Today I'd like to welcome Darlene Oakley, author of “Inner Sanctum” to The Thursday Interview. Before we get started, a quick intro!
Darlene Oakley currently resides in the Niagara Region of Canada. She has spent nearly 15 years in the publishing industry as a freelance and publisher-based editor, project manager, and acquisitions editor. Inner Sanctum is the culmination of a life’s pursuit and is only the tip of the iceberg of ideas that will be making their way to your book shelf in the near future. She has two special needs sons (19 & 6.5).
OK - HERE WE GO !!
No.1 Would you break the law to save a loved one? .. why?
Yes. If that’s what was required. A person’s life is worth the risk. Sometimes doing the wrong thing is the right thing.
No.2 What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
Being alive is going about the everyday sort of stuff, without really noticing or appreciating any of it. Living means doing things that make a difference not only in your life, but in the lives of the people you come in contact with and don’t come in contact with (you never know how one brief anonymous connection can make a big difference). Everyone has been given special gifts and abilities that only they can do, and that’s for a reason. Once we tap into those and start using them, it brings a whole new sense of accomplishment and purpose.
No.3 What motivates you to write?
The hundreds of character voices constantly talking all at once inside my head. LOL Gotta get them out of there.
More seriously, writing has always been therapy for me. When I can’t express my own feelings to others even through writing, I find what I need comes out in my characters. There’s something freeing about fiction, about being able to tell part of your story through another character’s eyes.
No.4 Why do humans want children?
I think instinctively we want the unconditional love that children bring. They have a way of looking at the world that everything is new and it reminds us of how beautiful things are and how we lose sight of what’s really important. They also challenge us to be more than we ever thought possible.
No.5 What was the biggest challenge in creating your book "Inner Sanctum" ?
Honestly, finding the time to write it. I was one of those people who heard the phrase “make time to write every day”, and knew instinctively that I needed to do it – again, it’s therapy for me – but struggled to do it. Even while married, I received very little support from my husband, and as a single parent for the last five years in particular with two special needs kids, life took over for a while. I was focused on providing for my two sons as a freelance writer, editor and transcriptionist, so what I wanted to do was very often usurped by everyday needs.
No.6 What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far?
To never give up. Everything I have experienced in my life writing-wise and non-writing-wise has boiled down to that. Never give up. The struggle may seem long while you’re in it, but relatively speaking, it’s not that long. When you come out of that season and see what you’ve accomplished through it and because of it, it’s very rewarding and humbling. I’d have to add a second one and that is to never take anything we have for granted. Don’t assume that it’s always going to be there. Being thankful for even the little things can make a big difference in those down times I mentioned above.
No.7 How did you come up with the title "Inner Sanctum" ?
I’ve always had a knack for titles. I can’t say there was any one particular thought or series of thoughts that triggered it. But metaphorically I thought it was perfect – the inner sanctum of the earth.
No.8 How do you handle personal criticism?
I’m a very logical person. I like to know and understand the other person’s perspective and why they said what they did. It helps me understand if I really made a mistake or need to make a change, or if the comment’s just coming from their perspective. I can tend to get a little defensive, and over analyse peoples’ comments, but I usually come out on the other end of it understanding a lot more about myself.
No.9 Why should people read your book?
Because Inner Sanctum is an enjoyable and quick read with realistic characters that will transport you into a different world, with all the challenges that come from old and new civilizations. It’s filled with trials and triumphs, valleys and victories … all tossed together with technologies that make their world possible, and, of course, a little bit of romance.
No.10 Why is there something rather than nothing?
Interesting question. Sometimes nothing is wonderful and freeing. Sometimes something can get in the way, we let it get in the way, and the same vice versa … nothing can get in the way of us doing something. And not only doing something, but doing something great and truly living. Part of the challenge is figuring out the balance between them – when you need something and when you need nothing.
Thank you Darlene :)
For taking the time to answer my questions
& the best of luck with your new book!
Check out "Inner Sanctum" on
The underground city of Egerton has a sinister secret.
One that threatens the survival of 4000 people. The only home they've ever known is slowly killing them all. Family Control Officer Aurora Cassle knows there is only one option – to return to the surface.
A maniacal, power-hungry mayor and his supporters believe their fate is to die. Aurora challenges the mayor and wins over a majority of the people, but never imagines the lengths to which he would go to maintain their way of life – and to which previous mayors had gone in the secret bowels of the city. Her determination to save her people forces her to choose between death below and life above.
A new life and a new world awaits,
if only Aurora can survive the old one.