What do you get when you take a controversial topic and a rocker chick? This week’s author!!! Let’s welcome Diane Rinella author of the “Flower” series!!
Before we start with the interview, here are Diane’s Stalker Links for you!!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Has your life changed any since you have published your books?
Your books are what some people would call controversial, what gave you the idea to write them?
It was purely out of frustration. I saw a 1970 counter culture film called The Buttercup Chain where two cousins via twin sisters, making them genetic half-siblings, share an undeniable love. The film never went where it needed to, and it made me angry. I thought, “What’s the big deal? Shouldn’t we all just be happy?” After doing a lot of research I learned about the misconceptions regarding the subject and the people involved. I vowed I would always represent the love and not the cruel stereotypes.
How long did it take you to finish your first book?
The first draft took about a month, and then I spent a few more adding all of the little twists, turns, clues, and messages. Months of editing and refining followed. Overall it was just over a year from the day I started writing until the day I published.
What was the hardest part in writing your books?
Deciding on a point of view. I tried third person, past tense, but it felt stale. First person present from both Lily and Donovan’s point of view gave away too much. Lily in the first person past still didn’t feel right. It was like watching a movie on a small screen TV. Once I switched to her in the present tense, I found Lily’s pain. When I shed that first tear I knew I had it right.
How many books do you have published now?
Two: Love’s Forbidden Flower and its sequel, Time’s Forbidden Flower. There is also a stand-alone novella that fits between them called Love’s Erotic Flower. Since many of the fans love erotica and wanted that aspect, I wrote the novella. The books are about love, not sex or fetishes, so I didn’t want to lose that focus. The erotica book does not call them out as siblings. It seemed disrespectful.
Do you have any other books in the works?
I just started on one called Scary Modsters…and Creepy Freaks about a fangirl who summons a rock star back from the dead.
What has been the best compliment?
There are two. From a writer’s standpoint it’s that several have said that my words flow beautifully, like water from a faucet. (Makes me so happy!) However, what really sends me is that Full Marriage Equality blogspot has spoken out heavily in favor of the Forbidden Flower series, praising how I have handled the subject matter. Recently they coined the term, “Friend of Lily,” to be akin to the term, “Friend of Dorothy.” So someone in a consanguineous relationship is now referred to as a Friend of Lily. From a writer’s standpoint, to have a term coined after your character is incredible. From a personal standpoint, it makes me tear every time I hear it. I’ve had a little bit of positive impact on the world. It’s a huge deal to me.
What's your writing routine?
I don’t really have one. Recently I have been using my phone’s voice recognition to dictate chapters. Since my first draft is always horrible, it works well!
Do you see writing as a full-time career?
I am a new mom who is home for the next few years. For now, this is what I do. In the past I have written user manuals, been an Internet radio disc jockey, and had my own business as a high-end artisan cake designer. I can never sit still and tend to reinvent myself every few years. This is where I am today. I’ve no idea where I’ll be tomorrow.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
So many people say they believe in marriage equality but really don’t. Do you support equal rights or don’t you? Forget everything else about how you might feel about the subject and ask yourself if everyone should have the same rights, then ponder all the other stuff. If marriages could be banned because of another person’s feelings of ickiness, then all marriages are in jeopardy. Also, cast aside that birth defect argument because the chances of a woman over forty giving birth to a child with some type of issue are just as high as those in consanguineous relationships. We don’t ban women over forty from having kids. Also, you don’t need to be married to reproduce. So it all comes down to, do you believe in equal rights or don’t you?
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
The Outsiders by SE Hinton was the first book that ever really hit a chord. It has stayed with me every day of my life. Those characters got under my skin. The drama of Jacqueline Susann is epic. Valleyof the Dolls is still the most brilliant piece of rubbish you will ever read. She paved the way for EL James and many others.
Have you ever gone out in public with your shirt on backwards, or your slippers on, and when realizing it, just said screw it?
Yeah, it’s usually more like I was too lazy to put on make-up and hide under a baseball hat and sunglasses. Then I do everything I can to avoid mirrors as if my reflection will make my blood congeal.
Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?
I always think it’s no big deal and let it go, then complain when I get into bed that the sheets are all wonky.
Be honest, how often do you wash your hair?
Do you get road rage? What pisses you off the most about other drivers?
Yes, when someone pulls up behind me and tries to drown out my classic rock with hip hop that makes my Mustang vibrate. There is nothing wrong with it other than it’s not my scene and kills my buzz.
Do you go out of your way to kill bugs? Are there any that make you screech and hide?
I believe in peace, love, and no hatred. That said, I kill spiders to the point of no hope. You gotta smash the little buggers then smear them. Hey, if they cross into my territory, they asked for it.
What is one question that you are never asked in interviews?
Who do you prefer, Tom Jones or Engelbert Humperdinck?
What is one question that you are always asked in interviews?
Who do you prefer, Engelbert Humperdinck or Tom Jones?
If you were interviewing yourself, what are the top 3 questions you would ask yourself?
What’s up with the Engelbert Humperdinck question? (He has a funny name.)
Would you like some vodka? (Absolutely.)
Why do you always were Snoopy socks? (They are lucky.)
If you can be a Disney character, who would you be and why?
I am Kermit the Frog and Fozzy Bear’s love child, half bad straight man, half bad comic.
Why are manhole covers round?
Because pegs are already square.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you. From the absolute bottom of my heart, thank you for allowing my words into your life. You’ve given me a precious gift.