Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Interview with Author Aliza Mae Dube

  The Newly Tattooed's Guide to Aftercare by [Aliza Dube, Rebecca Dimyan]


1. What really inspired you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and conveying it into a book? All throughout college, I had a running collection of journals going. I had come of age reading Keuroac and Hunter S Thompson, and had a deep instinct that recording what happened in my life mattered. At the time, I also didn’t have a lot of people in my life I thought I could trust enough to tell my secrets to, so it all went down on paper. I’d piece together some paragraphs now and then to hand in for Creative writing assignments. However, it wasn’t until I put my portfolio together senior year that I began to think of it as anything other than cheap therapy. My nonfiction professor handed back the work of my college career and told me “this could be a book.” No one had ever believed in me like that before. I knew I couldn’t let him down.


2. What is it about and whom do you believe is your targeted reader? This book is a lot of things. It is my autobiography told through tattoos. It is a short story compilation of every shitty guy I’ve ever known. This book is my trauma history. It’s a love letter to my dead daughter. More specifically, the work follows the aftermath of my experience with sexual assault, and illustrates how, for better or worse, that one event shaped the rest of my college carreer and also my life. My target audience would be college girls, maybe going through similar stuff that I was at the time I wrote it. This book is really for anyone out there who needs to know that they are not alone.


3. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book? What should remain with them long after putting it down? What I want my readers to get out of this book is that it’s ok to tell your story. Everyone has that one story that they feel like they can’t say out loud, that one story that still keeps them up at night. After reading my book I want my readers to feel like they can scream their story in the streets. So much of the hurt that comes along with traumatic events like sexual assault or emotionally abusive relationships is that people feel like they can’t talk about it. I am here, I am talking about it, I want my readers to feel like they can do the same.


4. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers? Write like your mom is never going to read your work.


5. What trends in the book world do you see and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading? I think writing has gotten a lot more honest, sentences are clearer, more blunt. The publishing word is being opened up to many different types of stories. I look forward to seeing this continuing trend of embracing diverse voices.


6. What great challenges did you have in writing your book? The bulk of the writing I did as journal entries while I was actually living through the events. So I would say the hardest part was actually surviving the story. The second hardest part was having to rehash through all that old hurt again to cobble together a cohesive narrative. The editing process was a lot of tearing open old wounds. I read over at least fifty different drafts and there’s not a single time that I didn’t have to break down and cry.


7. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours? If people can only buy one book this month, it should be mine because it’s a story that deserves to be heard. People need to hear stories like mine so that they know they are not alone, so that they know yes it may take a long time, but things usually turn out alright in the end. People should buy this book because it’s not just about one book, it’s about ending a global stigma one story at a time.


Aliza Dube penned The Newly Tattooed’s Guide to Aftercare. Aliza was born and raised in Deep River, CT. She attended the University of Maine at Farmington. She graduated in 2018 with a bacherlor's degree of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and a BS in Elementary Education. After graduation, Aliza moved to Eastern Kansas to be with her husband. Aliza has previously been published by The Sandy River Review, Water for Soup, Prairie Margins, The River, Ripple and The Truth About the Fact. For more info, please see:


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