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Nov 03

Saturday Six Pack – Diane Major – British Author of Children of Fury, Enmitus, and I Am Nine

This week’s installment of Saturday Six Pack is with Diane Major, author of three books in the fantasy adventure genre. Diane lives in Houghton le Spring, England and she has a very interesting background that no doubt provides a ton of inspiration for her writing. She went back to school as a mature student and secured her professional qualification and later a degree with Honors. And after building a very successful career in fields of community development and adult education, she began writing as she approached retirement.

One of the benefits of being an author is the chance to meet other writers and countless readers who enjoy good books. I met Diane through an indie author group we both belong to. And I have to say, that in addition to her skills as a writer, what first struck me about her was the quality of her character and how genuinely nice a person she is. I think all of you will enjoy getting a chance to meet her and hearing what she has to say.

So let’s welcome Diane to Saturday Six Pack.

Review of Children of Fury

Seventeen-year-old Aimee never asked to be an immortal, a creature known as a Fury with wings and a hunger to consume human souls to survive. She grieved for her lost life and the lover who her Maker had murdered. And Aimee wanted revenge. She trained for years, then set out to hunt and kill a being who was bigger and stronger. Aimee would need to be smarter, and she had eternity to find him. The book is written with very little dialogue. Instead, it is narrated like the ancient legends were told, as if you were sitting around a campfire. I quickly found myself immersed in the tale and the wonderful sense of setting. Steeped in mythology and covering six centuries, Aimee’s hunt moves from the 1400s all the way to the present day and the dramatic conclusion.

1) You write in the Fantasy Adventure genre which is not one I’m very familiar with. But I have read your book summaries and some samples. I have to say that I’m intrigued but, given the subject matter, I’m wondering how you approach your work with respect to maintaining your reader’s believability in your characters and overall storyline? Do you ever worry about how hard you’re pushing the envelope and going too far?

Hi Bernie, Can I say straight away that I am delighted to do this interview with you.

The whole reason I began writing fantasy adventure was twofold. Firstly, when I was a teenager it was this type of book that engaged me and gave me a love of reading. Secondly, having worked with people of all ages throughout my career I appreciate how much they might need and want to escape from the realities of everyday life. OK, I understand that they still have to deal with everyday issues but a break in a different world or place can be just what someone needs to carry on, even though the escape will only last as long as it takes to read one of my books.

When I develop characters I really try to make them as real as possible so that readers can connect or even want to be them. I make every effort to absorb them into the tale. I probably write as if I am watching a movie unfold.

As far as going too far, well, hey this is fantasy. A friend of mine read one of my books and told me she turned to her partner and said something like this, “I don’t believe it, Diane has just killed that little girl,” and, “I know Diane she wouldn’t do something like that.” When she told me I replied, “Its fantasy and that is what helps to make the storyline.” So in respect of going too far, I don’t really think I do, after all it is the adventure that holds the reader and my reviews suggest that it works.

2) You have published three books and that tells me you’re very serious about your writing. Many people go through the writing/editing/publishing/marketing process once and say “Never again!” What are you working on at the moment and when can we expect to see a new book launched?

I found the writing easy, when I say easy I mean the storylines simply pop into my head and I want to put pen to paper. Even though the writing is comparatively easy I find the editing painful. Having to check through books over and over again is hard work. What makes it worse is every time I go through a book I add or make changes then have to go back again just in case I have done something else wrong.

Regarding publishing, I have used a vanity press company to date. I was naive and thought as I was a new author that this would be the simplest way forward only to discover you do as much work yourself publishing that way, which is so much more expensive, than doing it totally on your own.

On a personal level I found marketing the hardest process and still do. In the beginning I used word of mouth. Having written my first two books because completing a book was something I had always aspired to do I had not given a second thought to marketing. In the beginning I used word of mouth and then when I started my third book I realised I had to find other ways to get my book out there. It was when I was publishing Enmitus, The Transformation that R Grey Hoover contacted me and said he was setting up a Social Media Group that my marketing endeavours really started. I found myself being the first member of ASMSG (Author Social Media and Support Group) and it has since escalated to approximately 250 members. During 2012 I have set up an author group and a book page on Facebook, developed a blog and a website, posted my books on sites on the internet, joined Goodreads and have interviewed other authors. You could say I stepped into my own exciting fantasy. On the downside all this marketing distracts one from the writing but I am getting better at managing my time.

3) When you’re starting a new book, at what point do you know when you’re ready to start writing?

What generally happens is I have an idea in my head, I have one right now! If I complete an outline for the idea I generally write the book. Even though I start writing with the outline I have to admit that by the time I have written a few pages the outline is out of the window and the story takes its own form and direction, that is just the way it is for me.

4) As you know, there are a ton of books competing for attention and sales. Can you share some of the marketing and promotional activities you’ve found most helpful?

I am not sure that there is any given way to do this and be successful. As I said previously use every opportunity you can and plug your book. I am currently considering having some postcards printed so that I can give them away, leave them lying around when I go places and use them for correspondence… Who knows what ways are the best ones to use to market successfully, if someone out there does know then I’d love them to share the information with the rest of us. I guess if you have contacts in the publishing or media industries then that would probably be a start, unfortunately I don’t?

5) One of my readers suggested that I should start asking authors if they listen to music when they’re writing. So let’s give it a shot. I do all the time myself and I find it helps the process. How about you? If you do crank the tunes when you’re writing, what do you listen to?

Nope I don’t listen to music when I write I might give it a go though!

6) If you could change one thing about yourself as a writer, what would it be?

I would have loved to have been more naturally skilled at the proof reading and editing side of things.

Bernie, once again thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my experiences.

Thank you, Diane. It’s been a pleasure. Continued success with your books.

Below are links to Diane’s books and social media contacts.

Amazon, US
http://amzn.to/U6vIWo
http://amzn.to/Od797G
http://amzn.to/Od6XFB

Amazon, UK
http://amzn.to/PmEP7I
http://amzn.to/QBq78b
http://amzn.to/RPbHph

Website: www.dianemajorauthor.co.ukBlog: http://diane-newauthor.blogspot.co.uk/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/DianeMajorBooks
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/232241813520751/

3 comments

  1. David Prosser

    Nice interview. The sounds of a tale told in narrative form over a six century period is very interesting and I do like the fantasy genre. Looks like another ‘must read’ for my lists. I’m noticing more authors like myself are coming to the table late, some like myself even after retirement. I wonder if this means we’ve never had the time in the past or perhaps just not the inclination. I’m glad to see we’re comfortable with ourselves to give it a go without feeling it’s a young person’s game. Keep it up Diane, we can still show the younger generation a trick or two.

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