• Amy's Bookshelf Reviews

Featured Author: Diane M Wigginton

Q: In three words, describe yourself.

A: Hard Working, Considerate, Loyal

Q: How many books have you written? How many of those are published?

A: I have written 5 books. 4 are published and the 5th book is in process.

Q: Do you have an upcoming release? If yes, tell me the title and impending release date.

A: I do have a 5th novel I’m working on but I don’t have a specific date for release. It’s called, “Compromising Position.”

Q: Tell me about how you come up with your titles for your stories. Do you create the title before or after you write the book, and does it ever change from the initial title?

A: I usually come up with the title mid-way through and it usually sticks.

Q: Out of all your characters in all of your books, who/what (sometimes a setting can also be an important “character”) do you think is the most interesting and why?

A: I love the characters from my Jeweled Dagger Series because they are all so strong and unwavering in their convictions. The three main characters from the series have paranormal powers and they are so strong willed and unyielding in their desire to do what is right.

Q: If you could “create” your own genre of what you write, what would you call your books?

A: More Than Historical Romance because they are full of action and suspense as well as the historical romance.

Q: Without quoting your back-cover blurb, tell me about the last book you published.

A: Lara’s Story is a young adult historical fiction, drama. The story setting begins in the beautiful landscape of Ireland in the mid-nineteenth century, where we first meet our heroine Lara Flannigan when she is a young child surrounded by a loving family. But when tragedy strikes and Lara finds herself alone, a childless American couple rescues the girl and take her back to the big city of Philadelphia. Here, Lara must forget her brash roots and try to grow and fit in with the high society of America’s finest, posing as the couple’s new daughter. But it is not always easy to let go of the past, especially when it won’t let go of her.

It is a gripping and emotional journey from start to finish as Lara tries to navigate her strange new world while figuring out where she fits in it.

Lara’s Story is about fitting in as well as self-discovery as she matures into a woman of society in Philadelphia during 1840’s to 1853 as appearances are usually put first, which is very different from the life Lara was used to.

Q: Quote your favorite line from one of your stories. Indicate the line, and then the book title.

A: When a heart breaks it does not break evenly-cleaving in half exactly down the middle. It breaks, jagged and rough, cutting one to the very core of their soul. And while things appear perfectly normal to the naked eye, beneath the surface lies the real tragedy, fragmented and splintered beyond reconciliation.

This is from Lara’s Story, in the beginning. I just love this story and everything I went through to bring this story to life. Sure, there are some tragic parts that brings you to tears but, in the end, you see how the character grew from the child to this great woman and the journey she had to take to get there. It is raw and emotional and real. It makes you feel and it forced me to open up a vein and bleed out onto the paper as I was writing it. There were times that I wrote three of four pages and I was so wrung out that I was finished for the day.

I just love this book because I feel that I grew as a writer because I was so open and honest in the writing process.

Q: Tell me something about yourself that is separate from writing.

A: I am a mother of 3, a daughter and 2 sons. I am the step mother to 3 boys and a grandmother to 8 grandchildren with 2 more grand-babies due this fall. I love the great outdoors and traveling. If I could travel four months out of the year to exotic places, I would. I believe that every experience helps one develop into a better writer. It gets the creative juices flowing so to speak.

Q: Who are your top THREE favorite authors?

A: I have loved Kathleen E. Woodiwiss since I was young. She was always so amazing with her descriptive words.

Diana Gabladon and her Outlander Series, of course. The woman is amazing.

Mary Higgins Clark is a wonderful who-done-it writer.

Q: What is the last book that you read? (Not counting anything you wrote)

A: The Story Tellers Secret by Sejal Badani and Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, two wonderful story tellers and fascinating books.

Q: When writing, do you have a system or something you plan, or do you just write?

A: I think that it is more fun to see where the story takes me. Sure, I have a rough idea of the storyline, but my first series, Jeweled Dagger Series was all by the seat of my pants. I began with an idea but then let the characters take my on a journey that was so much fun to go on and I hope that the readers enjoyed the journey as much as I did. Sometimes I would put the main character into an impossible situation and I would have to figure out how they were going to get out of it or what came next. I was almost as if I was reading it and living through the story as I made it up. Very exhilarating as a writer.

Q: Why do you write?

A: I write because I have something to say and I want others to hear what it is that I am saying with my words. It’s like talking to a good friend but instead of an intimate setting of five people it is hundreds of people and I hope some day thousands of people that will hear my stories.

Q: Do you read your own work a lot? If so, what does it do for you?

A: Some times I pick up one of my books and start to read something and forget that I wrote it. Then I think, “Wow, that was really clever.” I love to add something in the end to show how the character has grown or what they learned from their experiences. It’s really a growing experience for me as well each time I create a character and the world in which they live.

Q: I play music when I write, and depending on the setting or mood of the story depends on what I listen to. Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what genre or artist/band do you listen to?

A: I don’t usually listen to music when I write. I lock myself away in my little office downstairs and get very irritated when my husband bothers me when I’m on a streak to ask me if I want to take a break or go someplace. Sometimes I even shut the door then he knows not to bother me until I come out for air.

Q: As an author, I find that the hardest thing to write (for me) is the blurb that will be on the back cover or book’s description. When you write, what is the hardest line to write, the first line, the last line or the synopsis for the book?

A: Probably the synopsis. It’s hard for an artist/writer to condense everything about the story into ten lines of copy. It forces one to cut so much out.

Q: If you could sit down and have a coffee (or your favorite beverage) with anyone, living or dead, from any era, any time, who would it be and why? (You can pick up to 3 persons).

A: I am very religious so I would have to say the number one person I would want to talk with would be Jesus because I think it would be a life changing experience to simply be in his presence.

The second person I would love to sit down with would be Elvis. I always had a crush on him when I was a little girl and would love to understand what went through his mind.

I also think it would be fascinating to sit down with Leonardo DaVinci because he was such a forward thinker. I would want to know if his ideas came to him in a dream or if he simply sat around all day thinking up crazy things and then built them.

Q: What does it mean to be a “successful” writer?

A: Well, it means that you can pay the bills and continue to write which I am not there yet. I haven’t really made any kind of money writing and producing my own books but maybe someday I will sell thousands of copies at a time and become very successful. But even if I don’t, the process of writing and expressing that part of my voice I never knew I had has been amazing.

Q: What do you want to accomplish, so when you look back at your life, you can say “I did that”?

A: I am leaving something of myself behind for my posterity and generations of family who will come that says that I was here and that I left my mark behind.

Q: Any final thoughts that you want to give to your fans or even future authors?

A: I want to just say that having a dream won’t do you any good, unless you are willing to work hard and strive to make that dream come true.

Dreams are great to have but making those dreams come true is the best gift that you can give yourself.

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