1) Why Romance? Did you choose this genre or were you ‘chosen’ by it?
Choosing to write stories about women’s lives – with romance as a central element –
never required much thought for me. It was the most natural thing in the world.
Another genre I find deeply appealing is mystery. I love a good mystery (which is
why I write those, too).
Much as I enjoy a strong romantic storyline, both as a writer and as a reader, it’s
important to me that my heroine has a goal that’s separate from her love life, and
that, along with a search for true love, is what drives her.
Matter of fact, that’s true for my heroes as well. And boy, do I love to write a
strong, principled male character.
2) Is there a romance author, living or dead, who inspires you particularly?
There are so many wonderful, talented romance authors that it’s pretty much
impossible to pick. But if I am absolutely forced to name one, I will name Jane
Austen. The love stories in her novels absolutely soar. And she was so wise about
human nature, and so excellent at deploying those insights in her writing. When she
crafted a character, that character was the same on page one and on page one hundred
and on page three hundred. And she illuminated that character’s personality not
only in what they did but also in what they said and what they wrote. I never tire
of reading Austen’s books. They bring so much pleasure every time. She was a
3) Please, tell us about your latest book and, if you can, about your future projects.
My latest release is a mystery, Ms America and the Whoopsie in Winona. It is the
fourth installment in my series of beauty queen mysteries. The mysteries are
different from my women’s fiction in that they’re written in first person, they’re
funny, and they all focus on one central character, my sleuth Happy Pennington, the
reigning Ms. America.
I always strive to craft a good whodunit, so that even inveterate mystery readers
have a hard time figuring out who the killer is. But I also devote a lot of
attention to Happy’s personal life – to her relationships with her husband Jason,
her teenage daughter Rachel, and the hunky Mario Suave, who cannot mask his romantic
interest in Happy. (She can’t help taking some interest in him, either.) Since
Happy married very young, Mario represents “the road not taken” to Happy, which
allows me the opportunity to probe emotional territory one might not expect to find
in an otherwise lighthearted book.
As for future projects, I’m planning a return – for now, at least – to my women’s
fiction roots. I’m working on a series focused on a San Francisco family who owns a
chain of department stores. Of course, the family has lots of secrets and the main
characters have a lot of falling in love to do. 😉 I’m very excited about this
project and will be sharing more details a little further down the road.
4) How was your writing journey? Was it difficult to find an agent and get published?
Once I wrote my debut novel, Falling Star, I was fortunate to find an agent and
publisher pretty quickly. Prior to that, I’d written a small romance novel that I
shopped around to Harlequin and Silhouette on my own. It was rejected but it was
rejected kindly, with suggestions as to how to make the book better. I took the
advice to heart and kept writing. A few partial manuscripts later, with my skills
more developed, I began Falling Star.
So the lesson to aspiring writers out there is one that no doubt they’ve heard
before: Keep writing!
5) What’s your opinion about this Ebook revolution?
I love physical books and always will but the advent of e-books has changed my
writing life for the better. Now my backlist has gotten a second lease on life,
plus I can focus on telling the new stories that I want to tell and getting them
directly to readers more quickly than ever. That is deeply satisfying.
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?
I much prefer writing to marketing and promotion, too, but a writer ignores those
tasks at her peril. And the benefit of Facebook, Twitter and other social media is
that they allow me to communicate directly with my readers. I totally love that.
Speaking of which, please visit my website at www.dianadempsey.com, join me on
Facebook at Diana Dempsey Books, and follow me on Twitter @Diana_Dempsey. 😉
Thanks so much, Lost in Fiction, for your support. All best to you!
To buy her latest book, simply click on the cover below: