1) Why Romance? Did you choose this genre or were you ‘chosen’ by it?
Romance, and the still relatively new sub-genre women’s fiction with romantic elements, is to me, the perfect genre because I know that everything will turn out okay in the end. I might not have a clue how that will happen, or how the characters will survive the black moment when all seems lost, but I have the assurance of knowing that somehow it will all work. So after a bad day—or a good day, even—there’s nothing better than to pull out a book where I know the ending will be emotionally satisfying.
For the second question, did I choose the genre or was I chosen by it? Interesting question. I’ve always gravitated toward feel good stories, even as a child. I still remember having to read The Red Pony. Cried. Hated it. Come to think of it, I hated all the stories we had to read in school, they were so depressing! So I suppose I chose romance because while really bad things can happen, the ending uplifts.
2) Is there a romance author, living or dead, who inspires you particularly?
I would have to say the queen of romance herself, the late Kathleen Woodiwiss. I think I was about 14 when I first got hold of one of her books (actually I sneaked it out of my mom’s room.) Wow, oh wow, life changing! Adventure, danger, romance. . . I became an addict, couldn’t read fast enough (because I still had to read those depressing books in school.)
Since then, there have been too many brilliant romance authors to list them all. Luckily for readers, the romance field is fertile with amazing authors.
3) Please, tell us about your last book and, if you can, about your future projects.
After years of pursuing my dream, I’m one of those newly-published authors. I currently have two books out, but neither one is published in the “traditional” way. My book, Pirate’s Proposal, is available in Ebook only, published by The Wild Rose Press (http://www.thewildrosepress.com/ ), which incidentally has just been rated best small press publisher of the year for the fourth year in a row by Preditors and Editors.
Pirate’s Proposal is part of the Tales of the Scrimshaw Doll, which is a series created by Oklahoma writers to showcase both Oklahoma and Oklahoma Romance Writers…um, even though I’m a Texan. Oklahoma is a sister state to Texas and I do love the OKRWA Outlaws as they call themselves. It’s true my story takes place long ago and far away from Oklahoma, but Pirate’s Proposal, a swashbuckling romance with a female pirate captain, tells how the story of the cursed gypsy scrimshaw doll begins. You can read more about The Tales of the Scrimshaw Doll and the other stories, including Pirate’s Proposal, in a post I wrote here:
( http://www.rubyslipperedsisterhood.com/ruby-debut-release-pirates-proposal-2/ )
My second book, released the same week as the first, is a suspense book, The Good Daughter. It is a Mafia story, a love story, a quest for justice story, but it is also a prequel to a series I am writing. The main characters in The Good Daughter, Dave and Marisa, will appear in other Vista Security series books.
I plan to continue writing historical romances, romantic suspense, and in addition, I’m working on a small town Texas romance series.
4) How was your writing journey? Was it difficult to find an agent and get published?
Noted in question number 3, it took years. I’ve had two agents who tried to sell a Native American historical of mine, but the market tanked. Then my life tanked. During that time I kept reading and taking classes and when I could finally get back to writing, I switched to my second love of romantic suspense. That book, Trust No One, garnered an RWA Golden Heart® nomination which was a wonderful experience. The other finalists and I created The Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood (www.rubyslipperedsisterhood.com) which is a site of writers helping writers.
5) What’s your opinion about this Ebook revolution? Would you consider the indie route?
I love Ebooks! I never dreamed I’d say such a thing either! I was a dyed-in-the-wool loves-the-feel-of-a -book in my hands kind of reader. Then I received a Kindle a couple of Christmas’s ago, and my life changed. Ebooks are the most fabulous thing! And there were wonderful new authors available on Ebooks.
Discovering those authors, many who wrote for small presses or who were indie-authors, made me decide to try the less-beaten path. I jumped at the chance to help create The Tale of the Scrimshaw Doll series and to write the book of the cursed gypsy doll’s creation (though there is no guarantee of publication for any of us, we all have to go through the submission process, and I was excited thatPirate’s Proposal sold!).
I also dove into the indie-author route with The Good Daughter mentioned above. At this time, The Good Daughter is available on Kindle or Kindle apps only, but I am working on the hard copy and plan to have a paperback version soon. Then, at the first of April,The Good Daughter will be available in all other E-Venues.
I plan to continue to submit my historical romances to The Wild Rose Press while indie-publishing my romantic suspense series.Trust No One, my Golden Heart® book, with an editor at this time, will be available soon. The first book in my small Texas series is a contest-finalist as well, and is on submission with two editors at a traditional publishing house.
6) Nowadays many publishers expect their authors to use Social media a lot to promote their books. Many authors, on the other hand, would prefer to write only, without being distracted by digital trivialities: what are your thoughts?
Social media can be stressful for the more introverted author types, it’s true. But it is what it is and something we need to do. I enjoy it some days; at first I even got sucked into staying online during my writing time! I have to maintain strict discipline or no new writing gets done and that is very stressful in itself.
Having said that, I’m not sure how much a factor social media plays in a career, other than perhaps introducing a writer to new people. I still think a good book that creates a word-of-mouth buzz is the best way to promote a book.
Leaving many writers, myself included, wondering how much time to devote to social media. I will say for me, it’s continuous balancing act.
Info about the author:
Native small town Texan Diana Layne is a homeschooling mom of six kids who grew up riding horses and motorcycles, practicing the piano and reading. As an only child and only grandchild she naturally made up fictional friends and entertained herself with endless adventure stories with those imaginary playmates.
Embracing both her Gemini-twin personality and a continuing variety of make-believe buddies, she writes in multiple genres from historical romances to mainstream suspense thrillers to small town love stories–and always has two or three novels in progress.
To learn more about Diana, sign up for her newsletter, or to follow her on social media, please visit dianalayne.com
To buy her latest book, simply click on the cover below: