Monday, July 9, 2012

Interview with Dianne Gardner

   I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate this blog's birthday than an interview. 

   I "met" Dianne last year through WriteOnCon, when she let me read the book she was writing so that she could get a YA's take on it. 

   I loved (and still do love) her book, Deception PeakSince WriteOnCon she has finished her book, as well as the next two books in the trilogy, and has signed with Hydra Publications. The first book will be coming out this September. 

        When did you start writing?

I think everyone likes to say they started writing when they were young, and I did. I mostly wrote poetry, and a lot of it, when I was younger. Writing helped me to express myself when, as a teenager, I felt no one understood.  But I didn't start writing an actual novel until last year. 

         Is there anything in particular that inspired you to write Ian's Realm?

Well, I have 9 grandsons and I'm really sympathetic to the struggles they go through as young teenagers. I wanted to write a book that would help them know they aren't alone, and that there are those who understand the trials of growing up. I also think that while the world is filled with books written that specifically target girls, there aren't enough books written that young men would like to read. Ian's Realm is an adventure fantasy and both boys, and adventure loving girls enjoy it. 
If you had to describe your book to me in three sentences or less, what would you say?
This is so hard. It takes almost a year to write a novel and to sum it up in three sentences you know you have to leave something out. But here goes:

Teenage Ian Wilson follows his father through a portal into a deceptively beautiful Realm, where horses run free, the wind sings prophetic melodies, and their computer avatars come to life. But separation from his father puts Ian in peril as he’s abducted by a tribe of dragon worshipers and forced to find his courage.  As he struggles for his freedom and embarks on a perilous search for his father he meets the true peacekeepers of the Realm and learns of a greater purpose for his being in there. 

          Ian is your main character. What are some of his strengths/weaknesses?

Ian's young and fairly timid, trusting his father to take care of things. He's naive, but is put in a position where he has to learn who he can trust and who he can't so he's forced to grow up. His strength is that he's a quick learner and he's honest. 
Is Ian purely fiction, or is he based off of someone you know?  
I think there's a little bit of Ian in all of us. I know I feel like him in some ways, and I'm sure others who read the story do too. Sometimes it takes getting tossed into the ocean in order to start swimming, and that's basically what happens to young Ian. All through the series he's growing up, maturing, making mistakes, and suffering the consequences of them, and then learning from them and becoming a better person. 
What has your favorite part of writing your series been?
Oh, I just love delving into my characters, getting to know them, sending them on adventures, giving them circumstances that are really hard to get out of. I love the twists and turns of writing, putting in surprises in the story that gives the novel a whole new dimension.
What do you do when you aren't writing?
I'm an artist, oil painter and portrait artist. I teach oil painting in my studio. I also do free lance writing and editing.

If your house was on fire, and no one was in the house, what one thing would you grab on your way out?
That's hard. If I had time I'd take my computer but I doubt if the house was burning down I'd have a chance, so I'd probably grab a painting or two off the wall and run. I'm sure the cat would be out the door before me.

Finishing a whole book is hard--let alone a trilogy! What has kept you writing?
Passion. I thought I was fulfilled when I was painting, but now that I am doing both I can't believe how much story telling is inside of me. I love being able to write the kind of stories I like reading.

 If you could say anything to adolescents pursuing a writing career, what would you say to them?
Learn the craft. Learn the foundation i.e. grammar, spelling, how to structure a story. Take workshops and learn everything you can. If you really want to be good, you need to know the basics. Its the same thing I tell my art student. You can't paint outside the box until you know where the box is. Learn the rules. You'll have plenty of time in life to break them. 

I hope that you all enjoyed the interview! To view Dianne's blog, click here. I'll post some more things on her book once it gets closer to the release date, so keep reading! 



Thursday, July 5, 2012

One Year!!

On June 24th, 2011, Leslie and I had our first post ( Welcome )! I had all these plans for last week. I was going to re-design the blog, and I had some great ideas for posts.

Unfortunately, I left for camp that exact day for nearly a week, and literally had no time to post. So, we will be celebrating in full next week.

That said....

This blog is a whole year old!!

I'm still brainstorming ideas for next week--if you have any, please write them in the comments! :)