Growing Up In Addiction

Dianne C. Braley Author Interview

The Silence in the Sound is a provocative novel detailing the devastating effects of growing up with addiction. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

Inspiration for the book came from plenty of things, but if not for William Styron, the Pulitzer-prize-winning author probably best known for his book Sophie’s Choice, I’m not sure I’d ever have had the courage to write a word. Writing had always been my passion since I could remember, but having grown up in the inner city, blue-collar and with lesser means, it wasn’t something encouraged. Like many inner-city kids, I was shown early on that paying the bills was the priority. My mother, a nurse, and father, a truck driver, seemingly wanted my brother and me to pursue our passions, mine being art and writing, but encouraged a career that fed us and put a roof over our heads; that was first and foremost. Dreams could come later. After becoming a nurse, like my mother, and succeeding at putting a roof over my head, I felt satisfaction and honor in helping people, but there was always something missing, although I wasn’t sure what. While having the privilege of caring for Mr. Styron on the beautiful island of Martha’s Vineyard as his nurse at the end of his life, I saw a man and a family existing for art, and I breathed it in along with the crisp salty air, feeling alive and inspired. I spent years with a talented, complicated, deep, and melancholic man at the end of his life, reading his books across from him in one of the most stunning places in the world. His friendship and fascination with the darkness of humanity and himself led me to explore my darkness, which was growing up in addiction, my father an alcoholic, and later falling in love with someone with the same affliction, both having succumbed to the disease. Mr. Styron showed me through his life and work not to be afraid to find my meaning.

Georgette is a compelling and well-defined character. What were some driving ideals behind her character’s development?

Georgette (George) grew up with an alcoholic father she loved, but his chaos affected her much more than she realized. She’s insecure and feels unsafe, longing for stability, but she doesn’t know what that is. She formed an armor long ago as a child in living in her unpredictable home and thinks her toughness can get her through life. She knows better than her mother as a teen and young adult, she feels, as much of us do at that age, but in the running away from her family and pain to the island, her safe place, she finds she can’t run from herself. She must learn to love on her own, both herself and another person, in a healthy way which she doesn’t have the foggiest idea how to do. She must learn who she is and accept life on life’s terms. She’s spent her entire life fighting this—fighting them and the disease that’s affected all of them.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Of course, addiction. It’s odd, though, because I didn’t intend for this book’s premise to be about the effects of addiction. It was supposed to be there but in a much more subtle way. This all changed as I wrote about Georgette’s relationship with her father and found I could go back in time and tap right into my feelings of being a child and a young and new adult navigating his disease. My father was an alcoholic, so I have a significant amount of experience regarding this, but this was not supposed to be the central theme. Sometimes as we write, we have to see where the story takes us, and it took me here. So many readers have said I’ve helped them see the addicts they love in their life as more than their disease and that I brought humanity to my addicted characters. Because someone is flawed and broken in some way does not mean they are unlovable, and the people who love them should never be shamed for doing so. There is much shame in this disease, and while we often have to detach from the people we love who are suffering from this in our lives, often to save ourselves, it does not mean we suddenly love them any less. There is enough pain in this affliction, so it’s important to me to help end the shame children and anyone who loves those suffering feel because of our societal ignorance.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’m well into my second novel. I hate to be cryptic and loathe people who are, but I’m going to be here. I was working on another book when something happened just outside my family’s inner circle. It’s another dark subject and one that I don’t have any personal experience with but have many friends who do. There was a trial, and two best friends, young girls, were broken by another’s act. The story is written from the perspective of the victim, which is not as obvious. In so many crimes, there are a vast number of victims, not just the ones directly harmed. I listened to this trial and became utterly fascinated. I want to do this story justice in every way, so I’ve been listening to other trials and performing interviews. I’m about halfway through, and I hope I can get it out much faster than my debut!

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Finding inspiration where she least expects it, one woman’s life is about to change forever.

Life has not been kind to Georgette. Growing up with an alcoholic father and an enabling mother, she clings to the loving memory of a childhood trip to Martha’s Vineyard to help see her through the bad times; and now, as an adult, she returns to the island to start her life over. Soon she becomes the private nurse for a prize-winning novelist. As the two become friends, he opens her mind to new possibilities.

But everything changes when she encounters the mysterious Dock. Georgette isn’t quite sure about him but finds him irresistible. She quickly loses herself in her relationship despite the inherent dangers that come with him. Torn between her own future or spiraling into a life she tried so hard to leave behind, Georgette must make her most important decision ever.
Sometimes escaping the past isn’t as easy as it appears.

The Silence in the Sound is the provocative debut novel by Dianne C. Braley detailing the devastating effects of growing up with addiction.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on November 13, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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