SPECIAL INTERVIEW WITH DIANNA LOVE
New York Times best-selling author, Dianna Love, first blasted on the romance scene when Harlequin published her first book titled WORTH EVERY RISK, which went on to win a RITA® award. She later was invited to collaborate on a romantic suspense and urban fantasy series with Sherrilyn Kenyon. Now a famous author herself, Dianna has carved her own unique and sexy romances in Urban Fantasy (Beladors) and contemporary suspense (Slye Temp). Not one to stay in one genre she has also explored Young Adult novels (Red Moon Trilogy). This intense writer is unstoppable and as a fan of her romantic thriller novels and paranormal books, I could not wait to find out what else she has in store for her devoted followers!
1) How did you get the writing bug? What makes romance so special to you?
I was a voracious reader, but it wasn’t until someone handed me a romance in a stack of books (I used to exchange books with another reader) that I fell in love with romantic fiction. I used to spend long hours alone high up in the air painting large murals for companies, and entertained myself by creating stories in my mind. When I stopped climbing and spent my first year working inside more, I began jotting down an idea for a story and it ended up being the first book I sold.
2) I know you are great friends with Sherrilyn Kenyon. How difficult or easy is it to collaborate on a story? Will you collaborate together again? I particularly loved your BAD series. Will there ever be more books in that series?!
Collaborating is an interesting venture no matter how many times you do it. Sherri and I worked differently than I did with Mary Buckham when Mary and I created the Red Moon Trilogy young adult series we wrote as Micah Caida. It’s actually more work to collaborate than it is to write alone. You have to be willing to stretch and trust when you work with another person on creating anything. I’ve spent my entire life creating, and have collaborated often in different ways. Sherri has so much going on with her movie and television deals on her Dark-Hunter® series (yay!!!) that we finally realized it would be better for me to continue writing the Belador urban fantasy since I had created that series a few years before meeting her. There is a possibility that Mary and I will do another young adult story, but I have no idea when. We’re both so busy with our individual books. As for BAD agency, I’m sorry to say I don’t think there are any plans to continue it, so to get my personal writing fix (lol), I developed a romantic thriller series called Slye Temp and just released the seventh book in that series – FATAL PROMISE. I’ve heard from a lot of former BAD Agency fans who are really enjoying the Slye Temp series and that warms my heart.
3) I also enjoy your Belador series! How did you conceive of the mythology of this series?
I think most stories start with ‘what if,’ and this one was no different. I kept reading different mythological series that were built around one pantheon, such as the Greek one, and how the gods/goddesses were at the top of the food chain. But what about Hindu, Celtic, Castilian, Egyptian and so on? What would happen if a Celtic goddess had a conflict with a Hindu god? Who would win or how would they resolve their issues? From that grew the idea of VIPER, which is a coalition of powerful beings and their followers who protect the world from supernatural predators. The series is set in Atlanta and it’s a closed world (humans don’t know preternatural beings exist). The series focuses on one woman to begin with – Evalle Kincaid – but she has two male best friends who are like big brothers to her (I did not want those three to be a love triangle). So as the world building develops and more characters come on stage, we see not only her character arc and love life, but that of those two men and secondary characters. As an urban fantasy, each book has the same characters and it’s not a paranormal romance, but it’s filled with romance because I love that genre. Evalle’s romantic arc with Storm, a mysterious Skinwalker, has been wonderful to write as that relationship unfolded. Quinn and Tzader, her two best friends, have their own female complications and all this happens in the midst of action-filled stories. I like a big playground when I write.
4) All your heroines are tough ladies, was Evalle based on anyone? How many books do you plan to write in the series?
Thank you. I love to write Alpha males and I believe you must have a female who is capable of standing toe-to-toe with her mate. Evalle is a very special heroine for me. I kept seeing (in my mind) her world as she grew up and thought she had to have her story. She was born with bright green eyes and a deadly reaction to the sun, plus her mother died in childbirth. Her father dumped her on an aunt who raised Evalle in her basement just to get the money he gave. Evalle was sexually abused in that basement by the only man she’d ever met. When a druid appeared on her eighteenth birthday, she agreed to be a Belador warrior with no idea what to expect. By the time Storm meets her, she’s never even dated, so he’s got his work cut out for him and on top of that, he has no intention of getting involved with a woman when she could die just from being around him.
5) You also have another Urban Fantasy series featuring a young heroine named Rayen in your Red Moon Trilogy. Do you feel writing a YA book you have to 'tone' your writing down? Can you tell us about this series?
Rayen is another female whose story kept prodding me. Mary Buckham and I get together on occasion to brainstorm our individual stories. During one of those meetings, I told her about a weird idea I had and we immediately started going, “Oh, this could happen and that could happen…” When we paused, I said I didn’t see how this would work as an adult story. She didn’t either. It’s one of the most unusual young adult stories out there.
We didn’t tone our writing down from our standard edgy and intense pacing, but we would not put sex in a book that would target high school teens. We both believe that if a story is strong, it should be able to stand on being a high fantasy type adventure, like Harry Potter and Hunger Games.
What’s been fascinating is that we not only have a large older-teen reader base, but we have both genders from age 11 to over 60 reading this trilogy. Rayen wakes up tumbling on the ground in a desert. She sort of recognizes it, but has never heard of Albuquerque and is chased by a sentient beast. She has no idea who she is, where she came from or why she’s there. The only reason she knows her name and that she’s seventeen is because a cranky old ghost who looks like an old medicine man tells her that. When she ends up dropped at an unusual private high school, she accidentally opens a portal where she and two friends fight to save the current day world, and the future, from an apocalypse.
6) What compelled you to write a YA series? Do you have plans to write more YA books?!
I really had no plans to write YA at all. I don’t have children (I have godchildren, nieces and nephews), but I was an avid YA reader. So just like how romance inspired an idea, I believe reading all those YA books played a part in generating the seed idea for Red Moon Trilogy.
We had a wonderful time writing the series, and that does make me (and Mary) want to write another YA. In addition to that, it’s the feedback we’ve gotten. I’m always touched and flattered by the emails and letters I get from adults telling me how my adult books have impacted their lives (getting through a loss or a tough time), but now we hear from parents about how their reluctant child/teen reader read TIME TRAP (book 1) and gobbled up the other two books immediately.
I love when an adult asks if this book is “safe” for a child of X age and being able to say absolutely, yes, and it’s action packed, plus there’s a strong romantic thread. I think we must all encourage children to read and I am thrilled to have a small part in that.
7) In your Slye Temp agency series you have some very sexy alpha heroes! How many books do you have planned for this contemporary suspense series?
I’m glad you asked. FATAL PROMISE (book 6) was just released and it wraps up the Slye Temp series arc. I love that series, but I feel that we need to end a series when the time comes. The good news is that I introduced a group of black ops agents called HAMR Brotherhood in KISS THE ENEMY (book 3) and they’ll be in a spinoff romantic suspense series I’m developing. This means that characters from Slye Temp who did not get their HEA yet, very likely will get their stories in the new series. I love romantic suspense and would miss it, so unless something changes, I have no plans to stop writing them.
8) Is there a big difference between writing urban fantasy/paranormal versus romantic suspense? Is it more difficult to write fantasy or contemporary romance for you and why?
Both genres have their challenges. With Slye Temp, I built a big romantic thriller world with an over-arcing villain story in the background, which is why that series had to have an end point where everything got tied up. Writing that requires a lot of research to be sure something as simple as a setting will work for what I have in mind. Due to how complex my world building was for seven books (six series novels plus a prequel), it’s a lot to juggle and keep straight. Thankfully I have great reading support from the first read to the multiple beta reads later on. My assistant, Cassondra Murray, does a wonderful job of helping me catch inconsistencies so that a character doesn’t look different from one book to the next or sometimes I think something is on the page because I’ve seen it in mind so much, but it isn’t.
Writing urban fantasy and paranormal is a great change of brain direction for me. I like to alternate genres for that reason. I love the fantasy world and I enjoy taking mythology and spinning it. I enjoy putting characters in the worst situation then figuring out how to solve the problem with them. I don’t think urban fantasy/paranormal is easier or more difficult, just different because I pull out all the stops with every book no matter the genre. When I finish any story, I feel like I’ve been in a battle for months. Like right now, I’m writing on DRAGON KING OF TREOIR (Belador book 8) and it’s the start of a new arc in the series, which means it’s as difficult as writing a first chapter or a first book in a series, but so exciting because of all the things I know will be happening down the road.
9) I discovered that you also co wrote a thriller with another author. Will you do more Riley Walker books in the future?
I just adore Wes Sarginson who convinced me to collaborate on that with him, but Wes is retired and it’s tough to put salt on his tail long enough to finish the next book. We brainstormed book 2 almost two years ago. He was an NBC anchor when I met him and he’s full of energy, but he had never written before so I have to sometimes say, “No, we can’t have that scene just because it was fun to write.” lol I have readers waiting on book 2 so I hope we get it done at some point but I have no idea when. See? Didn’t I tell you that collaborating was harder than doing it by yourself?
10) I noticed that you have a contest on your website for book clubs! :) Can you tell about it and how you got it started?
I think you’re talking about my Quaantum Book Club program, which we put on hold when ebooks became so prevalent. I’m currently working on a new book club program and hope to have something in place by the beginning of 2017. I started Quaantum to connect book clubs with authors and it was really wonderful, but when fewer and fewer authors had print books to give away, it was harder to expand our author base for the readers. That’s okay, though, because I’m a big believer in adapting to change. I want a book club program that includes author interaction with the readers, so I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s ready. I have a brand new website launching in a month and will try to have something about it up on that.
Whew! Those were a lot of questions. Thanks so much for giving me this fabulous opportunity to interview you :)
Thank you for inviting me, Steph, and for reading my books. I’m looking forward to chatting with your fans and welcome any questions from them. Here’s a question from me – I’m seeing a lot of shorter books being released. How do you feel about a series of stories the length of a novella
That is a great question Dianna! Now people are always in a rush. It seems that shorter books can fit that lifestyle. Often I personally like to read a short story to relax before bed. Shorter stories are a quick fix that are very satisfying. I have found very good writers can still build deep characterization and strong emotions into short stories. That being said, if I have the leisure time I really do enjoy immersing myself in a big book and savoring the romance. So I think I depends on how I feel and how much time I have free. And I find that I have less free time as I have more responsibilities!
Interviewed by Steph from the Bookaholics Romance Book Club
For additional information about Dianna Love you and find her at:
http://www.authordiannalove.com/keeper-kase -more fun stuff for readers
*READERS: If you haven’t tried any of Dianna's books, you can download Nowhere Safe (Slye Temp romantic thriller Book 1) and Time Trap (Red Moon young adult book 1) for free right now!
Recent and Upcoming books by Dianna Love:
Fatal Promise (Slye Temp Book 6) – June 28th, 2016
The last person Sabrina Slye wants on this mission is Gage Laughton, the one man capable of distracting her when a lack of attention will get them both killed. A rogue CIA assassin has eluded Sabrina for two years after her team was traded for his life during a blown op. She turned her back on everyone in the agency. Who wouldn't after that betrayal? A lead that sets her on thekiller's trail exposes the tip of a deadly international threat. Everyone in her world is at risk, including Gage, her one-time CIA handler ... and former lover. Gage has waged war on Sabrina's emotional walls from the moment she surfaced again, determined to have her back in his arms. As one of the deadliest operatives alive, Sabrina bends to no one's will, not even when Gageis trying to keep her alive. That won't happen unless they can stop a megalomaniac from starting a third world war. The survival of her Slye agents and the future of the world depend upon Gage convincing Sabrina to trust him again with all that she protects, including her heart.
Rogue Belador (Belador Book 7)- Feb. 19th 2016
Immortals fear little … except a secret in the wrong hands.
While searching for a way to save Brina of Treoir’s failing memories, Tzader Burke discovers someone who can help her if Tzader is willing to sneak into the heart of his enemy’s stronghold—TÅμr Medb. He’ll do anything to protect the woman he loves from becoming a mindless empty shell, but his decision could be the catalyst for an apocalyptic war. The deeper he digs for the truth, the more lies he uncovers that shake the very foundation of being a Belador and the future of his clan.
Tzader’s ready to execute his mission. Alone. But the minute his best friends Quinn and Evalle, plus her Skinwalker mate Storm, find out about his suicidal plan they organize a black ops team around him. While battling on every front, one secret surfaces that two immortal powers have spent thousands of years keeping buried. Tzader and his team have no choice but to fight for what they believe in, because the world as they know it is never going to be the same again.
Tristan's Escape (Belador) a Novella – Oct 26th, 2016
Saving her may destroy his world, but once he has Mac back in his arms, no one else is going to touch her.
Holidays rate just above Tristan having his fingernails ripped off. He was a fool once over a woman, a human no less, and that little moment of insanity got him imprisoned for four long years. He's never had someone special to share holidays with and doubts he ever will, but December does matter to the other half-blood-Belador Alterants stuck alongside him on Treoir Island. To help his friends, Tristan has been secretly teleporting them to Atlanta for short visits. Sure, the Belador goddess warned him not to teleport in and out of Treoir's hidden realm without her permission, but she ranks below holidays for Tristan. Screw her. His secret trips are going great until Elaine "Mac" Mackenzie, the five-foot-six, red-haired genius Tristan vowed to pay back for the four years he lost, steps between Tristan and a powerful sorcerer with a deadly agenda. If Tristan exposes his preternatural abilities in the human world, he'll forfeit his freedom forever.