Some authors find you, others you find, today with the help of goodreads, I found Dianne Hartsock. Dianne was kind enough to grant your humble and sometimes quirky site mistress an interview. If Dianne and I lived closer, I might be a frequent visitor to her ‘day job’ which as it turns out is a ……. I hope you enjoy our interview and you will find out what Dianne does when she is not being a wife, mother and author.
Please tell me about your Psychological Thriller. What or who inspired you to write it?
My novel ALEX is about a young man who, though not exactly a psychic in the traditional sense, can share an empathetic bond with people that can sometimes
Be frightening. A serial killer has moved into the area, and Alex finds himself connecting with the victims. He works with the police to help find the killer, though they begin to suspect he might be involved. Alex is the story of a twenty-something young man simply trying to make a normal life in a world he doesn’t always understand.
My inspiration: I’ve always been fascinated with the human mind and psychic ability. I wondered what it might take to bring out this amazing ability in a person. ALEX is my theory.
Who are some of your favorite authors and books? Did they influence or inspire your writing style and give you ideas?
I’d say the books that inspired me the most when writing ALEX were the medical thrillers by Robin Cook and Michael Crichton and the psychological thrillers by Patricia Cornwall and Michael Palmer. I love the creepy , suspenseful feeling that came over me when I read their stories and wanted to put that in my own book.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What was the biggest compliment? Did those change how or what you did in your next novel?
The toughest criticism of my writing is that I usually have too much plot going on. (I’ve also been told I have too many sex scenes in my erotic romances, but that’s another story!) I don’t think I have too much storyline, but maybe I haven’t explained the set up clearly. Something I’ll continue working on.
Biggest compliment: This is as near as I have come to someone else’s beating heart. -Donald Ford in his review of ALEX
This or That – Chocolate or Vanilla?? Coffee or Tea?? TV or Movies??
Chocolate!! Coffee!! Movies!!
When you sit down to write, are you at a computer or do you do it, the ‘old fashioned’ way with pen and paper? Do you prefer one way or another?
I write on the computer. I used to write a story out by hand, but found I seemed to lose something when I transferred it. Typing it out became a chore and I would hurry through it and not really pay attention to the story. Also, I edit as I go along, and having it on the screen where I can cut/paste makes this so much easier. Then by the time I’m done, I have a story that’s nearly completed and ready to send off.
What do you do in your down time? Do you pick up something from your ‘to be read’ stack?
Besides being an author, I’m also a full time floral designer with a fulltime husband and two college-age children, so I couldn’t say I have a lot of down time. I also like to make time for my family during the week and occasionally spend long weekends with my husband. Then, every spare minute after that goes to writing. But usually late in the evening, when I’ve reached my goal (or not!) I’ll read something off my kindle or snuggle on the couch with a hot chocolate and a favorite book. Like most authors, I love to read almost as much as I like to write.
If your protagonist was a real person, what would they think about you? Would they want to hang out with you?
Would Alex like me? I hope so. I like to think I would be a good friend to him. Someone he could talk to and he could count on my sympathy and support. I try not to judge people, and hope he would feel welcomed and safe in my home.
What has been your favorite part of being an author? What has been your least favorite?
My favorite part is interacting with my readers. I feel like I have my own little cheerleading group that’s amazingly supportive and encouraging. I see them at the blog hops and guest posts and my social networking sites. I get this big warm happy feeling as they hail a new book of mine with enthusiasm and excitement. I love them!
On the other hand, my least favorite part is when I get a bad review. So very hard not to take it personally. I remind myself that I can’t please everyone, but that doesn’t always help.
What is your favorite junk food vice?
Tortilla chips with salsa or a good guacamole dip. Oh yeah, my mouth is watering!
If you could step into the shoes of your protagonist for one day, would you? What would you like to experience or see during that day?
I don’t think I would ever want to step into ALEX’s shoes even for a few minutes. His visions sound terrifying, and though he has the love and support from Jane and his friends, he still seems an isolated, lonely man. His gift would make life extremely difficult and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
Did you have any teacher(s) in high school or college that encouraged you to write? Did you take their advice?
I have to say a big YES to this question. My seventh grade creative writing teacher was the first person to say I had a talent and she encouraged me to start submitting my short stories to contests, newspapers, etc. I’ve been writing ever since.
What type of ice cream could I find you eating on a hot summer day?
Vanilla Bean ice cream with hot fudge on top.
When you read for pleasure, what is your choice?? eReader or Paperback or Hardcover? Any particular reason??
I’ve been having a thirty year love affair with hardcover romances published in the 1890-1920’s. Love the smell and soft feel and true romance of them.
This or That – Christmas or Your Birthday?? Chocolate or Flowers?? Cell Phone or No Phone?? Quality or Quantity??
Christmas!! Chocolate!! Cell Phone!! Quality!!
What do your friends and family think of your writing? Have they been supportive?
My family and friends have been nothing but supportive of me. My husband brags to whoever will listen that his wife is an author. My kids and friends promote me on their social network sites. I think they’re more enthusiastic about it than I am!
Is their anything else you would like to share or say to those who will read this?
Yes! Thank you so much for stopping by and please, feel free to contact me any time.