Daisy Rain Martin
Currently live where?
Nampa, Idaho (Near Boise)
Anything else, like website/blog/Twitter you are ok sharing?
What do you do when you’re not working on packets?
Gardening is life! Growing up in Vegas (high desert) I’m fascinated by the fact that we can throw seeds in the ground and food pops out! Who knew? Also, I love teaching the best 7th graders the world over!
How did you hear about the Hamline MFAC Program?
A certain Dr. Gary D. Schmidt told me, “Daisy, you should look at Hamline’s MFAC program. I think you would like it.” The rest is, as they say, history.
What was your writing experience prior to entering the program?
In a former life, I wrote nonfiction for adults. As an advocate for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, I wrote three books, blogged, and spoke to audiences about hope and healing.
What do you especially remember about your first residency?
BEING THERE IN PERSON! Also, I remember being really unsure if I even had the chops to be in a program like this. It turned out to be one of the top ten best decisions I’ve ever made for my life.
Have you focused on any one form (PB, novel, nonfiction, graphic novel) or age group in your writing? Tried a form you never thought you’d try?
It was important to me to SUCK THE MARROW out of this program and get as broad of an education in as many types of books (fiction and non) that I possibly could. So, I’ve worked on YA and middle grade novels, picture books, poetry (what a hot mess THAT was–HA!) and chapter books. LOVED EVERY SECOND!
Tell us about your Creative Thesis.
My capstone is a YA novel called Every Good Day that I started with Meg and got very close to finishing with Eliot. A young girl, Alexis, is groomed by the principal of a religious school. She is on a journey to find her voice and advocate for herself in the face of enormous resistance. (Spoiler alert: Some serious shit goes down–all the way down!)
What changes have you seen in your writing during your studies?
I’m still working toward establishing my own personal writing process and figuring out what that will look like on July 19th. I started out at Hamline as a total pantser, but I am in hot pursuit of a hybrid model that includes a whole lot more plotting! Additionally, I started this program with nothing but a couple of vague ideas and a marginal propensity for stringing words together. (Structure and form? Total Kryptonite for me!) With the sage wisdom of my advisors, I am leaving this program with several viable writing pieces in various stages that I hope will get to have lives of their own.
Any thoughts for entering students or for people considering the program?
Invest in yourself. Push yourself. Don’t be afraid to suck at something new! My goodness sake, why spend this kind of money to work on projects that are already achievable within your current skill set? Take one semester and work on something that you’re pretty sure is beyond you. For me, it was poetry. And guess what? I wasn’t great at it (at ALL!) but I learned a ton, it made me a better writer, and I’M STILL GRADUATING!