**Author Peek** Interview with Diana Layne

**AUTHOR PEEK** Interview with DIANA LAYNE

Before we get started talking about your writing, tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, what you do for a living (if you’re not a fulltime writer) what hobbies you have, etc. Whatever you’d like to share.

I’m a small-town Texas girl. I have six children ranging in ages from 8 – 30, 4 boys and 2 girls. I have always homeschooled my kids, and I’m on the last two now.  I also have two terrific daughters-in-law and a 3 year old grandson and a newborn granddaughter. I’m in that sandwich generation with boomerang kids—because of life stuff, a couple of the older kids (and grandkids and spouse) have moved back home to finish up college, and last year because of health problems, my mother had to enter a nursing home. Hobbies? <laughs maniacally> Can cooking for the masses be considered a hobby? Even if I hate cooking…?


1. How did you get started writing?

I started writing almost as soon as I learned to write. It took me a lot of years to learn that you didn’t have to be special or magical to aspire to be a published author. I really wish I’d known that earlier

2. What genre(s) do you write in and why?

I write romantic suspense and historical. Why? When I first started reading romances (Barbara Cartland) they were historical. Then Kathleen Woodiwiss came along. Plus, I love history. Except…the historical market tanked right after I got my first agent. About the same time I read Iris Johansen’s Ugly Duckling. I don’t know if that was one of the first romantic suspenses but it was a first for me and I loved it. I still write in both genres.  I love the challenge.

3. What is your favorite part of writing?

My favorite part of writing is typing “The End.” I always start slow, build up speed by the middle and race to the ending. I’ve written enough novels to know that if the WIP gets harder for me, instead of easier, then I’ve messed up somewhere and I have to go back to the beginning and figure it out.

4. What is your least favorite part of writing?

Beginnings are always tough for me. I rewrite beginnings more than anything. I wish there were some foolproof way to know exactly where to start the story.

5. Where do you get the ideas for your stories?

I get ideas in the strangest places—a soccer game inspired THE GOOD DAUGHTER, which is a Mafia story. Go figure.

6. What is your typical day like?

Really, with me responsible for so many people, there is no “typical day”. My best writing time is in the afternoon. So ideally, I get up around 4 or 5 am, check email, read a little and exercise (I read on my treadmill, too). The youngest two kids wake up, we eat and they get started on their lessons. I then cook lunch, they finish their lessons, and I’m usually ready to write by 2 pm. I started cooking lunch because dinner time, as well as all the extracurricular activities like soccer and boy scouts in the evening, cut too much into my best writing time. Those who are not around for lunch warm up leftovers later. Right now, it’s the only way I can survive.

7. What is most difficult for you to write?  Characters, conflict or emotions? Why?

It’s the characters who make me want to write, and I love writing conflict-never have a sagging middle because I just ramp up the conflict–so I would have to answer emotions. I’m very reserved, boring in real life, actually, so I have to dig deep to get to those emotions. My favorite trick is to write in first person, and then switch the scene to third once it’s written. Writing in first person forces me to be that character, and if I’m that character, then I don’t have to be my normal reserved self. Instead, I become that character. No, don’t haul me off to the funny farm. It’s exhausting, but it works for me!

8. Tell us about your next book & when is it being published?

My next book is TRUST NO ONE, which was my Golden Heart® final book. It’s about a former spy forced out of retirement when her sister begins an unsanctioned killing spree.

It’s a romantic suspense, too, and also the first book in my Vista Security series. THE GOOD DAUGHTER is a prequel to the series and I’ll be bringing the hero/heroine Dave and Marisa from THE GOOD DAUGHTER back in subsequent Vista Security books.

TRUST NO ONE will be released in June. Incidentally, I have a promo going that if or when you read THE GOOD DAUGHTER and leave me a review, if you’ll email me and tell me where you left the review, I’ll send you an electronic ARC of TRUST NO ONE! The details are here: ARC Giveaway  (http://bit.ly/I1hGUb)

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FMI about Diana Layne and her books:

Website: http://www.dianalayne.com/

Blog: Do You Want Mayo With That?  (http://blog.dianalayne.com/)

THE GOOD DAUGHTER

Amazon: (http://bit.ly/zfHNMJ)

Barnes & Noble (http://bit.ly/IhpJbL)

PIRATE’S PROPOSAL

Tales of The Scrimshaw Doll Series, a swashbuckling pirate tale with a hero as yummy as Capt Jack, a female pirate captain as tough as she is beautiful,  a cursed gypsy doll, and betrayal as dark as the stormy seas!

The Wild Rose Press

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BE SURE TO COME BACK to read an excerpt from Diana’s novel,  THE GOOD DAUGHTER, on Wednesday’s Karen’s Killer Book Bench.

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**SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Diana will give away a $10 B&N or Amazon gift card to one lucky reader who comments!  Winner will be randomly selected and announced on Friday.  Thanks, Diana, for sharing your stories with us!
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23 Responses to **Author Peek** Interview with Diana Layne

  1. June Love says:

    Great interview. I admire you ability to write while having so much going on around you. I like to get up early, too, but I like it for writing. If I waited until 2:00 to write, my brain would be mush. I’ve thought about doing the first to third person method. I may have to give it a try. I haven’t been able to get to TGD yet, but it’s on my list. Too many books, so little time.

  2. Cate Rowan says:

    Di, have I mentioned how much I love the cover of The Good Daughter? Great job.

    I hate cooking, too. There’s a cookbook out there called the “I Hate to Cook” cookbook. I bought it, but don’t even like to crack it open.

  3. Gwyn says:

    Well done, di! You are amazing. I can’t write with distraction, so I’m in awe. You deserve a cape and a mask from the sounds of things!

  4. Diana Layne says:

    Hi, June! Know what you mean about too many books–just the Ruby books alone are mind-boggling! I know some people are morning people and wake up with their brain in gear, but mine is very sluggish in the morning. Doing physical stuff and chores seems to get my blood flowing to my brain. And yes, I do recommend the 1st/3rd person thing, especially if you’re rather reserved.

    My older boys once volunteered at the children’s zoo at the Dallas zoo. the head of the program said she usually tried to separate friends/siblings from working the same shift b/c working with someone you knew was limiting in what you could accomplish–you only worked up to the other person’s expectations. If you were with strangers, then there was no one to hold you back if you wanted to stretch and grow.

    So, if I’m writing in first person, I become the other person and so there are no limits I set on myself–so it works for me. 🙂 (I REALLY had to do this in Trust No One, when you read it, you’ll understand why!)

  5. Diana Layne says:

    Cate, my DIL cover designer is awesome. I think the cover to Trust No One is even better than The Good Daughter! When she’s ready to get off maternity leave, I plan to encourage her to pursue this, she can only work part time if raising kids is her first priority, but it’s what she’s gone to school for, and she does a great job.

    As for cookbooks, you know, I love to collect cookbooks and look at them. I probably have 30 and the pictures are so pretty! But cooking myself…nope, when everyone moves out, we are going to sandwiches, salads and tv dinners!!

  6. Chicki Brown says:

    Wonderful interview. It’s amazing how much your life resembled mine. – grown kids returning home, cooking for the masses, etc. LOL!

  7. Diana, I love reading your stories, as well as your interviews. You are a delightful person as well as a talented author. I can’t wait to read Trust No One.

    Keep up the amazing work… it inspires me so!

  8. Diana Layne says:

    Gwyn, I come from that generation when women were just getting a taste of equal rights, which really was quite unequal. Because we earned that right to go to work, but what that meant was we had to go to work and raise the kids and keep the house, too. Nothing equal about that. So yep, I donned that superwoman cape and wore it proudly for way too long. (really, my life is quite tame now compared to what it was 20 years ago) I see a smarter generation of women these days, AND I raised my sons to know how to cook and clean and wash clothes with the best of them (yes, home ec was on the homeschool curriculum) for which I have earned my daughters-in-law eternal gratitude.

  9. That was a great interview. Most of us don’t write THE END anymore, but it’s always the best part for me too, though I often forget to mention it. Love your cover.

  10. Great interview, Diana. I hate beginnings, too, and usually let it be slop until the book is almost done, then I go back with a better understanding and fix it.
    Good luck on the new book!

  11. Diana Layne says:

    Chicki, I think it’s all too common now. For some reason it seems harder for kids to move out and make it on their own these days. I’m reminded of The Waltons tv show, whole generations living together. Guess history does repeat…

    I do admit I sometimes daydream of quiet days. OTOH, I might not know how to function in the quiet.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  12. Diana Layne says:

    Thanks, Anna! You’re pretty inspiring yourself-your enthusiasm is so contagious!

  13. Diana Layne says:

    I do still type The End on the draft, Cynthia. In all caps and with great glee! LOL

    Yes, I do love that cover, see reply to Cate above about DIL–I’m lucky to have her. 🙂

    thanks for stopping by!

  14. Alicia Dean says:

    Loved the interview, Diana. I also write in first person in my first draft. It is helpful with emotions and with showing instead of telling, and with setting and senses. (Can you tell I’m a fan?) LOL. I’m a morning writer, though. Like June (I think?) my brain is mush by the afternoon. And, I would have a very hard time writing with distractions. Whatever you’re doing, you’re doing it right. Loved The Good Dauhter and Pirate’s Proposal. Can’t wait for Trust No One!

  15. Enjoyed your interview, Di. Love that cover and congrats on your upcoming release, Trust No One. Sounds wonderful!

  16. Wonderful interview. Hang in their Diana. My mother-in-law lived with us for 19 years, then my son moved back in (thank goodness for the guest house), married, and they had two children. I was working outside of the home and doing the cooking for all on most nights as my mother-in-law wasn’t capable of doing so and my daughter-in-law went to work at 3:00 p.m. The cooking for the masses will end. Fortunately, I enjoyed cooking and making up recipes.

    Great cover. I may borrow the all caps for the end. Good idea.

    Mari

  17. Diana Layne says:

    Hi, Alicia Street, thanks for stopping by! Yes, inevitably I have to work on the beginnings once I’m finished. They’re just not easy for me, and I usually end up with 3 or 4 different versions, lol. I also have a fondness for prologues, which I’ve been told many readers don’t like. One reader even told me she didn’t read prologues at all. Surprising, to me that’s like missing the first five minutes of a movie where you learn all the important stuff. So pretty much I stopped writing “prologue” and instead write “chapter 1” smile.

  18. Diana Layne says:

    Hi, Alicia Dean! Yep, a fan of first person here too! And I do love early mornings (because it’s quiet!!) but my brain just refuses to kick in gear.

  19. Diana Layne says:

    Hi, Bev, thanks for coming by! I’m working on final formatting for Trust No One right now!

  20. Diana Layne says:

    Hi, Mari, thanks for the encouragement! My son was off work today and he cooked, thank goodness! That really makes a big difference in my work day-although right now as I’m trying to finish up, the younger kids/grandkid are running through the house playing gun battle. I sometimes wonder when everyone finally does move if I’ll be able to work in the quiet. 🙂

  21. Ack! I’m late! Great interview, Ruby Sis!!!! So proud of you!
    And how about that RT TOP PICK???????? Woot!!!!
    ~D~

  22. Diana Layne says:

    Never too late, Ms. D! You’ll still be entered in the drawing. 🙂 And yep, the RT Book Review Top Pick review for The Good Daughter was pretty super! Thanks!

  23. Pingback: Karen’s Killer Book Bench: The Good Daughter by Diana Layne — Karen Docter

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