From time to time it can be fun to spend time chatting with an author that is new to you. Fortunately, I have the chance to do this pretty regularly and I would like to introduce you guys to Dianne Hartsock. She is the author of a book called, Alex and I think you will find her interview to be fascinating.
Joel M. Andre: Hello Dianne, I am honored to have the chance to speak with you today. Would you like to tell me a little bit about who has inspired your writing?
Dianne Hartsock: I’ll start with Tolkien. Frodo is the perfect, flawed hero and I wanted to create a character people could love just as deeply. Dean Koontz, for the creepiness and strangeness of his stories. Ursula LeGuin and C.J. Cherryh for that touch of magic. Robin Cook, Michael Crichton and Michael Palmer for the drama.
JMA: What a great collection of authors and you have pegged them appropriately as well.Let’s talk about the writing process. As you know, most writers do struggle with different parts, tell us about your experience.
DH: It’s the transitional scenes. They have to be done, but they’re my least favorite part of writing. I’ve been known to create whole novels without them then going back and putting in all the little details afterwards. With ALEX, if I could have included a believable transportation device, Alex would have used it at every turn. So many exciting scenes lay ahead of him! But how to get him there without my readers banging their heads in boredom as he trudged across the street or town or whatever to reach that point was a problem. My solution? I threw obstacles in his path along the way until he begged me to just let him get there already. Now, whenever I’m faced with the blank page of a transitional scene, I try to think of a crazy wild thing to trip my characters up with and make the journey an adventure in itself.
JMA: I couldn’t agree more. I love the fact that you do trip up your characters as well. When it comes to your books, what is the highest honor you could receive.
DH: I’ve already received it, in the form of a compliment within the review written by Donald Ford. ‘This is as near as I have come to someone else’s beating heart.’ That sums up exactly what I was trying for with ALEX.
JMA: It is amazing that you have gotten that. Now, let’s talk collaboration. If you could write a book with anyone in the world, who would you choose?
DH: C.J. Cherryh. I’ve fallen in love with more of her characters than I can count. I’d love to spend an afternoon discussing her worlds over a cup of coffee and inventing a world of my own with her help. She can uncover more depths to a character than any other writer I know.
JMA: She sounds truly talented and I hope you get that chance. Now, let’s talk about your story, Alex, what is the one thing you hope your readers can take away from this book?
DH: One reviewer summed ‘ALEX’ up for me very nicely. ‘Overall, I am left with a new definition of what love is: an emotion that can endure through life and death. Love isn’t over-romanticized as something that will conquer all, but love makes life worth living.’
JMA: What a great review. Now, let’s talk about genres, do you think more than one played a role in your writing?
DH: Of course and all the time! In ALEX I have a mix of the paranormal, thriller, contemporary romance, m/m romance, police procedure, life issues. I simply write a story as it comes to me and worry about its genre later.
JMA: With how difficult writing can be, has there ever been a time where you have second guessed your work?
DH: More times than I care to count. That’s why I encourage authors to join a writers’ group. Writing is a lonely business that preys on our self-doubt. Support is crucial, especially when the edits come back and you stare at all the red lines. There were times when I wondered why I thought I could ever be an author. But then I’d ask advice from my friends and settle down to rework the story. ALEX is the result of hours of second guesses and terrific encouragements.
JMA: The world is truly blessed that you did release your story. Now, I do like taking a little darker tone in my interviews. If you could write your obituary, how would it read?
DH: Beloved wife and mother. Dianne will be remembered by her family and friends as a good hearted and caring person and the author of amazing stories.
JMA:Well, on to more about these amazing stories, are you working on a new book?
DH: Oh my, yes. At the moment I have a fantasy/adventure novel being considered by a publishing house. I have the sequel to this fantasy written and am in the midst of revisions. Also, I’ve been jotting down ideas and am about to start on the sequel to ALEX. I’m excited to spend time with him again and immerse myself in the magic of his life. I’m also doing edits on several short romances that will be released as e-Books later this year and early 2012.
JMA: You have been an amazing guest Dianne, would you like to share anything else for your fans that have dropped on by?
DH: Thank you, Joel, for having me as a guest. It was fun! I hope our visitors enjoyed it as well. Everyone, please feel free to contact me at diannewrites2(at)hotmail(dot)com or you can find me here:
After my interview with Dianne, I did take the time to read her remarkable book Alex.
This story is a high adrenaline read and it is one that messes with your mind. The premise of the story is that the nightmares of Alex are becoming part of his world. This allows him to see things in visions and flashbacks that others can’t see. This creates a unique story that is told in a very beautiful fashion.
The writing in this book is very descriptive and Alex is beautifully crafted. You actually feel like this is a person you are getting to know and you end up feeling for him over the course of the book.
This book is very poetic in the way it is written and you can actually feel the book at times. I have never read Dianne Hartsock before, but you can bet I will be checking out more of her work. She is a storyteller that deserves a spot on your mantel or in your Kindle. I highly recommend it.
About Dianne Hartsock:
Dianne Hartsock lives in the beautiful Willamette Valley of Oregon with her incredibly patient husband, who puts up with the endless hours she spends hunched over the keyboard letting her characters play.
She says Oregon’s raindrops are the perfect setting in which to write her tails. There’s something about being cooped up in the house while it pours rain outside and a fire crackles on the hearth inside that kindles her imagination.
The intricate and fragile nature of the mind is always fascinating. Having worked with the public through various careers, Dianne has come to respect the resilience and strength of the human spirit. She’s always trying to capture that spirit in her writing.
Currently, Dianne works as a floral designer in a locally-owned gift shop, which she says is the perfect job for her. When not writing, she can express herself through the rich colors and textures of flowers and foliage.
Dianne’s books include Trials of a Lonely Specter and Alex.