Exclusive Interview with
Diane M. How
When did you start writing?
I’ve always dabbled in writing short stories and poetry, taking a variety of adult ed classes and junior college course, but not seriously committing to the process until I joined a writing club and critique group.
What makes writing your passion?
I’ve always struggled to speak what was on my mind, but found writing much easier and more successful. It’s my release, my way of being heard without shouting.
How long have you been writing?
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
My first book was a very personal effort to heal wounds and empty closets filled with skeletons. While most of the pain, anger, and disappointment had been expunged from the printed version, the exercise itself brought me peace and understanding. I consider my first novel, The Dahlonega Sisters, The Gold Miner Ring my first successful book. I’m proud of it and can’t wait to write the next in the series.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
My characters introduced themselves to me. They are three aging sisters. One is quirky, with lots of superstitions. Another is the salt of the earth, while the third is off exploring the world. They aren’t ready for rocking chairs or old-folks homes, yet. Neither am I.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
I’m not sure annoyed is the right word, but there is an expectation that everyone is comfortable and knowledgeable about social media, marketing and publicity. Writing is easy, all that other stuff drives me nuts.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
It took many years, but I finally believe that I write well enough that others want to read it. My advice for new authors is to believe in yourself. Learn to listen and read as much as you can about writing. There will be lots of advice and opinions. Learn which to accept and which to ignore.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
“You can do it.” My self-esteem and confidence was negligible until mid-thirties when a friend convinced me that I had potential. Build on small successes and reach for the stars.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
I’m just now receiving and reading a few book reviews. I realize that not every book that I pick up is to my liking, but there is a kind way of providing an opinion. I hope that most readers will provide an honest review, but for those who only wish to throw stones, I’ll consider what they have to say and if it doesn’t feel right, I will ignore them.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
The honest, behind the scenes answer, I am thrilled, giddy. Then the self-doubt surfaces and I start dissecting each sentence. “It’s a sweet story.” Does that mean they gagged when they read it? In case you didn’t notice, I’m still working on the self-esteem thing.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Absolutely, but I’ll never tell which things. LOL!
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
I don’t think any one character represents me, at least intentionally. The overall story incorporates my beliefs and values. I’m a silver-lining type person who loves happy endings and believes there are always two sides to a story. I’d find it nearly impossible to write a novel that doesn’t.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
For me, as a reader, I admit I pick lots of books based on the cover. I don’t think I’m alone. Yes, it’s worth paying for a professional cover.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I’m working on it. I like to connect to readers through my writing and try to get them to chat, but I haven’t quite learned the art, yet.