About the Author

Drea Damara

Drea Damara

I grew up on a farm in North Central Illinois and it is important to mention that as the lead for my introduction given how that piece of earth defined a good portion of my life and who I am. My great-great grandparents fled Poland, which was Prussia at the time and came to America where they eventually bought the farm my family still lives on and works today. In my generation, my three sisters, parents and I, ran a produce business where we grew vegetables from A to Z on that farm. We also had beef cattle, chickens, ducks, geese, and even raised New Zealand rabbits. My younger years were spent driving tractors, bailing hay, harvesting vegetables, and traversing the ravines of our fifty acres of woods. When other kids were off at summer camps or sports programs, my sisters and I were picking sweet corn, banding calves, "walking" beans, and mending fences, all the while trying to kill each other. My mother used to make some of our clothes, and I managed to absorb some of that knowledge and still sew regularly to this day. I was able to add crocheting and knitting to that crafty repertoire along the way, although I will never likely be an expert.
You can take the girl off the farm... There was an appeal of adventure growing up on a farm, as well as a sense of duty, and I feel that led to my decision to join the Army in my early twenties. I served five and a half years on active duty. I deployed to Iraq and when my service ended, I returned to Iraq and then Afghanistan to conduct similar work as a civilian. A military colleague told me one day as we stood in the war zone that he yearned to hear the sound of crickets and I thought how I couldn't agree more. I returned home to the nurturing, peaceful farm I had left behind and began to fulfill another lifelong dream - writing. I published my first fiction novel, The Weeping Books Of Blinney Lane in 2015. My thumb is still and always will be green, but I apply it much more often to the pen now, continuing to write novels, short stories, and articles. I maintain the way of life that I was raised in, canning jam, preserving vegetables, and experimenting with my landscaping. My mother is retired, but still sells some produce at farm markets and on days I help her I stop to think how I don't miss all those days of hard labor...but also that I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in this world that I have been lucky enough to traverse across. As we say in my part of the woods, "I'm on the right side of the dirt."

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Articles by Drea Damara