Monday, June 28, 2010

Diane Parkinson is my guest blogger today!


CJ: Hello, Diane. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk to us. We’re excited to have you here today!

I’m thrilled to be here, CJ. Thank you for inviting me.

Q: So, first of all, we want to know about your latest novel. What can you tell us about The False Light?

The False Light won the CTRR Award from Coffee Time Romance!

Here’s a short blurb: Fleeing the French Revolution, Bettina Jonquiere struggles to survive in a remote Cornish village, discover the secret behind her father's death, while attracted to a man who may have murdered his wife.

Q: I think everyone would love to know what inspired this particular novel. Can you tell us about that?

This novel has been a long labor of love. I started writing it in 1992 after visiting England. I had a boring job and behaved very naughty, I started to write at work. I based many of the characters on people I knew growing up. I threw characters out there and then decided I needed an exciting time period, so I chose the era of the French Revolution. Many hours of research followed to get the history right.

Q: I’m dying to know more about the Main Characters of your novel. Can you give us a brief description of each?

Bettina is slender with long black hair and big brown eyes. She’s seventeen when the story begins. She’s intelligent, well-educated, and a fish out of water fighting to survive in the lower classes. She discovers a resilience she never knew she possessed.
Everett Camborne is tall and thin, brown hair and green eyes. He’s hard working but unlucky in love because of a disastrous marriage. He hides his kindness beneath an aloof façade.

Q: Okay, I’m a huge fan of quotes taken from novels. Would you tell us one of your favorites quotes from The False Light?

It’s short. Everett returns from a trip to London and Bettina tells him they have a problem. When he asks what the problem is, she says:

“There’s a dead man in the garden.”

Q: A little about you. When did you decide to write your first novel?

I actually wrote my first novel at age ten, also historical fiction. Then I wrote a western at seventeen. I never finished them, but I’ve loved to write stories since a small child. I started to write The False Light because my two close friends at work were pursuing their dreams, one a singer, and one doing crafts. I wanted to recapture that early passion of writing stories, so began this novel.


Q: Do you have a system or particular ritual you do before/ during writing to keep the words flowing?

I rise early, grab a cup of coffee and sit at my computer and hope for the best! I like it quiet in the house, with no distractions.

Q: What do you find the easiest part about writing? The hardest?

I don’t know if there is an easy part, but the most enjoyable part is seeing my characters and settings come alive on the screen/page. The hardest, making certain the entire story flows in an interesting and intelligent fashion. Will it pull the reader along? Does is make sense for the characters? Do I have scenes I really don’t need? Does it ramble on too much?

Q: We all know writers spend a great deal of time researching. Can you tell us one of the most interesting things you’ve discovered while doing research for your writing?
I discovered the Library of Congress. I live near Washington, DC, so it’s not far. I could peruse books published in the same time period I was researching. Read first-hand accounts to bring the history and setting to life. I could live there—but they wouldn’t let me!
I also discovered that women have been fighting for equal rights long before the so-called feminist revolution in the 1900’s. I came across a book written in the 1600’s by a woman demanding equal rights. Many think my characters are too forward for their time, but it’s not true. Women during the French Revolution demanded divorce rights, better working conditions, and access to the same jobs and education as men.

Q: If you could physically visit the world in any book, which book would it be and why?

I’d love to visit the remote island of St. Helena, where Napoleon was exiled. I wrote so much about that island in my almost published novel, Elysium. The publisher went out of business and I’m still shopping this story around.

Q: What one work of fiction do you think has made the biggest impact on your life? How?
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. I read it when I was ten years old to my best friend who was recovering from a car accident we were both in. (No, we weren’t driving) She enjoyed the story, and I relished the wonderful, lush and detailed, world of imagination.

Q: Last question before we wrap this interview up. Please finish this sentence in a way that best describes you, for us. “People would be surprised to know that I was a wild and crazy teenager who grew up in the free-wheeling 60’s near San Francisco.”

CJ: Thank you, again for visiting with us, Diane. I would invite all our guests to check out The False Light by Diane Scott Lewis on sale now at http://www.eternalpress.biz/ (ebook), or http://www.amazon.com/ (paperback).
Visit her website: http://www.dianescottlewis.com/.
Below is an excerpt from Diane’s novel, The False Light . Please read on!

“Trethewy isn’t going to be much help, I’m afraid. He never is, unless it benefits him. But he’s the only law in the area.” Everett assisted her into the curricle, his grip on her arm almost painful.
“I must agree.” The Justice bringing up Stephen upset her. But Everett had little reason to kill him and he’d been away, in London…hadn’t he? She rubbed a hand over her brow as if she could wipe away that thought.
The curricle and horses lurched up the steep grade to the main road. An edgy silence lingered between them. Bettina’s aggravation and confusion over the events boiled over. “I must find my horse. I planned to give him to—”
“You have to be careful from now on. You simply can’t go off unescorted. And never approach that man alone.” Everett snapped the reins and his team tossed their heads. “Trethewy should be reprimanded to do his duty.”
“I am leaving here as soon as I can arrange it, so I will not be a burden to anyone.” She struggled to keep her voice firm and shifted on the hard bench. “I wish that I had never come to Cornwall.”
Everett glared at her. “Don’t start sounding like Miriam.”
“Stop this carriage at once!” Bettina slid from the seat, forcing him to rein in the horses. She jumped down and ran toward the cliffs, not wanting him to see her angry tears.
Everett leapt from the curricle and chased after her. He caught her arm and swung her around to face him. “I didn’t mean that, I'm sorry. You don’t understand everything.”
“I do not understand anything!” She thrashed to free herself, but he wrapped his arms around her and pressed her to his chest. She refused to look at him. “I wanted you to love me.”


14 comments:

  1. Good morning ladies!!!!
    Great interview you two!!!
    And I do love the concept of your book! I have put it on my TBB list! Thanks so much!!
    It is always nice to learn about the authors whose work we read!!!!
    Again ladies, you did a great job!!!
    Hope all is well!!!!

    CJ ~ xoxox!!!

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  2. Wonderful interview, and I can attest to Diane's talent. I've read the book and loved it. She's made my "fav" author list because of the way she integrates historical facts into her writing in such a way that you get a lesson and don't even know it. *lol* You become a character along with the main players because she snatches you into the pages and makes you experience everything along with the hero and heroine. Okay, I'm through rambling, but I think you get the picture that I loved Bettina and her story. :)

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  3. Loved the interview! I agree with Ginger, Diane, you wrote a fabulous historical novel, right up my alley!

    Maggie

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  4. Thank you Cecile, Maggie and Ginger! I appreciate your comments.

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  5. I haven't read it, but based on the comments here, I think I should!! Loved reading about you and your book.

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  6. It was a pleasure to interview you, Diane. I, too, am excited about your novel! I hope you have many marvelous sales!

    Cecile- Thanks for stopping over, sweetie! It's always so great to "see" your smiling face! xo

    Ginger, Maggie, and Margaret- Thanks for coming over and supporting Diane and for being such regular vistors to my blog. It's always wonderful to see you all!

    xo;

    CJ

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  7. Sounds like a fabulous story, Diane. Wishing you many sales and good luck with your writing!

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  8. You know what I think but I will say it again. Great stuff, Disane. You deserve your success.

    Viviane

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  9. Thanks, Viv, Pat, Margaret and everyone!

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  10. Great interview ladies :)
    And the book does sound interesting.

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  11. Wonderful interview, ladies! You sound like me, Diane. I'm naughty and write at work too. :) What a great quote! Loved the excerpt too. Kudos on the CTRR Award! Wishing you continued success.

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  12. This interview makes me want to read your book all the more, Diane, but I'm waiting to get my personally signed copy at the Historical Novel Society conference next June in San Diego!--IF I can wait that long.

    Best of luck.
    Jan

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  13. Wow Fancy having such wonderful research material at hand in the Library of Congress! Lucky you. Interesting interview, I enjoyed it.
    Maggi

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