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Kings Mountain, North Carolina, United States
"A mind lively and at ease" is a blog by a first-generation Russian-Ukrainian immigrant Maria K. (Maria Igorevna Kuroshchepova). An engineer by education, an analyst by trade, as well as a writer, photographer, artist and amateur model, Maria brings her talent for weaving an engaging narrative to stories of life, fashion and style advice, book and movie reviews, and common-sense and to-the-point essays on politics and economy.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Writer interview - Diane Nelson encore

Q: This has been an eventful year for you – both in good ways and bead. You’ve had some health issues, there were decisions made in your business, and all the while you also kept writing and publishing. A brief summary: where you were a year ago and where you are today.

‘Tis sad but true, 2012 has been one of those years I might rather forget, yet it’s defined me in ways I’m just now seeing.

It began as an end-of-year mis-step in 2011, ignoring my own body’s desperate scream for help. A burst appendix and a massive infection nearly put paid to my usual reticence and suck-it-up attitude about all things medical. We use birthing as the bellweather against which all pain is measured, with knee replacement a close second. Grimly I managed to find yet another for a triumvirate of misery – gut surgery. Yay, me. Unfortunately that little episode kick started my RA so it’s been the gift that keeps on giving.

This year saw an irreplaceable loss of my dearest companion, the one I called Demon Cat – real name, ‘JJ’. He had a Face Book fan club. Post a picture of ‘DC’ and within seconds there’d be dozens and dozens of comments and likes. He took the cult of purrsonality to new levels. The other leg of that pyramid encasing my heart is, of course, Miss Winnie, a mare of uncommon strength and determination: most of it directed to giving me grief and pushing my buttons. She developed issues, serious debilitating bouts with an arthritis-type condition in both front feet. She too has a faithful following, and not just horse people, touching minds and hearts with her antics. It is truly my honor and privilege to bring their stories to a wider audience.

If one believes that ‘things come in threes’, then surely my decision to close Pfoxmoor Publishing would fill that slot. I had many compelling reasons to continue (award-winning books, fabulous authors, quality titles), but there was one that finally convinced me to rethink my priorities: my near-death experience, trite as that might sound. The demands of the business were all-consuming and consume me they did. It’s very strange, but I honestly didn’t understand the burden I carried until I made the conscious choice to take a different path.

So now I focus on editing (a strength) and writing. Myself, Sessha Batto and Greta van der Rol are co-partners of PubRight Manuscript Services. We provide editing, formatting and book cover design for independent authors.

Q: You have standalone pieces (Sculpting David, Hunter’s Crossing) and multiple series going on (Portals, the one that started with Acid Jazz Singer). Any new series coming up? Any possibility of the series crossover?

I have four writing projects in the pipeline, all are series. The more active ones are Blood Haven (XOXO)— Micah is out and Cajun Gothic’s on deck (two to go); Guardians of the Portals (XOXO)— Trey is out, Wolf is on deck (one to go); Hunger HurtsAcid Jazz Singer is out (two to go, a bit stalled on this one). My current passion is Saints and Sinners: Roman — I’m running this as a serial, posting 2-3 chapters a week, for free, on the Saints and Sinners website. I have a small, but rabid following. As for a cross-over piece … probably not, as the ‘Verses are radically different (and mercy, I don’t need that distraction!).

Q: You work across genres and across reader age group. When you start a new project, is your mentality pre-set at the very start, as in, “This one is going to be a YA paranormal standalone novel”? Or do you just start writing and then realize, “Ah, so THAT’s what it’s going to be!”?

So far almost all of my work falls into the dark urban fantasy genre although I do branch out into contemporary romance and romantic comedy, historical/paranormal/romance, some noir (with elements of erotica) and even YA.

Many of my darker pieces started out with the intention of writing a YA paranormal but then that niggling bit of moral flexibility always intrudes with my characters and I must follow them wherever they lead. I learned early on not to argue, not to hold back because most of my stories are character driven, although I do enjoy injecting a healthy dose of action, violence and mayhem (in our house we ask: what would Jerry Bruckheimer do?).

I also like tweaking paranormal mythologies while still staying true to the original concepts, ergo my vamps don’t sparkle, my shifters maintain the balance of mass-to-energy, and HEA/HFN don’t always define a being’s existence.

Q: Any “tough love” recommendations for indie writers and publishers, based on your own experience.

If you think your pride and joy is ready for a wider audience, it’s probably not.

If you think you can edit your own work, that’s a big no.

If you think you know the difference between a beta reader (next-door neighbor, co-worker) and a line copy editor, you probably don’t.

If you think all you have to do is throw it out there and ‘they will come’, they might, but it’s a lot tougher than hitting Power Ball.

If you think all you have to do is Twitter and blog incessantly and post to Face Book, you will guarantee alienation of potential readers.

If you only talk with authors, you will never engage with readers.

In today’s Brave New World, you will be a one-man-band.

And most will fail.

If you think slow and easy wins the race, you will stay sane(r).

If you let it, social networking will crush you and suck your creativity dry.

If you wish to learn your craft, two words: read, write.

Q: Two summary sentences – one for your current physical state and one for your mental state.

Physical state: She may be decrepit, she may be approaching her use-by-date, but she’s going down fighting.

Mental: As an incurable romantic, eternal optimist and an angry old broad, getting out of bed can be an adventure because I never know who’s going to show up and want center stage.

All things Diane - books, blogs, reviews, etc. - can be found at the links below:

http://www.idancewithwords.com/

http://www.romancingwords.com

http://saints-and-sinners.weebly.com/

http://sandinmyshoesreviews.wordpress.com/

http://www.pubrightms.com/

Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/DianeNelsonAuthor

Alter Ego Face Book (aka Nya Rawlyns): https://www.facebook.com/NyaRawlyns

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Nya_Rawlyns

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