Happy Summer! Life has been busy with my new audio drama podcast, The Diarist. I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel but I miss my solitary creative writing endeavors too...I'm finally back to updating my website and I wanted to share a free read with you all. I'm making epub, mobi, and pdf available to all my readers here on my website.
Enjoy & happy summer. If you like the novel all of the sequels are available for free on wattpad or you can email me and I will make a ebook copy for you!
A little more about the story:
Read Exuberance Is Beauty, a featured novel on wattpad. The first book in a 5 book saga with over 100,000 reads on wattpad.
Oregon, 1940s: Eve Miller, a young war widow, rebels against the ordinariness of womanhood in the post-war era. Eve is enlightened as she succumbs to the sensual temptation of an adulterous affair. In its aftermath, Eve Miller’s life unravels and leads to unexpected violence and moral isolation. Exuberance Is Beauty, is a contemporary interpretation of Adam and Eve’s biblical allegory and Eve’s fall into desolation. The story examines the consequence of erotic obsession and the repentance the female protagonist must pay for her sins of the flesh.
"This story is a very intense psychological thriller and a hauntingly beautiful story at the same time."
"This story is intense! I love the way the author pulled it all together, and gave us a terrifying glimpse into the mistreatment of women in the 40's"
"I highly recommend this book. It's a great, gripping read."
"This is a socially important and poignant tale of a war widow’s seduction."
My New audio drama The Diarist was featured in Bello Collective's debut podcast. We are brand new and would love listener feedback in the form of listens, swaps, or conversations. Thank you reddit audio drama community--you have been enormously helpful! "The Diarist is what you get if Mad Men and Jane Eyre marry and have a baby, where a secretary becomes the personal assistant to a prickly and strange ad executive and falls in love. It’s about regular people in the 1950s making bad decisions. The voice leads in particular are instrumental in creating a haunting story about people that could have been happy" https://bellocollective.com/audio-drama-debuts-an-early-spring-9f7ad1a51a18
You can find the diarist at: http://thediaristpodcast.com
The DiaristThe Diarist is what you get if Mad Men and Jane Eyre marry and have a baby, where a secretary becomes the personal assistant to a prickly and strange ad executive and falls in love. It’s about regular people in the 1950s making bad decisions. The voice leads in particular are instrumental in creating a haunting story about people that could have been happy."
Book Review: Crash Into Me: A Survivor's Search for Justice by Liz Seccuro (Review by Donna Barrow-Green)
In 1984, Liz Seccuro a freshman at University of Virginia was drugged and raped at a fraternity house party. She woke the next morning , bruised and battered. The house was eerily empty, an unusual occurrence in a busy fraternity house the morning after a party. In physical pain and shock Seccuro walked form the fraternity house to the university hospital. She was told they did not do rape examinations and would have to travel to a larger city. When Seccuro went to the leaders of the University she was brushed off, lied to, and turned away. Her story, despite thirty years passing, Seccuro’s story sounds very much like college campus rape stories in the news today.
What made Seccuro’s memoir so interesting to me was that the story of her rape was suddenly in her life again 25 years later. Like Seccuro I was raped as a young woman. I moved on and created a wonderful life for myself. I got married, went to graduate school, had children, and am a writer. Then I was called several months ago out of the blue and told by the San Francisco Police Department that there had been a DNA hit on the man who raped me. Some twenty five years after being raped the SFPD sent my untested rape kit to the lab and a serial rapist was identified. When I found Crash Into Me, I identified with Seccuro. I related to her experiences as a young, ambitious, independent woman coming of age in the 1980s.
Seccuro found out about the man who attacked and sexually assaulted her when he sent her a letter in the mail twenty five years after raping her. The letter stated he was in Alcoholics Anonymous and he had reached the step where he had to take responsibility for harm he’d caused authors. In the letter he apologized for harming Securo. As she acted and made decisions those first weeks after the letter, I recognized the subtle rising of PTSD. The blinding effect on one’s present life. Not a sudden darkness, but a tunnel-visioned preoccupation with it. She exchanged a few letters with the rapist but it became clear that he was self-centered and unable to take responsibility for what he’d done. His version of the truth retreated back to subtle but none-the-less ugly misogyny. It also occurred to Seccuro that this man had her home address. He could have emailed and for a rapist to send a victim a letter at their home has the chilling implication of threat.
Because there is no statute of limitations on rape in Virginia, Seccuro was able to prosecute. She went through with it knowing it would disrupt her family and her life. Because she had been drugged her memories of that night were mainly disjointed sounds and sights. The one thing she’d always wondered was whether there had been more than one rapist. She had a memory of being shuffled into a room and voices. As the trial proceeds the rapist remains antagonistic towards Seccuro and his defense attorney employs underhanded tactics to trigger Seccuro’s trauma and challenge her credibility. This included a long back and forth about the blood on her legs. Recalling the blood triggered PTSD in Seccuro and set her off balance during her testimony.
Despite the rapists confession and shocking new information about the rape, the defense makes a plea bargain and the rapist served less than 6 months in jail.
You can find Crash Into Me: A Survivor’s Search for Justice on amazon
and more about Liz Seccuro on her website
REVIEWER'S NOTE: It was hard for me to read Crash Into Me. It was a compelling and well-written book. Seccuro is a strong role-model and has used this experience to bring awareness to the issue of campus rape. It was hard for me because I had hope through her story that there would be justice not more blame and trauma. I don’t know how we endure the things we do as women.
Donna Barrow-Green Hello Joanie, It's great to be here!
Joanie Chevalier How are you today, Donna? Are you a night person or a morning person?
Donna Barrow-Green I'm great. The weather is just gorgeous here in Portland Oregon. Feels like spring. I'm more a night person lately...I love when the house is quiet...
Joanie Chevalier I've seen from your photos that you have a few doggies. Who else do you live with?
Donna Barrow-Green My husband and daughter. Even with my little family it seems the days are crazy busy--
Joanie Chevalier I bet! Tell us a little bit about your books and genres you like writing in. I notice that you have quite a number of them!
Donna Barrow-Green Many of my books are historical novels set i the 1940s ad 1950s. They are psychological thrillers. I have a 5 book series spraining the lives of a very dysfunctional family...the story begins with intense trauma and the remaining books examine the way that trauma plays out i the lives of all family members over the years.
Donna Barrow-Green You can find out more about that series here: http://www.donnabarrowgreen.com/historical-series.htmlManage
Donna Barrow-Green I also currently have the series available for free on wattled. https://www.wattpad.com/user/rosegluckwriterManage
Donna Barrow-Green I've also written a memoir entitled What Remains Inside. It is a pretty intense story chronically a year in my life as a teenager. It is a coming of age story in the shadow of the terrifying terrain of my mother's mental illness... Alexia Monition Lars...See MoreManage
Guest Blogger Alexia Montibon-Larsson– An Introduction to Author Rose Gluck
Donna Barrow-Green And of course there's my new podcast The Diarist....that has been my primary creative endeavor these days...https://thediaristpodcast.wordpress.comManage
The Diarist Podcast
Joanie Chevalier That is so fascinating to write a memoir. Because all of us are affected by an event and it often goes through generations, like a pebble skipping on a lake. You are so brave to open yourself up like this. What would you say to the person who is afraid of going public for one reason or another?
Donna Barrow-Green That's a great question. I'm not sure...it's definitely a timing issue. For me it was very healing because a lot of the experiences I wrote about were never processed and still locked away in that 15 year old part of my brain. I wrote the memoir when I...See More
Donna Barrow-Green I actually interviewed the author on one of my blogs: https://rosegluckreviews.wordpress.com/.../book-review.../Manage
Book Review: (Re)Making Love – a sex after sixty story by Mary Tabor
Joanie Chevalier Let's talk about your podcast, The Diarist. That sounds like such an intense project!! And a project that once you start, you wouldn't be able to back out, ha. How did you first come up with the idea?
Donna Barrow-Green Yes I LOVE talking about my podcast. It is so exciting and fun. I just had a feeling about a novel I was working on--that it would make a good podcast. I listen to a lot of podcasts and knew there was nothing like it out there...The novel was half finished when I started working on the podcast.
Joanie Chevalier How does one listen to a podcast? Is it through something like YouTube, through the internet? I've never listened to one....but I've seen many starting to pop up so that is definitely something in my future...
Donna Barrow-Green The original idea came up in a conversation with a friend who is a writer / screen writer and very supportive of my work. I told him I was thinking of turning the last book in my historical series into a play. He thought I should turn it into a thrille...See More
Embed - Intentional Fallacy (Book 5) - Wattpad
Donna Barrow-Green I just attached the original story...so any way I ended up writing a whole new story The Diarist but it was originally based on my book Intetional Fallacy.
Donna Barrow-Green Podcasts are available on iTunes...there is a whole podcast world. You host the audio on one of many platforms, SoundCloud Lysbin, etc. and then upload to iTunes. There are SO many amazing podcasts--some ion my favorites: Serial, S-Town, Alice Isn't Dead...
Donna Barrow-Green There is a learning curve to doing podcasting because it involves so many aspects: sound engineering, equipment, script or interview format, on-line platforms. However there are a lot of resources out there and it is one way an author can get a chance at getting their work out there. It is not as difficult as publishing or a full staged production of a play. I love it!
Joanie Chevalier Awesome! So if anyone has any questions, they can ask you!
Donna Barrow-Green Absolutely! They can message me here or at email@example.com I would also recommend signing up for The Diarist Newsletter on our website. We will have a lot of extra content and I'm going to be writing a series of articles on my experiences breaking into podcasting....
Joanie Chevalier So I see that you have other people who help you. Can you explain the roles in a podcast, and then, how do you find the people to help you?Manage
Joanie Chevalier These are a few people who are assisting in this project, right?
Donna Barrow-Green Yes! I am so lucky to have 2 co-producers Beth Ricketson and Ryan Bowen. They are professional actors / theater professionals here in Portland and have helped me cast the show, work with the sound engineer, ad work through some of the plot. Beth is co-...See More
Joanie Chevalier replied · 3 Replies · 7 hrs
Joanie Chevalier So, do you write it as you go, Donna? Or is it set at the beginning?
Donna Barrow-Green replied · 1 Reply
Joanie Chevalier This is so fascinating Donna! So, is writing a podcast essentially writing a play? How do you know how to do this? This takes skill: in writing, in time management, in getting along with people, in improvising....and the list goes on. You are so talented!😍
Donna Barrow-Green You're so sweet. Thank you! I used to do a lot of playwriting and so I studied how to use dialogue to create action. It's so different. One thing I was thinking was that in the series of essays I'm doing is to discuss prose vs. dialogue...to show how to transform narrative into dramatic writing.
Joanie Chevalier I LOVE this idea! It would be SO popular! Yes, please do it (on top of the million other things you are doing, lol)!
Donna Barrow-Green Joanie Chevalier I definitely will! I'll probably post it on my Diarist website and also on wattled. I'll let people know about it here o FB.
Donna Barrow-Green As for collaborating, I feel it is helpful to have talented people I trust working with me. I have had experiences where there was a disconnect and it is the WORST!
Joanie Chevalier I bet!
Joanie Chevalier Thank you so much for your time! We appreciate YOU so much!
So one more time, Donna, how can people connect with you? And how can people become a subscriber to help support this great idea of yours?
Donna Barrow-Green You can always find me here on Facebook and my website. donnabarrowgreen.com You can subscribe to our Diarist newsletter at thediaristpodcast.wordpress.com and it would be so WONDERFUL to have financial support for our work. Consider becoming a member / subscribers...https://www.patreon.com/user?u=9302225Manage
DONNA BARROW GREEN - AUTHOR
Donna Barrow-Green Joanie, thank you so much for this opportunity to talk with you. I appreciate your interest in my work. The greatest thing about being a writer today is all the amazing connections on social media. I am so glad I met you and other authors. I love your ...See More
Joanie Chevalier I knew a winner when I saw it! 💙
Donna Barrow-Green Joanie Chevalier ❤️❤️
This interview was originally published on Emma's Detail Shop https://www.emmasdetailshop.com/interview-with-donna-barrow-green
Thank you, Donna for taking some time out of your busy schedule to interview with us. We really appreciate it! First, I know you have quite a few books under your alias, Rose Gluck. Are you still writing under Rose, or have you decided to start writing under your real name of Donna?
I still write under the pen name Rose Gluck. I maintain my wattpad page. https://www.wattpad.com/user/rosegluckwriter and my medium account https://medium.com/invisible-illness/its-not-biopolar-it-s-something-else-45aba9a83016. I frequently publish as Rose Gluck on several medium publications including Invisible Illness. I tend to use Rose Gluck accounts for draft versions and more personal essays – things I’m not ready to put out into the world under my real name for one reason or another. I will likely keep using the pen name but will migrate most of my work to Donna Barrow-Green as it becomes more polished and finalized.
I’ve read your bio and I’m quite impressed! You hold a doctorate in education and you are a researcher and teach college courses in psychology, special education, and infant mental health. Would you say this path has helped you in your writing?
Yes definitely. I am very interested in under-represented populations. My academic research focuses on the ways people are viewed by society and how it impacts their life experiences. I am a strong believer in the social construction of mental illness and disability. I have done quite a lot of research into the history women and the mental health system. Many of my books deals with women and injustice played out under the guise of psychiatric “care.” Really the old institutions, theories on mental illness, and social mores were oppressive mechanisms that destroyed so many women’s lives. At one time it was entirely possible to lock a woman away and throw away the key. So I study the same dynamics that oppress people today for disabilities, mental health, substance abuse, etc. It is equally unbelievable how these power dynamics repeat themselves.
I’ve read Exuberance is Beauty and left a 5-star review on Amazon way back in 2015 (time flies!). I wrote that it was “Hauntingly Beautiful” and I remember it was a great psychological thriller. Is this your favorite genre to write?
For some reason for the last 10 years I have been “stuck” in the 40s and 50s! I was laughing the other day because I have been thinking about a new novel in the magical realism genre set in the 1970s. Without realizing it I said, “I need to get out of the past!” I forget sometimes that the 1970s was 50 years ago! Overall, I like historical contexts though because social issues can be explored with enough distance to have impact without preaching. It lends itself to psychological thriller because it truly is terrifying to imagine being in certain historical scenarios. I have spent so much time reading old case studies, police reports, newspaper articles, and the like. It’s like discovering a buried artifact. Telling these stories makes me feel as if I’m doing a little something to settle the score for a poor forgotten soul. All of my novels, short stories, and memoirs are available free on wattled.
Now, on to the fun stuff – your podcast! How in the world does an author decide to turn to trying a podcast?
I can honestly say I didn’t know what I was getting myself into! I felt as if The Diarist would make a compelling fiction podcast and for a year worked with my co-producers Beth Ricketson and Ryan Bowen. We started out with a cheap microphone and snuck into meeting rooms in a church next door to my house and began recording. However, most of our sessions ended up being long conversations where we became good friends. We joked that we should just record making the podcast as the podcast. However, both Beth and Ryan are talented actors and as we began recording I realized that I needed to take the script from half audiobook to an entirely scripted podcast. So that meant taking each chapter of the book and turning it into monologues and dialogues. I tend to be an ambitious and impulsive person and jump into creative ideas without fully thinking it through. Unusually it works out and in the case of The Diarist it did. We now have 7 professional actors, good recording equipment, a 400 page script, a social media campaign, and a sound engineer. I have considered writing my experience down in a series of essays to help others navigate the process. I love the collaborative process. I’ve never written anything while simultaneously producing it. The actors help me see the direction of the plot and I think in a lot of ways influence it. It’s been amazing!!! I have two other scripts ready to go and have considered if this one takes off to turn my series of novels into a longer multi-season podcast.
How did you come up with the story, The Diarist?
The Diarist started out as an idea from a great writer/ wattpad friend Chad Thumann. He is a novelist and screenwriter and has been a huge supporter of my writing. He read my series of 5 novels and when he finished the last one Intentional Fallacy I told him I was thinking of turning it into a script. He suggested I take it further, more a noir psychological thriller. I started adapting the original novel Intentional Fallacy and then from that The Diarist emerged as a separate story. It is very different from Intentional Fallacy and has become unique from the original plot. I originally wrote it as a novel but as I mentioned earlier it morphed into a script that is now the podcast! As my co-director and I met last week I looked down at the 400 page script and said “what have we gotten ourselves into?”
Tell us what it’s about. And how you hired the actors, etc. How does it feel to be a co-director of a podcast? It sounds so exciting!
I knew actors here in Portland from local staged readings from my plays. I contacted Beth and told her about the story. She was very interested and came on board as co-director / lead actor. She is a member of a theater group called Playback Theater and she recruited some of their members for various roles. I also found actors through local networks. I was SO lucky to get such talented, naturalistic actors. As for directing, I play a minimal role. Mostly I talk to the actors about the story and the back story. At first I hadn’t finished the book and so my co-producer/ lead male actor Ryan didn’t know if he had actually killed his wife or faked it!!! It is really exciting and fun.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to try doing their own podcast?
Listen to podcasts and take advantage of the many online resources to help you get started. As I conveyed, there is a steep learning curve but it’s a fun and exciting project and the rewards are pretty immediate. Unlike breaking into book publishing or having a fully staged production of a script, podcasting is cheap and easy to get into. There are some things to know though. One resource I’ve used is The Podcast Host. The site offers a series of chapters on podcasting, with all the information you need to get started. https://www.thepodcasthost.com/planning/how-to-start-a-podcast/
**Please check out our fundraising Patreon page. We really need support to keep The Diarist going and to bring more new fiction to the podcast world!!! Subscriptions and memberships to our patreon campaign allow patrons access to early releases, scripts, book chapters, and more! Even a chance to cameo on one of the upcoming podcasts. If you love great fiction and podcast please help us fund this amazing project: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=9302225
Here are Donna’s Social Links: Website | Facebook | Wattpad | Medium | Wordpress
Thank you again Donna for spending some time with us. We wish you well in your future endeavors!