5.7.13

Holly Dutch - Doll of Dawson

Holly Dutch - Doll of Dawson
by Christina Rowsell
The Brighter Side

The art of writing a novel is NOT an easy task.  I've known author Holly Dutch for 20 years, and all this time she has always wanted to write a novel.  And now she's done it.  



We recently had a fireside chat with Holly Dutch to talk about her love for writing, her inspirations and what future projects entail.  


When did you find your love of writing?

There were two different times I developed a love for writing. The first occurred when I was a young child writing in long-hand. In my free time I would sit at home and create short stories, and proudly show them off at school or with family and friends. As a child, you soon realize what your strengths are, and when you are praised for doing something that suits your natural talent, it then stirs something within you to become better.
Later on, in my late teen years, word processing was a big deal, and I began to keep a dream journal on my computer, very quickly and easily. I was no longer writing much in long-hand, and learned to rely on keyboarding. What's more, I was happy to save material I had written to disk, rather than keep loose scripts in folders and binders. As for the writing, instead of creating something insipid just for the sake of journaling, I decided to make the entries fantastical, reading like short stories. It was at this time I realized how much I loved to write because it was partly therapeutic for me!


What are your biggest fears about being a writer and how do you overcome them?

I always worry that my research will never be good enough, and that someone out there will read my essays or stories and find some flaw that will completely stick out like a sore thumb to them. I know there will be people who take some subjects to heart, and I hope that I will do my best to make sure something is represented well. However, I have to remind myself that my new projects are fiction, and that I simply can't please everyone all the time. I'll give myself a quick pep talk and know that with my experiences and studies, I can say to some extent that I have done a good job. "Doll of Dawson" is a story that I've been thinking about and researching for so long, that when I begin to talk about it with people, after listening to myself, I begin to pull myself back to that level of confidence that I need. I'm not going to say I know everything about the Klondike, but I certainly did my best learning about one woman who survived it!


What other positions have you done besides writing? (As we all know we'd like to do it full time? Sometimes we need other resources to supplement our income.)


Yes, I've still had to pay my rent! After studying radio broadcasting, I worked as a copywriter, finally having the opportunity to say that I was a professional writer! I took on a second job working for telecommunications audioprint, but was exhausted working two jobs. (Anyone who has worked in broadcast knows that junior jobs pay junior wages.) I then had an eight-year career in gaming which had me working both on land and at sea, giving me a chance to see more of the world. Currently I am going in to my tenth year working in telecommunications.



With your current novel Doll of Dawson, what was your inspiration to write this novel?

When I was a little girl, I saw a life-sized image of a dark-haired dancehall girl hanging behind the hostess podium at The Keg in Coquitlam, BC and became fascinated with her. I always wondered who this mysterious, beautiful woman was, and didn't know her name for many years. One afternoon, while browsing through a bookshop in Skagway, I saw the same image of this woman on the cover of a book and instantly snatched it off the shelf to see if there was any credit for the photo. In a short time, I learned that her name was Mae Field, and to my surprise, she had the most amazing, heartbreaking, and triumphant story -- but there were so many gaps and details left to the imagination. Not long after returning home from Alaska, I learned that the Coquitlam Keg lost everything in a fire, including that giant image of Mae Field, which broke my heart. Because she had eventually died a divorcée with no children, it meant her story might not ever be told. It was then I felt that I wanted to tell it for her.


What other stories would you like to tell. Tell us a little about what we can expect from you in the future.

I am very interested in women's issues, and in recent years have been reading many books on prominent women who were historical figures. The sort of women who had the odds stacked against them, and who might not be who people think they were. These are women who were underdogs or otherwise underestimated. The undertone of Doll of Dawson is prostitution, but my book is hardly a work of erotica. Certainly sex is an act of survival for some women, and in history it was no different. However, the trick is writing about it without the reader assuming that they are in for a smutty read. I hope that someone will read Doll of Dawson and think differently about prostitution, rather than the media-spoiled, bad news that we are accustomed to hearing about. With that said, I would love to venture out past the gold rush to write something about Pompeii and the women who worked in their famous brothels.

Get your Kindle edition of Doll of Dawson here!  
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Visit Holly Dutch Online 

The Brighter Side's Christina Rowsell also sat down to chat with Holly Dutch about where this blog all began.  Read that conversation here.  

What are the reasons you began The Brighter Side, and how did you make it come together? Blogging for me was a way of reaching out to people and telling them a story. Unfortunately, most of the stories we hear today are bad news, sad news, terrible news. Not to discount the fact that sad things do happen in the world. I wanted to write a blog that lifts your spirits. I’ve been in the media for 22 years now, and I sometimes have a hard time finding the good news. So with The Brighter Side its all Good News, Great Ideas & Amazing People. There’s another reason for The Brighter Side as well. It’s a dedication to my brother James who passed away in 2007 at the age of 36. He had to deal with mental health issues his whole life. I often wondered why he couldn’t see The Brighter Side of life. Why was he always a victim? It wasn’t until he passed away that I realized that not everyone can seek out the enjoyment of life that most of us can. I believe, for me, that happiness is a choice. But when you’re dealing with mental health not everyone has that choice. With The Brighter Side Blog they at least know there’s the option out there to seek some sort of happiness. 

Have you felt personally changed by this project? I’ve met some incredible people and learned about so many wonderful organizations. One of the people/companies I blogged about actually became my business partner for Brighter Business Empower. We now empower individuals to succeed in business with live and virtual seminars for members as well as a FREE online magazine


Are there any stories that stand out from the others to date? Certainly the ones that are personal for me. I recently blogged about my brother (The Face of Courage) who has MS encouraging everyone to participate in the MS Walk in their own communities. There are so many GREAT stories with people who have GREAT ideas and inspire others. The other was a blog about an amazing man who is working putting together The Philanthropy Channel.  A show I'd watch for sure!  To helpful hints on how to find The Brighter Side.  What’s great is that we are always looking for guest bloggers. No matter if you’re in Calgary or not, The Brighter Side has something for everyone, anywhere. In fact most of our readers are from the US. And outside of Canada we’re also being read in the UK, German, China and many more countries. 

How do you find the time to work a full time job, be a wife and mother, and incorporate The Brighter Side in to your life and make it work? I was told a long time ago that you can never really balance work life and family life. It’s more like a teeter totter by yourself. You run from one side to the next. Or better yet, it’s more like juggling glass balls. While you’re juggling and tossing one thing in the air, just be careful of the one you may break. Some of the broken glass balls can be fixed, but others are harder to mend. It’s all in being organized and planning. My home life comes first! But I have to also treat my home life like a business and run it accordingly. I do weekly meal planning and book in time for my children’s extra curricular activities. But once I’m home, and while my children are awake it’s about them. 



What are your long term goals for The Brighter Side and Brighter Business? I’d like to see The Brighter Side be the place people go to get their daily dose of Good News, Great Ideas & Amazing People around the world. I’d like to see The Brighter Side make a difference in at least one persons life. As for Brighter Business Empower, we’d like to see it grow with members. And you don’t just have to be in Calgary to be a member. We’ve added a professional video tape of all our seminars, so you can be a virtual Basic member. I’d like to see our membership grow across Canada and around the world. We have quality guest speakers that can really take you and your company to the next level. Plus we've just added more content through a FREE digital Magazine that anyone can subscribe to here. Find out more at www.brighterbusinessempower.com.

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