Are you working on another book right now?
If so, could you tell us a bit about it? If not, when do you plan to write another one?
The tentative title is Diannaís Bracelet. It will be a sequel or companion book about how Dianna managed to keep the silver ID bracelet that Michael gave her in 1959 for over thirty-three years and so many moves throughout four different states. That bracelet was kept in a miniature cedar chest and was lost, or misplaced during different occurrences Ė a flooded basement, belongings stored in a storage unit or at relatives. When Dianna returns home the bracelet was not in her possession? Who had it and did it find its way home as she did?
When did you realize that you were meant to write?
Probably in eight grade when I started writing poetry and short stories. In high school I had a special mentor Ė my English teacher (nun) inspired and believed in my talent.
I know that you teach a fiction writing class at a seniors' center. Could you share with us how that began?
I started in 2006 after presenting a class syllabus to the education director. I taught fiction writing previously at Clark Community College in Vancouver, WA. I lived in Portland and Vancouver for six years.
Are any of your students published?
Oh yes, and Iím so happy and proud of all six of them! Two have published more than one book.
Do you have a set time that you write each day?
Yes, but itís very flexible when Iím between projects or deadlines. I donít write after the evening meal, or before bed or on Sundays or in the summer. LOL
Or do you wait to be inspired?
That used to be my best excuse Ė that my muse was absent or I only write when thereís a full moon! I do keep notebooks everywhere when my muse is working overtime Ė I even wake up with ideas sometime.
What new doors has your writing opened up for you?
I guess Iíll find out if my writing dreams will come true. Your interview and a few opportunities around town have come my way. I may participate in a local authorís reception for new owners of a local book store.
Were there any opportunities that you had never considered before?
I would like to speak to high school age and college students about writing their dream. Also Iíd like to have my book made into a movie Ė perhaps a Hallmark movie.
Do you ever become bored with what you are writing?
Not very often. I do get writerís block and keep checking the word count when writing my column some months. I donít like daily or even weekly deadlines for that reason Ė too much pressure also.
If you do, how do you get past that point?
Stop, exercise, dance, eat chocolate or go for a walk. Or just put the project away until the next morning.
How do you manage to balance your time between family, friends, and writing?
Since my cancer 12 years ago, Iíve realized that life is too short Ė so I enjoy a balance for many reasons. I try to work around family gatherings, time with my husband and friends. Itís nice being retired from the 9-5 world as I do make my own schedule.
If you could spend one hour with just one person, whom would you choose?
Maya Angelou is very inspiring Ė as a person and poet. I admire her spunk and talents.
Do you have any advice for writers who are striving to be published?
Donít give up your dream waiting for a traditional publisher Ė just do it yourself!
Do research and read what you want to write. And just do it! Donít allow your inner critic to overcome your desire.
ďA professional writer is as amateur who didnít quit.Ē ~ Richard Bach
Thank you, Darlene, for such a wonderful and informative interview.