Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Interview with Dianne Hartsock, Author of Alex
She says Oregon’s raindrops are the perfect setting in which to write her tails. There’s something about being cooped up in the house while it pours rain outside and a fire crackles on the hearth inside that kindles her imagination.
The intricate and fragile nature of the mind is always fascinating. Having worked with the public through various careers, Dianne has come to respect the resilience and strength of the human spirit. She’s always trying to capture that spirit in her writing.
Currently, Dianne works as a floral designer in a locally-owned gift shop, which she says is the perfect job for her. When not writing, she can express herself through the rich colors and textures of flowers and foliage.
Dianne’s books include Trials of a Lonely Specter and Alex.
You can visit Dianne Hartsock at: http://diannehartsocksalex.wordpress.com/
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
After growing up in California and spending the first ten years of marriage in Colorado, I now live in the beautiful Willamette Valley of Oregon with my incredibly patient husband, who puts up with the endless hours I spend hunched over the keyboard letting my characters play. Currently, I work as a floral designer in a locally-owned gift shop. Which is the perfect job for me. When not writing, I can express myself through the rich colors and textures of flowers and foliage.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a lovely old house in Mar Vista, CA., in a large, boisterous and loving family.
When did you begin writing?
I’ve always been a story teller, and was very proud when my very first story in first grade was pinned up on the wall for everyone to read, the teacher liked it that much. I didn’t think much about writing again until seventh grade was a fantastic and talented creative writing teacher told me I had some talent and should develop it and maybe one day become published. She had me hooked! I’ve been writing ever since, though it wasn’t until about five years ago that I became serious about it. I went through a writing workshop given by Wolf-Pirate Publishing that really opened my eyes. And with this success with Alex and some online stories, I write every day and enjoy every minute of it.
Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?
Yikes. I suppose I’m a bit of a workaholic. I’m up at 7a.m. to get ready for work, then sit down to the computer for an hour, catching up on all the social media. If I’m very lucky, I might even have a little time for creative writing. I’m off to work at 9:15. Work all day, then home again at 6 p.m. to make dinner and spend time with the family. Hubby’s in bed by 8:30, and I jump right back on the computer until midnight, writing, editing, blogging, whatever’s on my ‘to do’ list that day. I am blessed to have Thursday and Sunday’s off for family outings and hopefully lots of writing!
What is this book about?
Raised in isolation by a physically and emotionally abusive parent, on her death, Alex is thrust into a world of violence and intolerance that bewilders and hurts him. He hears the cries of children, the screaming women. Alex has been left with horrible scars on his body and even worse scars within his mind. Even though it puts him in danger, he’s compelled to help those who call to him. He’s driven, motivated by his visions to rescue them and uncover the killer. When he can, he helps the police; yet some detectives suspect he’s the cause of the problem, not the solution. Often, Alex finds himself alone and afraid in a world he doesn’t always comprehend.
I’ve always been fascinated with the paranormal. I find the thought of being psychic intriguing to say the least. Alex started out as a vague idea I had I had one day I wondered what is would take to make someone psychic. I know a lot of psychics were born with their abilities, but I didn’t want that with Alex. I wondered what could change a person’s thought processes and open expand their minds to the possibility. I thought isolation would do it. Emotional trauma and abuse as a child. A mother with some with a touch of mental illness. These thoughts came together to form Alex’s character. The rest of the story built up around this.
Are you a member of a critique group? If no, who provides feedback on your work?
Writing can be lonely without support. Search around until you find a writer’s group you feel at home with. I belong to the Litopia Writer’s Colony, http://www.litopia.com/ which is the friendliest, most supportive group of people you could hope to meet. Their advice and gentle teaching has made me believe in myself as a writer.
Who is your favorite author?
C.J. Cherryh. I’ve fallen in love with more of her characters than I can count. I’d love to spend an afternoon discussing her worlds over a cup of coffee. Who was her influence for Tristen? Or her shy wizard, Sasha? What about Vanya? Josh Talley? So many others! Amazing writer.
Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?
Solstice Publishing: http://bitly.com/liLUSG
Where can we find you online?
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?
When you sit down to write, take a deep breath. Don’t think about how anyone else would write the scene. Forget about all the advice you’ve been given. Simply write the words as they come to you. It’s the best way to find your own unique writer’s voice.
What is up next for you?
At the moment I have a fantasy/adventure novel being considered by a publishing house. I have the sequel to this book written and am in the midst of edits and revisions. Also, I’ve been jotting down ideas and am about to start on the sequel to Alex. I’m excited to spend time with him again. I also have several short romances to be released as eBooks in the near future.