Today on Reading Reality we’re blasting off into the Blue Universe of my very special guest, Diane Dooley. Diane writes in a genre that is very close to my heart, science fiction romance. (It’s so close, in fact, that Diane and I are both members of the SFR Brigade, an organization that promotes science fiction romance)
Diane is here today to celebrate the release of her latest voyage into SFR, Blue Nebula, the sequel to Blue Galaxy. If you like science fiction romance at all, or even if you’re thinking about giving it a try, you must check these two books out. (See my reviews of Galaxy and Nebula for more details). Diane’s universe is a blast!
Marlene: Diane, can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Diane: I’m originally from Jersey, a small and beautiful island off the coast of France. My family moved to Scotland when I was ten and I grew up there. I took off travelling when I was about twenty one and didn’t really settle down until I had my two kids. I studied history at university, but worked mostly in social services (and still do.) I’m a voracious reader, a music geek, I laugh a lot and live in an old farmhouse in upstate New York with my guys, my garden, my critters and my books.
Marlene: I know you’re a member of the SFR Brigade (me too!) Would you like to tell the readers a little bit about the Brigade?
Diane: The Science Fiction Romance Brigade, the brainchild of Laurie Green, is a group of SFR writers and supporters who work to assist each other and advance the genre. We’re a fun and busy bunch! SFR readers would like the FanPage on Facebook for details of new releases, cover reveals, blog tours, giveaways and more. SFR writers and bloggers would like the Facebook Brigade group, which is more for networking and information-sharing. We also have a blog. We’re currently working on creating an anthology of SFR short stories and novelettes. I’m an administrator for the FB group, so if there is anyone reading this who would like to join or get more information, please do contact me.
Marlene: What made you choose to write science fiction romance (SFR)? Why not more “traditional” SF? Or another genre altogether?
Diane: I’ve always enjoyed more character-focused science fiction, so it just seemed to make sense for me to write science fiction that paid more attention to relationships than traditional science fiction. I do write in other genres: horror, contemporary romance, humor, and I have a couple of other works in progress that are of other genres entirely.
Diane: It’s easier in one way; the world is already imagined, so you don’t have to start building one from scratch. A sequel is harder in another way, in that it must still stand alone. The reader should not have to have read the first one in order for the story to make sense. I worked hard to make Blue Nebula stand on its own. That said, I still think it’s best to read Blue Galaxy first.
Marlene: Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner or pantser?
Diane: I’m at the computer all day, along with a lengthy to-do list. I also have a freelance writing gig, creating curriculum for learners with disabilities. In addition to the writing, there is also the blogging, the website to keep updated, tasks for the SFR Brigade, beta reading for writing colleagues, and keeping up an online presence on Facebook and Twitter.
I’ve both planned and pantsed. The shorter the work the more likely it is I’ll pants it. Novel-length and series I tend to plan, though quite loosely. I must admit to enjoying pantsing the most, though. I love not knowing where the story is going. It makes for a much more visceral fun ride of a writing experience for me.
Marlene: What is your favorite thing about the writing experience and why?
Diane: The initial imagining of the story is the most fun for me. Even when I don’t outline a story, I usually have a lot of it figured out in my head before I start getting it down on the hard drive. Just thinking it up is easy and fun; writing it down is hard and grueling.
Marlene: What was the first moment you know you wanted to write?
Diane: I never really thought I would be a writer. I may have daydreamed about it as a child, but never thought it would make a practical and secure career. And it isn’t! One day, while doing a stint as a stay at home mom, I told my husband I needed some intellectual stimulation and that I thought I could write a book. He bought me a computer and I wrote my first novel in about eight weeks. I haven’t stopped writing since. I have tried to stop. It really isn’t lucrative or practical, but I got horribly depressed when I gave it up. It had turned into something I simply had to do.
Diane: I think every writer should read The Writing Life by Annie Dillard. It’s not a ‘how to’ book, rather it’s about how damn tortuous the urge to write can be. Dillard is an exquisite writer, but this books describes how bloody difficult writing a good sentence or selecting the perfect word can be. For everyone I recommend Roald Dahl’s stories for children: clever, funny, sad, honest – just brilliant.
Marlene: Now can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read your books?
Diane: *scratches head* I really should have a canned answer for this one, but I don’t. *scratches head some more* I think I provide an intense reading experience. There is usually adventure of some kind or other, splashes of dark humor, twists and turns, secrets being revealed at the worst possible moments, damaged people finding love in unexpected places. It’s a rich brew and definitely not to everyone’s taste. I like tragedy and trauma, love and redemption. Readers should expect the unexpected.
Diane: There is one more book in the Blue Universe series, but it’s giving me difficulty. The darn thing wants to be two books and I’m currently trying to wrestle it into submission. I have a contemporary romance, That Night, coming out in December from Wild Rose Press. It’s my version of a sweet holiday-flavored romance, in which, unusually for me, no one dies or gets betrayed. I’m also working on a couple of short stories, a gothic romance and am doing research for a historical.
Marlene: Now can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read your books? (I shouldn’t have asked this twice, but Diane came up with such a damn good answer, I’m leaving it in!)
Diane: Eek, three more reasons? Um. I guess I’ll quote my husband on this one: “bold, unique and original.” Yeah, he loves me a lot *grin*.
Marlene: Morning person or night owl?
Diane: Night owl, for sure. The crack of dawn looks suspiciously like hell to me, though it does improve with lots of coffee.
Thanks for hosting me on your blog, Marlene! I’d like to give away e-copies of Blue Galaxy and its sequel, Blue Nebula. To enter the giveaway please answer Marlene’s question “What book do you recommend everyone should read and why did you pick that particular book?”
Wow, Diane, thanks for being such a terrific guest! I’m thrilled to know there will be one more trip to the Blue Universe. Can I vote and say that two trips (two more books) would be absolutely fine with me?
All you have to do is answer the question: What book do you recommend everyone should read and why did you pick that particular book?
Winners will be chosen by random.org
Please be sure to include a valid email address in the comment form (need not be in the actual body of the comment)
This giveaway is open to all!
Giveaway ends on Saturday, October 20, 2012.
Diane Dooley writes romance, science fiction and horror – sometimes all in the same story. You can catch up with her on her blog, Facebook or Twitter. She also blogs regularly at Contact: Infinite Futures and is a regular contributor to The Galaxy Express.