Hi there. I’m D.M. Guay (aka Denise Marie), an indie author who writes about the intersection of real life with the supernatural. If it’s Sexy. Kick Ass. Magic? I’m all over it. It’s my thing.
By day, I’m an award-winning journalist living in Ohio, a hobby urban farmer (you can’t beat my beets!), a painter, and a retired roller derby player. (My derby name was Girlzilla, btw, because I was a ‘mean monster’ who was 6’2″ tall on roller skates.)
My favorite things—besides books— are Jeni’s ice cream, tiki bars, liquid eyeliner, the 1968 Camaro, the Mighty Boosh, 24-hour horror movie festivals, art by Picasso and Niagara Detroit, rock concerts, and most of all, people who make art, despite adversity, no matter what life throws at them.
I’ve really had to put that art and adversity thing into action for myself this past year, as I was diagnosed with stage 4 (terminal/incurable) kidney cancer on Dec. 29, 2017. It’s hard to make art when you’re fighting for your life, so I hope you’ll be understanding and patient now that my book release schedule has changed. Still, I haven’t given up writing!
Remember: Life is way too short, so make it count. Read good books, love your friends and family with all your heart, and never, ever turn down a chance to have fun. Plan for tomorrow, but don’t forget to live for today.
Holy crap, you’re still here? You must be really bored! Well, since you’re still here, I’ll let you in on some more of my secrets. (Why yes, I’m totally bragging. Sometimes.)
Jess, Rising won the Romance Writers of America Joyce Henderson award for YA romance in 2016. It also placed third in the Romance Writers of America Emily Contest in 2017. (It’s working title was Girl with the Sun on her Heart.) As a journalist, I won a handful of Press Club of New Orleans awards, including best investigative journalism story. Woot.
I founded the “Unicorns Fight Cancer, Be a Unicorn” club in central Ohio. Its purpose is to raise money for research for incurable cancers (starting with kidney cancer), while giving people good excuses to dress up like unicorns and have fun while raising money for the Kidney Cancer Research Alliance and researchers at the James Cancer Hospital at Ohio State University.
I’ve always been a misfit, and I think that’s pretty clearly reflected in my work. Most of my main characters are people who don’t quite fit into mainstream culture. This is the part where we all scream out in unison: “Outcasts unite and embrace your power!” Wait, was that just me?
Fun facts: If I had to choose a superpower, it’d be healing others. What a gift, right? Other fact: I have been known to dye my hair weird colors, since way before that was cool. Personal favs: burgundy and purple.
I’m what my mom considered a ‘late bloomer’. I left home at 18, and while all my high school friends seemed to have their life mapped out, I floated, working all kinds of crazy jobs and always seeking adventures. Sucking the marrow out of life, so to speak. I worked the graveyard shift at a convenience store in Portland, Oregon, and yes I was robbed at gunpoint. I’ve been a diner waitress in Chicago, a Subway ‘sandwich artist’, an exotic dancer and a bartender on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. I once lived in a 1979 Ford Pinto while driving across the U.S. (The only states I’ve never been to? Alaska, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Kansas.) I backpacked across Europe for a summer when I was 24, hitting Greece, Turkey, Holland, Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy and Spain. I didn’t graduate from college and start a ‘real’ job until I was nearly 28 years old.
I always knew I wanted to write for a living, and that is what I did. I’ve had a range of media jobs. I was an unpaid intern at a Deep South book publishing company, a graphic designer for a free weekly jobs newspaper, a journalist at a major daily newspaper, a freelance writer since age 18. I have written fiction on and off since the 4th grade, and in the mid-90s, I did some readings at Red Light Night at the Red Lion in Chicago. (It was run by Tina Jens.)
So that’s me in a nutshell. The takeaway? Be who you are. Follow your own path. Take chances. Be who you are, be kind, and life can be a beautiful adventure.