Author Spotlight

I was very lucky to able to learn a little more about a very talented author…who seems to be able to have it all.  Let’s chat with Diane Craver

Have you always wanted to be a writer and when did you begin writing?
Ever since I was small, I’ve enjoyed writing. When I was in junior high, I wrote a few stories for fun and also wrote poetry. Then in college my roommate and I started writing about our adventures, but we never finished the book. I planned on becoming a high school business teacher, but that changed when I took economics and hated it. I switched to an English and Speech dual major. After I married and started a family, I no longer taught full-time. I began writing nonfiction when our oldest daughter was a toddler. I had several magazine articles published by the time I attended a romance writing conference in Cincinnati (I think it was in 1995) and it was sponsored by the Ohio Valley Romance Writers. I met many published authors and their enthusiasm was contagious. I decided to start writing fiction. I loved it but I got off to a slow start with six children at home.

How does the writing process work for you?   Do your stories come to you all at once or page by page?
Many times I think of a character first with a big conflict. For a few days dialogue, scenes, setting and characters parade across my mind before I write anything down. When I start writing, I put the big scenes down before even starting the first few pages. My characters tend to take over so I don’t make a detailed outline. I might hear something on TV that stimulates a story line. For example, one idea actually came from a news report about a plane crash. When I heard a woman walked away from this tragedy and wanted to change her life, my imagination took this idea to develop the story for Never The Same.

Tell us a little about yourself and what makes you tick?
I grew up on a farm and went to the same small rural school all twelve years. When I started college at Ohio State, it was a big change going to a big ten university. My faith is important to me, especially since I’ve been through some hard times with raising two children with special needs. I love celebrating holidays and spending time with our family. I can’t imagine my life without my husband and children.

What is your perfect writing environment…do you need quiet or can you work with background noise?
I don’t need perfect quiet. Although I usually write in my study while on the computer, I do sometimes take a paper with me to the kitchen and write while cooking. When I pick up my daughters from school, I’m always thinking about my writing which is not so great when you miss an exit. I do have paper and pen in my van so if I hit a red light or have to wait for someone, I can write ideas down.

I read that you have six children…how do you find time to write?
It’s easier now because two have careers, two are at college, and our two daughters born with Down syndrome live with us. It was hard to find time when all six were at home. Our kids were involved in several sports so I was busy driving them to practices and attending their games. I did this for years and I’m still driving the youngest daughter to her sports. I started books but never finished anything until the oldest ones went off to college. Another big help was when my husband bought me a computer for my writing. However, there are still days when I’m distracted by family stuff.

How do you celebrate after finishing a book or meeting a deadline?
I’m not an exciting person. I might watch TV or watch movies with my family. Or I bake a special dessert or make a more elaborate meal for everyone. Also I usually have a stack of books I want to read once I finish my own writing. It’s nice to take a short break so I get refreshed and inspired again before starting something new.

If you could bring one character to life who would it be and why?
I’d choose my character, Jake Michaels, to bring to life. He’s a hot guy in my chick-lit mystery, A Fiery Secret. He’s sexy, thoughtful, caring, cooks for his date, and I like his sense of humor.

What are some of your favorite authors, movies, groups, books, and food?
Authors: I have many favorite authors and here are some of them - Debbie Macomber, Jayne Ann Krentz, Sandra Brown, Mary Higgins Clark, Mary Jane Clark, Marion Chesney, John Grisham, Jude Deveraux, and my friends, Dianne Castell and Stacia Wolf.

 Movies: While I Was Sleeping, Ever After, Back to the Future (the first and third ones), National Treasure, Princess Bride.

 Music: The Fray, Kelly Clarkson, Nick Lachey.  Books:  Kitty McKenzie by Anne Whitfield, A Knight in Shining Armor and The Summerhouse by Jude Deveraux, Mirror Image by Sandra Brown.

Food:  Mexican and Italian. Desserts: Cheesecake, cherry cordial ice cream, pumpkin pie, no bake cookies

Any advice for aspiring writers?
You have to be persistent and develop a thick skin when it comes to rejections. Remember this is a subjective business so don’t get discouraged. I’d suggest finishing your book before querying publishers and agents. I had half of a novel done when I queried an agent and expected her to ask for a partial first which would give me plenty of time to finish it. Instead, I heard immediately from her and she requested the whole manuscript. It was very stressful trying to finish it and get it to her as quickly as possible.

Can you tell us a little about what you have coming up?
Here are the blurbs for all three new releases:

No Greater Loss
 


Genre: Inspirational Romance
Publication Dates: Ebook – Available now

Print: February 20, 2007

Can a new love heal a wounded heart?

Dr. Jennifer Hunter is so stunned by her past that she’s unable to move on with her life. After losing her young husband and baby son fifteen years ago she’s determined never to marry again. Losing loved ones is just too painful.

A friend introduces Jennifer to Luke Brunsman and suggests she hire him to renovate her antique farmhouse. Instantly attracted to Luke, she refuses the widowed contractor’s help. But after she gets injured working on a fireplace, she gives in.

Luke clearly wants more than a business relationship, and Jennifer guards her heart. His kisses make her yearn for a future once denied her. Luke falls in love with her but finds tearing down the walls in Jennifer’s house is easier than breaking through her protective shell.

When Dr. Hunter’s radio talk show catches the attention of a vengeful arsonist, Luke and Jennifer must overcome the shadows of the past and find the courage to love again.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A Fiery Secret


Genre: Chick-Lit Mystery
Publication Dates: Ebook - Available now
Print: February 20, 2007

An old boyfriend wants Catherine Steel’s love and someone else wants her dead when she learns the explosive truth behind a murder.

Catherine Steel is an investigative reporter for a newspaper in Ohio. To supplement her income so that she can buy clothes for herself and gifts for her small godchild, she writes fluff pieces for women’s magazines.  Two recent articles are: “What To Wear to Get Noticed” and “Catherine’s Ten Simple Dating Rules.” When Jake Michaels fills a sports editor’s spot on the paper, Catherine wonders if he is man enough to fulfill her fantasy. And does she want him to be the one? 

After all, he broke her heart ten years ago in high school when he failed to show up for their prom date. And now that he’s back in town, he wants to date her. Catherine refuses to go out with him but he keeps asking. Should she give Jake another chance?

When it appears the beloved high school janitor, Max, was murdered, Catherine is determined to learn the truth about his death. Catherine’s list of suspects for Max’s death include: the school secretary with her intense dislike of Max, the charismatic mayor, the mayor’s unbalanced girlfriend, the angry school principal, and a strange math teacher. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Never The Same


Genre: Women’s Fiction/Mainstream
Publication Dates: Ebook - February 13, 2007
Print: August 21, 2007 

They walk away from the wreckage of an airplane, but their hearts and lives will never be the same.

When fashion buyer Kimberly Collins and high school senior Tori Moorhead escape a burning plane, both women make radical decisions that intertwine their lives forever.

Kim’s priorities change, especially in the bedroom.  She’s thankful to be taken to another world—one of love and romance, not of smoke and death. When she decides she wants another child, her husband reveals his own shocking plans for their family.

Pregnant teenager Tori is on her way to get a secret abortion when the plane crashes. The baby’s teen father wants to get married. Her dad insists they consider adoption. Caught between the two men she loves, Tori struggles to make the right decisions for her baby and the future she dreamed of.

If you could travel to anywhere at anytime in history where would it be and why?
A lot of periods interest me but right now I’d choose to travel back to the early 1900s. Just think how many changes occurred during this time and how exciting it must have been. In 1908 mass production of automobiles was started which changed the world. After decades of struggle, the United States passed an amendment in 1920 allowing women the right to vote.

I know you have written in several different genres. Do you have a favorite?
Right now contemporary mainstream romance and chick-lit mystery are my favorite genres to write, but that could change. I just thought of a time travel romance I want to write and I also want to write a historical mainstream book.

How does your family feel about your writing?
They are proud of me and happy that I received book contracts from Samhain. My husband is supportive but he does hate it that I’m in front of a computer so much when he’s home. He says that I never leave my “office.” I’d like to buy a laptop eventually so I can be mobile. My sisters, brother, nieces, nephews, and in-laws all are excited for me, too. I’m blessed to have such loving support from family members.

I read that you have been married for thirty one years. What is the key to your success?
One thing that comes to my mind is compromise. For example, we lived in a very old farmhouse for the first twelve years of our marriage. I wanted to live first in an apartment, but my husband looked ahead and thought by buying this property at a cheap price, we could fix it up and get it paid off quickly. However, it was hard starting out as newlyweds to live in a drafty house without running water in the kitchen. But I’m thankful for this experience now since we could live on one income while raising our family. A lot of the remodeling mentioned in my inspirational romance, No Greater Loss, is based on how we made our old house more livable. Tom and I both are Christians so that is important in making our relationship work. The last thing I’ll mention is we try to make time for ourselves. It might just be going out for breakfast or going to West Virginia for a couple of days. Whatever we do, it’s nice to get away and reconnect and remember why we married each other in the first place!

Is there anything else that you would like to share with us?
I love to hear from readers. Be sure to check out my website www.dianecraver.com and my blog www.dianecraver.com/blog. Also my three books are published by Samhain Publishing.

I want to thank Joyfully Reviewed so much for giving me this opportunity to tell about my books and writing. The interview was fun.

 

 

 

 

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