Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Spotlight on Dianne Hartsock

This month we shine the spotlight onto Dianne Hartsock. Whether wrapped inside fantasy or a psychological thriller, Dianne always has an element of romance in the story as well.

She grew up in one of the older houses in the middle of Los Angeles, a place of hardwood floors and secret closets and back staircases. It’s where her love of the mysterious and wonderful came from. Dianne now lives in the beautiful Willamette Valley of Oregon with her darling husband.

She says Oregon’s raindrops are the perfect setting in which to write. There’s something about being cooped up in the house while it pours rain outside, a fire crackles on the hearth inside, and a cup of hot coffee warms her hands which kindles her imagination.

Currently, Dianne works as a floral designer in a locally-owned gift shop. Which is the perfect job for her. When not writing, she can express herself through the rich colors and textures of flowers and foliage.

LQR: Tell our readers a little about you.

Dianne: Hello! Hope you're having a fantastic day. So, what can I say about myself? I've been writing since the age seven but have only been a published author for the last three years. Let me tell you, though, I've enjoyed every moment of it! There's nothing I like better than to sit in front of a keyboard and see where my characters take me this time. I've also made some great friends through social media, not only promoting my own stories but theirs as well. I have a great time attending writer's conferences and book signings and meeting up with fellow authors I don't see otherwise. If I could, I'd be a full time writer, but since I like to eat and have a roof over my head, my day job is being a floral designer, which I happen to love as well, so I guess that's not so bad.

LQR: If you had to pick only one moment that spurred you to write professionally, what moment is the most defining?

Dianne: In seventh grade I had the most amazing creative writing teacher. Best of all? She liked my stories and would often read sections of them to the class as examples. Her belief in me gave me the confidence to keep writing, and eventually to start submitting my work.

LQR: Does the majority of your work focus around or within a single theme? If so, what is it?

Dianne: Though it may not seem like it at first glance, all my stories focus around love, whether it be the love for a partner or child or friend. Even in my psychological thrillers, we still see the affection between the characters. My stories are always character driven, passionate and intimate, with the concern and care they have for each other getting them through the dark times to the Happily Ever After.

LQR: Tell us what you’re currently working on.

Dianne: I'm really excited about my current WIP, working title: Birthday Presents. It's another thriller novel, and though I don't like to give away too much of the plot this early in the game, it involves a man who kills once a year, on his birthday. There are Sherriff's Department detectives, escapes and captures, fear and torture, and yes, love. The love between brothers, one who won't give in and one who won't give up on him. Strong friendships put to the test, and of course, my sweet romance running in the background.

LQR: What is one of your favorite authorial moments from your career so far?

Dianne: I try to attend book signings a couple of times a year, and though this incident happens with surprising (astonishing) frequency, this first time still leaves me feeling awed and utterly validated as a writer. My first book signing took place in a small coffee shop during the Christmas season, and a man came up and said he traveled over an hour through traffic and a rainstorm for the sole purpose of meeting me and having me sign a copy of my book for him. Talk about a jaw dropping, awesome moment! I didn't even know anyone outside my little group of family and friends had even heard of me. If I ever needed motivation to keep going, that was it.

LQR: That’s great! Speaking of ‘keep going,’ share with us a five year and ten year goal for your writing career.

Dianne: Please excuse me while I fall into a helpless pile of giggles! I'm lucky when I can plan out a single week, let alone that far into the future. At the moment, one of my publishers has dissolved and I'm scrambling with rewrites and finding new homes for my babies. (Luckily, these were my short stories, so it’s a simple matter of adding a few more chapters here and there to meet requirements before sending them out to seek their fortunes). Oh, and I also have a story to write for a coming up charity anthology…

I'd also like to have Birthday Present finished by the end of summer, before edits come in for a novel I have coming out this December.

Will I keep writing in the next 5 to 10 years? Most definitely! At the moment I have at least five other novels floating around in my head plus others lurking on the horizon. It's just a matter of scraping together the time to write them!

LQR: Do you write what you read? Watch? What are your favorite television shows and movies?

Dianne: Oh, I definitely write what I read and watch. My short stories are all m/m romances, with a trace of gay sensuality in my novels as well. I'm fascinated with the genre and read everything my author friends put out. I also like paranormals and medical thrillers and some fantasy. As for TV, I watch anything sci/fi or paranormal, including Supernatural and X-File reruns, all the Star Treks, Babylon 5, and lots more. As for movies, I have a weakness for disaster films. In fact, we're going to go see San Andreas this weekend. But I've also found I enjoy such movies as The Theory of Everything, The Woman in Gold, and The Imitation Game. Fascinating stories.

LQR: If you had one week away from any and all responsibility what would you want to spend your time doing?

Dianne: Is this a trick question? Write, of course! I'd love to rent a small house on the beach with a refrigerator full of yummy food and a coffee shop around the corner. What could be more ideal?

LQR: Anything else you’d like to add?

Dianne: Not really, except to thank everyone for stopping in and if you have any questions, feel free to ask them. I have very few secrets.

LQR: Where can readers find you online?

Readers, we invite you to ask further questions in the comments. Thanks for talking with us, Dianne!

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