Monday, October 20, 2014

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Diane L. Huffman

Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?

I had a book rattling around in my head for years; but with raising a family, working full-time in the fast-paced high-tech industry, and getting two college degrees, I simply did not have the extra time to sit down and focus on writing. But then I retired and moved from the temperate climate of California where I spent a great deal of time outdoors to the extreme hot and cold seasons of Utah where I was spending more time indoors. So trapped in my top-floor, downtown apartment with a beautiful view over the entire Salt Lake valley, I thought, now is the time to write my novel.


                                                    
How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or do you prefer writing freehand?

I began writing my novel when the last winter turned so snowy and so bitter cold that negotiating the outdoors became a chore. So I set up my laptop on a small desk in my living room, situated by a large window overlooking the valley. I found it very soothing and stimulating to write while watching the beautiful snowfalls.

What's your favorite part about writing? 

My favorite part of writing is when I’m on a creative streak and the words just effortlessly flow – it’s so exhilarating. But at some point, brain drain hits – I get exhausted, the words stop, and I need a recess.

How do you come up with your characters? Why would readers want to get to know them?

The characters from my just-published debut novel, A Less Than Perfect Beginning, are based upon actual people encountered during my childhood. Beth, the protagonist, is based upon my own experiences. The premise of my novel is that through faith, a positive attitude, and a sense of humor, one is able to not only survive a dysfunctional childhood but to also thrive and succeed in life. The reader cheers for Beth and is inspired by her spunkiness and perseverance.



What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

There are SO many marketing avenues! Here are some that I have used: Join writers’ groups, attend writers’ conferences to sell your books and network, advertise in writers’ organizations newsletters, place your books in local independent bookstores, have your books placed on the shelf in local Barnes & Noble stores, send copies of your books to reviewers at local newspapers, advertise on websites such as Kirkus Reviews and Goodreads, have a give-away program on Goodreads, advertise through college alumni associations and other membership clubs

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

Since I view my writing as a vocation, I treat it as I did when working as a full-time marketer. I rise early in the morning and am at my computer, ready to begin writing, at 9:00 a.m. My concentration lasts for about two hours, so I take breaks that include exercising in my apartment building gym, strolling throughout my Avenues neighborhood, or walking to one of the many espresso cafes in downtown and treating myself to a cafĂ© mocha. Refreshed, I return to my laptop for another two hours of writing. And so it continues – write, rest, write, rest. At 5:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m., I call it a day.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

I have just begun to write my second novel which is based on the adult life phase of the protagonist, Beth, from my first novel. The story will follow Beth’s trials and tribulations as a young, divorced mother.

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

My current efforts are focused on marketing my first novel and writing my second one.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

I would recommend that new writers join a local writers’ club where they will be surrounded by other authors and will receive input on their work. They should also attend writers’ conferences to meet authors, agents, editors, and publishers and to get a feel for the publishing industry.


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Thank you Diane!

Learn more about Diane:


Diane L. Huffman, happily retired from a marketing career in the fast-paced high-tech industry, has penned her first novel, A Less Than Perfect Beginning. She was inspired by a raucous childhood that was filled with secrets and psychos, but also humor and hope. Huffman earned B.A. and M.B.A. degrees and has traveled extensively throughout the world. She now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah near her son and is currently at work on her second novel.


“An exhilarating, unsentimental story of one woman’s triumph over a devastating childhood” —Kirkus Reviews

League of Utah Writers:
"Very well done, I would definitely recommend." —League of Utah Writers




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