Interview No. 25:
An interview with Raine Lore
Hi everyone! Hope you’ve all had a great week so far. Raine Lore is an amazing writer that I’ve just discovered and would love to introduce you to (if you’ve yet to meet her).
Shall we dive straight into the minds of another professional writer, who’s also on Medium?
Hi Raine, welcome to Coffee Times. Would you like to say something to our readers on Substack?
I am very excited and humbled that Ashley has asked me to do this interview with Coffee Times.
I hope the following will give you a little insight into who I am, and what makes me tick, both as a person and as a writer. Please pop in, have a look at some of my work and comment, so that I can get to know you, too.
I look forward to building new relationships with you as a direct result of my being here!
Hi Raine, I’ve read your ‘Ten Things Only a Select Few Know About Me’ piece, and I think your courage to share stories so personal is absolutely beautiful. How did you transition from being scared to tell your story to being confident enough to put it out there?
Most child victims of sexual predators feel they are somehow responsible for bringing the actions of the predator into their lives. This creates a huge amount of guilt and fear in the child. When adults in the child’s life ignore the child’s “confession”, or worse, dismiss it as fantasy, the rejection can severely impact emotional growth.
In my case, my fears and confessions were both dismissed and punished as lies. Add to that, punishments for daring to display creativity in writing and other endeavours, then it is no wonder little Raine had some demons to battle over sharing both her personal story and her writing.
I have been writing on Medium for almost a year, nurturing a community that has rallied around me, proving to be loyal, empathetic, and very supportive. These wonderful people played a huge part in boosting my confidence. Also, I have read many stories of heartache and despair; if others could write about such things, so too could I.
I thank those dear writers for their courage.
In my thirties, I made a conscious decision to be someone who loved, empathised, and lived with gratitude, fully aware that without vigilance, I might “take the sins of the fathers” with me. I chose not to carry negative behaviours forward into my life as a mature adult.
Too, I am growing older (old); viewing the world through a different lens—I am content with who I am. Put simply, I would not be this person had I not experienced the turmoil, and joys of my life up to now.
You’re a writer and lover of fiction, once for children and now for adults. What are some of your inspirations and biggest challenges in writing for these two very different groups of readers?
Writing for children was kind of safe. At least I viewed it that way. After all, I was a child once, and I still maintain a child-like approach to fun and fantasy.
As it turned out, it was a bit more challenging than I first thought.
Because I decided that my picture books should be suitable for under sevens, I realised I had a responsibility to make sure they “fit”, for the most part, the language that was being used in the modern childcare environment.
I soon found out that things had changed dramatically since I was a child, and indeed since I was a parent of young children.
I was fortunate to have a close relationship with an early childhood educator who guided me along the way.
It was harder work than I at first imagined. But I navigated the hurdles and came up with a series of four rhyming books for under sevens. These books are no longer in print.
Then, having discarded the idea of further picture books, I decided to write for the enjoyment of pre-teens. Having learned a lot from my educator guide, I felt able to embark on a couple of adventure novels for the almost-teenage audience.
I loved writing the pre-teen books, but there was a largely unsolved writing desire demanding to be heard. In short, I was still unfulfilled as a writer.
The next step was a slow but steady foray into writing for adults, taking my love for adventure into a playground that grownups could delight in.
You’ve acquired and dabbled in a variety of skills so far, like graphic design, photography, illustration and animation. How do you think having those skills helped you as a writer?
Maybe, the question should be asked the other way around. How do I think writing has helped me with other artistic pursuits?
I think my love of writing has guided me to experiment with these other pastimes. Spurred on by an ancestry that was filled with artistic people, it was a natural progression for me to want to illustrate my words with pictures. (Possibly also helps to explain my start in children’s fiction).
In fact, in the early days, all my adult writing was ekphrastic. I would go to great lengths to find an image that “spoke to me”, and then use that inspiration for a story, or a novel.
I no longer need that stimulation.
You write several forms of writing for both fiction and non-fiction. You’ve written memoirs, poetries, and more. Which is your favourite form and why?
These days, I love them all! I can thank Medium for that.
Mostly, though, regardless of the genre, I love humor. Making people laugh is now my top priority.
Sure, I like to dig a little deeper, sometimes foraying into the darker side of fiction, the paranormal, and heartfelt Australian bush poetry.
But when it comes to writing pieces that reflect my life experience, (I guess you would call them memoirs), poetry, and a very wide range of adult fiction, connecting through humor underpins my intention.
I have a very strong belief that every life event should be experienced with gratitude and humour—essential ingredients for happiness and mental health.
Yep, I am the one whose laughter rings throughout the church during Uncle Jack’s funeral!
You’ve been through so much with your love for writing to become the published and appreciated writer you are today. How do you personally define success as a writer, and do you think you have succeeded as one?
This is an easy one, Ashley.
I define my success as a writer by my interactions with my readers. I do not equate success with book sales and monetary rewards. Truly, those things do not matter to me at all.
If they did, I would have stopped writing a long time ago!
Writing is an expression of who I am as a person. On Medium, I have been able to lay down my life’s journey, and adventures, in a series of stories, poems, articles, and small memoirs.
In return for my endeavours, other writers reward me with claps, feedback, humorous exchanges and more. Sometimes, I get rewarded by other writers tagging my work, and even asking me for interviews. Smile.
One wonderful author, Louise Foerster, unexpectedly honoured me by writing a poem about my younger life. I bawled for hours over her intuitive understanding that unresolved issues had shaped my young life.
My large, extended family, is also now aware that I write and publish my work. They are all supportive and excited by my endeavours. Yahoo!
Do I think I am successful as a writer? You bet your boots; I do!
You’ve been writing since you were a young girl and have since been through so much. Do you think writing in any way has saved you?
I prefer to think that my determination to live a better life saved me.
I spent years battling depression, making poor choices, repeating destructive behaviours, suffering panic attacks, and generally fighting a feeling that I was drowning in desperation.
My desire to improve my life led me to devour self-help books, books on religion, books about successful lives, and anything else that might assist me on my journey.
I finally developed a spiritual philosophy that resonated and supported me. That alone was my way back to happy, healthy living.
Writing is my way of sharing my love of words, my experiences, and my adventures, both real and imagined.
I will always be grateful that my journey led me back to my greatest passion.
What other writing projects do you eventually wish to tackle?
This question brings me full circle.
I have a completed preteens sequel sitting on my hard drive that I need to upload to Amazon. I promised myself I would have it done by Christmas this year. When that is finished, I can finally close that chapter of my writing.
My pesky muse keeps nagging me to take my revived interest in poetry, and put together a volume of humorous Australian poetry.
As a youngster, I adored Pam Ayers, an English comedian and comedic poet. I would love to emulate her success in that field.
Also, I intend to collate all my little memoir stories into a private collection for the pleasure of my younger sister who does not enjoy good health. I know she would thoroughly enjoy walking down my memory lane, revisiting many stories she shared with me.
Finally, I still have a passionate interest in digital art, animation and film-making. I am sure there are many projects ahead that will combine my love of writing with my desire to create artistic moving pictures.
Thank you for the opportunity to share this interview with you and your readers, Ashley. My experience on this platform has been life-changing.
Where else can a writer build an interactive and supportive community of wonderful writers and readers? All it takes to succeed here is a desire to write authentically, and a willingness to positively interact with like-minded people, promote inclusivity and devote some time to the promotion of others.
I hope you all have a wonderful day filled with gratitude and laughter.
I’d like to thank Raine once again for doing this interview with Coffee Times. It’s been a pleasure to get to know her better along with you, readers, through this interview.
I’d also like to thank Art Bram for introducing Raine to me as an interviewee and a writer to check out that led to this issue of the interview series!