Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Diane Chamberlain visits MMBBR's!!!!!


Since I have become a book blogger I have gotten to "meet" some of my all time favorite authors.  Every time a favorite author visits MMBBR's I am honored, humbled and so very excited.  Today, I have Diane Chamberlain here to answer some questions.  I hope you enjoy getting to know Diane better and take a few moments to check out her books.

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Q.  What inspires your writing?

A. Everyday living. When it's time for me to come up with a new book idea, I open my mind to everything around me: newspaper articles, overheard conversations, dreams. When an idea finally takes root in my imagination, I can't wait to start writing. 

Q.  You have written so many novels each so different from the others.  How do you keep coming up with such amazing stories?

A.  I don't generally like writing connected books, although I have written a few that I love, most notably the Keeper of the Light trilogy, which is being reissued to a new, enthusiastic audience right now. For the most part, though, I like to start fresh with each book, with a new set of characters facing a new set of dilemmas.

Q.  I first fell in love with your novels with the book The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes.  It is by far one of my favorites of your novels, did you know it would be a hit as you wrote it?

A. CeeCee was not actually a "hit" when it was first published. I knew I'd written a good book, but it takes much more than that for a book to become widely read. The publisher really needs to be behind it and make sure it gets to the public in big numbers with great promotion. Unfortunately, that was not the case with CeeCee. . . until a year or so after her (yes, I think of this book as a "her") publication. That's when the fifteen person team at Target selected her as their summer bookclub read. Suddenly CeeCee was in Targets all across the country and she found thousands of new readers. . . and I found thousands of new fans. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Target!

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being an author?

A. Getting to touch so many readers with my words. My first career was as a hospital social worker and psychotherapist, and I loved knowing I was helping people, one at a time. Now I feel as though I'm part of the lives of thousands at once and it's a great feeling. 

Q.  What is the toughest part of being an author?

A. Deadlines! The last two months before a book deadline probably take years off my life. It's like cramming for an exam, only for months instead of hours. 

Q.  You seem to do a lot of research when writing novels.  Is that something you enjoy or is it just part of the job?

A. Oh, I love the research. I love it too much, actually. It's so easy to get caught up in learning new things that it's sometimes hard to get back to the writing. 

Q.  If you could not be author, what would you do/be?

A. I would go back to being a social worker, probably in a hospital. That was hard but very rewarding work. 

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?

A. The Scaredy Cat Author. Fear's always been a big part of my life and my characters often have fears of their own, you may have noticed. I have Georgia O'Keeffe's quote above my computer and that helps me be brave: "I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life--and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do." 

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?

A. Charlotte's Web by EB White. It has wonderful characters who are noble and brave. 

 Q.  What character from all of your book are you most like?

A. I relate most strongly to Kate in my older book, Secret Lives, which is only available right now as an e-book. I was agoraphobic as a teen and young adult and I relate strongly to Kate and her fears, although I would never have lived in a cave as she does!

Q.  What is your favorite season?

A. Spring, mostly because I love summer and spring is full of happy anticipation for me. Not so crazy about winter. I miss having leaves on the trees. 

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?

A. I've had very little input into my covers, which is typical of most authors. The marketing and promotional teams at the publisher have the greatest say, so my covers are often a surprise to me when I see them. I have several favorites, and The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes is definitely one of them. I can't tell you how many readers have written to me to say they were drawn to the book by that little red headed girl!

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.

A. Well, I'm more of an emotional writer than a funny one, so it's no surprise that the situation that comes to mind is more poignant than funny. I was doing a signing in a bookstore when two men came in. They looked like they might be homeless, wearing many layers of clothing and coats, although it was spring. They were unshaven and wild-haired. The store manager was trying to figure out how to get them to leave when I noticed one of them was holding a tattered paperback copy of my Keeper of the Light so I invited them to the table where I was signing. They told me they'd bought the book in a grocery store a couple of years earlier and both loved it and reread it many times. Would I sign it for them? You bet! It's probably been fifteen years since that signing but I'll always remember those two guys fondly. 

Q.  Are you working on something new?

A. I just completed my next book, a true book of my heart that I've wanted to write for a long time. I'm changing publishers with this book and I'm very excited. The book has no title yet, but it's about the Eugenics Program in North Carolina in 1960, when many girls and women, boys and men, were sterilized against their will. It will be out sometime next summer. 

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?

A.  If you haven't already read any of my books, I hope you'll give one a try. My aim is always to keep you turning those pages until late into the night. Please let me know if I succeed!
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Read more about the books HERE
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