Dianna Love is one of the awesome authors who will be joining us in February for my favorite book event of the year, Coastal Magic. She has been nice enough to answer a few questions for us.
Be sure to check out the giveaway at the end of the post!
Dianna has several books out, so take a minute to take a look and see if she has anything you may be interested in! Please show Dianna some FANG FREAKIN LOVE!
Tell us a little about yourself.
Readers have heard me say that I grew up on the west coast of Florida in the Tampa Bay area, and that I love to fish. But they may not know that even as a child, I spent a lot of time fishing any time I wasn’t in school because we fed a family of seven on what we caught. My dad rebuilt and sold heavy equipment, so another thing I learned very early was how to operate a TD-7 Dozer and drive a standard transmission pickup truck, both years before I was old enough for a driver’s license. But art was my first love back then, which came in handy when I decided to work for myself in my late teens. I’ve always been a right brain/left brain person who loved the business part as much as the creative end of anything I tackled, and I’m happiest running my own business. These things came in handy years later when I decided to write my first book. I love the opportunity to share all those stories flying around in my head. When I take a break from writing, I still enjoy saltwater fishing even though I had to do it constantly as a kid. I’m married to a motorcycle safety instructor, and now I also enjoy riding my BMW motorcycle to out-of-the way places.
How long have you been writing stories?
I started in 2001, sold that first book in 2004 and it was released in 2005.
At what point did you decide you wanted to write stories that you wanted to be published?
I had no plan to be published when I started writing. I was, and still am, a voracious reader. I used to get paid to climb high in the air to paint wall murals, and I got to the point that I could paint almost on autopilot. Since I was up there by myself, I had some ideas that kept playing through my mind while I was working. When I decided to put one of those stories on paper, I became fascinated by the idea of shaping it into a novel. Once I realized I was passionate about writing and committed to finishing that first book, I put a tremendous focus on getting it ‘right,’ but I still was not looking to publish. Figuring out what to do required attending many workshops and studying everything I could get my hands on. Along the way, I put that first book into contests, and it won the majority of the ones entered. The largest contest was Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart® Award. By the time I won that one, an editor was reading the book and I signed with an agent. It wasn’t until I won that award and walked back down to sit with my husband, who had traveled to New York to be with me for the award night, that I said for the first time, “Good grief. Somebody might buy this book.” They did buy it and that same book won a RITA® award the next year. I never pictured myself as an author. I just followed my passion and that’s where it took me. Don’t get me wrong. It took a lot of hard work and help from writers willing to share knowledge with me. Members of the Romance Writers of America are known for being incredibly generous with information.
What was your inspiration for the Beladors series you co-authored with Sherrilyn Kenyon?
I created this series many years before it was published. When the series was first submitted, two publishers liked it, but felt it would be easier to sell as a vampire romance because they were buying vampire books right and left. I politely declined because it was not a vampire series, and while there are strong romantic threads all through the Belador series, it is not technically a romance because each book is not all about a specific couple getting their HEA. In the Belador series, a major romance between Evalle and Storm develops over the course of several books much like Jamie and Claire’s romance in Outlander. The idea behind the Belador series came to me when I wondered “If all gods and goddesses are so powerful, what would happen if pantheons went up against each other, such as a Celtic goddess in conflict with a Hindu god?” Who would win? I didn’t want the story world to focus so much on the gods and goddesses as on their followers, which brought it down to our world. The series is built around Evalle Kincaid, Tzader Burke and Vladimir Quinn, who are three best friends (not a love triangle – they all have different love interests). It’s set primarily in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, but frequently moves to other locations and different realms. VIPER is a coalition of powerful beings who protect humans from preternatural predators, and the humans don’t know any of this exists. The Beladors and their Celtic goddess Macha are part of this coalition. A few years after I first turned down the offer to make the Beladors a vampire romance series, I was co-authoring the BAD Agency romantic suspense series with my friend Sherrilyn Kenyon, who created that series, when our publisher asked for something paranormal from the two of us. Urban fantasy had changed and expanded in the six years since I’d put the Beladors aside, so I suggested we submit that one. The editor loved it and we co-wrote the first four, but Sherri’s career was skyrocketing at the same time with a movie and television deal (go Sherri!) on her signature Dark-Hunter® series. We reached a point that we decided I should continue on my own so that readers wouldn’t have to wait more than a year between books. I’ve always appreciated the way Sherri puts her readers first. I continued the series with Demon Storm (book 5, Oct 2014) and Witchlock (book 6, July 2015). The next one coming out will be Rogue Belador (April 2016).
What are your favorite things about being a published author?
Meeting readers. I love talking books – all kinds of books – with people who ‘get’ me. Readers are my tribe. There’s nothing more flattering than for someone to walk up and say, “I just finished your book and I love it. When’s the next one?” I’m in awe of my readers and love how savvy they are when it comes to talking about anything from characters to the book business.
Piracy. There are few things that hurt as much as working seven days a week for months on end, giving up time with family and making other sacrifices to finish a book, only to see someone steal your work.
What are your favorite paranormal or urban fantasy characters to read or write about?
My characters are like my kids, which means there are days I love them and days they make me nuts – lol. It’s impossible to choose a favorite, though I always look forward to spending time writing about Evalle, Tzader and Quinn. The excitement is in uncovering bits of things about them that I didn’t know before. And as to reading, sorry, but I have a lot of paranormal authors I love to read. If I answer this part, I’ll be in the doghouse with someone I forgot or because I mentioned someone second instead of first. ;0)
Have you visited anywhere cool in relation to one of your books?
Yes. Writing is the reason I’ve traveled to places like Germany, UK and Australia. All fabulous places to visit.
If you could meet one book character in real life, who would it be and why?
Evalle Kincaid. With what happened to her during the first eighteen years of her life, she has every reason to be a cynical, unhappy and untrusting person, but she’s loyal to a fault, determined to do what’s right even at personal cost, she loves as passionately as she battles, and she’s one badass warrior. She has a pet gargoyle others would have destroyed because she was willing to look deeper than appearances, and a sexy Skinwalker mate who gets her. She’s lived in my mind for ten years. I would like to ask her, “Am I getting your story right?”
Who are your favorite authors?
Haha! You’re sneaky, but I can’t answer this either or I’ll catch the devil from someone. :0)
Is there anything you can think of that your fans would be surprised to know about you?
As I mentioned earlier, I have a bit of an odd background, and a lot of folks know about my fishing and motorcycle hobby. They may not know that I’ve skydived, but hate going underground. I started collecting hand-cut eggs many years ago after a girlfriend gave me a little egg that was cut and decorated. In fact, my wedding cake had a custom-designed ostrich egg on top. That same friend gave it to me as a wedding gift. I’m also an avid Fantasy Football fan.
A BIG thank you to Dianna for sharing a little bit about herself and her books with us today! I know I can’t wait to meet her myself in February, so be sure to get your tickets for Coastal Magic before they sell out! Click HERE to go to the website about Coastal Magic so you can get your tickets and join the party!
Also by this author: Tristan's Escape
The Beladors are back in WITCHLOCK, Book 6 of the bestselling urban fantasy series by New York Times bestseller Dianna Love.
Witchlock vanished in the 13th century… or did it?
Some win. Some lose. And some will never be the same again.
After finally earning her place among the Beladors, Evalle is navigating the ups and downs of her new life with Storm when she’s sucked into a power play between her Belador tribe and the Medb coven. Both groups claim possession of the Alterants-turned-gryphons, especially Evalle, the gryphon leader. But an influx of demons and dark witches into Atlanta threatens to unleash war between covens, pitting allies against each other as a legendary majik known as Witchlock invades the city and attacks powerful beings. Evalle has one hope for stopping the invasion, but the cost may be her sanity and having to choose which friend to save.
Find the Author: Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon