Monday, October 10, 2011

Dianne Hartsock, author of "ALEX"

Today I welcome Dianne Hartsock to No Vacation from Speculation. She is a dedicated author who also works as a flower designer. This should prove to be a very interesting interview!
Plus, tomorrow I will feature an excerpt and PDF giveaway for her book "ALEX". To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on Dianne's guest post tomorrow. Today, let's get to know her a little bit, shall we?

Dianne, being a flower designer and an author must be a fantastic combination. You get to create two different types of beauty. How much personal experience did you put into developing ALEX? 

This is a story of a young man able to experience other people’s emotions and sometimes see their thoughts. It shows the vulnerability and insecurities of the typical twenty year old, plus the added stress and confusion of Alex’s abilities as a psychic. The personal experience I used is the fact that I’ve known confusion and fear, love and friendship, happiness and sorrow. Alex is a young man simply trying to make a happy life for himself and the people he cares for. Isn’t that what we’re all doing?

I certainly hope so! What famous literary character do you think would be Alex's best friend?

Huckleberry Finn. Both outcasts yet surviving abusive parents, I think they would have drifted towards each other, understood each other, and found the friendship they were both missing in their young lives. Sure, Huck had Tom Sawyer, but Tom didn’t know him as well as Alex would have. They would have recognized a kindred spirit.

Maybe you can write a crossover novel one day! That would be fun! Then again, there are so many fun things about being a writer? What do you love most about it?
Bringing my characters to life! My stories always begin with the glimmer of the main character. I’ll be listening to a song or see something beautiful in nature that stirs an emotion in me. That emotion brings a face to mind, smiling or weeping, depending on what I felt. I start to wonder what their story is. Where did they come from? Who are their friends? Lovers? Are they outgoing or introverts?

The story evolves from there. Friends introduce themselves. A nemesis appears. What’s his story? Why is he bothering my hero? I love delving into a character’s life, unveiling them the way my readers will as they read the book. It’s fun and exciting and satisfying to do, and makes writing a pleasure as I discover new friends in the pages.

 I completely agree. It's really amazing to create rich histories for your characters. You form serious bonds with people that don't even exist. It sounds a little crazy, but it's a writer thing. ;)
Do you read the same genres as you write?
Absolutely. I enjoy all kinds of fiction, from thrillers to mysteries, scifi to fantasy to romance. And I write in all these, though my scifi still needs work. I get bogged down in the science. I like to add a touch of the paranormal to my stories, as well. The power of the mind fascinates me. Well, my romances aren’t paranormals. They’re contemporary stories, but have a magic of their own.

Paranormal fiction is very fun. I didn't intend for my novel "Rabbits in the Garden" to have any paranormal parts, but when a bit crept in (seemingly of it's own accord), I just went with it. And I'm so glad I did. Those were some thrilling scenes to write. What kind of scene (or character) is the most fun for you to write?

I seem to always throw the flamboyant, attractive, self-assured playboy into a story. I can’t help it! It’s when I can flirt to my heart’s content. It’s harmless fun, and I have a soft spot for these wild boys. Don’t worry! I make them settle down and behave by the end of the book. (Though I did have to kill one of them. I didn’t want to, but the serial killer got to him first.)

I love writing those types of guys too. Captain Jack Racine from "The Sky: The World" is a lush and a cad, but somehow, he was still endearing. I definitely enjoyed writing (and flirting) with him. Funny, I don't think I even paid attention to those characters when I was a kid. I was all about the strong female character...or the messed up adult characters when it came to Stephen King. 
What was your favorite book as a child? What is your favorite as an adult?

We spent our summers at the cabin in the Greenhorn Mountains of California. I loved it there. At night, my older sister would read us the book ‘Dandelion’ by Don Freeman. It’s about a messy lion who dresses up for a party, but no one recognizes him in his fancy clothes. I’m sure the moral was to be yourself. I only know that I loved the story, loved being at the cabin, and loved my sister. I have the book sitting on my bookshelf right now where I can see it.

My favorite book now is actually the ‘Rusalka’ series by C.J. Cherryh. It’s three books but about the same young wizard, Sasha Misurov. I fell in love with him the first time I read the books. It spans fifteen years of his life, from age 15-30, and deals with friendship and love and courage and sacrifice. The perfect hero quest, only this one has a happy ending. Cherryh’s characters are believable and very human, weaknesses and all. I can’t help liking them and read the books whenever I need to feel the depth of desperation and the rapture of life.

I may just have to check that out! Thank you so much for joining me today, Dianne!

Make sure to check out all of Dianne's super fab links as well as the blurb for her paranormal novel "ALEX". Also, remember to check back tomorrow for the GIVEAWAY and more!! Good den, Lord and Lady Lit-freak. :)

Dianne Hartsock

Alex is twenty and confused. He always is. The world presses on him with its horrors and pain, with scintillating auras that pierce his eyes and drive the migraines deeper. He hears the cries of children, the screaming women. He sees the brutal images of the tortured victims. He feels out of control and his mind slips... Severely abused as a child, he is left with horrible scars on his body and even worse scars within his mind. Even though it puts him in danger, he’s compelled to help those who call to him. He’s driven, motivated by his visions to rescue them and uncover the killer. When he can, he helps the police; yet some detectives suspect he’s the cause of the problem, not the solution. Often, Alex finds himself alone and afraid in a world he doesn’t always comprehend.

paranormal/suspense, May 31, 2011.



  1. Thanks Jessica for having me as a guest on your awesome blog today!

  2. Great interview, Dianne! Alex sounds like a very well-developed, heart-breaking and yet inspiring character. Looking forward to reading it!

  3. Thanks for stopping by, adrianaryan!

  4. Dianne,
    Enjoyed reading about your writing habits. Alex sounds like some of my seniors!

  5. I'm so glad you came by, ccarpinello and Helmy! Thanks. :)