Wednesday, May 11, 2016

THIS SIDE OF HEAVEN - Diane Dean White - One Free Book

Welcome, Diane. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I don’t purposely do it, but I’m sure actions and dialogue work its way in. My new release, This Side of Heaven, includes a young wife/mother age 27 and an older aunt who comes to spend time at the ancestral home. An autumn romance blooms with the older aunt…and yet I realized I’m her age!! It’s fairly easy to be both ages in fiction. J

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Hum…let me count the ways. I think starting to drive across the Mighty Mackinaw Bridge and deciding I simply couldn’t do it, might rate up high on the scale. My grandmother was in the front seat, and our three grade-schoolers were in the back. I knew as we approached where the water started, I couldn’t do it. I was grateful the traffic wasn’t busy. I backed up all the way and took the first ramp off!

When did you first discover you were a writer?
In 6th grade, I ask for a typewriter for Christmas. I enjoyed writing stories and poetry. I used the hunt and peck method until summer school, and they held a typing class. It was nice to learn on an electric typewriter … but I continued to type away on my old black manual, Royal. Being able to express my feelings was so important, and the best way I could do it was through poetry and stories.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I enjoy suspense, Grisham and Sidney Sheldon. But also Eugenia Price, Victoria Holt, Barbara Taylor Bradford and many others. I enjoy a wide range of genres.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Fairly easy. I rise early and have time with the Lord and pray about the day ahead and for those going through difficult times and health issues. Because of a back injury I don’t do a lot of running, or even driving now. I have a loving hubby, and he’s been a blessing for 44 years in July. J

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Depending on the time period, which most of mine are present day, I go with names that are popular and also known in the area where I’m writing. We have two grown sons, and somehow names that start with the first letter of their name seem to make its way into my manuscript. Our daughter and hubby have three daughters, and I try to work their names in at various times, too.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
In my life, it would be our three grown children. They have been a real blessing to us, and thank God for them and allowing us to enjoy raising them, creating memories that we will always enjoy.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
That would be a lamb … to be led by the Shepherd. 

What is your favorite food?
My taste buds have changed with most foods, but good chocolate remain a best-seller for me, and I love See’s candy most. I also enjoy a good Sunday roast, turkey, and ham. I love fresh seafood, and living in Florida we eat that often.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Because I started out as a newspaper reporter with a weekly column, and continued to do freelance work and then started writing short stories, I believe relearning the method most publishers consider correct was my biggest hurdle. In a short story you tell it, and POV and back-story aren’t issues. It’s short to the point. When I wrote Carolina in the Morning I didn’t know about the rules and what I would later learn when joining a critique group. I was taken back that the many people who enjoyed my writing didn’t realize how bad I was, according to the new rules. Once I grew a tough hide and reworked my craft, I continued to learn. I also learned a lot by critiquing others books, and that’s something I continue to do and enjoy helping other writers.

Tell us about the featured book.
This Side of Heaven takes place present day in rural Georgia. My main female character is brought from her northern roots, along with two preschoolers, in an underground protection program. She has been on the run from an abusive husband, and in protection for several weeks. She finally arrives in the warm climate, a small house, surrounded by flowers and pecans. Her children are safe and play under her watchful eye. Detective Gafee, a neighbor stops by to welcome the young mother and children, offering a small puppy for their enjoyment. He immediately falls in love with her, but thinking she is grieving for her dead husband. Darlene doesn’t want anyone to know the truth, including Brett.

Please give us the first page of the book.
A dove cooed softly as Darlene glanced up from gardening to capture a gentle breeze in the unbearable October heat. Buttons was chasing a butterfly. Probably wants a playmate. She laughed, what a wonderful day when the handsome police officer brought that little German shepherd into their lives. Could life be any better? The earth beckoned her, and she resumed her work in the flower beds. Grateful thoughts for the single-story house the underground protection provided after her escape from a violent husband, always a constant blessing. Darlene enjoyed the fragrance of flowers in bloom, treasures from the pecan tree, and a peaceful country setting, allowing her children to safely play surrounded by natural beauty. Inhaling the floral scent of Honeysuckle nearby, her attention was diverted by a George Strait classic drifting her way; “All my exes live in Texas…”
Patti Sutton’s little red sports car made a sharp turn into the driveway, as the tires chirped through a hard down shift. The door opened, and the thirty-something five-foot two redhead wearing tan Capris, a coral T-shirt, and a “Go Bulldogs” ball cap, stepped out with painted toes, matching her T, onto the concrete. Darlene set aside her gardening tools and removed her gloves. She stood rubbing a sore muscle in her back and blotting moisture from her face … I wonder why Patti is so eager to see me this early.  She’d been a big help to Darlene in the underground program, giving her advice on everything from where to buy children’s clothing at fair prices, and which grocery stores carried the best coupons. It would soon be a year since Darlene and her children had come to rural Georgia in the care of two strangers that late night. Darlene placed her hand over her eyes to shield the sun and greeted her guest.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Diane, for sharing this book with us. Mine recently arrived, and I am eager to read it.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
This Side of Heaven - Paperback
This Side of Heaven - Kindle

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LiteOfTheNite said...

Great interview! I love Diane and her books. :)

Unknown said...

Thanks for stopping by, Renee.
And I'm happy you enjoy my books!

Mary L. Ball said...

Such a wonderful interview. I can see Diane backing away. LOL. But I would be scared to do that.
This Side of Heaven is an awesome book,Diane Dean White is a very talented author.

Unknown said...

This sounds to be another great read by Diane. I've enjoyed all of her books to date...

Rita said...

Fantastic interview! I enjoy Eugenia Price, as well. :) Look forward to reading This Side of Heaven, Diane, I love your novels.

Unknown said...

Enjoyed the interview. I have read and loved This Side of Heaven. Don't include me in the drawing and give someone else an opportunity to win a copy of this wonderful book.

Unknown said...

Thank you for coming by Mary. I can assure you, God would
give you the strength to back up if you felt you couldn't do
it. Of course He may have given me the strength to try harder,
but I believe I didn't ask! :)

Unknown said...

Thank you Kathlene. I'm so happy you enjoy my writing. :)

Unknown said...

Thank you for coming by and sharing your love for
This Side of Heaven, Ann. I appreciate your support. :)

Unknown said...

Thanks much, Rita. I'm glad you enjoy my writing,
and I hope you will read This Side of Heaven. :)

Maria Harden said...

Another stellar read from Diane. What I most like about Diane's writing is how she incorporates a faith element within the story. Her writing expertise shines through, along with her love of the Lord. Well done, my friend!

Unknown said...

Love this interview & the storyline! My life has some parallels as I, too, relocated from Buffalo, NY to Knoxville, TN about a year ago. I also have 2 children & am a single mom! Thank you for sharing this with us!

Unknown said...

Thank you for those kind words, Maria.
And I appreciate you coming by. :)

Unknown said...

Love this interview & the storyline! My life has some parallels as I, too, relocated from Buffalo, NY to Knoxville, TN about a year ago. I also have 2 children & am a single mom! Thank you for sharing this with us!

Unknown said...

Hi Jennifer! I'll bet that was a little culture
shock from NY to TN...but I do understand from
friends/family who live in the country music state,
it's a pleasant place to live. Much milder winters
and some lovely areas. Thanks for coming by! :)

Anonymous said...

What a great interview! Loved the details and behind the scenes information.

Mary Preston said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Preston said...

A beautifully descriptive beginning.

Mary P


Unknown said...

Thank you Anonymous for coming by...I'm happy you enjoyed the "behind the
scenes" info....hum.... :)

Unknown said...

Thank you, Mary P. I'm happy you enjoyed the beginning paragraphs!
Thanks for visiting. :)

Tom Chambers said...

DIANE, so interesting to learn a few details of your early life; good interview. I'm so glad you graduated from manual typewriter to electric, and now work on computer which brings forth more of your novels, faster! Don't enter me in the drawing, I have this intriguing, adventurous story (book) on my shelf! God continue to bless you with creative imagination.

Pam said...

Diane- Loved your story about trying to drive across the Mighty Mac bridge! I just read recently where they now have people whose job it is to drive people across the bridge so you are not the only one out there who just. can't. do. it. I've made the trip a couple of times - never as the driver - and, beautiful as it is, I can believe it would be very scary on a windy day!!!

Would love to read your book!

Pam in Ohio

Unknown said...

Thank you for your kind remarks, Tom, and for purchasing a copy of
THIS SIDE OF HEAVEN. I hope you enjoy it and I appreciate your review
from ON A SUMMER NIGHT~ :) Thanks for coming by.

Michele K. Morris said...

A great interview, Diane! I enjoyed the first page!Your love for the Lord shows through in all your work! Beautiful!

Unknown said...

Hi Pam in Ohio~ :) I know they have drivers over that huge bridge now.
They didn't when I attempted my maiden voyage! I've been over several
times with my hubby driving, and I remember when our neighbors walked
across with Governor Williams, they often do a Labor Day walk. I'll
stick to the shore-lines of Lake Michigan. Thanks for coming by.

Unknown said...

Hello, Michele.
Thanks for coming by. I'm glad you enjoyed the peek into chapter
one. And as always...He's the one to honor. :)

Sherri said...

Hi Diane. Glad to see you in Lena's blog and to FINALLY get to start your book! :p. I love stories like this and can't wait to get to it. Sounds like a story I can get lost in. Love that!!

Unknown said...

Hi Sherri, thank you for stopping by. I'm glad
you have my book. I hope you enjoy it! :)

Unknown said...

Loved the interview. It's so nice to get to "know" the author.

Unknown said...

HI Linda, thanks for coming by.
It's fun to share with others,
isn't it? :)

Annie B. Stronge AKA Diane Theiler said...

Great interview!

Unknown said...

Thank you, Annie. Lena knows how to do them!
I appreciate you coming by. :)

Connie Porter Saunders said...

Thanks for sharing this first page. I am anxious to learn more of Darlene's story.
Connie from KY

Unknown said...

Hi Connie. I'm glad you enjoyed my first two paragraphs.
Thanks for coming by. :)

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Conway SC

Unknown said...

Hi Sharon! You're entered, and thanks
for coming by! :)