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Monday, July 16, 2012

Author Interview - Diane Dooley

Please welcome Diane Dooley to The Far Edge of Normal!

Diane Dooley writes science fiction, romance and horror - sometimes all in the same story.   She blogstweets and facebooks. Feel free to track her down. 

Tell us about your writing - What genre do you prefer to write? What books, stories, other publications that you've written are your personal favorites? Anything new coming up?

I write in three genres – science fiction, romance and horror. Often my stories will have elements of one or more of these genres. I write mostly science fiction romance novellas, contemporary romance novels and novellas, and horror short stories. I guess one of my favorites was my first published piece: a humorous little horror story about Goldilocks entitled A Taste of Revenge. (warning: funny, but disturbing) Never did like that girl! My next release will be Blue Nebula, a science fiction novella from Carina Press. It has a bit of romance and horror in it, too. I  just can’t seem to stick to one genre!

Sounds like you write very similar to me. My first publication was a short about two blond dyslexic witches who sell their souls to Santa. And he shows up to collect. My books are all SF.
What about you as a person? What do you do to relax? Favorite movies or tv shows? Hobbies?

Reading is my favorite form of relaxation. I read at least a book a week, usually more. I love to grow flowers and vegetables, but I have a massive garden and it’s more hard work than actual relaxation. I don’t watch much T.V., but when I do I tend to get a boxset of all the seasons and then totally binge on it. Most recently I did this with HBO’s The Wire. Brilliant, gritty, fantastic cast and writing. I’m still mourning the end. The writing has pretty much taken over all the time I used to spend watching movies. I love the films of Wim Wenders, the Cohen Brothers, musicals (Cabaret and Jesus Christ Superstar are my favorites) and lots of subtitled foreign fare, particularly if they’re dark and tragic and esoteric.

What gets your creative juices going? Do you write to music, and do you want to share your playlist?

I read a lot and listen to music. Most of my inspiration comes from songs and poems. One little line in a favorite song or poem can inspire an entire novel. I don’t listen to music when writing, however. When I write fiction I need to focus and music distracts me. Right now, as I write this reply, I’m listening to Beethoven’s Ninth. Glorious! I have extremely diverse taste in music; it’s very, very important to me. Books I write tend to have a theme song, rather than a playlist. Blue Galaxy’s song was Small World by Scottish singer/songwriter Roddy Frame. Blue Nebula’s song is My Beloved Monster by the Eels.

I tend to do that, too. Nexus Point was written mostly to Air Supply. Priestess of the Eggstone's theme some is Don't Answer Me by Alan Parsons Project.
What organizations do you recommend for those wanting to become writers? Any advice you'd like to share about writing?

I highly recommend Absolute Write. I’ve learned so much from that community and met many of my current beta readers, critique partners and writer friends through it. I don’t think my writing would have reached publishable standard without it. It’s a huge community and can be a little intimidating. I recommend to aspiring writers that they register and spend some time lurking, reading, learning and asking questions. My best writing advice is read a lot, particularly in the genre in which you write.  And then? Put your butt in a chair, your fingers on the keyboard and just do it. Get honest feedback, work on your craft, expect to be rejected at first, and acquire a thick skin. The writing business is a tough one.

What writers inspired you to become an author?

My favorite writers didn’t inspire me. They terrified me. I knew then and still know now that I’ll never be as good as Vladimir Nabokov, Octavia Butler, Jane Austen, Ray Bradbury and their brilliant ilk. But I tell a good story.  And I’m improving all the time.

Any special appearances or events coming up that you want to mention?

Blue Nebula will be released by Carina Press on September 24th of this year. It’s the sequel to Blue Galaxy, also from Carina Press. You can read a snippet from Nebula here. I’m currently writing Blue Planet, the final part of the trilogy.

If you could travel to any time in history, when would you visit?

All of them! Well, as long as I could get back to the time of rights for women, birth control, antibiotics and the Hubble telescope. I have a degree in History and my perfect career would have been to be a permanent student. Alas, I have bills I must pay. I’ve been reading a lot of Victorian-era non-fiction recently, so, if I really must choose just one, I’d like to strap on my bustle and go visit the early Suffragettes.

If you could have dinner with any of your characters, which ones would you choose? What food would you serve?

My characters, Vin and Mako, from Mako’s Bounty are spacers: born on hardscrabble mining colonies in the vacuum, raised on freeze-dried nutripacks and always hungry for  the fascinating flavors of Earth. I’d cook them a Mexican feast. Or rather, I’d have my husband do it. He’s an amazing cook.

If you could travel anywhere, on earth or off, where would you go?

Back before I had kids I traveled quite extensively. I miss it! I’d like to travel far enough north to see the Aurora Borealis. I’d love to travel to South America through the Darien Gap. I’ve always wanted to island-hop across the Pacific. Life is so damn short!

What color would you wear if you had only one choice?

Black. When I moved to Upstate New York from Los Angeles, people were forever asking me why I always dressed in black. They didn’t know I was a PIB (People in Black). I’ve changed. Today I’m wearing green and cream.

Describe your dream writing spot.

It’s a boat on a lake in Canada. I’m going in a couple of weeks, clutching my trusty Alphasmart. I’ve written two books on that boat. I’m aiming for a third.

Thanks for having me, Jaleta!

Thanks for stopping by, Diane. Can I join you on your boat sometime? It sounds very peaceful to me.