I’m thrilled to start off the last week of October with a talented author whose young adult novels have been called superbly crafted, emotionally charged, and thoroughly entertaining. Diane Wolfe joins us today to talk about her latest installment in her The Circle of Friends series--Mike.
Welcome to The Book Connection, Diane. It is wonderful to have you with us.
Thanks, Cheryl!! I am delighted to be here!
Let’s start by finding out a little bit about you. When did you begin writing? At what point in your life did you decide to make it a career? What creative interests do you have outside of writing?
I’ve always been a reader, devouring several books a week. However, the desire to write sparked inside of me when I read Anne McCaffrey’s “The White Dragon”. Holding that book in my hands, I could picture my own name on the cover. At the age of just thirteen, I set a goal of becoming an author one day.
Life got in the way of writing for many years, but when the wisp of a dream inspired me to begin writing The Circle of Friends series, my husband encouraged me to pursue that goal. I continue as a professional photographer and self-employed businesswoman, but speaking engagements, appearances, and seminars have taken over my life right now!
Outside of writing, I do still pursue photography, especially in the area of black & white work.
You maintain a rigorous tour schedule for your books. What are some of the advantages of promoting your writing this way? Are there any disadvantages?
I do 60 appearances a week, plus seminars, interviews and festivals! Yes, it is rather crazy, and I know most authors don’t do what I do. But the advantage is that I can get out there and meet the readers, personally introduce new fans to the series and talk with those already involved with the series. I love people and thoroughly delight in all of the new friends I have made over the past few years. Disadvantage is the amount of time it consumes. I do not get to write as much as I would like, plus I have to manage my time carefully. Sometimes it can be frustrating, because meeting an author no longer excites people the way it did 10-20 years ago. But I am not called “Spunk On A Stick” for nothing, so I enthusiastically continue down this path!
In addition to everything else you are involved in, you conduct seminars on publishing that outline the options open to writers today. How do you juggle all you do and still have time to write?
As I said, I do not write as often as I would like these days. But I have always done just a little here and a little there, plus heavy promotions for Book IV will wrap up just before Christmas. The seminars will be ongoing, though – there are so many people wanting to publish their work!
Before we chat about Mike: The Circle of Friends Book IV, can you give us a brief overview of what this series is all about?
Meant to inspire as well as entertain, these books been described as “encouragement personified” and offer readers hope. The Circle of Friends focuses on the pursuit of dreams and the overcoming of obstacles. The stories intertwine as the characters learn that with belief and encouragement, they can achieve anything. This series focuses on wholesome and uplifting stories that are suitable for adults and teens alike.
What inspired you to write Mike’s story?
Mike was a very central character in Book II. I had already outlined his tale, but it really came to life as I wrote Sarah’s story. His inner turmoil and guilt spoke to my heart. It is not a personal struggle of mine, but so many readers wanted to know more about Matt & Sarah’s roommate that I knew they had connected strongly with his character. And he is the one male readers have enjoyed the most!
What is it about Mike Taylor that readers will relate to? Why will they care about what happens to him?
I believe many will identify with Mike’s plight of being held a prisoner of guilt. I recently read a book about apologies and forgiving, and it stated that most people never forgive themselves. In watching Mike’s touching and emotional story unfold, readers will realize they too can let go of past mistakes and forgive themselves.
Tell us about Sarah, who is Mike’s roommate’s wife. Mike is carrying a torch for her. How does this affect Mike’s relationship with Matt (his roommate) and Sarah?
Mike’s love for Sarah contributes a great deal to the guilt he carries! Sarah struggles with a low self-image, but otherwise is a fun-loving, caring person. She is very accepting of Mike and his strong moral beliefs, even though she does not understand, and becomes a very dear friend. Watching her steadfast dedication to Matt, he realizes he would do anything to be the recipient of her devotion. Fortunately, he has such great respect for Matt and Sarah that he refuses to come between them in any way. He becomes the strongest supporter of their relationship, encouraging each in times of doubt. Matt is aware of Mike’s feelings and completely trusts his best friend, but Sarah has no idea Mike views her with more than just sibling love and affection.
If there is one message within the pages of Mike, what is it?
No one has to be held a prisoner of his or her own guilt! Forgive yourself and move on.
Where can readers purchase a copy of Mike and the rest of the books in The Circle of Friends series?
What is up next for you? Are there any future projects you wish to share with our readers?
I am completing the fifth and final book in The Circle of Friends series, Heather. After that, I will do a non-fiction book on publishing & promoting and a science fiction novel about two brothers in a war. My first love will always be science fiction and I look forward to working on a story with all male characters.
Is there anything you would like to add?
I started writing the first book in this series, Lori, with the hope of inspiring others to achieve their dreams. No matter what path I take as an author and speaker, that will always be my goal!
Thank you for joining us today, Diane. It was great getting to know you and your work. I wish you much continued success.
Thank you so much! True success is in knowing one has touched many lives.
This Virtual Book Tour has been brought to you by: