The Long and the Short of It is pleased to have ALee Drake who is an author with The Wild Rose Press. During the school year, she teaches elementary school; during the summers, she and her husband love to travel, insuring she will never run out of fabulous locations to draw from.
Hopefully, she maintains her students' interest better than her math teacher did. ALee shared with me she started writing stories while she was in math class to keep from dying of boredom, and her report cards classified her as "an incorrigible daydreamer." Even though she's daydreamed stories forever, she started writing seriously about ten years ago and considered herself an "author" when she received her contract from The Wild Rose Press.
ALee likes to work on multiple projects simultaneously.
"If I get writer's block on one project, I work on another," she told me. "If I'm totally blocked…a game or two of mah jong usually helps."
One of the projects she's working on is called "Men in Ts." It's about a "sex in the city" journalist assigned to cover a story during a week-long cross-country tour in a 1921 Model T. Unfortunately, it's essential she travels with a handsome old-car enthusiast who prefers a simple, old-fashioned lifestyle.
This title shows ALee's desire to have titles with more than one implication. Other titles include Thistle Dew, which comes from "This will do," and I Scream which is a romantic suspense set around an ice cream parlor.
Thistle Dew was inspired by the frequent "visits" ALee gets from her grandmother. "She reminds me that she is always with me in spirit," ALee shared. "People that love you never leave you."
I asked ALee to tell us a little about Thistle Dew.
Thistle Dew is a sweet paranormal romance. Sage Winters is the owner of an Adirondack bed and breakfast aptly named Thistle Dew by her late husband, Eric. She is a strong woman, not only successful in her business but as a mother. Although she tries to be loyal to her love for Eric, frequent guest and author Hawke is so irresistible that he catches her eye and eventually her heart. Sage is an overprotective mother who reluctantly learns to rely on others at a time of crisis.
Hawke, a shy, reclusive best-selling author, steps up to the plate as hero when Sage's daughter, Pia is missing and any clues to her whereabouts have been buried during a blizzard. He learns to trust his intuitive voice and finds Pia via dreams and eerie signs.
And it is Eric, in spirit, who is not always angelic, but intercedes and intervenes to keep his ‘girls' safe. He not only shows Hawke where to find Pia but encourages Sage to open her heart and love again.
I'm thrilled to report that so far my readers love Thistle Dew. Most readers comment on the characters, especially enjoying the antics of the little girl and her mischievous 'guardian angel'. They also comment on my description of the setting saying that they want to stay at the Thistle Dew Inn.
ALee's writing space changes depending on the time of the year. During the winter, she writes in a La-Z-Boy recliner with a mug of hot chocolate and a Jimmy Buffett CD. In the summer, she writes in an Adirondack chair next to the pond, an icy glass of lemonade, and a Jimmy Buffett CD.
"What did you want to be when you grew up?" I asked.
"I always wanted to be a hero. I dreamed of daring rescues; a child floating downstream nearing a waterfall, a puppy in a burning doghouse, a toddler lost in the woods. Since I am really not a heroic person, my characters are always brave, quick thinking heroes."
On a personal note, ALee hates how she looks in pictures, but told me it's all the camera's fault. "I used to look young and thin in photos taken with a Kodak Instamatic," she said. "There must be a flaw in the digital process of the new cameras or something."
Her favorite cheese is Norwegian goat milk cheese. It's a sweet breakfast cheese and she admits it's an acquired taste. Her dad's side of the family is from Norway, so in addition to loving the goat cheese, she tends to put at least one reference to Norway in all of her books.
Her favorite animal? Alpacas. "I think they are beautiful," she told me. "They have pretty eyes, cute smiling faces and soft fur. They are also very expensive as pets and too much work now that I'm older, so I am content to visit a nearby alpaca farm on occasion."
The movies she enjoys most have at least one teary scene in them, whether it be happy moments or sad moments. She also cries during a good book, but she admits that blurry words are really hard to read.
She loves thunderstorms as long as she's cuddling with her husband or a grandchild, but would rather listen to rolling thunder than a sudden BOOM!
"Can you unwrap a Starburst with your tongue?" I wondered.
"I've never heard of this challenge. Some people have way too much time on their hands."
She's the mother of five kids, so multitasking is a given and, if she could wish for anything, she would honestly wish for world peace. "I would love to see people being kind to one another," she said. "I would love to see the return of courtesy, manners and respect."
For new authors, she has this advice: "Don't get discouraged by rejection. Just keep writing. If writing is your passion...write passionately."
Finally, I asked her what is one question she wish an interviewer would ask her.
"How does it feel to have your book made into a movie?" she said promptly, adding, "Answer: It feels absolutely terrific!!!"
You can keep up with ALee on her blog, http://aleedrake.blogspot.com