Monday, May 14, 2007

Make-Believe Monday with Diane Whiteside

Today on Make-Believe Mondays our guest is Diane Whiteside.

Diane, first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you’re working on now.

Diane: I’m currently working on Bond of Fire, Volume 2 of my Texas vampire trilogy. It’s Jean-Marie St. Just’s story, a Frenchman who’s loved only one woman and has waited almost two hundred years for her. But to save his family, he may need to do the one thing she can’t forgive: kill her sister – who’s trying to murder his brother.

Debra: That sounds like an exciting story.

Ray Bradbury said, “We are cups, constantly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” How do you keep your creative cup filled?

Diane: Music and meditation keep me relaxed and happy enough to let my muse bubble up.

Debra: Relaxation is important when getting into that creative zone.

Is there a point when your characters begin to come alive and you can see and hear them?

Diane: Always. A story’s starting point is always a high-emotion scene. But I can’t really begin to write until the characters are banging on the inside of my skull, desperate to get out and onto the page. That’s when I can see and hear them, just as if they were standing in front of me.

Debra: What a great image. I can just see it.

Some very famous authors have played with language, creating words for people or places that no one has ever heard of. Have you ever played with words in that way and if so how?

Diane: Alas, no. I do like to play with words from very obscure languages, though.

Debra: What fun!

For some writers, dreams play a role in creating fiction. Has this been true for you? Have you ever dreamed a scene or an image that later wound up in one of your books?

Diane: Visuals rarely come to me from dreams but words frequently do. I actually once unlocked a very complicated plot this way, coming up with three major plot points for the backstory, which sent the book spinning forward.

Debra: How interesting. I hope you keep a notepad by the bed.

As a child did any particular book or author pull you into their imaginary world?

Diane: Zane Grey, JRR Tolkien, Georgette Heyer, and Elswyth Thane. I can still recite entire passages and see their worlds in my mind’s eye.

Debra: It's wonderful how some stories stick with us this way.

If there were no categories for books, no reader expectations to meet, and you could create the wildest work of imagination that you could think of what kind of story would that be?

Diane: It would definitely be a futuristic space opera with pirates, based on the 17th-18th century world. Swashbuckling to the max!

Debra: Oh, what fun! I hope you write that one some day.

Is there anything else you would like to add about the role of imagination, and dreams in creating fiction? Any other message for our readers?

Diane: Trust them. Don’t edit or dilute them. They’re the greatest source of creative power.

Debra: Such excellent advice.

Diane, thank you for joining us here on Make-Believe Mondays to share a bit of the magic of writing with our readers.

Diane: Thank you for letting me join you, Debra!

Debra: It was my pleasure.

Readers may visit Diane at

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