Diane officially began her writing career in January 2010, but had dreams of becoming published long before. She has spent countless hour reading, researching and writing and is now published on Amazon, Kindle, Kobo and Kbuuk. She began with her interest in crafts and homemaking, and as she became more aware of the challenges of being an author she expanded into sharing her experiences by writing a book on the subject.
After registering for National Novel Writing Month (November) in 2012, she successfully completed her first novel. (Previous attempts at fiction had ended after the first paragraph or two, and she concentrated on nonfiction.) The sequel to the NaNoWriMo novel is in progress and will be released during the summer of 2013.
What inspires you to write?
I have a variety of interests, so I see inspiration everywhere. I wish I could write more often than I do, but there are other tasks that need attention (like cooking, cleaning, tending to the livestock, etc.) Speaking of livestock, they are an inspiration in themselves. We have a small herd of alpacas, and they have sparked the writing of a book on their history, care and our personal experiences with raising them. This particular book is still in progress, as I want to get through the shearing process so I can document it as well. Alpacas have also been written into my novel, which has piqued some curiosity among readers.
Tell us about your writing process.
I honestly do not have a particular process I use. I have outlined and pantsed both articles and books. I also have written outlines, only to go in a completely different direction (successfully) when it got to the actual writing of the book. My novel is a prime example of that.
I was unsure as to how my novel attempt would go, but after chatting with other authors and writers I heeded some advice and let the story write itself. I was amazed at how characters just “appeared” as I wrote. When I started the story, I had the main character and a very small handful of others. As it progressed, the characters just seemed to come out of the woodwork which surprised and amazed me.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I am relatively new to fiction, but yes, I do listen to them. I also have one character whom I would love to just give a slap upside the head (is that normal?). The sequel to my novel is in progress, and I can’t wait to see this particular character get what’s coming to her (or in this case, not get what she thinks is coming to her).
I also have one character who has suffered an injury, and he can’t remember several weeks of his life. I am trying to get inside his head to help him remember, and wish I could do more. I sometimes catch myself wanting to say something about him when I am talking to friends and family, but know they would think I was losing my mind. He seems very real some days, as do a few of the others.
What advice would you give other writers?
My advice is to start with an outline, notes or whatever works for you; but don’t be afraid to go in another direction. If the direction you take isn’t where you want to be, there is no law saying you can’t start over. I do feel that if you follow your instincts with the story, you will be pleased with the results.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I am a very impatient person when it comes to getting results. I have purchased a copy of The Canadian Writer’s Market, learned about query letters and the time it takes to get published (if I was even accepted). Armed with that information, I decided to explore self-publishing. My first information on the subject came from Dan Poynter when I happened to stumble across his website ParaPublishing. He has been an inspiration, and I downloaded his books on the subject. I also use his “Write by Numbers” template for my nonfiction books.
I have been dubbed as the “grammar police” by my teenagers, so do not have any reservations in terms of writing a good book. I chose the self-publishing route for several reasons, with impatience being the biggest. As I did research I learned no matter the platform it is up to the author to do the majority of the marketing anyway. If I am going to put countless hours into marketing, I think it is only fair to earn higher royalties than if I were to take the traditional route.
I also learned the advance in traditional publishing must be earned back in sales before further royalties are paid. That could take years, or may not happen at all. I understand publishing houses put a lot on the line and do this out of necessity, but for those of us who can cut out the middle man successfully, it gets our work into the hands of readers quicker.
On the note of self-publishing, I must add care must be taken in spelling, grammar, punctuation, formatting, cover design, etc, as there is a lot of self-published crap out there. It is those who don’t know the rules or perhaps choose not to follow them, that have given self-publishing a bad rap. I once came across a book which was written entirely in upper case and was ridiculously priced; after reading the preview I knew the author had much to learn. I think she should have taken the time to do her research beforehand, and her story was most likely worth telling. I personally just could not get past the UPPER CASE; very distracting and unprofessional.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Personally, I think the future of book publishing will see some great changes. Even with the influx of e-books, there is still a place for print. When publishing, always give your reader the option to purchase either one. I purchased a print copy of “Write That Book Already” before I had an e-reader. When I received my Kobo, it was one of the books I purchased for quick reference.
What genres do you write?
Nonfiction (Home and Garden, Writing and Publishing, Home-Based Business); Fiction (General – so far)
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print