This week we’re jumping over the hump with our featured workshop presenter and bestselling author, Diana Cosby!
Diana will be giving a workshop at our conference in October. Marketing For Impact is just one of many fabulous workshops we have scheduled.
For more information on our conference, on how to register, and other popular questions, please visit our website at http://www.njromancewriters.org.
Please welcome Diana!
How did you come up with the idea for An Oath Taken?
I enjoy romances where the heroine pretends to be a guy to achieve her goal. So, when I finished up the MacGruder Brothers Series, I knew that I wanted to dive into this fun storyline.
How much research did you conduct for An Oath Taken?
I’ve been researching the era of Scotland’s fight for freedom for over ten years, so my research is ongoing. For The Oath Series, in addition to my other research books, I read a fabulous history book on the reivers, “Steel Bonnets,” by by George MacDonald Fraser.
Why did you decide to write Scottish medieval romantic suspense?
I write Scottish medieval romantic suspense because it’s my favorite type of story. The history of this era is fascinating, and the people who dared the odds to make Scotland free are inspiring. It’s my honor to share pieces of history throughout my stories.
What is your process for writing a book? For example, are you a plotter or a pantzer? Do you start at page 1 and write your book sequentially or do you skip around? Do you start with your characters or the plot?
I’m a major plotter. When I write a book I normally make eight passes, which includes a rough draft, edits, critiques, a final on-line read, then a final paper read. I’m always amazed at how when you think your story is tight, then you read it on paper, you find more areas that need to be strengthened.
Do you write multiple drafts or barely need revisions when typing, The End?
When I’m writing new pages, I write a minimum of five new pages a day. Before I write, I read up from the beginning of the last scene and edit up. So, when I write ‘The End,’ I’m thrilled to share that my book is pretty tight.
How do you make time to write?
I have my day broken down to take care of personal items, business, and writing.
When you are writing, who is in control? You or your characters?
I’d like to say me, but too often my characters take charge of the story and off they go. When I was writing a travel scene in His Seduction, my hero was upset and told the bad guy to get off his horse as they were going to have it out right there. I stopped writing (by hand), because this fight did not fit into what I’d plotted. I tried several times to delete this twist, but my hero refused. So, I ended up eating dinner and finishing the scene to see what would happen. In the end, it was fabulous. I was thrilled at how the fight ramped up the tension!
What advice do you have for other writers?
Follow your heart, be true to yourself, and only you can tell your story! And, keep around positive people who encourage you to believe in your dreams!!!
Why did you decide to become a romance author?
After I retired from the Navy, I decided to become a romance author because I’ve read romance my entire life and wanted to be a writer.
Would you tell us your story of getting “the call?”
After 9 1/2 years of writing, I was 3/4the the way through my 11th novel when I received “The Call” from Kate Duffy and Sulay Hernandez for my 8th novel. It was an amazing day. I didn’t yell or anything, but cried. Once I’d calmed, I read my prepared note near my writing desk to the editors if ever I received ‘The Call.’ After, I thanked them for their time and told them I would get back to them in the next day or so. When my kids came home from school, I shared the exciting news with them. Then, I called several writing friends, culled sage advice, and a couple of days later I negotiated a two-book deal.
If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?
I would be painting recreations of masters or flipping homes.
What books can we expect to see in the near future?
An Oath Taken is the first book in The Oath Trilogy. An Oath Broken will be out in the Spring of 2014, and An Oath Sworn will come out in late 2015. Also, in March of 2014, the MacGruder Brothers Box Set will be released.
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What do you want your readers to take away with them after reading the story?
When readers close the last page of my stories, I want them to walk away satisfied, and with a belief that they can overcome any obstacles faced.
What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned as an author?
That there’s so much more to learn, and to trust my instincts.
What is the most interesting thing you’ve ever done?
Wow, that’s so tough. I think it’s a toss-up between reenlisting on the back of a camel in Africa, night diving in Guam, fishing in Alaska, and driving through Western Europe.
Tell us a little about the state/country you live in.
As a military brat, and a retired Navy Chief, AGC(AW), I’ve moved around a lot in my life. I’m currently on move #34 and live in New Jersey. The people here are so nice, I love the variety of things to do from hiking to going to the beach or to a festival, and the food is incredible! (Fresh mozzarella – yum!)
Tell us your latest news.
Thank you so much for asking. I have a thrilling end of the year ahead!
I’ll be presenting a workshop at NJRW’s Put Your Heart in a Book Conference.
I’ll be the Keynote Speaker at the Heart of Louisiana annual, “Fall in Readers’ Luncheon,” in Baton Rouge, La.
I’ll kick off the 5th annual Diana Cosby’s International Food Bank Food Drive.
Plus, Diana Cosby’s Romance Readers Build A Habitat For Humanity Home has now raised almost $5,000 toward a goal of $55,000 to build a Habitat For Humanity Home and make a deserving family’s dream come true.
You are busy! How would you describe yourself in five words?
Goal-driven, tenacious, optimist, helpful, and encouraging.
What are you reading now?
I’m reading, “The Bride Says No,” by one of my favorite authors, Cathy Maxwell!
What is your favorite quote?
I have three favorite quotes:
“If you did not care at all what anyone else thought about you, what would you do differently or change in your life?” — Brian Tracy
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” — Zig Ziglar
“To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.” — Bruce Lee
What’s your favorite place in the world to visit?
Wow, tough question to answer. Each place I’ve lived or visited in the world has offered something memorable and unique. In Spain, I loved the culture, people, and history. In Alaska, I loved the fishing, the wildlife, and the gorgeous landscape. In Texas, the people were amazing and the food was incredible! In Korea, I enjoyed the gorgeous country and the shopping!
Where do you write?
I normally write at my desk in front of a bay window with my camera at my side. (*I’m an amateur photographer, and I share photos of birds and other things I see daily on my Facebook pace.) At times, I’ll sit at the ocean with a pen and paper and write. And, I’ve been known to go into coffee shops or have a meal and write by hand. I wrote the entire fight scene for His Seduction while eating dinner in a restaurant in Texas.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing for fifteen years come November.
Wow! Congrats! What comes first—characters or the plot?
Normally, the plot comes first, but this isn’t a hard and fast rule. With Alexander MacGruder, the hero of His Captive in the bestselling MacGruder Brothers series, he woke me up demanding his story.
Do you write to music?
Absolutely! I love, love, love writing soundtracks, with a couple of my favorites, Lord of the Rings, and Braveheart.
What’s your biggest dream?
Writing – to make the New York Times Bestseller List.
Personal – to build a facility in the shape of a castle where wounded veterans can stay for free with their families while they receiving treatment.
If you were a millionaire would you still write?
Absolutely, but I’d travel more for research. Did I mention that I’d stay in a lot of castles!
Cat or dog person?
Which actor and actress would you chose if one of your books were brought to film, and which book would that be?
I’d love His Captive, the first book in the bestselling MacGruder Brothers series to be a movie, though I think the series would make a wonderful movie series! The hero and heroine I’d choose looks-wise for His Captive are:
Alexander: It’s a toss-up between Nikolaj Coster and Clive Standen.
Nichola: Piper Perabo.
Okay, get ready, we have our rapid response portion. Don’t think about your answers, just say the first thing that comes to mind. Ready?
Wine or liquor? Wine.
Tea or coffee? Coffee (Very touch choice!)
Decaf or caffeinated? Decaf.
Boxers or briefs? Both.
Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate.
Channing Tatum or Johnny Depp? Both!
Want to meet or attend Diana’s workshop? Make sure you check out the information on our conference at http://www.njromancewriters.org!
Registration closes October 4th!