Welcome Diana. Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello Margaret. Thanks for having me over. Originally I’m from California. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. I have written since a small child and published poems and short-stories in school magazines. In high school I had a short story submitted to a literary festival. I joined the Navy at nineteen and met my future husband while stationed in Greece. After living overseas and raising two boys, we settled in Virginia where I again pursued my love of writing. I joined a chapter of the Virginia Writers Club and work as a free-lance editor. As well as being published in, I edited their second anthology, Riverside Echoes. I designed and edit the chapter’s website. I’ve worked as an on-line historical editor and write book reviews for the Historical Novels Review
I don’t know about you, but I love to hear publishing stories. So how about telling me yours.
I’ve been working on this novel on and off for several years. I was rejected many times over ten years and re-worked it through my wonderful on-line critique group. One of the members suggested I try her publisher, Eternal Press. I sent in my query and full manuscript as per their guidelines and they read and loved the story. So I’m thrilled that they offered me a contract.
How great. It sounds like a bit of synchronicity was at work here. While I love to read Historicals, I write Romance or paranormals. What’s your favourite genre to write in?
Mainstream historical fiction.
So it looks like your book will be heading for my ‘to read’ list lol So tell me about your new book.
The False Light, a mainstream historical with romantic elements.
Fleeing the French Revolution, Bettina Jonquiere struggles to survive in a remote Cornish village, discover the secret behind her father's death, while attracted to a man who may have murdered his wife.
Adventure, murder and romance on the remote coast of North Cornwall, Bettina has no idea she’s being pursued by ruthless revolutionaries. Her love for the local squire, Everett Camborne, may put her life in even more danger.
My story takes a young aristocratic Frenchwoman and throws her into the hard scrabble life of the lower classes.
I continue the story in my sequel, Without Refuge.
It sounds very complex. How do you devise your plots/characters?
It can be a long process. Sometimes I just have the bare bones of a story and write it down. After a period of time, my characters develop and almost tell me where they want the story to go. I don’t use outlines, but envy the authors who do and can follow them. I might write my novels much faster if I outlined, but can’t make myself do it.
I don’t know many authors who do outline nowadays. Where do you get your ideas from.
I get many ideas from reading history. I love the What If questions I put to my interpretation of historical events.
So tell me, what are you working on now?
Another mainstream historical: RING OF STONE portrays three eighteenth-century women—in an era that denied rights to females—who defy custom and morality to achieve their desires. Rose Gwynn is always brash, but never more so than in her wish to become a physician. The problem is in 1796 women are barred from medical schools. Rose travels with her family from America to her father’s new job in Cornwall, England, determined to succeed. When she insists on helping the local doctor with his practice, Rose uncovers his secret. Dr. Nelson is a woman who masquerades as a man. Nelson has usurped her dead brother’s medical license and journeyed from London to assume his position. Nelson balks at helping Rose learn the trade, well aware of how isolating it is to flout society. But how can she deny someone who has the same passion for medicine?
Can you tell I copied this from my potential query letter?
No, never. You couldn’t tell. Honestly lol I think this is one of the most important questions if all. How can people keep up with your new releases?
They can check my website: http://www.dianescottlewis.com,
Eternal Press: http://www.eternalpress.biz/
I’ve been offered some excellent advice over the years. Can you give to authors who are struggling to be published?
Someone gave me two excellent pieces of advice which I’ve followed. Learn your craft: take classes, read, etc. And never give up. Here’s my advice: Try small epresses to start out and always grow as a writer. Find a critique group, they are invaluable.
I always advocate writing a short story first. If you master that, you’re ready for a novel. Now we’ve all had them. Cried over them, had a temper tantrum over them, tell me, what’s your response to rejection letters?
Sadness, sometimes anger, but neither of those help. You have to immediately send out more queries. If advice is offered, which is rare, consider it.
Finally, what are your favourite books and movies? What movie star gets your pulses racing?
I love historical fiction; The Blackstone Key, is a recent favourite. And historical movies, such as Emma, so I’m a big Public Television fan. My favourite stars are from TV and both British, Hugh Laurie from House and Phillip Glenister from Life on Mars and Island at War.
That’s it from Melody. It’s been a fun interview. Leave her a comment. She will be so pleased to hear from you.
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