Interview with Isabelle Drake
Isabelle Drake got her start writing confession stories for pulp magazines like True Confessions and True Love. Since publishing those first few stories she has written in multiple genres, earned an MFA in Creative Writing and became an English & Writing Professor.
When away from her keyboard, she watches films, especially classic noir, horror and romance, and reads (of course). An avid traveler, she'll go just about anywhere--at least once--to meet people and get ideas.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I wrote The Binge Watcher’s Guide to Riverdale, the TV show, and am currently updating the latest season.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Two things: telling stories and growing as a writer. Each story is unique because of the characters. So telling stories is a way of giving someone a voice. I know, the characters aren’t real people, but they represent real struggles, difficulties and motivations. Even my unhuman characters have human qualities. Growing as a writer matters to me because without challenges I tend to lose interest and joy. I constantly test boundaries and give myself opportunities for growth.
What do you read for pleasure?
Right now, I’m in a memoir phase. I’ve been reading them one after the other. Earlier this summer I read horror classics like Rosemary’s Baby and Psycho.
Describe your desk
My desk is a beautiful antique, a gift from my mom. She used it for many years in her law office, then retired and passed it on to me. It’s a dark walnut stain, handmade in the mid-1800’s in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It has super deep drawers, so I have plenty of room for my postcards, extra pens, post-it notes…
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Having fun matters. Writing what you love matters. So–if it isn’t fun and writing it doesn’t make you excited, move on.
What is the one thing you want your readers to know about your books?
I switch genres and subgenres to nurture my love of story telling and so that I’m continually growing as a writer. I love a challenge. As soon as someone tells me something can’t be done…I’m off to try and do it.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio which is sometimes referred to as the gateway of the south. There is a tradition of story-telling that is unique to the South and it continues to influence me. I see it in the way I connect characters back to their families and my love of small details.
What are you currently working on?
I’m working on a romance and a science fiction romance. I usually work on more than one project at a time. That way, if one needs to sit for a minute while I sort something out, I can continue writing the other.
What drives you to keep on writing?
Readers! They are the best. Their excitement for the next book is so appreciated and always keeps me excited too. They love stories as much as I do!