Welcome, Diane Shute!
- For those who might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the readers a little about yourself? How did you get your start in the writing business?
(Diane) First of all, thanks for having me, Kam. I’m a somewhat typical West Coast girl (at my age, the term is best used loosely) I’ve always loved crafting stories, but writing did not evolve beyond a hobby until after I retired. Now that my children are grown, I’m free to enjoy my own pursuits. Before my mother passed away, she encouraged me to publish my work. I dedicated my first book, After Midnight, to her memory.
- All writers fear the dreaded “block”. Please tell us how you handle it.
(Diane) Nothing is worse than the intimidation of the blank page of a new work. For me, it’s best to just start writing. The story shapes itself later. Syntax and rhythm don’t matter in a first draft. The point is to get it down to edit later. Afterwards, I put my work away and let it sit while I do other things. When I pull it out again, I go back to work. Voila—no more “block” in the process of defining the sentences.
- Will you please share with the visitors what genre(s) you write? Also, when you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
(Diane) Absolutely—I write 19th century historical fiction, with a twist of mystery and suspense. When I’m not writing a book, I can usually be found with my nose in one. My kids tell me I’m a good cook, but maybe they just like to eat. I love flowers and putter around with light gardening. I also have two dogs and three cats, all of which are rescue animals. I’m guilty of taking too many pictures, some of which I post on social networks.
(KAM) Kids will tell you when they don’t like a food/meal, so I’m sure you’re a fantastic cook. As for gardening, I’ve never had any luck making anything grow — well, except weeds. 😛
- I know many writers, such as myself, keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?
(Diane) Yes, with one book published and on the verge of launching the sequel, everyone in my family is aware of my passion to write. One of my daughters is actually my chief beta reader…I love to brag about my supportive family!
- Will you share with us your all-time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.
(Diane) Holy cow; where to start? I hold near and dear the writings of Kahlil Gibran. In high school, I read all the classics I could find in the local libraries. John Steinbeck’s The Red Pony was my first real book, a gift from my grandmother when I was eight. Lewis Carroll was also intriguing because he was my father’s favorite author. My older brother is actually named after him…but out of all those old classics, I would say Charles Dickens and Edgar Allan Poe win out. Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jules Verne, and Kipling have long been exciting. Of contemporary writers, I admire Gregory Maguire and Dean Koontz, Janet Evanovich, Michael Connelly, and I’ve just begun a fantastic new series by Ken Fry that’s very promising.
- If you could choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love to see casted in the parts?
(Diane) I would cast my own, of course!
Of the characters from the Midnight Trilogy, I’d like to see
Natalie Portman as Alix and her twin sister Lily
Richard Armitage as her uncle, Quenton Saint-Descoteaux
Taron Egerton as Lily’s husband, Nicholas Griffon
Hugh Jackman as Alix’s guardian, Sir Robert Gordon
Ryan Gosling as the mysterious Drago Fortescue
Ryan Reynolds as the notorious Count Claude Rouget, and lastly but not least…
Jessica Chastain as Alix’s friend, Leah Burton
(KAM) I love your casting choices!
- Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now? That is if it’s not top-secret information. If so, just whisper it in my ear. I swear it’ll go no further.
(Diane) Book 3 of the Midnight Trilogy is my WIP. It is as yet untitled, and is the conclusion of the series and solutions to mysteries will be revealed.
- Where can we find your stories and is there a particular reading order?
(Diane) After Midnight is Book one, Midnight Crossing is Book two. Book 3 of course is under construction. They can be found online at Amazon, Kobo, Barns & Noble, Taylors–wherever books are sold, basically.
As far as Alix is concerned, she has no past—only today, and her plans for the future: creating a dynamic stable of Thoroughbreds that will take the 1830s British racing world by storm. When forced into assuming the role of Lord Griffon’s wife in London, her plans are threatened by disturbing images of a castle from her past that fight to resurface. Alix is determined to find a way to take control of her life and fulfill her dreams. This women’s historical fiction novel is the first in the Midnight Series.
When Quenton wants to take Alix home to France after years of exile in England, she is torn between the restoration of her fortune and her dream to build her Sterling Wood Stable into a successful racing business. She finds an unlikely friend in her uncle’s companion, Nicholas Griffon. Caught by her surprising fondness for him, Alix does not realize shadows from the past are stalking her―until she’s trapped by their darkness.
- Would you please share how your present and future fans can contact you?
- Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours.
(Diane) I appreciate the invitation to join you, Kam. I look forward to hearing from your followers and reading their reviews! Thank you!
Thank you so very much, Diane, for joining me today. It was a true pleasure learning more about you. I wish you all the best in life and oodles of sales!