Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Meet Diane Marina

Hello and good morning.  It's time to take a break from your holiday preparations and check out Diane Marina as she discusses her f/f romance, Landslide.

 What is your story about?

Landslide is a cute, sexy story with serious undertones about fidelity. It starts out with a bang (The first sensation Rachel felt as she woke up was a warm, wet mouth moving lazily across her breast. She sighed, and when she opened her eyes, Michelle’s wicked smile greeted her), but quickly becomes a more serious story when one of the characters, Rachel, begins to suspect that her girlfriend Michelle might be seeing someone else. Michelle has been working lots of long hours, and a few other things happen that raises Rachel’s doubts about Michelle’s fidelity. The idea that she may be losing Michelle consumes her, and it all comes to a head during a Valentine’s Day weekend in Aspen, Colorado.

What traits were you looking for when you were creating the main character for this story?

I tried to create characters who are likable. Even though the reader might suspect along with Rachel that Michelle is being unfaithful, I want them to read the story with an open mind and dig for the truth along with Rachel. Although the tendency is to pull for Rachel, I hope readers find that they’re rooting for both characters. I wanted to portray the determination in both of these women as well. They both have successful careers, and they go after what it is they want. They’re also both very sexy and enjoy each other physically, as the story can attest to. J  I think Michelle is emotionally stronger than Rachel, and likes acting as Rachel’s rock. The threat of that being taken away is Rachel’s thread throughout the story.

Did you do any types of writing while you were in school.  If so did you receive any awards or recognition for your work?

I remember being given an assignment where the instructor gave the class one sentence. I don’t remember what that sentence was anymore, but it was intriguing enough that so much could be built on it. The assignment was to take that one sentence and write an entire fictional story. I remember my classmates groaning and agonizing over it, but I ran with it. My mind swirled and in no time, I had spun a science fiction-themed story that got me an A. I wish I still had that story, because if I do say so myself, it was pretty awesome.

Was there anyone, in your life who was an inspiration for you to write.   If so what did they do?

The list is endless. I was first motivated to write by writers that I admire. I fell in love with John Irving’s style of writing very early on when I read The Hotel New Hampshire. I quickly tore through the rest of his books and decided being able to write like that was a true talent. His writing can still sometimes bring tears to my eyes. He has such a beautiful way of making a complex story seem so easy to write. When I finally did start writing on my own, I would hide what I’d written, positive that it wasn’t worthy of having anyone read it. When my wife and I got together, I dug out something that I had put together. She read it and said, “you HAVE to finish this!” so I did, and that story was published in 2002 by Womens Work Press. It’s a novella called How Still My Love, and it was published as part of a trilogy of novellas called Triple Delight. I’m now working on rewriting the story from start to finish, and plan to publish that in early 2014. So, my wife is a big inspiration and motivation for me. I also have a great support network of other writers who encourage each other to write, write, and write some more.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?  Can you elaborate on what has worked for you? 

Thank you for reading and for being so supportive. It’s the greatest feeling for a writer to hear from someone who has read my work. Most of us who write lesbian fiction are fans and avid readers as well, so we know how important it is try to give you memorable experiences through our books.

For those who are trying to get their feet wet and write something themselves, I’d say don’t let anything or anyone stop you. Just do it. Practice by writing as much as you can. Join groups of people who can give you feedback – not friends who will tell you they love everything you write, but people who are willing to give you constructive criticism and ideas on how to improve your writing. If you have a story to tell, don’t let anything stop you from getting it out there.

What can we find you doing when you are not writing?

Well, I work full time in the non-profit sector, focusing on pharmacology, so that takes up a lot of my time. Good thing I love what I do!  I’m also a part-time student, with not a lot of time off between classes. When I do have some free time, I love to read. I’m also a runner and try to hit the streets several times a week (not so easy this time of year because I don’t like cold weather!!!!).  My wife and I love to travel and usually take several trips a year. When I’m not travelling, I’m planning on where I want to travel to next.

What has been your favorite part of being an author?  The least fave?

My favorite part has been being able to share my stories with others and to hear that people read them and like them. I’ve also met some really terrific people along this journey and I’m thankful for that. I think it if hadn’t been for writing, I never would have met these friends. My least favorite part is the competitive nature of it. I am fortunate to have become part of a supportive group of writers. We encourage each other’s work, provide feedback, and promote each other on social media. I’m as happy to see good writers do well as I am to see myself prosper. I don’t understand writers who view this as a competitive sport and do everything they can to rise to the top. It’s really unattractive and I feel, unnecessary. If you write good work, people will read it. There’s room for all of us out there.

What has been the strangest thing a reader has asked you?

Hmmm, readers have been really wonderful and respectful. So far, no really strange questions. Years ago though, I had someone ask me if the character in my book How Still My Love was based on a woman who is a professional classical musician. I thought to myself, where the heck did THAT idea come from?  My answer was of course, no.

What would you do if you were contacted to be on Ellen on TV?  If not Ellen, who would you like to interview you on TV?

I’d say of course, when do you want me there, but I REFUSE to dance on national television. I’ll leave that to Ellen. I’d love to be interviewed by Chelsea Handler. She’s just a bad girl and her interviews are funny and completely disrespectful. No dancing required, and there might be booze involved, so that would be a win/win situation. Plus, she’s kinda hot. J

If you were to include FAQ on your website, what would one of them be?

Okay, here are a few, just to prove I’m a dork. I’m double jointed in some of my joints. I can do weird things with my fingers and elbows. I can also move my eyes back and forth super fast, which freaks my wife out. She hates when I do that. I’m also afraid of heights but have done some things that I consider brave to fight that. And I’m terrified of spiders. And my favorite fact about myself is that my wife and I met over 20 years ago because of the singer Stevie Nicks. I would love to be able to tell Stevie about it one day. J

What is in the works next for you?  If this is confidential, I understand and you  can say that it is.

I’m currently working on two things right now. As I mentioned earlier, I’m rewriting How Still My Love. I am loving this process. The book has always been very special to me, but I am making it a better and fuller story. Readers of the original (all five of them!) might not even recognize the original story if they read this. I’ve already added over 12,000 words to it and have completely changed scenes, circumstances and characters, so it’s been fun. I’m also working on writing a Valentine’s Day themed short story to be read on Liz McMullen’s Valentine’s Day special. I read my Halloween story, Sisters of the Moon on her Halloween Special and it was a blast (you can listen to the story here: 

I had such a good time, when Liz invited me to take part in the Valentine’s special, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. Landslide was also a Valentine’s Day short story, so it’s been fun writing something completely new with the same theme in mind.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to do this! 

This is something I'm going to definitely check out.  Also check out this awesome review for Landslide:

Here is an excerpt from Landslide.   Enjoy:

The bedside lamp was on its lowest setting, its light blanketing the bedroom in an inviting glow. The moonlight that crept through the bank of bedroom windows added to the romantic ambience as Rachel lay Michelle’s arms, skin against skin, their bodies sated as fat snowflakes fluttered outside the windows.

Rachel absentmindedly twirled a strand of Michelle’s hair around her finger as she reflected on how much she loved the unpredictable winter weather in her home state, Colorado. Just when she thought she could take no more of the cold, a warm day came to melt all the muck, only to be replaced by a fresh coating of white fluff within days.
She glanced over to find that Michelle had fallen asleep, her face relaxed. Her long chestnut locks swirled around the pillow, and her lips were parted. Rachel supposed she must be exhausted from working long hours. She was proud of how far her partner had come since they had met five years earlier. Now that Michelle was well-established in a company that provided management services to outside firms, some projects took more of her time than others. Despite the pride Rachel felt in Michelle’s hard-earned accomplishments, she hoped that this project would be completed soon. She missed nights like this one.
She reached past her sleeping lover and turned off the bedside light before snuggling up against her. Her last cogent thought before sleep took her was to wonder what plans Michelle had made for Valentine’s Day weekend.

I want to thank Diane Marina for stopping by to chat.  Come check out her links, including the purchase link:

Follow Diane Marina on Twitter @diane_marina. 

Before you go come check out my webpage and like me on Facebook:

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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