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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Interview with Dianna Love

I’m thrilled to introduce Dianna Love to you today! She is a New York Times bestselling author, and writes in multiple genres – high octane romantic thrillers (Slye Temp series), urban fantasy, and young adult (Red Moon Trilogy under the pen name Micah Caida). Some of her most successful books are The Curse (Belador), Rise of the Gryphon (Belador) and Alterant (Belador). 
Dianna is offering a generous GIVEAWAY today to one lucky blog commenter – one e-book boxed set of the first three Slye Temp books (her new romantic thriller series) – winner will need to have a Kindle or Nook account. 

NOTE: The winner of the GIVEAWAY is Cara Marsi.


Q:   Please share your journey to publication, and the story of when you got ‘the call.’
A:   I was actually in New York with my husband on business at the time, and I invited the editor who had my book to meet me for coffee. We met right before I headed to the airport. She was very bubbly and said she liked what she’d read so far, but couldn’t say anything else yet. As soon as we got in a cab on our way to La Guardia Airport, I got “the call” from my agent saying that the editor had decided to buy my book, but they (agent and editor) hadn’t connected until just then (right after my coffee meeting).  That’s why she couldn’t tell me. Protocol is that the editor tells the agent, who then tells the author. It was so wonderful to have my husband with me to celebrate the moment. We got to the airport to find a mile-long security line, but when they heard us talking about me selling my first book and that we might miss our flight home, the other passengers moved us up the line on their own. Very sweet memories.  

Q:   Do you plot your novels in detail or are you a pantser?
A:   My friends joke that I’m not just a Type A--I’m actually a type AAA--and it’s absolutely true, so I do like to plot, but I’m more of a hybrid. After writing the first book by the seat of my pants (that’s how we all pretty much start out), I did not want to do it that way again. Now, I like to figure out the powerful points in the story (major twists, significant “ah ha” moments, etc.) and how the stakes will go up. Once I have that and I know my opening, I start writing a few chapters to get a feel for the characters and setting. If I like it at that point, I stop and map out the scenes so that I know the story will work, then I start writing. Knowing that all the major threads will eventually weave into an explosive ending gives me the freedom to write at will with no worries. Due to this, I constantly have surprises pop up and know that I can keep them without running the story off track. 

Q:   Please tell us the title of your favorite book. Name three writing books on your keeper shelf.
A:   This is not a plug, but my number-one, go-to book is Break Into Fiction® that Mary Buckham and I wrote from workshops we’d taught internationally. That’s because we created this program for ourselves to begin with, because we wanted a way to know we had a powerful story before investing months of writing. We were so pleased with the program we built, we decided to share it with other authors because it worked for a plotter or a pantser (seat-of-the-pants writer) – something we’d never seen before in the writing community. From those workshops, we created the Break Into Fiction® book that has the Power Plotting templates in it. Next to that, I’d have to say Writing Active Setting (3-book series) and Heroes & Heroines Archetypes. 

Q:   Which of your own books is your favorite, and why?
A:   That’s like asking which is my favorite child (which would be my fish since I don’t have any mini-mes). My favorite book is always the one I’m working on, which right now is DEMON STORM (book 5 of the Belador urban fantasy series releases this month).

Q:   What 3 things are almost always in your refrigerator?
A:   Wine, cheese and Hershey’s Kisses.

Q:   Which of the characters you have created is your favorite? Why?
A:   That’s another tough one, but Evalle Kincaid is like no other character I’ve written. She’s tough, loyal and vulnerable, and Storm has to be one of my all-time favorite heroes. She and Storm deserve each other, but that doesn’t mean being together is ever going to be simple, as they found out in RISE OF THE GRYPHON (Belador book 4). I love watching the relationship between Evalle (a half-blood Belador) and Storm (a skinwalker who shifts into a black jaguar) develop. This series is an ongoing story built around Evalle and her two best friends, Tzader and Quinn, who have their own romantic problems.
Q:   What’s your most romantic personal memory you can share with us?
A:   I’m glad you added “that you can share with us,” because I’m a very private person who holds those really special moments with my husband close, so they aren’t for the public. Like the night he asked me to marry him – beautiful and in an intimate setting. But years ago when we were headed to New England for some business during the winter, a client who knew we enjoyed skiing invited us to come up a couple of days early and stay in Lincoln, New Hampshire, where she set us up at a wonderful inn. It was just the two of us and felt like a scene out of a romantic movie. We dined at the inn with a view of snow falling gently over the small town. It was an unexpected treat that we’ve never forgotten.  

Q:   Do you draw on real life experiences for your plots and characters?
A:   I think as authors we are always absorbing things around us – people, settings, situations and so on. I never choose a specific experience or person to include in a book, but I’m sure many have inspired my writing. I read a very small article (maybe one big paragraph) in Woman’s World years before I ever considered writing. The article had a photo of a woman all in white powder-looking stuff. She was a living statue. That was the inspiration for the heroine in a novella. 

Q:   Is there a genre you’d like to write in that you haven’t yet?
A:   I have a contemporary romance series I’d like to write that I just don’t have time for yet. I love writing the big high-concept romantic thrillers. Urban fantasy requires tremendous world building, and they’re also large books. I’d like to be able to write a series of shorter stories.

Q:   Have you made any career decisions you regret?
A:   I don’t believe in regrets. I believe you make the best decision you can for that day and keep moving forward. My personality is one that does not gravitate to the easy path, and I’m fine with that. I love challenge. With challenge, there is no crystal ball to tell you how each decision will turn out, but if you choose a path based on honor and sincerity then I feel that path is the correct one. 
Q:   What advice have you got for aspiring authors?
A:   Write, write, write. Oh, you wanted NEW advice, huh? That is still the best advice, but after that I would say write what excites you. Find your passion for writing and never let go of it. For example, I’m not a fan of research unless it’s something I’m curious about. Then I dig forever to get the answers I need. So I wouldn’t commit that level of effort unless I was really engaged with my story idea, and really passionate about what I wanted to write. In other words, I wouldn’t do that kind of work just for the latest hot genre. Years ago when my agent first presented the Belador series idea to several New York houses, the editors all said they loved the idea, but marketing did not know how to promote something that unusual. If I wanted to make it a vampire story (during the surge of vampire stories), then they would buy it. I didn’t write vampires, and that’s not what made me feel passionate about writing, so I said no thank you. Fast forward six years – the Belador stories were published as they were envisioned and became a NYT bestselling series.

Q:   Which form of social media do you prefer for book promotion?
A:   I think of social media more as presence marketing – where I go to engage with my readers as if we’re at a virtual coffee shop. I tend to chat on FB more than anywhere else, but I’m getting more comfortable with Goodreads. 

Q:   What is your most effective form of promotion?
A:   Building my reader base one reader at a time.  I don’t think anything you do will drive a thousand readers to you in one week (unless your publisher stuffs a million copies of your unknown book in stores, but that only happens on occasion and usually AFTER the book is a big hit). What I do believe is that every reader matters, no matter how much or how often they read. I think each one deserves my attention when I’m available to the public. In return, they tell other readers about my books and post reviews. That is the number-one way to promote an author/book. It has to come from the heart on both sides.

Q:   Do you attend reader-oriented conventions? Have a favorite one?
A:   There’s that “f” word again that keeps giving me trouble! :-;. I do attend reader conventions and have enjoyed many of them. They were all great opportunities for me to visit with my long-time readers and also meet new ones.

Q:   How do you feel about Indie publishing and the e-book trend?
A:   I have ALWAYS been a big supporter of authors choosing the paths that best suit them. I believed in Indie publishing when it wasn’t favored highly as it is today. I’m technically a hybrid, because I’m published by New York and I also have my Indie books – Slye Temp romantic thriller series and the Red Moon Trilogy, a sci-fi/fantasy young adult series written by USA Today bestseller Micah Caida (the pseudonym for Mary Buckham and me).

Q:   What are you reading right now?
A:   The Rosie Project – fascinating!!

Q:   What are your non-writing hobbies, or what do you do to relax?
A:   I LOVE to saltwater fish and to ride my BMW motorcycle. Either one of those is a wonderful break for me. 

Q:   If you were stranded on a desert island and could choose one person and one thing to be stranded with, who and what would they be?
A:   My husband and a loaded e-reader with a solar battery. J

Q:   Tell us a secret about you that nobody knows and we’d be surprised to find out.
A:   It wouldn’t be a secret then, would it? J It’s not a secret, but I don’t often speak of some very unusual supernatural things that have happened to me and those around me.

Q:   What’s your favorite food?
A:   Fresh-boiled, large gulf shrimp.  My husband cooks them to perfection.

Q:   Coffee, tea or wine?
A:   Coffee until the day is done… then wine. J

Q:   What’s your favorite movie?
A:   There’s that word again, dang it. ;0) I LOVE stories, so I love movies.  My favorite is a great story line with action and romance. Anything from The A-Team to the new Star Trek to all the Marvel superhero movies to Princess Bride to Pretty Woman and on and on. J

Q:   Do you prefer Oceans, Deserts, or Mountains?
A:   Oceans.  Always give me water.

Q:   What trends do you see coming for the book industry?
A:   I don’t know about trends, but I see readers sorting through the mess and finding the stories that they love in spite of all the hoopla going on. As long as that happens, trends will come and go, but solid writing will endure.

Q:   Tell us about your new book.
A:   In the Belador series, DEMON STORM picks up where RISE OF THE GRYPHON left off.
    With Treoir Island in shambles after a Medb attack that left the survival of the missing Belador warrior queen in question and Belador powers compromised, there is one hope for her return and their future – Evalle Kincaid, whose recent transformation has turned her into an even more formidable warrior. First she has to locate Storm, the skinwalker she’s bonded with, who she believes can find the Belador queen. But Storm stalks the witch doctor who’s threatening Evalle’s life. When he finally corners the witch doctor, she throws Storm a curve that may cost him everything, including Evalle. The hunter becomes the hunted, and Evalle must face her greatest nightmare to save Storm and the Beladors or watch the future of mankind fall to deadly preternatural predators.    October 20, 2014… the epic Belador saga continues.

Q:   What’s on your agenda in 2014 and beyond?
A:   I love reader luncheons because they’re intimate, and I’m attending one called Sweet Tea and Chocolate Cake (I was in at “cake”) in Augusta, GA on November 8th.  I enjoy unique reader events so much that I’ve joined up with a group of authors for a Keeper Books Tour where we visit 3-4 locations in a large city (instead of the quick one-day stops in a handful of major cities that’s been the norm for author tours). To find out more on this new local author touring program, visit where you’ll find the first tour in the Atlanta, GA area. Also, I have always wanted to attend RomCon, and I will be speaking at the September 2015 event in Denver, Colorado. I’m planning on attending the RWA Conference in New York, and BEA during 2015, too.  

Dianna, thanks for letting us get to know you better today. We wish you a stellar launch of DEMON STORM, on October 20th!

New York Times bestseller Dianna Love once dangled over a hundred feet in the air to create unusual marketing projects for Fortune 500 companies. Now she focuses her energetic muse on storytelling. The first book she wrote won a RITA® Award and sold out in six weeks. She writes high-octane romantic thrillers and urban fantasy.  DECEPTIVE TREASURES, book five in the new, fast-paced Slye Temp series released April, 2014, and DEMON STORM, book 5 in the NYT bestselling Belador urban fantasy series is out this month. Dianna lives in the Atlanta, GA area with her motorcycle-instructor husband and a tank full of unruly saltwater critters.  Excerpts at

CONNECT with Dianna on Facebook: , sign up for her Street Team at , or find her on Twitter at @diannalove


Gemma Juliana said...

Welcome, Dianna! It was fun doing your interview. I love your stunning book covers.

E.L. F. said...

What a fun interview, I enjoy Dianna's romantic suspense stories and look forward to reading more of them. Thanks for sharing!

Fran Lee said...

Welcome to RB4US, Dianna. Thrilled to have you here, and thanks so much for all the wonderful insights! It's nice to hear success gives us all hope. :)

Debby said...

Great interview. I enjoyed your story about selling your first book. I would also love to go to a reader's luncheon. Maybe one day.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Rose Anderson said...

I agree with Fran. Success stories are always nice to hear. Thanks for joining us today. Best luck!

Dianna Love said...

HI Gemma and thanks so much for the invitation!! Glad you liked the covers. Kim Killion does all my covers and she's amazing.

Dianna Love said...

Hi E.L.F - thanks for reading my romantic suspense, ELF! I've enjoyed writing the Slye Temp series and the next one will be out in Feb 2015 - Stolen Vengeance. Thanks for stopping by.

Dianna Love said...

Hi Fran and thank for the wonderful welcome! I feel fortunate to have the readers who support my books and terrific blogs like this one to connect with everyone on. I'm looking forward to chatting with everyone today!

Dianna Love said...

Hi Debbie - Glad you enjoyed the interview. The ladies here are the ones who pull it all together and make me look good. *g*. You'd really enjoy a reader's luncheon. What part of the country do you live in? thanks for stopping by!

Dianna Love said...

Oops, that was to DEBBY - sorry about spelling it Debbie. I have a lot of Debby/Debbies in my world and my brain flips it often. :)

Dianna Love said...

Hi Rose - I'm like you - I love to watch people reach their dreams, which is why I really enjoy THE VOICE tv show. thanks for stopping by to say hello!!

Polly McCrillis said...

A fellow ocean lover! I love Big Water....just today I posted in my weekly blog that October is National Seafood Month. How great to have a whole month dedicated to that fresh boiled Gulf shrimp that you like!

I admire authors who plot as you do, writing out the aha moments, weaving the story around them and adding twists. I can do that to a point but not until I'm deeper into the story do I begin to see those aha moments. Whatever works, right? As long as we're telling a story the best way we can....and you certainly have, Dianna!

Cara Marsi said...

Hi, Dianna, so nice to see you here. I met you some years back at NJRW. My friend Gwen and I shared wine at the bar with you, then had dinner together. One of my nicest memories. Congratulations on your success. Love your "the call" story. Also love your romantic memory with your husband in NH. I hope to see you again. (Cara Marsi, aka Carolyn)

Dianna Love said...

BEFORE I forget - I'm one of a group of authors who have created the LAST HERO STANDING box set that is available as preorder right now at all online bookstores - - for 99 CENTS. Everyone donated (cover, formatting, books, etc) so that every penny will go to help Pamela Clare, an author who is battling breast cancer and other health issues right now. So grab this deal and help a woman with this disease. Thanks!!! (majority of authors are bestsellers)

Dianna Love said...

Hi Polly and WOOT for National Seafood Month. I grew up eating fish for breakfast and I so love shrimp. My husband is an amazing cook and he'll boil a bunch perfectly that we have as dinner - nothing else. And you're absolutely right - it doesn't matter how you write a book as long as the end product is the best story you can release. Best wishes on your books!! thanks for visiting with us!

Dianna Love said...

OMG, Cara - I had a great time with you two that night in NJ. It was one of my cool memories too. :) How is Gwen? I want to say I recall that Gwen and/or her husband was involved in sailing. Is that right or did my brain just jump? So nice to hear from you and thanks for your wonderful thoughts. :)

Sandy said...

Hi Dianna,

Wonderful getting to know you. You really caught me when I learned you ride motorcycles. My hubby, 78 years old, and me, 70 years old ride a Suzuki Burgman scooter. Our kids were totally against it, but we went for it anyway. lol

I wish I were a type AAA personality, and then I could get a lot more done. Grin!

Great covers, Dianna!

Dianna Love said...

Hi Sandy - Oh, you go girl!!! I love those scooter and sigh over them every time I see one in a parking lot. If I have a chance to buy a second ride, that's what I want. :) I'm still laughing about your kids upset over you riding. I'm not sure being a Type AAA will insure getting done with a project or just drive you batty until it's done. Thanks for coming out to visit! :)

Dianna Love said...

I have to jump off for a bit, but I'll be back either later tonight or first thing in the morning if I don't get a connection at my next stop (I'm on the road).

Marianne Stephens said...

Thanks for being our guest today! Loved that you shared your personal romantic the inn in NH. Time spent alone as a couple is so important and creates wonderful memories!

Cara Marsi said...

Dianna, yes, Gwen and her husband were involved with sailing. Gwen and I still talk about what a great time we had with you that night.

Nina Pierce said...

What a wonderful interview! Thanks for taking time to stop by, Dianna. I have to agree about the book you and Mary wrote. I was fortunate to be at a workshop the two of you did in Portland, Maine a long, long time ago. It was fun and soooo informative. I've got your book on reference shelf!

And as someone else mentioned ... your covers are beautiful.

Victoria said...

Your books sound amazing. They are definitely being added to my TBR piles! Thanks for coming to RB4U.

jbiggar said...

Great interview, I loved learning about your road to success!

Melissa Keir said...

I love your books and the cover for your latest Belador one is amazing! Thank you for sharing advice and your inspiration with us. You are an amazing author.

Polly McCrillis said...

Thank you for telling us about Last Hero Standing. I've read every book in every series Pamela Clare has written. Whatever I can do to support her effort to better health, I'm there!

Dianna Love said...

Ha! My memory doesn't suck as bad as I thought, Cara. :) Thanks for jumping on and reminding me of a nice memory :)

Dianna Love said...

Great to catch up with you again, Nina. We had a blast at that Portland workshop. I have a very dear friend who lives there and is chair of his dept at University of Southern Maine, so it was a great visit all around. I need to come back up some time. Thanks for taking the workshop and saying hello. And can't say enough good things about how talented Kim Killion is on covers, so thanks!!

Dianna Love said...

Thank you, Victoria, (and RB4US) for checking out my books and for visiting the blog

Dianna Love said...

Hi JBiggar - Thanks for the nice thought and for visiting the blog!

Dianna Love said...

I'm touched by your comments, Melissa, and happy if anything I say encourages other writers. It's not an easy road, but nothing good ever comes without work. I enjoy working hard at what I love to do. :) Thanks for visiting.

Dianna Love said...

Oh, thanks, Polly!!! We - Pam especially - appreciate any and all help with getting the word out on Last Hero Standing!! Thanks so much for that and for stopping by to visit.

Dianna Love said...

Thank you, Marianne, and everyone at RB4US for this great chance to hang out at your blog and visit with readers - my #1 favorite thing about being an author. I had a blast and appreciate all of you!! :)

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