This evening in the Library we have Dianne Freeman, who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.
A special welcome to you, Dianne. I love to chat with historical fiction authors, particularly those who write in the same time period as I do. Please tell us a little about yourself:
I’m a life-long book lover who retired from the world of corporate finance to pursue my passion for writing. After co-authoring the non-fiction book, Haunted Highway, The Spirits of Route 66, I realized my true love was fiction, historical mystery in particular. I also realized I didn’t like winter very much so now my husband and I pursue the endless summer by splitting our time between Michigan and Arizona.
Did you read much as a child? Are you an avid reader now? Do you prefer books in your own genre or are you happy to explore others?
When I was about eight years old, my family moved to a house about 3 blocks from the public library and I’ve been an avid reader ever since. I don’t get to read quite as much now as I used to but while historical mystery is my favorite genre, I enjoy all varieties of historical fiction and most types of mystery.
Are you self-published or traditionally published?
I’m traditionally published with Kensington Books.
Which genre do you write in and why?
I write historical mystery with a bit of humor. I started with this genre because it’s what I love to read. I continued because I enjoy digging into the late Victorian era, plotting a crime, then creating a story around it. I love leaving clues then leading readers in the wrong direction with a scattering of red-herrings.
Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?
I like to think if Janet Evanovich and Edith Wharton had ever been able to collaborate, they might have come up with a main character like my Frances Wynn. (I also like to think there are no calories in food eaten while standing so what do I know?) But I’ve definitely been influenced by Evanovich’s humor and the elite world of Wharton’s books.
Has your country of origin/culture influenced your writing?
I’d imagine it must have, but not in anyway I could define.
What part of the writing process do you find most difficult? How do you overcome it?
I write in drafts, so every time I have to return to page one and start the next draft I have a moment of dread that I won’t be able to fix whatever is wrong. I’ve found if I print the draft and read it through first, maybe jotting a few (hundred) notes, I realize it’s not that bad and I can tackle whatever problems it presents.
Do you have a favourite time of day to write?
Late afternoon is my favorite time, but I like to take a walk to think about what I need to write before I sit down and actually do it, so sometimes weather can interfere with my writing schedule.
What is the best thing about being an author? And the flipside – what is the worst?
I have a feeling this is a common answer, but I love the whole process of writing—the research, plotting, spinning a tale—it’s like traveling to another world. Marketing and promoting aren’t all bad, they can actually be fun, but they really take up a lot of time.
Is social media an essential chore or something you enjoy? Which forum do you prefer?
I do enjoy social media, but as mentioned above, it can be so time consuming. My favorite way to distract myself would be Facebook.
If you weren’t an author, what would you be up to?
I’m retired so I’d go back to doing whatever I want, which would include plenty of reading, gardening, and maybe I’d even learn how to cook.
It’s the last day and the earth is facing oblivion – what book would you read?
Pride and Prejudice – again. At least I already know how it ends in case I don’t get to finish it.
Please tell us what you are working on and your latest published work.
I’m currently working on book three of The Countess of Harleigh Mysteries. Book one, A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder released in June, 2018.
The story takes place in London in 1899. Frances Wynn, Countess of Harleigh, is a widow dealing with a high society burglar, a marriage-mad sister, and a murder. When the London season turns deadly, she fears one of her sister’s suitors may be the killer. Frances must rally her wits and a circle of gossiping friends and enemies to unmask the culprit before she becomes his next victim.
If you would like to know more about Dianne and her work, please check out her links below: