Monday, October 12, 2009

Special Surprise for Some Unsung Heroes

Last day of the tour and a special surprise.

BTW - today I am visiting Angie's blog, God Uses Broken Vessels, so stop by and say hello!

I'd love to thank all of my hosts for graciously allowing me to visit your site via an interview, review, giveaway, or guest post!

CC Chronicles
The Book Muncher
Bookland Heights
Debbie’s World of Books
Pop Syndicate
Simply Books & Review
The Old Silly’s Free Sprit Blog
Sia McKye’s Thoughts Over Coffee
Writers in Business
God Uses Broken Vessels

You guys rock!

And I'd like to thank another special group of people, one my blogger friends rarely get to hear about - my Deviant Art buddies.
This past week, sixteen wonderful DA friends assisted with my tour through the site. Spunk On A Stick – Deviant Art They each sent an interview question, and posted my answer along with the announcement of Book IV and a giveaway in their journal. For six days, there were 2-3 posts. And while I've toured through that site previously, this book garnered the most comments by far! I had so many Deviants following the tour - it really surprised me.

So as a special thank you to each one of my hosts, I'm posting their questions here:

* What character’s personality traits reflect your own?
* think there’s at least a smidge of me in most of the characters!
Book II’s Sarah probably boasts the most traits, though. Like her, I am bold to a fault and sometimes a bit blunt. I definitely share her tomboy attributes – no one can accuse either of us of being ‘prissy!’ Sarah feels more comfortable with men than women, and I often feel the same way, too. I also shared her struggle with low self-esteem when I was her age, although my self-image is much better now.
I share Lori’s (Book I) optimism and attitude as well, and there’s a few of James’s (Book III) traits with which I identity. But overall, I’d have to say that I am a Sarah.

* What advice can you give to unpublished authors that hope to have their work published?
* Study the industry & market!
Make sure what you are writing will actually SELL. Determine your niche audience and how to reach your potential readers. Without a specific, target audience, you cannot succeed – there is no such thing as a ‘general appeal’ book!
Always hire a professional book editor before submitting your work. Most writers skip this step – and it shows! Make your work stand out from the masses.
If submitting to a publisher (agents only required for the largest publishers) send only what they require. Learn how to craft a proper query letter, synopsis, and outline. If self-publishing, do your research online and through books. You are starting a BUSINESS – treat it as such!
Finally, believe in yourself and you work!

* If you could be a character in any book, who would it be, what book, and why?
* Hmmm… I can think of a few!
I love Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonrider series and would love to be Lord Jaxom, rider of the white dragon, Ruth. He’s in such a unique position, as he’s the Lord of a Hold AND rider of the only white dragon in existence.
I’d love to be Pippin in The Lord of the Rings. No, he’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer! But he’s got a good heart and has fun no matter what the circumstances.
And of my own characters, I’d choose Matt. He’s fun-loving, genuine, and well-grounded, and possesses such athletic ability.
Is it odd that I’d choose only male characters? LOL

* Where will your journey lead you? What do you think?
* I hope it leads me to a place where I can reach thousands upon thousand of people! I want to raise others up, help them to be better people. I want my speaker’s platform and Spunk On A Stick to become my ‘ministry’ so that I can reach out to more people, both through my talks and my books.
True success is based upon how many lives one can touch in a positive way. If I can make a difference in this world, then that will be total success for me!

* What are your plans for your next book, assuming you're going to write one, and if so, can you hint at what it will be about? If you don't intend to write another series book, what's your next project going to be?
* The next book out will be Book V…Heather – and that one about kicked my butt! Heather is the complete opposite of me. Ironically, despite the challenges, I believe it will be the best send-off I can give the series!
Or is it????
Okay, plans for NEXT book…
I do intend to write another self-help – probably along the lines of “Overcoming Obstacles with SPUNK” only geared towards children.
But I DO have an outline for a sixth book in The Circle of Friends series, one that will catch up with the friends a few years down the road. As they transition into their 30’s, they will face new challenges. Of the ten main characters even dies…
(Oh, I’ve done it now, haven’t I?)

* If you could trade lives with any of your characters in your books, who's life would you want and why?
* That is a tough question! (Especially as I like my own life a lot!) Which character…?
Her character most closely resembles me, so I would feel more comfortable in her life. She has a pretty good life by the end of her story, too – husband a top receiver in the NFL, lives in a beautiful house in Denver… But what I like most about her life is her relationship with Matt. Their relationship is so playful and fun. Despite all odds, he is the most devoted and loving of all the main male characters, too. He’s grounded, responsible, and understands what’s important in life.
Come to think of it, that sounds like Craig! Guess I’m already living that life!

* Why the self-help line instead of science fiction?
* Oh, Roo, you know I love sci-fi!
But as I have learned through my experience with this YA series, fiction usually doesn’t pay the bills. Speaking engagements are how most authors make their money, and a non-fiction title that ties into one’s speaking platform is much more profitable. “Overcoming Obstacles with SPUNK!” sells well at my seminars, and I will likely pursue another non-fiction title next.

PurrrpleCat ( You guys know her as Crystal Clear Proofing )
* What, if any, differences have you encountered in writing a story with the main character being male? How differently they look at things and deal with issues...
* Men view the world in a whole different manner than women! I even wrote an article about the male POV.
Personally, I’ve found it easier to write from a man’s perspective. Men are so much simpler than women. They say what they mean. They know how to focus. I admire their no-nonsense way of thinking. One might think it’s more difficult to effectively convey emotion through a male character, but I find it easier.
I’ve always related better to men as well.

* When you’re writing, do you ever picture your books becoming movies?
* I’ve thought about movies, but I think a TV series would better serve my stories. Since The Circle of Friends overlap and follow many characters, I feel an hour-long weekly show would be far more effective. A movie per book would just not be enough time to really delve into their lives, but a series could follow each of the main characters and really reveal who they are as a person.

* My question: Which character from Circle of Friends is your favorite and why?
* I love all my characters!
However, I do have a favorite or two.
Sarah would be my favorite female character. She possesses a few of my own personality traits (not all!!) and I easily identify with Sarah. But she’s very bold and dedicated, and I do envy the wonderful life she will have with Matt.
This leads me to my favorite male character – Matt!
What’s not to love? He’s - all about the fun; tall, lanky & muscular; very genuine and with a good heart; and not that complicated. He understands not only his role in life but also his responsibilities and moral honor.
Both characters are adventurous & outgoing, and just generate a lot of energy when together.

* If you could be omnipotent for a day what would you do?
* I had to look it up to be sure I was answering this correctly – omnipotent means having unlimited authority or influence.
I would make everyone realize that life is too short!!!! Too short to waste time arguing and fighting with each other. Too short to place dreams & goals on the back burner. Too short to let the person you love slip away. Too short not to take time to change the life of a young person forever. Too short to waste time with excuses. Too short not to live life to the fullest!!!

* What is the main message you hope your readers will take away from your book series?
* Hope! I want readers to find hope and inspiration in my series. I want them to see themselves in my characters and identify with the struggles, and through my character’s triumphs find ways to overcome their own obstacles in life. We all need encouragement and belief that we can achieve our goals.

* Which is the greater challenge: writing fiction or giving speeches?
* Writing fiction! No comparison. Yes, it required time & effort to research the base topics upon which I speak. But now that I have my seminars organized, it’s easy to tailor one to a specific audience or compact it for time. Writing fiction is such a long process – research, writing, rewrites, editing, etc. It takes me a year to complete a book, but only a few hours to organize a speech. Plus, I make a lot more money as a speaker.
Besides, it’s every woman’s dream – I get PAID to talk!

* Do you need any special things when you’re writing? Like a certain kind of music playing? Peace and quiet of the outdoors? A Twix bar? Can of soda? Anything like that?
* A good stiff drink? Just kidding!!!
I can write anywhere and anytime I have a spare ten minutes. I hand write all material first, so I just need pen and paper. But for prolonged periods of writing, I need an area devoid of massive stimuli. It needs to be plain and without a ton of distractions. I find it difficult to write at my desk due to the computers and other objects occupying the room. It’s like a rainbow of colors and after a moment, I’m like, “Oooo, pretty…” My favorite spot is on our super soft, oversized couch, nestled in the corner with a lap tray. I also like to stretch out across our bed.
Music always makes the experience more productive, especially for emotionally charged scenes. Water or soda must also be present. And the ultimate bonus is if my cats are sleeping at the time! Difficult to write with a furry body stretched out across my tablet…

* How do other authors you know personally (Morgan Mandel, etc.) influence your craft?
* Those authors force me stretch! I hear what they are trying and accomplishing, and it spurs me to do more. Morgan or Trish will post about a successful event and it motivates me to try that venue as well. Plus we share our experiences and offer suggestions to one another. I also see what genres and areas are more successful, and that affects my writing. I want to write what I love, but I also want to be successful doing it, too! And many authors offer tips on grammar, characters, storytelling, etc. I learn far more from other authors than I’ve ever learned from books!

* What is your favorite thing about your speaking engagements and book tours?
* Meeting the people! I love people and speaking gigs and book signings are a great way to meet them. I love the speaking engagements, because it gives me time to get to know some of the attendees.
I also have an opportunity to impart a word of hope. During my talks, it’s like magic sometimes. I’ll watch another human being simply come to life, believing that they can accomplish his or her dreams! That is what I live for – to ignite a spark of enthusiasm in another person.

Thank you my wonderful Deviant Art friends!!!


  1. Aww..that is so nice of you to mention us here, Diane!

    (BTW - just in case anyone decides to check out Deviant Art, there are a couple of users whose "deviant" name is a version of "purplecat." Mine is actually "purrrplcat," three "r"s, no "e.") --

    I'm just so thrilled for you that this tour went so well! After all I've read about Book IV, I'm so anxious to read it! Have to keep up with the "friends" I've met in the books I've read so far in the series!

    Congratulations again!!

  2. Those were some great questions. I enjoyed reading your replies.

  3. And I just announced the winners of the book giveaway in my Deviant Art journa!

  4. Wow, Diane. After being gone for two weeks, I see I've missed your blog tour. This was a great way to get to know you better. What great questions and answers and what a super support network you've created.

  5. What a cool recap! Love this idea...and I enjoyed reading your responses.

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  6. Excellent Q&A - your answers provide a great deal of insight.

  7. Great Q&A! The tour was excellent, and I enjoyed your visit to my blog very much, as did my readers. And hey, thanks for the mention once again! :)

    The Old Silly

  8. Thanks Marvin!
    And Mike, you were one of those who made my DA tour awesome!

  9. Great questions with some very interesting answers. You rock, Diane.

    Straight From Hel

  10. Thanks Diane! This was such a fun tour! I had a great time participating in it!

  11. Thanks for the mention. Your questions and answers were awesome! Thanks for sharing with us non-devaint ones. (I'm going get a membership there soon, but I've told myself no new memberships until I finsih writing the firt draft of the book)

  12. Thanks Yuri and CC!

    And Chris, you, me anbd Crystal all on DA could be really dangerous!!!

  13. Hay its Drizzerey, thanks for the mention ^^ and good job on the book, I can't wait till I can get a copy :D

  14. Drizzerey, you are the reason this tour was so special!!! Thank you!

  15. Thanks for mentioning us here, Diane! I really enjoyed reading the Questions and Answers!

    I am so happy for you, dear, that the tour went so well!

    Go ahead and rock the world, lady! :)
    Fingers crossed!

    Blessed be

  16. Love all your answers, Diane. Especially love your message of hope.

  17. Thanks, Prill!

    And thank you, Tricia - you were one of those heroes!