Welcome to Life, Unedited, Diana. Tell us a little about yourself?
After I retired from the Navy, as a Chief Meteorologist/ Oceanographer, I turned to my passion—writing romance novels. With 31 moves behind me and having traveled through many countries, I was anxious to create characters who reflected the amazing cultures and people I’ve met over the years.
My years of living in Europe drew me to write in the medieval time frame. After watching the movie Braveheart and with my passion for writing complex plots, I knew I had to write in this volatile medieval timeframe, hence the MacGruder brothers were born.
I have many passions in life, but one that resonates in my life is that of giving. I firmly believe that each of us can make a positive difference in another person’s life. There are so many charities that I believe in. With each book I sell, I will tithe ten percent of my royalties to a charity of my choice. The first charity I've chosen is The National Trust for Scotland, which acts as guardian of Scotland’s magnificent heritage of architectural, scenic and historic treasures. Without the National Trust for Scotland, many of Scotland’s historical wonders would be lost.
You have a new book out. We’d love to hear about it.
My second book out in the MacGruder series belongs to Duncan. Duncan is the youngest brother, a man who wields his charm as skillfully as his sword. When I met Duncan in the first MacGruder book, “His Captive,” I knew I had to write his story next. I needed to find out the secrets he hid. Through perseverance, I learned that his charm concealed a love lost and anger at Isabel Adair, a woman he still loves, who left him to become his enemy’s mistress a week before they were to be wed. Furious, he swears never to see Isabel again, until Isabel’s brother who is dying from a mortal wound, makes Duncan swear to him that he will save Isabel who now rots in her lover’s prison.
. . . and so the story begins.
TRUSTING HER WAS UNTHINKABLE
Lady Isabel Adair is the last woman Sir Duncan MacGruder wants to see again, much less be obliged to save. Three years ago, Isabel broke their engagement to become the Earl of Frasyer’s mistress, shattering Duncan’s heart and hopes in one painful blow. But Duncan’s promise to Isabel’s dying brother compels him to rescue her from those determined to bring down Scottish rebel Sir William Wallace.
RESISTING HER WAS IMPOSSIBLE
Betraying the man she loved was the only way for Isabel to save her father, but every moment she spends with Duncan reminds her just how much she sacrificed. No one could blame him for despising her, yet Duncan’s misgivings cannot withstand a desire that has grown wilder with time. Now, on a perilous journey through Scotland, two wary lovers must confront both the enemies who will stop at nothing to hunt them down, and the secret legacy that threatens their passion and their lives…
You’ve recently signed with a new publisher. Can you tell us about that?
In August of 2006, Sulay Hernandez and Kate Duffy called to tell me that they’d like to buy the first two novels in the MagGruder Brothers’ series. After over nine years of writing and with well past 100 rejections behind me, I didn’t yell with joy, but cried. After I hung up, I e’d my husband who was serving a tour in Iraq to share the amazing news. He called me from Baghdad. When our children came home from school, we celebrated as well. I will always carry that special memory.
Is there a favorite among your books?
If you had asked me before my third release, which will be Seathan’s book, I would have answered His Woman. I love the complexity of plot and the mystery that unfolds. Okay, and I love Duncan’s killer charm! :) But Seathan’s book hits the ground running from page one and the tension doesn’t stop until The End. I’m very proud of the third book in the MacGruder series. Once I have a title/release date, I will post it on my website, newsletter and Facebook.
What do you love about your publisher?
I’ve been blessed to work with Kensington Publishing Corporation editors, Kate Duffy, Sulay Hernandez, and Megan Records. Each has been amazing in their support, kindness and thoughtfulness. If given one wish, I would ask that when each author sells their first book, they receive the Cinderella tale that these editors have given me. To each of them, my sincere thanks.
What does your writing schedule look like? Are you a morning writer? A night owl?
I’m all about the mornings. I’m up at 6A.M.; once my son is on the bus, then I dive into my writing. When I’m writing new pages, my goal is a minimum of five pages a day regardless of how long it takes. Each day, I edit up from my previous scene, which makes my first draft pretty tight.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Life doesn’t offer us problems, but challenges, and challenges we can overcome. Set your goal. Be true to yourself. Never give up. Persevere. Only YOU can tell the story of your heart.
What is your next project?
Once I turn in Seathan’s book this month, I’ll begin to write the next brother’s story, Patrik [Cleary] MacGruder. Patrik is the adopted brother whose family was slaughtered by the English. After the loss of his family, the MacGruders took him in and raised him, but Patrik’s held bitterness inside since, a viciousness that resulted in him trying to murder his brother’s future wife, who is English. I can’t wait to write Patrik’s story, it’s going to be filled with tons of angst, but also of growing of self and of finding forgiveness.
Do you have any writing rituals? Like special music, times of the day, food quirks, etc?
My music and usually a Yankee Candle as they’re my favorite. I write by soundtracks that totally move me, which rarely have any singing in them. The current soundtracks I’m using are Braveheart, Rob Roy, all three of the Lord of The Rings soundtracks, and one Lifescapes Celtic Music for stress relief CD.
Today, writers need not only write great books, but be great promoters of their books, too. What kinds of things do you do?
An add on Romance Sells, blog, attend conferences, book signings, donate books and other items to good causes, participate in worthwhile charities and I’m open to suggestions for more. :) Also, I give away signed bookmarks to readers upon request:
*Bookmarks for His Woman are available!
Send a self addressed envelope to:
P.O. Box 397
Pottsboro, TX 75076
*Please indicate who you would like me to autograph the bookmark to.
If you could interview any of the characters in your books, which one would it be, and why? What shocking thing might that character say?
Because of her complex character and her tragic youth, young years that molded her, I’d interview Elizabet, the heroine in Patrik’s story.
She’d say that the world is made of liars, cheats, those that would kill you without thought. To her life is survival of the fittest, to doubt everyone and only believe in herself.
What’s the coolest, wackiest, most risk-taking thing you’ve ever done?
Wow, tough question. I’d say scuba diving at night in Guam during a high seas warning. The waves were enormous, but I deflated my life vest and with the rest of the divers, let a rip current carry me out. Once in deep water, I swam down.
At the bottom, the wave action was so rough that I clutched onto a piece of coral and was still thrown around. That piece of coral by the way was next to a moray eel hole and the moray was none too happy with me. But, I wasn’t letting go until we had a plan. Our group decided this night dive was a bad idea, duh, so we came in over the coral reef, letting a huge wave sweep us in. Bad decision, but the only one we had.
As water pounded the reef and blasted the windswept air with spray, we swam hard with the next wave. It caught us and we were thrown over the ragged clusters of fused coral where I was stung by a thankfully, very small cone shell. My hand went numb then slowly up my arm. It stopped numbing about 3/4th the way and over the hours, slowly went away. And, I lived to tell about it. Definitely the most risk-taking thing I’ve done. I call it flat out stupid. *G*