Interview with E.L DuBois – Author of The Glass Mask
Peter Donnelly sits with Erica Lea DuBois
Peter: Your book The Glass Mask is a memoir and it provides an account of a period in your life when you were physically and mentally abused by your ex-husband. I know it’s a tough process for us to interview you, with regards to memories it may stir up, so please don’t feel it necessary to answer questions that you are uncomfortable with.
What was your main motivation and what did you hope to achieve in writing this book?
Erica: It started as a healing process. I was coming to terms with all I had been through and started writing it down. One day I had that “Ah Ha” moment where I realized this was my way of having my voice heard. I had been silenced for so long that telling my story and having the world know it became an important part of my healing process. I was taking back my life and the book was/has been a major part of that process. Before the book came out I would tell myself if even one person read it and got it. If I could change even one person’s perceptions or help them than me reliving the horrors of my past had all been worth it.
Peter: You have a wonderfully supportive husband, daughter and family. How have they helped you through the writing of The Glass Mask?
Erica: They have been amazing. I warned all of them to just please bear with me through this emotional rollercoaster and journey. And that is exactly what they did. There were days where I was a complete basket case crying because I had recalled some pretty horrific times in my life. Then there were days when I was unbearable to be around because I was in rage against the world mode. I went through such a myriad of emotions while writing this book. Pain, anger, guilt, self-loathing, and finally a sense of relief and peace with it. The list of emotions is endless but ultimately worth it because I was indeed healing very deep, very old wounds. I opened a pandoras box that I had never dared to touch, and I really could not have done it without them.
Peter: Do you wish to use this experience and/or book to help others that may be in, or have just come out of, a situation of domestic abuse?
Erica: Most definitely, at the heart of this whole experience that is the goal. That is why proceeds from each book sold go to several charities or foundations that main goals are to help victims, support victims, and raise awareness of this particular problem throughout the world. For years no one talked about “this kind of thing” and that just is not right. As a society we should address any kind of violence, harassment, or abuse. People are suffering in silence and dying because they think that no one cares, or can help, and that just is not the case anymore.
Peter: Do you feel writers have a platform to influence society?
Erica: Yes of course, and I think they should use their influence. I feel anyone has a platform to influence and enact change. Every person has a voice. It is choosing how you use that voice that truly matters. If you are speaking out for those who do not have the courage or can not do it for themselves then you are making a difference and that is what it is really all about.
Peter: What experience did you have in writing prior to authoring this book?
Erica: I have always been a poet or “storyteller” I use to make up my own bedtime stories as a child. When I was in my twenties I wrote two full length novels of very different genres and looked into getting them published but then life happened, and they were proverbially shelved.
Peter: Have you had any formal education or training in literature and writing?
Erica: Just the formal education of life lol. I was a business major with a minor in art, so I have always tried to incorporate that artistic side into my life. I just always thought I would be a painter not a writer. It actually never dawned on me to write until I was in my early twenties having a conversation with my little brother and an idea formed where I thought “that would make a great book” I told my brother who was a teenager at the time and he said “I would read that” I went right than and wrote the first few chapters of that book. The rest is history as they say.
Peter: Did you always feel that writing was a path you would take?
Erica: After I started writing yes, I believe I always knew in the back of my mind that it was my ultimate dream. But for a very long time because of life it was not something I could even imagine ever happening for me. But life surprises you and suddenly you are on a different path. I have always believed in the paths of our making. Although I know this is probably cliché but from the very first time I read Robert Frosts “The Road Not Taken” it has been my favourite poem. It spoke to me when I was 15 and it still speaks to me now. I have carried a tiny version of it in my wallet for 23 years. I guess you could say that “I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference”.
Peter: Who was your greatest influence in becoming a writer?
Erica: Honestly, my little brother. He is a writer. Always writing in his journals with ink stained fingers expressing thoughts so profound they blow your mind. Some times I look at him and think “My gosh, how did you even articulate that” I have also always been a reader and lover of books. All kinds from the classics, true crime, memoirs, to the paranormal, to cheesy (like really cheesy) romance novels. But I love them all. I love the courage, and intelligence it takes a writer to actually write. To me each book or story or poem is not just writing. It is a gift. I know that each time I write something I am giving a small piece of myself to the world. So, for me, when I read other peoples works I look at them as courageous souls giving small pieces as well and in my mind that is probably the greatest gift one person can give to another. Their story or stories. Pieces of their imaginations or real lives. To me, that is truly amazing.
Peter: What authors have you most admired and have had an influence on you?
Erica: There really is to many to count. I love so many different genres, authors, that this could be endless. What influences me the most is the fact that the author was brave enough to write that story, follow that dream, and give that gift.
Peter: What is your favourite book you’ve read this year?
Erica: The Bourbon Kings series by J.R. Ward and pretty much anything by Kresley Cole, Molly Harper, Dakota Cassidy, Emma Chase, Erin Watt, Dannika Dark ß-See the list could be endless lol
Peter: What advice would you give to aspiring or debut authors?
Erica: Embrace the absolutely wonderful community of authors because they truly are wonderful and supportive. Be proud of yourself and your courage. And market the heck outta that book! ?
Peter: What are the greatest obstacles to being an Indie Author?
Erica: Probably marketing, actually getting it out there on a larger platform for more people to see and find interest. There are millions of books out there so getting yours noticed takes allot of time and effort. You do not realize how important social media marketing is until you have a book that needs it.
Peter: Which websites do you feel are important to promote your books on?
Erica: Pretty much all social media, author services websites that offer interviews and use their social media to promote the author, and REVIEWS REVIEWS REVIEWS. Reviews can make or break a book and bad ones are an authors worst nightmare.
Peter: How much time do you spend on writing compared to marketing your books?
Erica: I social media market every day all day! It has definitely started to take up more time than my writing, but I am kind of in that transitional phase where I have a book out, one coming out on September 1st, one finished and at the editors for a next year release and then a relaunch of “The Glass Mask” next year as well. So even though I have started a romance novel, and a science fiction novel, and I have like five more books of the Ransom, TX series, plus a spin off series in mind. I am not as pressed with them for a deadline as I was with the ones already out or to the editor. They are all planned out lol, so that is the first hurdle.
Peter: How important do you feel narration is or will become to the book industry?
Erica: Very important. Due to head trauma sustained it caused me to be almost completely blind in my left eye. So, the only way I can enjoy the books I love so much is by listening to them. Even before the injury I loved audiobooks because it enabled me to carry my books I didn’t want to put down on long drives or while during every day tasks. I always have headphones in listening to a book.
Peter: Can you give us any insights into your new book?
Erica: Well, the next two books were co-written with my husband Author T.J. DuBois. The poetry book coming out September 1st gives the readers of The Glass Mask a small peak into how the minds of the real Beauty and Knight work, and how they are different. Ransom, TX is my baby. I have loved that story since I started it 15 years ago. I lost the digital copy but thankfully my brother had a hard copy he had held onto for years. T.J. got in on the process of rewriting it and Ransom emerged anew. It is actually the book I was talking to my brother about and had that moment where I was like “that would be a great story” It is a paranormal thriller, like nothing out there. It has a gritty wild west vibe with monsters, corruption and football. Because you know in West Texas Football is king. There is a legend, a love story, and of course a hero.
Peter: What other projects are you working on?
Erica: I have a pocket poetry book one coming out on September 1st called “The Poetry of The Broken” with selected works contributed by myself and my husband. Ransom, Tx is finished and at the editors for a next year release and then a relaunch of “The Glass Mask” is scheduled for next year as well. I have started a romance novel for my mom because she loves romance novels and I wanted to write something she could read. My science fiction novel is based on dreams I have that involve time travel through dreams (I don’t want to give too much away), and I have like five more books of the Ransom, TX series, plus a spin off series in mind. They are all planned out lol, so that is the first obstacle. My husband and brother are my writing partners so they both have novels in the works. My brothers’ book is a really intelligent gritty noir type called “The Stray Hours” and my husbands debut novel is based on a nightmare I had about a creepy serial killer clown. I don’t want to give to much away but let me say this. I am deadly afraid of clowns.
Peter: How can readers learn more about you and your work?
Erica: My website eldubois.com all the latest news and events are listed there along with links to buy the books…and social media of course lol…
Facebook: E.L. DuBois Author’s page
Peter: Erica, many thanks for the interview, I know this is a tough subject for you to talk about but I appreciate how open and forthcoming you have been in your responses. I wish you every success in your career and peace in your life.