How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula? I am actually the type of writer that is inspired by my story. I get a general idea about what “my” story will be, then I sit down, and it all kind of pours out of me. I don’t outline, or overly plot, but without knowing why I write what I write, the plot unfolds before my eyes. I, the writer, am sometimes just as shocked by my characters as my readers are, and will be. They surprise the hell out of me, at times! My book that is due out with Decadent soon, RECLAIMED, had an entirely different ending in my head when it begun…but my characters disagreed. They won the fight.
Morning Person? Or Night Person? How do you know? Morning, totally. If I try to write at night, I tend to wander off to Twitter, or Facebook, or my numerous message boards I post on. If I wake up in the AM to work, the house is quiet, I have my coffee, and I can write for hours, if the kids let me. But, having four kids does put a damper on my morning routine, so I am often forced to work at night, even if my mind rebels.
Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they? Write, edit, write, edit, then edit about twenty more times. Take some self-editing courses, edit again. Get a critique partner or two. Edit again. And if you find yourself frustrated, put it in time out. The story will still be there in a week, month, or even year. Working to the point of hating your story will do no one any favors. And we all get to the point where we are so angry we leave our finger hovering over the delete button, thinking, “Should I end it all and put myself out of my misery?”. The answer is, no. Step away from the keyboard, close the computer, and don’t look back. But, be sure to save it first.
4. Do you have a milestone birthday coming up? If so, how are you approaching it?
Yes, in December I will be thirty. I am mostly okay with this, since overall I am happy with life. I’d love to be living in a mansion, but hey, we can’t get everything we want, right? So I own my house (check), am married (check), have 4 kids (scary, but check), and reached my lifetime goal of being published (check). So, the mansion will have to wait until I’m forty…or fifty. I plan on eating cake, and drinking moscato with the hubs. Sounds perfect to me.
Anything Barenaked Ladies is a major plus by me. You know, the singers of If I had a million dollars, One week, and Old Apartment? The ones that pop up every 5 years or so with a hit? Them. I adore them. Idolize. Worship. I went on a cruise with them once, and it was the best 5 days ever. Non-stop concerts, hot breezes off the ocean, crystal clear waters, and favorite band ever. Does it get any better? I wish I was there now. Also, love Glee, Maroon 5, All American Rejects, Three Doors Down, and many, many more.
6. What do you do to unwind and relax?
Even though I am not an old lady, believe it or not, I knit. I love knitting stuff for myself, and my loved ones. There are some rocking patterns out there not for fashionable women, and adorable knits for children. If you knit, I recommend going to www.ravelry.com. They have tons and tons of patterns, and lots of pretty yarn. Find me on there, I’m DebutanteYarns. Think of it like good reads for yarn lovers. Instead of books, it has yarn and patterns. See you there!
7. What are your favorite TV shows?
Oh, how I love my DVR. OK, here goes: How I met Your Mother, Castle, Hawaii Five O, NCIS, NCIS LA, Glee, Modern Family, Cougar Town, Private Practice, Grey’s Anatomy, Vampire Diaries, Nikita, Flashpoint, and Keeping up with the Kardashians. Yup, I watch that. It is my guilty pleasure.
8. Do you use a pen name? If so, how did you come up with it?
Yes, I do. I was torn, since my “real” name is not a very uncommon name, but my hubby was very persuasive in his arguments. J And I chose the first name, Diane, after my mother’s middle name, and the last name, Albert, after my father’s first name. Hence, Diane Alberts. It is my way of thanking them for all the work, love, and support I have gotten over the past 29 years, and counting,
9. Do you have critique partners or beta readers?
Yes, I had two people who read my book as I wrote it. They helped me edit it, and were an invaluable tool. So, thank you Angela and Shawnie. You rock! I plan on using them again, for the sequel to RECLAIMED, as long as they are willing. Also, my husband was an awesome brainstorming companion, who also read the book and listened to me ramble for ours n end at how to get the scene I wanted just right. He was up many a night until 3am listening to me ramble, and ramble, and ramble—get the picture?
10. How did you start your writing career?
Honestly, since I was a little kid I’ve been obsessed with books, and writing. As a teenager, I read my first romance book at my grandmother’s house out of sheer boredom while laying on her beige carpet, and have been hooked since. I still remember it too; it was Jude Devereaux’s Highland Velvet. It was the second of four books in her Montgomery series, and to this day it remains my favorite series ever. I’ve read them over and over again. I might be due for another round, actually.
Then, as a late high-schooler, I decided that I could never write a book, so I planned on becoming an editor. Well, life had different plans, and ten years later (and four kids later!), I sat down at my computer after a vivid dream about my favorite scene in RECLAIMED. I was sure I would fail in my attempt to write a novel, but at my husband’s urging, I began to type, and soon enough, RECLAIMED was a complete novel. After many rounds of editing and classes, I got a contract with Decadent Publishing. It’s been a dream come true—literally.