Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Amy Lignor is talking with Reilly DeVie, representing author Daniela Bronzy, author of Roots, Rumors & Wrath.
FQ: Mr. DeVie, can you speak to readers about how and when you met Daniela Bronzy and what your first impressions were of this obviously creative individual?
DeVIE: The story of meeting Ms. Bronzy or ‘Dee,’ is one of my favorites to tell. At the tail of the 90’s there was really only one art store in Boise. I was hanging flyers advertising the start of my furniture and metal business while she was picking up supplies before returning home to her residence two hours north of Boise. She happened to be accompanied by a priest that I had known and we began talking. This would all come out later on in the story of her life, but she had rethought the idea of the novel by including imagined products integral into the manuscript and then physically producing those products to be available to readers. I am guessing at this time she had already written her first novel, roots, rumors & wrath and she was looking for someone capable of realizing her ideas. She ended up asking me if I could figure out how to make an Ida-Hoe, which was a garden hoe in the shape of our state of Idaho.
I didn’t know what to think about her when we first met. Later in my mind she would became a grandmotherly figure and memories of her have become intermixed with my real grandmother, even in appearance.
FQ: When did you receive Ms. Bronzy’s work, and what made you take on the task of getting her words out to the public?
DeVIE: Our story takes a turn in March of 2017 when I received a box from a lawyer’s office in McCall, Idaho. When I talk about Dee and this story of our relationship, it almost seems implausible. Our relationship was mostly through phone calls and an occasional visit to her home. I would not say we were close, but that it is my opinion. In her mind perhaps we were closer than I realized. Why else would she send me the box?. I did not know she was a writer. I just knew she had a vivid imagination. We never spoke about her writing. The box from the lawyers held several unpublished manuscripts and a half dozen illustrated children’s books in various levels of completion. I still do not know why she sent them to me. Together we had made prototypes of several of her ideas and we had several fun conversations both in person and over the phone, but I didn’t think we were that particularly close. But you just never know what kind of influence you have on someone’s life when you take the time to get to know someone. I just wish I would have spent more time with her. There are several unanswered questions.
I have spent the last year getting the first novel of hers ready for publication. There is a lot to putting a book together, but the experience has been both cathartic and incredibly satisfying. I am working on her second novel now which will be released in October and the first of her children’s book should be out for Christmas. The coolest thing is people are reading her words that no one knew even existed and really enjoying them. I just wish she could have been at her book launch. We donated the funds generated that night to a local charity, The Learning Lab, and sold out of books. I think she would have really loved that.
FQ: Can you tell us a little about your own creative talents? It is said that you are an artist, a welder, and actually created something for Ms. Bronzy?
DeVIE: I don’t know about talent, but I enjoy being creative. I think the secret to Dee and I’s success together is that while they were most certainly her ideas, she gave me creative license in making them. It was a nice partnership. Before I ever knew she was writing, we made several of her products come to life. A few were introduced in the first novel, and there are many to come in the proceeding releases as well. Because of her, I have had a chance to hone my welding and wood working skills as well as step out of my box and enter the world of technology. Bringing her worlds that she created to life and hearing how people have enjoyed reading them has been especially great. To better get her name out there, I have been attending book clubs that have read her first book roots, rumors & wrath and being part of the discussion. I take with me book themed snacks and drinks and several of her products and spend the evening discussing Dee’s ideas. It is a thrill. And I have learned a lot about the book from these discussions.
FQ: Tell us a bit about the next book by Ms. Bronzy that you are looking at publishing? What the plot/characters are all about?
DeVIE: Dee left notes behind. Not written to me, but I think to herself. She saw the writing process as a potential business. A means of making money. She had researched the most popular genres of novels and she found thrillers and continuing character development throughout multiple novels as the key to creating followers and financial success. All of her novels exchange characters but are ‘stand alone’ books as well and can be enjoyed without reading the preceding releases, but in reading the others, you delve deeper into the characters. The next novel, signs, sushi & psyche continues to follow several of the characters as well as introducing a few new faces. It is several years later and world is following the launching of a land train capable of incredible speeds. We follow the characters lives as they are brought on board and are challenged with solving several mysteries at once which in Dee’s style somehow brings them all together at the end tying together all the loose ends. There is a bank robbery, drug dealers, plagues; characters deal with dementia, fist fights, parenting, bad decisions, and love. There are political and social commentaries that challenge our ideals and there are new ideas that have you visiting her website (www.danielabronzy.com) to see if the ideas really exist.
FQ: It was stated on the back of the book in the bio that Ms. Bronzy also penned children’s books. Can you tell us about those projects and whether or not you will be looking to publish them as well?
DeVIE: So besides writing novels, Ms. Bronzy illustrated and wrote several children’s books. They are each in different stages of completion. Some were simply sketched out, others were colored and ready to be scanned and formatted. I have decided to release them over the course of several years. For one, it gives me the chance to get them ready for publication while still continuing to pursue other projects. And second, I want her name to become known and slowly releasing her works over the course of time, building her reputation and brand recognition, will keep her in the zeitgeist and hopefully expand her readership.
FQ: Are you, yourself, interested in becoming a writer after all the work you have done in the industry bringing these books to fruition?
DeVIE: Having an idea is the easy part. Putting the idea on paper and building characters and formulating a plot and executing a climax is beyond me. My job is to help Dee realize her dreams of getting her books in front of people. While perhaps we all have the desire to write a book, I do not possess that ability. I think just brining Dee’s work to life will take me the better part of a decade to accomplish. And taking it slow has made it possible for me to really enjoy the whole process. No extreme time pressures. Of course if a big name publisher came to me with an offer of purchasing the rights to her remaining works, I would consider it, but it would be tough decision. The whole goal is to get her books in front of people and a big publisher would most definitely broaden her readership.
FQ: Do you feel, personally, that any of the characters in this book were based on real people that affected Ms. Bronzy’s life? If so, who would that be?
DeVIE: The question of who her characters are based on is one that comes up at every book club. The priest I am fairly certain is the same priest I knew. The hardware store I think is based on the store that first sold the Ida-Hoe and still does. The rest, if only we knew. I hope as readership grows, people will come forward with stories and theories of just who these characters might be. They may be no one and just products of her imagination.
FQ: If Ms. Bronzy were still with us, what do you think she would say about this book and your incredible passion as a friend to see it through to the end?
DeVIE: If Dee was able to hear what people thought of her book, if she was able to see her book on shelves, well I know I am thrilled, so I think she would feel the same. My only hesitation to guess is perhaps she didn’t want to know and this is why she sent me the box after she was gone. The subjective world of art or anything creative and our social media’s current love of cruelness, perhaps she didn’t want to endure criticism. I know that a dozen kind remarks or reviews are often erased with one negative. Perhaps she was happy with just the process itself. The cathartic release of creativeness?
FQ: Is there one thing you would like all readers to know and remember about Ms. Bronzy?
DeVIE: If Daniela Bronzy is remembered for anything, it will be her written words, her products, her ideas, her social commentaries. The story of Daniela Bronzy will continue because of our relationship. Her story will continue to grow long after her obituary was published, and I am glad that I can help that happen.