Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dianne Hartsock in the Author Spotlight

Cate: Please welcome Dianne Hartsock. Dianne, will you please share a short bio with us?
Dianne: Thank you for having me as your guest today, Cate. I live in the beautiful Willamette Valley of Oregon with my incredibly patient husband, who puts up with the endless hours I spend hunched over the keyboard letting my characters play.
I have to say, Oregon’s raindrops are the perfect setting in which to write my slightly twisted 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 my imagination.
Currently, I work as a floral designer in a locally-owned gift shop. Which is the perfect job for me. When not writing, I can express myself through the rich colors and textures of flowers and foliage.

Cate: Very cool. Tell us about ALEX and where it's available.
Dianne: ALEX, paranormal/ suspense novel from Solstice Publishing, May 31, 2011.
Solstice Publishing:
With ALEX, I wanted to take a different approach than the usual serial killer/psychic story. This is a story of a young man able to experience other people’s emotions and sometimes see their thoughts. The story is told from Alex’s unique perspective, his thoughts and emotions and how he deals with his ‘gift’ in a doubting world.

Cate: So intriguing. And I’ve been loving your Six Sentence Sunday snippets. Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Dianne: Severely abused as a child, Alex is left with horrible scars on his body and even worse scars within his mind. Even though it puts him in danger, he’s compelled to help those who call to him. He’s driven, motivated by his visions to rescue them and uncover the killer. When he can, he helps the police; yet some detectives suspect he’s the cause of the problem, not the solution. Often, Alex finds himself alone and afraid in a world he doesn’t always comprehend.           
Her skin was soft under his fingertips. Her bare shoulders, the curve of muscle in her arms, her slim fingers; all so soft. Her breath caressed his cheek as he stared at her lips. He wanted to kiss her. It was a risk, he knew, but he ached for someone to break the loneliness. He bent his head and ran his tongue tentatively over the sweet fullness of her mouth. Her tongue met his but he was unprepared for the fire that tore through him. She pressed against him to deepen the kiss and a wild madness surged through his blood.
Something was wrong. She cried out as she struggled in his arms. Her nails raked across his neck. He let her go and watched in bewilderment as she scrambled away, her breath coming in sharp gasps. He reached out a tentative hand, wanting to explain—apologize, but she stepped hastily away from him.
“Freak!” she spat and quickly fled.
He jerked as the word struck him, his arm dropping to his side. The pain of her rejection flooded him. He touched his mouth and wondered desperately what she’d seen as he’d kissed her.
She stopped at the end of the bridge and looked over her shoulder. He couldn’t make out her expression, but he hoped to God it wasn’t pity. He took a hesitant step toward her but she tore her eyes away and rushed off.
He watched her follow the road back to town, hurrying as the sun sank. The far side of the road was already lost in darkness. His shoulders slumped in defeat when she disappeared into the gloom.
Dejected, he sat on the edge of the bridge and dangled his feet over the swift current. The sound of the rushing water echoed under him, filling his ears. It dulled the edge of his pain, making him forget his humiliation as he listened. He could almost make out a voice in the resonance.

Cate: Such depth of emotion - wonderful. Can you tell us why we're going to love your hero?
Dianne: Alex is a young man whose mind has slipped beyond the common boundaries of life. The compassion and quiet courage in which he faces life and overcomes his fears, and his very human weaknesses, will endear him to everyone. Only the love and support of his friends brings him through the summer safely, with his mind whole. 

Cate: You really make us feel for poor Alex. Tease us with one little thing about your fictional world that makes it different from others.
Dianne: Jane drew in a lungful of air, exhaled, and forced herself to be calm. As she had earlier, she tried to focus her mind and energy on Alex, wishing him to be okay.
“Stay with me,” she begged, knowing if there was anyone in the world who could perceive her thoughts, it would be him.
In this world, there are very few people, if any, who are so in tune with another soul that they can hear that person’s thoughts. It’s what makes Alex so special and dear.

Cate: What's next for you?
Dianne: Goodness, Cate, I’m having such a wonderful year I hardly know where to begin. Never having been published before, this year has been a dream come true. Currently, I have two short stories published with Breathless Press:

Shelton in Love

Shelton is falling hard for his best friend and roommate, finding Nevil’s dark good looks and moments of gentleness almost impossible to resist. But Nevil is more interested in affairs of the body than the heart. As Shelton’s desire for the man grows, he wonders if he can change Nevil’s mind. But does he even want to? Nevil might not stay, once he learns Shelton’s secret, and then his loneliness would be complete.

Shelton’s Promise

Shelton has a gift he’s eager to give to Nevil. At a party, Nevil flirts with one man after another, keeping Shelton on his toes. Then Percy, an ex, shows up to complicate things. Despite his best efforts, Shelton can’t find the right moment to give Nevil his gift. Will Nevil ever let Shelton get close to him, or will Shelton have to keep the gift in his pocket all evening?

I also have a paranormal story coming out from MuseItUp Publishing this October.

The Trials of a Lonely Specter

And there’s many more ideas where these came from!

Cate: So cool – love to hear you’re doing so well! What inspired you to draft your first story?
Dianne: Funny as it may seem, I fell in love with Ray Bradbury’s stories when a teenager and wanted to create worlds the way he is able to. I’ve been working on it ever since.

Cate: I loved his stories as a teenager too. Do you have a writing routine?
Dianne: 7a.m. The alarm goes off. Morning already? Shouldn't have stayed up so late last night. Shower. Coffee. Computer on. Check mail, social networks. News at 7:30.7:45. Time to write! WooHoo! I open my current wip and get to work. What? Wait. 8:30 already? Drag myself reluctantly to the bedroom to get ready for work. If I'm very lucky, I'll be ready by 8:50 and can get in another 25 minutes. But first, check mail again. Hey, I might have sold something while I was gone! Get home from work at 6pm. Make dinner, spend time with husband. 9pm., computer back on! Check mail, social networks. Write blogs, etc. Then back to what I love best. Writing! Hey, it can't be 11pm already? Well, I don't think another hour will hurt me. Maybe two. Who needs more than six hours of sleep anyway? If only I didn't love it so much. :)

Cate: Wish I were so disciplined! Where can readers find you on the web: 

Cate: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Dianne: I’m curious how many of you believe in the paranormal, whether it’s ghosts or a person’s special abilities. Would it frighten you, if it was real?

Cate: Great question! Can’t wait to read the answers. Readers, Dianne is giving away a PDF copy of ALEX to a random commenter…so start commenting. She’d like to know if you’ve had any paranormal encounters of your own. She'll pick a winner next weekend and announce the winner here. Please leave your contact information!


Cate Masters said...

Welcome Dianne! Love that you're a Bradbury fan like me. One of my favorite quotes of his says: Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.
Pretty much sums up my writing process, lol.

Colleen Connally said...

Of course, I believe in ghosts or perhaps I want to believe. Makes me enjoy ghost stories better. Everyone wants to be scared once in a while.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Cate! I really enjoyed your questions. Looking forward to stopping by this week.

Jerri and Carrie, believing in ghosts adds spice to life!

Tabitha Shay said...

Well, Dianne,
You certainly sound like a busy lady. Good luck with all your new books. I write paranormal romances, but I'm I'm not sure if I believe in However, I do get asked rather frequently if I'm a witch since I write about witches. You can reach me at tabshay at gmail dot com

Jeannie in a book said...

At the risk of sounding more odd than I already seem, I have had many paranormal experiences. I lived in a haunted house as a child. Both myself and my siblings either felt, saw, heard or were the recipient of this ghost's little games of moving our toys around when we weren't looking, as well as more frightening things like slamming windows or hearing footsteps, and seeing our door open on its own.
I don't live there now. ha.
Anyway, back to ALEX--the book sounds like a welcome read--so many times the same story is retold too many times. Diane, you created a new twist on the paranormal. :)

Jason said...

Alex sounds like an amazing read. Congrats on another amazing release.


Conda Douglas said...

Alex sounds like a delightful read. I've had a couple of encounters with the other worldly--both in mundane settings/circumstances...

Anonymous said...

Hi Tabitha, I haven't tried to write a paranormal romance yet. I'm becoming intrigued...

Thanks for stopping by, J.M. I grew up in haunted house, too! That's what got me interested in the paranormal. Still looking for answers!

Thanks, Jason. Alex is one of my favorite characters and I'm hoping people like him as much as I do!

Conda, I'd love to hear your stories! Sounds fascinating.

Marianne Stephens said...

Love your idea of a tormented psychic and his journey through life.
I believe in the else could so many things be left unexplained?
The element of "what if" in paranormal keeps an author's mind creative and readers eager to read more.

Anonymous said...

Hi Marianne, That element of 'what if' keeps all of life exciting. :)
Thanks for commenting.

Anonymous said...

Jerri Hines won the copy of ALEX. Congratulations! And thanks everyone for their comments.