Dianne Gardner is both an author and illustrator living in the Pacific Northwest, USA. She’s an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and the National League of American Pen Women. Dianne is an award winning portrait and plein air painter, using her talents to illustrate her stories. Besides The Dragon Shield, the second book in the Ian’s Realm Series she boasts authorship to Deception Peak and four short stories in the A Tale of the Four Wizards series. Her next installment Rubies and Robbers is in production.She writes for middle grade and young adults targeting boys and adventure loving girls, and the young at heart.
What inspires you to write?
There is so much to tell! So many dreams and faraway places to go to. So many characters to study. Writing fantasy, to me, creates a new dimension to life. The forest comes alive. The wind sings songs, The sun is warmer and the cold frostier.
When I was young I loved to escape to Wonderland, Never Neverland, Narnia, Oz and Middle Earth. When I began writing fantasy I realized I could build another world that my grandchildren could enjoy. That’s when the Realm came into being. To live those dreams through my grandchildren is inspirational in itself. The dedication in my book is to the little people in my family. It goes like this:
To my grandchildren who inspire me with their ambitious imagination and their love for life!
Tell us about your writing process.
When I let my ideas for my next book stew in my mind for awhile until I just can’t hold it in any longer, I start with a premise line. One sentence that will eventually be a theme to my story. I work that until it’s just right, until I know there will be enough plot to develop and character growth to follow through. Then I write a brief outline of what i want to happen, building on that premise.
Then I decide who needs to be in the book, antagonists and protagonists. I do character studies of each of them. What are their goals in relation to the premise? What’s coming in the way of achieving their goals, who is there to help? Who is there to hinder? What are their relationships? Where is the conflict with each of the other characters because we do need conflict.
Then I outline the events and let the outline become the chapter headings. From that I start developing the story.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I mostly listen to them, but I will ask them questions occasionally. Usually,after the first draft I’ll go back and ask my POV characters what they’re thinking.
What advice would you give other writers?
Study the art of writing. Read books on it. Go to conferences, critique groups and socialize with other authors. Be open to learning. Don’t shy away from red marks all over your manuscript. They are there to help you write better. learn from them. Don’t get discouraged and write what you are passionate about!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I was invited to submit to Hydra Publications and they liked my work and are excited about letting me do my own artwork for it. It’s a perfect fit!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I’m waiting to see what happens. It’s up in the clouds right now. We’ll see when the dust settles!
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
YA/MG Fantasy, Dystopia
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print