book, I don't know how many times I said, "Yep! I can relate; I've been in 'Frances Mitchell' shoes. As a writer, where did the inspiration of this character had come from?

Delia: Frances’s character is symbolic of several themes. When I wrote Hope’s End, I was suffering through a depression, myself. I decided to express my anguish, disgust, hurt, and anger through a novel. This is why I think the read is so powerful, it came from my imagination, yes, but it also came from the heart. The original title of the book was in fact, ‘Out of Rage’, as Frances represents of all those terrible feelings I was having. She is both pain and hope personified. It may not be lost on readers, either, that this is a modern-day retelling of Cinderella, since she’s rescued from an abysmal situation by a prince-like suitor and lives happily- at least for a while. The twists towards the end of the book is, in part, what separates it from the classic tale, though.

Imani: Without expressing too much of the plot, what made you decide the twist?

Delia: Well, I love irony, especially in my own work. Life is unpredictable and sometimes unfair. But even if it does even out, resolutions aren’t always satisfying. I like for my art to imitate that fact of life, and frankly, I also like to jolt my readers. I feel it makes for a more unforgettable reading experience and doesn’t compromise realism, in fact it reinforces it.

Imani: What you know as an author now, meaning the common mistakes new and self-published authors make. If you can go back in time to meet yourself as a novice writer, what advice would you give yourself?

Delia: Honestly, I am still learning. I don’t consider myself a new writer anymore, but I’m far from an experienced veteran. The one thing that I’d tell my past self is to work harder at promotion, because I spent a lot of time thinking that sales would just fall into my lap, then I became discouraged when that didn't happen. Promotion takes almost as much effort as writing, itself, does.

I don’t consider myself a new writer anymore, but I’m far from an experienced veteran. The one thing that I’d tell my past self is to work harder at promotion, because I spent a lot of time thinking that sales would just fall into my lap, then I became discouraged when that didn't happen. Promotion takes almost as much effort as writing, itself, does.

Imani: Where do see your career standing in five years?

Delia: I hope to see Hope’s End exposed to a whole lot more people. Of course, I’d like to have several more books out there doing well, and I do have other stories to tell. But I’d ultimately love to see Hope’s End reach the level of Push/Precious, or The Color Purple.

Imani: Do you have any projects you are currently working on, or any new releases you would like to share? And if it's a new release, please share a brief description of the story and its characters?

Delia: My latest story is an Urban Lit effort named Brie & Dallas. It’s about a former streetwalker that helps her ex-pimp through a life-threatening crisis. The main question is whether they can live together clean and square, or will their old habits get the better of them. It’s less serious and more freewheeling than Hope’s End. There is a lot of authentic, graphic content in this book, but I decided not to use the same bleak mood that I did in Hope’s End. Brie & Dallas is a more straightforward, action-focused tale.

Imani: Finally, tell us one thing you haven't shared with your readers. It can be a quirk, a favorite food, or a hidden talent. The floor is yours.

Delia: I’m an amateur comic book artist and have my own graphic novel called Track Star. I’m obsessed with track and field, so I came up with a story about a gorgeous sprinter who has a glamorous life and jet-setting career. It’s a hobby and a labor of love.

Imani: Fascinating! Will you pursue this avenue in comics someday?

Delia: No, it’s just something I like to read back and enjoy myself, but I never mind showing it off to interested people.

Imani: Delia, thank you for stopping by The Lounge. I had a blast. Tell the readers where they can purchase your work, as well as finding you on the web?



People can email at any time at deediwynne@gmail.com.




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