Featured Author - Danna Wilberg
What Do I Know?
People ask me if I am a psychotherapist. No, I am not, nor do I play one on TV. However, the protagonist in my Grace Simms trilogy is one of the best in Sacramento, California.
When I began writing my first novel, “The Red Chair”, the writers in my critique group told me, “write what you know”. I thought long and hard…what do I know? I know that I am a good listener, whether I am in line at the grocery store, at a party, or on a bus. I know that we all have problems, and lord knows I have had my share, but the issues I chose for my characters required extensive research. In the process, I became a better listener, and learned more about human nature.
What makes Grace Simms an outstanding and successful therapist is, her depth of understanding, her problem solving skills, and her big heart. Growing up in a dysfunctional household taught her coping mechanisms, and gave her perspective on the fine line between love and fear. But the trilogy raises the question, what do we really know about a person? Even those closest to us? In session Grace’s clients are complex, yet to others they seem as ordinary as the neighbor next door. One common denominator they all share is fear.
Let’s talk about fear shall we? After all, fear is a powerful motivator. Fear is used as a basis in everything from child-rearing to marketing. From the time we learn to walk we are programmed to accept fear as part of everyday life. Don’t touch that, you’ll get hurt. Be careful crossing the street, you’ll get hit by a car. Don’t fill your mouth so full you’ll choke. As we grow, fear becomes ingrained in us. Factor in a propensity for addiction, or an unstable environment, and the plot thickens. Everyone has a story.
What conquers fear? Love. Love is patient, love is kind, love does not pass judgement, and love nurtures the heart and soul. But is love enough once the damage is done?
I grew up with amazing story tellers, Alfred Hitchcock, Rod Serling, H.P. Lovecraft; wonderful super sleuths, The Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew. My favorite authors to date are Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Ann Rice. You might say mysteries and suspense are in my blood. My favorite part of writing is creating villain’s you’ll love to hate, because I do know that resolving conflict helps you grow.