Q: Which comes first, characters or plot?
Since I’ve been writing bio novels, I already know the people involved and what happens to them, but one of my books, set during Prohibition, I deliberately created the characters first. They didn’t have anything to do until I devised the plot. It turned out really well.
Q: Plotter, pantser, or somewhere in between?
I draw up as detailed an outline as possible before I start—otherwise I get lost along the way and the structure is real wobbly.
Q: What is the one question you wish interviewers would ask
What is your basic philosophy on life?
Q: Among those that you’ve written, which is your favorite book and why?
I had a blast writing A Necessary End, a ghost romance centering around Booth’s insane plot to assassinate President Lincoln. I’m a huge Lincoln buff since 3rd grade, and always wanted to write about these events. I’m fascinated with the paranormal, so it was the right combination of paranormal, romance, history, and a peek into the head of a madman.
Q: Have your characters ever taken over the story and moved it in a direction totally different than you had in mind? What did you do?
Yes, and I’ve let them…it shows they’re taking driving the plot, which is what you want them to do. You don’t want to jam your characters into actions and reactions just to suit your plot.
Q: Do you have a “must have” book for writing?
One that I still use is The Writer’s Little Helper by James V. Smith. It has a graph of plot points to help you insert the highs and lows of your plot. I find it very helpful. No More Rejections by former agent Alice Orr is excellent for beginners, and a great refresher course for more advanced writers. I’ve read it twice in a row and made notes—it has a lot of common sense stuff, but tips you don’t want to forget. I joined Writers Digest Book Club when I first started out, and recommend their books, you can’t go wrong with any of them.
Q: Any advice for new or even seasoned authors?
Don’t ever give up on your dream.
And just for fun: which do you prefer?
Ice Tea or Lemonade?
Both! I enjoy making Arnold Palmers, or iced tea sweetened with fruit juice.
Lake or ocean?
I spent a great part of my child in Oceanport, NJ, where my grandparents lived, so I feel a very strong bond with the ocean. Even in winter I need to see it once in a while.
Ball cap or floppy hat?
Ball cap when bicycling, huge floppy hat when golfing. My golf league ladies call me the ‘hat lady’.
In the car – Air condition or open windows?
Above 90 degrees, A/C all the way!
At home – Air conditioning or open windows?
I only put the A/C on when it gets unbearably hot—I much prefer open windows.
Here’s a look at Fakin’ It, Diana’s fantasy romance, which received a Top Pick award from Romantic Times.
SciFi novelist Judi Somers is so enamored with her imaginary hero, Race Parsec, that she begs her best friend Felix, a not-so-mad scientist, to create a clone with every single one of her ideal man’s characteristics. But as Judi and Felix work on the perfect being, Judi finds herself more and more drawn to its creator, and begins to wonder if Felix is actually the man of her dreams after all. Once the android, Leo, is off the lab table and in the flesh, will she be able to tolerate his perfection? Or can a mere mortal like Felix ever give her the wonderful life she always dreamt of?
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I’m a self-confessed history nut, my favorite eras being Medieval and Renaissance England, and all American history. I’ve written several novels set in England and the U.S., two time travel romances, a vampire romance, and a fantasy romance, FAKIN’ IT which received a Top Pick award from Romantic Times. I’m a longtime member of Romance Writers of America and the Richard III Society. In my spare time, I bicycle, golf, play my piano and devour books of any genre.
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