Today's Q&A Interview is with Author Diane Gardner!
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Why did you start writing and when did you decide to go professional?
Writing was a huge comfort to me when I was a teenager. I was somewhat of an awkward child, taller than most of the kids in my class, heck, taller than most of the kids in my school. Back in those days bullying was just something you took for granted. Everyone got teased, or bullied. That’s not to say it didn’t hurt. Being the introvert that I was, I bottled up my feelings of inferiority, brought them home, and wrote them out in abstract poetic form. For me it was a great release. I’m not sure anyone else could decipher what my poems said, much less what they were about. But I knew, and they helped me through a very trying time of my life.
I continued writing poetry during different stages of my life. I don’t have half of what I wrote anymore. Once I started painting and pursuing a career with my artwork I wrote less and less. It wasn’t until just a couple of years ago that I decided I wanted to write a novel. The first one was a fantasy about a little boy in a world of talking animals. Unfortunately I never did really find a plot for that book so it’s hidden away somewhere in the closet.
I’ve done some professional writing with a newspaper and worked closely with an editor helping her with some projects. When she invited me to the National League of America Pen Women’s meeting I felt the pull to be a professional writer. I think it might have been an inner dream of mine, I love getting lost in other worlds! I was then invited to a critique group and met some local authors. That’s when the I caught the bug. From there is was about attending writer’s workshops, critique groups and big conferences like SCBWI and PNCW that I decided to pursue what I love. My story came from my fulfilling the desire to one day paint a dragon!
Do you write in more than one genre? Which ones and which do you like the best?
I’ve only written for young people, although my most zealous fan is a 90 year old lady. I think a good fantasy story an appeal to all ages if its written well. That’s what I try to do. I have in mind to write a dystopia series when the Realm comes to a conclusion.
Do you read other author’s books when you’re writing? If so, do you read the same genre or something different?
I’ve read a few books while writing. Now that I’m an author and have met so many other authors it’s almost impossible not to be reading four or five books at once plus writing my own. The books I read are almost all fantasy although I’m the only fantasy writer in my critique group. And I have a pull towards books such as Gary Schmidt’s Wednesday Wars, or Matt de la Pena We Were Here. I love the books that make me both cry and laugh.
What is the most difficult part of the entire writing process for you? Queries, pitches, editing..etc.
I have to admit, pitches and queries were. I’m so fortunate to be with a publisher that wants everything I write, for the most part, that I don’t have to worry about those anymore. So for me, the most difficult part of writing is those few days just before publication when I just can’t stand to wait for the world to read my book!
Dianne Gardner is both an author and illustrator living the Pacific Northwest, Olalla Washington. She’s an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and the National League of American Pen Women. She has written Young Adult Fantasy novels as well as articles for national magazines and newspapers and she is an award-winning artist.
Publisher’s website: http://www.hydrapublications.com/shop/deception-peak/
Official book blog: http://dragontargeseries.blogspot.com/
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