Love

Dianna Love is the New York Times best-selling author of the Slye Temp novels, the Belador series and the Bad Agency series with Sherrilyn Kenyon as well as several other novels and series. I discovered her by accident a few years back, and it was one of the best mistakes I’ve ever made. I’ve been a huge fan of her work from the first sentence of hers that I read.

I was overjoyed when she agreed to do an interview for me, but when she sent me signed copies of several of her books, and said she wanted to do a giveaway on my blog, I was ecstatic. Dianna is one of the kindest, most open and giving person I’ve met in a long time, and her assistant, Cassondra Murray, whom I’ve also become acquainted with, is just as great.

For today, Dianna will be around to interact with her readers, answer questions, and let them get to know her a little. Just leave a comment. Also, those who leave comments today (February 14th, 2013) will be put into a drawing and three people will win one of three possible prizes. Dianna will give away a copy of LAST CHANCE TO RUN, JUSTIFIABLE, and  TIME TRAP (one book to each of three winners who comment.) She will also include a Keeper Kase with each one.

Before we get to the interview, here is a synopsis of each of the novels she will be giving away.

TIME TRAP:

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Her memory is blank.  Her future’s in question.  Her power is dangerous.

Waking up in an unknown world, Rayen learns only that she’s seventeen and is hunted by a sentient beast.  Terrified that she may never learn  who she really is or find her way back to her home, she’s captured in a  land that is at times familiar even if the people and the structures  seem alien.  When local law enforcement delivers her to a private  school, she’s labeled as a Native American runaway, and Rayen discovers a secret with deadly repercussions.  Forced into an unlikely alliance  with a computer savvy street punk and a gifted oddball girl to save  their world – and the future – Rayen finds the key to an identity that  no person would want.

JUSTIFIABLE:

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Children are missing, adults are  being murdered and a city is on the brink of exploding.  The key to  saving lives is a secret whispered in confession.

Once a beloved, award-winning investigative journalist, Riley Walker  now anchors for a television station rated the worst in Philadelphia.  That’s how it works when a top newsman makes an epic mistake in front of the whole world. The busier Riley stays, the less he thinks about the  one decision that will haunt him forever.  His vow?  Never get involved again.  That works until a killer uses Riley’s past against him, and targets a  child the world has forgotten. Riley is the only one who can save him,  but when Riley digs deep for the truth, he uncovers evidence fingering a powerful player no one will believe is guilty. Dangerous politics pit  Riley against a serial killer, and threaten all he’s fought to regain

To save the life of a child and stop a killer on a savage murder  spree, Riley must fight an enemy far greater than the tide of public  anger rolling against him. He’ll have to face his own demons, and the  horror of the child who died because the last time…Riley was wrong.

and LAST CHANCE TO RUN:

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To an undercover agent, she’s a Person of Interest. He’s interested.

Escaping the compound of a deadly international felon–with a fortune in rare, stolen coins hidden on her body–elite athlete Angel Farentino has to make the most important run of her life. Literally. With her father in prison, where he belongs, and a prior undeserved conviction hanging over her head, she has nowhere to turn and no one to trust. Definitely not law enforcement who railroaded her through a judicial nightmare. One step ahead of lethal men and dogs on her trail, she runs into the arms of a dark stranger willing to help her if she’d let him. But that would only get the sexy pilot killed. Between figuring out who’s sabotaging his undercover work for the DEA and trying to save his baby sister from herself, Zane Jackson has enough on his plate. The last thing he needs is to get entangled with a woman who’s treading on the wrong side of the law. But when the long-legged distraction races into the middle of his operation and stows away on his plane, a primal need to protect forces Zane to risk everything, starting with his heart.
Just leave a comment and be eligible to win!
And now, for Dianna’s interview. Thank you, Dianna, for the wonderful interview, and thank you, Cassondra, for your kindness and hard work.
Dianna Love Blogs with Jared Anderson Feb 14th 2013
Q: I’ve read that you never intended to be a published author, that one day you just wrote down a story that had been playing in your mind. What made you decide to write this story down?
*** I spent many years working alone way up in the air painting large murals.  I never liked listening to the radio (before Sirius FM) so I’d make up stories in my head to keep myself entertained during work days that lasted twelve to fifteen hours.  Then I stopped climbing so much and thought I’d write down the one that had been coming back to me over and over.

 Q: What was the story about?

*** It was about a woman on the run who was carrying a fortune in rare coins that someone else stole.  She has to stay away from the law until she can prove she’s innocent, but she stows away on the charter airplane of a man working undercover for law enforcement.  The story was published as a short romantic suspense, but  I’ve recently gotten back the rights to that book, rewritten it as a romantic thriller and put it out under a new title..but more about that later.

Q: What was your journey to publication like?

**** I was fortunate in that I sold the first book I wrote, but anyone who’s been in this business for any length of time knows that’s not ever “all the story.” Right after I sold, my first senior editor was moved out of that position and the new one who came in was entirely different to work with and we never could make a connection.  I eventually realized I was writing books that were too big for what that house published, so I switched gears and went in another direction toward romantic thrillers.  At that same time, I was also working on an urban fantasy series that I kept pitching, but was constantly  told was too unusual.   Fast forward six years and the urban fantasy genre had done some growing.  The Belador series sold at that point.  Regardless of what genre I’m writing at any particular moment, there is always a suspense/thriller element.

Q: Can you describe your usual writing process?

*** There are plotters and pantsers (seat-of-the-pants writers), but I call myself a hybrid.  I’m always telling writers to find “their own  process” and go with it.  All that matters, in my opinion, is producing a great story.  I’m a type-A person, so I prefer to plot out complex threads.  I generally start with brainstorming an idea then I write a couple chapters to get a feel for the characters, and then I start plotting.  If know I won’t write myself into a corner, that allows me the freedom to be as creative as I want when I’m laying down pages.

Q: How do you know when an idea is a good one?

*** I’ve never been asked that and love this question!   When I hit on an idea for several major surprises in a story, or something that will make a story very different, I get really pumped.  That’s the moment that I can’t wait to begin telling the new story.  I have to be entertained first if I’m going to write it. If it becomes slow or dull anywhere I stop and back up to where I was last excited about it, figure out where something isn’t working, fix it and move ahead.  I’m like a kid who is not easily entertained, which I think is a good thing because if I can write something that holds me, then I feel good about it holding the ultimate audience–the readers.

Q: Have you ever written a book that you were dissatisfied with, and why were you dissatisfied?

***When I was first writing I tried my hand at writing a character who was a beta male and found out quickly that I sucked at that, so I tossed that book.  I enjoy the high action of black ops type characters and thrive on putting characters into difficult physical and emotional situations, then figuring out how to get them out of the jams I’ve thrown them into.

Q: Have you ever read a book you wished you’d written, if so, what book, and why?

***I’ve read a lot of books that I’ve admired, but haven’t wished I’d written them so much as wished I’d thought of the clever idea that inspired the story.  Like the plots that Tom Clancy and James Rollins have written or the plot for The Sixth Sense or the Bourne series…or that last A-Team movie.

Q: Aside from writing, you enjoy fishing and riding motorcycles. These are very different activities. What is it about each of them that turns your crank?

***I was obviously a tomboy growing up.  I fished from the time I could hold anything in my hands and rode motocross bikes in my teens.  I still love to fish, especially light tackle, because it’s quiet and exciting at the same time.  With saltwater fishing, you never know what might bite.  I’m riding a BMW motorcycle these days and screaming along the highway is almost like flying on the ground.  I forget about everything when I fish and ride my bike. Those are two great ways to give my brain some down time, even though I do plot stories while I ride.  Then there’s writing, which is something I practically breathe.  I need to be creative and I love puzzles, which is what a complex thriller is to me.  I must have a challenge at all times.  It’s just part of my makeup.  Writing is one of the most difficult and wonderful challenges I’ve ever come across and hope to be doing it until my last day on earth.

Q: Which of your characters do you feel is the most dynamic and life-like?

*** Right now, I would say Evalle Kincaid, who is the key player in the Belador urban fantasy series.  She is so flawed and so loyal and so determined that it’s easy to cheer for her.  She fights for everything she gets and is shunned by many, yet she’s got a heart of gold and makes the hard choices even when she’s the one with the most to lose.

Q: If you could meet one of your own characters in the flesh, who would you choose to meet and what would you say to him or her?

***I would like to meet Angelina Farentino and thank her for inspiring me to become an author. She is the female protagonist in my first suspense story—the one I mentioned earlier.  I first wrote the story as a full-length romantic suspense, but cut the book down to a shorter novel to fit the publisher’s criteria.  I got the rights back last year, and I’ve just revised the story back to a larger, high-concept romantic thriller.  The new book is LAST CHANCE TO RUN, and was released in December as the prequel to my new Slye Temp romantic thriller series.  Angel and I have come a long way together.

Q: Have you ever based a character off someone you didn’t like and done bad things to them?

***No. I like creating really deadly villains and having the freedom to make them pay without feeling any hesitation or remorse.

Q: What is it like being a New York Times bestselling author?

*** I feel very fortunate to have books on the NYT and USA Today bestseller lists.  I’m humbled and thrilled to have reached this point in my career, and thank every person who has ever read one of my books.  I spend a lot of time on the road talking to readers and writers in an effort to give back for what so many have given to me.

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Q: You have collaborated with Sherrilyn Kenyon on several works. What do you most love about working with her?

***Laughing.  We met when my first book was out and we started touring together for her books over the next year.  It was during one of those trips when we’d just returned at two in the morning from a signing that we were talking to wind down and the subject of the BAD Agency series came up. I started brainstorming an idea for the series, because I love to brainstorm.  Sherrilyn liked it and suggested we co-write.  My answer?  Well, my mama drowned the dumb kids. 🙂

Q: What is the best thing about collaborating with another author?

***Those moments of discovery where someone comes up with a great element that you didn’t think of or the other person has a suggestion that takes the story in a direction that really jacks up the tension.

Q: What is the most challenging thing about collaborating with another author?

***I’ve spoken to a lot of writers and tell them to be careful about collaborating just because they are “good friends.”  If anything, that’s dangerous to the friendship.  The one thing I said to Sherri was that our friendship meant more to me than a contract and she agreed.  If the first book had created problems for us, there would not have been a second, but we’ve just released number six.  So the most challenging things are being secure enough to allow each other to edit at will, and trusting each other to do the right thing by the book.  When we started, we made a deal on one important thing – no sacred cows.  It didn’t matter who wrote which words – everything was up for revising or editing.

Q: What advice would you give to two writers who were contemplating a collaborative novel?

***I sort of answered that in the previous question, but I would add that it’s important to get documentation in place for the terms of the collaboration and what would happen if one of the two dies.  Make sure to go to literary or entertainment attorneys familiar with the business.

Q: What do you consider the highlight of your career as a novelist?

***Hitting the New York Times over and over again never gets old, but the first time I was asked to be the keynote for a large reader event was quite amazing.  I’ve given other keynotes since then, but it’s that first one when you’re so flattered to be asked and amazed when you walk in to a packed room.

Q: Which part of the writing process is hardest for you?

***I love to brainstorm and work out the puzzles of each plot, and I enjoy writing the scenes.  I write pretty clean so revising isn’t usually that big of a deal.  All that said, I get so caught up in the action and emotion in the first draft that it’s not until the second run through, or the polish, that I focus more closely on the physical descriptions and setting.  I know what they look like and I can see every detail as though it was a movie running through my head, but I have to work at remembering to include those things.

Q: What are you working on now?

*** I’m writing on my new Slye Temp series.   A blown CIA operation in the UK destroyed an elite mercenary black ops unit two years ago. Surviving members disappeared to heal their wounds, and have now resurfaced as part of Slye Temp, an agency contracting security work with corporate America.  At least, that’s what goes on above ground.  LAST CHANCE TO RUN was the prequel, and the other three books will be released this year.  NOWHERE SAFE  will be out this month—February 25th.

I’m very excited about a new venture into Young Adult fiction written for ages 14+.  I just released TIME TRAP, book one in the Red Moon series, under the pseudonym Micah Caida (co-authored with Mary Buckham).  It’s an epic sci-fi/fantasy adventure that will appeal to fans of The Hunger Games.  Early readers from age 12 to age 50, both male and female, have said “it’s like nothing I’ve ever read before.”

I also just released my first mainstream thriller, which was a collaboration with former NBC anchor Wes Sarginson.  JUSTIFIABLE is Book One of the Riley Walker novels, which blend Wes’s experience in investigative journalism, and Dianna’s experience writing thrillers.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all the readers out there!  I hope every one of you finds your perfect hero or heroine.

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Comments
  1. Linda L. Bennett says:

    This is without a doubt in my opinion the best interview you have done to date, Jared. 🙂
    Ms. Diana Love, I have been friends with Jared (on-line) since 2006. He is a fine young man & I have been following his blog since day one, each and every one has been interesting. I told him I didn’t know who you were but thanks to him, I would. The books he has listed here sound like the kind of books I love to read ( the kind that keep you on the edge of your seat). Much continued success to you and Jared.

    • Dianna Love says:

      HI Linda – I think Jared does wonderful interviews, too, and am flattered he invited me to do this one. So nice to meet you online and thanks for your good wishes. 🙂

      • Linda L. Bennett says:

        It is a pleasure to meet you too & you are quite welcome, Diana. I have to tell you that my best friend’s last name is also Love. Small world, Huh!

  2. Dianna Love says:

    Jared – Thanks for inviting me here today and for the great job you did on this interview. I really like your blog and am laughing over “happy spank day.” 🙂

    • Ha ha! You’re welcome, Dianna. I had to run and do some things for a few hours, but I just got in an decided to take a look. Wow. This is awesome. I will put the name of each person who commented in a hat (or something hat-like) and draw three names. I’ll do it tomorrow so everyone gets a chance to enter.

      And yeah, the happy Spank Day. I’m running out of fancy euphamisms for this holiday! Glad it made you smile! If you do read Beautiful Monster, it will make more sense! I will warn you though, it’s hardcore, so if you’re sensitive or easily offended, you will not like it a bit, LOL

      Thank you again, Dianna, for being my guest. You are wonderful.

  3. Lynn says:

    Awesome interview!!! Hope I win.:)

  4. Dianna Love says:

    Too funny, Linda. Are any of your friends from Florida? Lot of my family was from there (I was born in Sarasota, FL and grew up in Tampa). 🙂

    • Linda L. Bennett says:

      I don’t know, I know that her husband grew up in Superior Wisconsin but I could ask if he has family there.

      • Dianna Love says:

        The Love side of my family were mostly from the panhandle of Florida. 🙂

      • Linda L. Bennett says:

        Well, if they are any thing like my family we have them all over the country. HHAHAHA!!! My maiden name is Teichmiller In German it is spelled Deichmueller ch pronounced as a k ( meaning miller by the Dike). Great chatting with you Dianna!

  5. Linda L. Bennett says:

    I also want to apologize for spelling your first name wrong in the beginning. Sorry!

    • Dianna Love says:

      No biggie about spelling my name wrong, Linda – small bubbles in my world. My husband has a German first and last name, but that boy was born in the south. 🙂 Great talking to you!

  6. This was an excellent interview. Dianna is one of my all time favorite authors and I always look forward to her new stuff. Thank you Jared, for such awesome questions. I have read many interviews and these were some new questions, not the same ones you read in every interview. Now, I get to check out a new author as well.

  7. Bama says:

    bouncing up and down lol 🙂 wink wink

  8. trunge says:

    Great interview Jared. Dianna is an amazing author I love her books so thank you Jared for doing the interview and thank you Dianna for your wonderful books and this amazing opportunity.

  9. Sharon Morgan says:

    Great interview! I enjoyed meeting you a few months ago, keep writing!

  10. Stacey Callahan Krug says:

    Great interview. Looking forward to the next Belador book!

    • Dianna Love says:

      Hi Stacey – I’m glad you enjoy the Beladors. The next book – Rise of the Gryphon – is coming out July 30th and has a lot of major “reveals.” Thanks so much for coming by today!

  11. I love this! It’s like a party on my blog! LOL! You guys are all awesome.

  12. This was a fantastic interview Jared and Dianna! I rather enjoyed the advice you gave on collaborating with another author, since I’ve been considering doing so myself! Thank you! Loved the “no sacred cow”! 😀 Keep up the great writing!

  13. Cassondra Murray says:

    Hi Jared!

    Thanks for your good words. I’ve so enjoyed working with you about this blog.

    I have to say these are some of the better interview questions I’ve ever seen. That makes a great interview, so high five to you.

    Working with Dianna is such a pleasure. Even though (like any work with deadlines) there are days with pressure and days without, it’s still not like “work” for me because I never dread getting up to go to it. Well…there was yesterday-…I’ve been reading a draft of Belador Book 4, RISE OF THE GRYPHON for Dianna and I got up yesterday morning thinking “OH NO! What if they don’t make it???!!! I don’t want to go to the computer because ‘m afraid to look!!!!”

    And I’m not telling what happens *grin*

    • Ha ha! Good to see you, too, Cassondra. You are one of my favorite people! Thank you for all the help you gave me on this. You’ve been wonderful.

    • Joyce Ann says:

      Thanks, Jared and Dianna. This was a fun and interesting interview. I like learning things I didn’t know, like about the Angelina story. I’m glad I got to check this out. (No need to drop my name in the hat, tho…thanks.) Get back to work, Dianna.

      • Ha ha! Thanks, Joyce Ann.

        And yes, Dianna. Play time is over… the world awaits more of your work! LOL

      • Cassondra Murray says:

        Hi Joyce Ann! *waves wildly from Kentucky while facing North.*

      • Dianna Love says:

        Hi Joyce Ann – Glad there was something new for you after all the good times we’ve had together. For those who don’t know, Joyce Ann is one of my wonderful beta readers who also gets to see the books early. thanks for stopping by and the shout out. 🙂

    • Dianna Love says:

      Of course, my night owl , is out here much later than me. I have Cassondra (my fabulous assistant and a writer herself) to thank for coordinating all of this with Jared and making it possible for me to spend so much time in my writing cave. Yes, she does get “first look” at the books.

    • Dianna Love says:

      I “thought” my reply to you was here, but…it’s down below. 😉 (Need more coffee….)

  14. Okay folks, I am off for the night. I will check back in tomorrow, and this weekend, I will draw three names. I will post a new blog announcing the winners, so be sure to come back and check to see if you’ve won. Goodnight, everyone.

    And thanks again, Dianna and Cassondra. You guys are awesome. Let’s keep in touch.

    Write on!

    • Dianna Love says:

      Thanks again for asking me, Jared. I enjoy your site and am going to indulge in my first horror story – yours – during my next reading break.

      And thank you to everyone who came out to visit with us!

      Back to the cave….

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