The reward of artistic expression
Unlike a painting that you can hang on your wall, or a statue sitting picturesque in your garden, a book is a tangible artistic expression that requires work. Not just by the author (artist) but also by the reader (admirer). And like a painting, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
I have always been a Jane Austen fan. I admire her wit and characterisation of social inequity cleverly coated in romance and family drama. But equally I know many people who can't stand her work, and instead would prefer a Tolstoy or a Stephen King. I feel however as an author that the reward that we get from our artistic expression is when we connect with those people who see the beauty underneath the page. The hidden message between the lines. But as a reader, the reward is connecting to a character or a place. To feel emotionally invested in a story and to feel like you are a part of this new world.
I was keen to find out what reward this months authors were receiving as they continued on their artistic pathway and this is what they told me.
This month's authors: Diane Hester Diane is an Daphne du Maurier Award Finalist, and writes compelling, and relentlessly suspenseful books. With a new book out, I was keen to see what rewards she was getting recently.
You have a new book out full of twists and turns, what appeals to you about suspense writing?
First of all, VK, thanks for having me on your blog!
Yes, my new book, No Good Deed, is a thriller set in Adelaide and the Adelaide Hills. I love writing about ordinary people thrust into danger. The unexpected twists and turns in suspense give my characters extra surprises to deal with.
I think of suspense as being different to mystery or crime. With mystery/crime the hero is the person in charge who often possesses some sort of expertise or training – a police detective, a forensic expert, a profiler, private eye, etc.
The suspense protagonist on the other hand generally has no special training and is unprepared for the dangers they face. They must dig deep to find hidden strengths they never knew they had to better the villain.
Where mystery is more an intellectual exercise – unravelling clues to solve the crime – suspense is more an emotional ride. It’s that emotional roller coaster and character growth that appeal to me about writing suspense.
With a background as a violinist, do you ever get inspiration from your musical training and how does that manifest in your writing?
My musical background hasn’t really had much impact on the types of stories I write. However the training I went through to become a musician has definitely helped me cope with the ups and downs of being a writer.
One of the first things I learned from music is that, no matter how much (or little) talent I might have for something, if I practice it every day I’ll get better at it. Because violin is such a hard instrument I also had to find coping mechanisms for dealing with delayed gratification. A valuable tool for facing rejections as a writer!
Another thing I learned, both as a student and from being a teacher, is that it’s often the people who have to work the hardest who go the distance. I’ve seen many naturally talented students become discouraged or give up entirely the first time they hit a major challenge – up until then everything had come easily to them. Whereas students who had to work for every advancement took such hurdles in their stride.
What’s your favourite part of writing a book, and what part do you find the hardest?
My favourite part is when I get a little germ of an idea and realize there’s a story in it, that I’ve struck a vein of possible gold. I love when an idea grabs hold of me and sets me on fire creatively.
I also love the first time I see my characters come to life on the page and start doing things I hadn’t expected.
The hardest part of writing for me is getting my story’s first draft written. Once it’s done, however, I love tinkering with what I’ve written, the editing part. To me it’s like, the Christmas tree is up, now I get to decorate it!
Diane likes to connect with readers via Facebook and their comments about her books on Goodreads. (Yes, she's read every review and often takes on board things readers say for her next novel!) You can also find her at:
I hope you can take a moment to offer support for her by checking out her book, and I extend my thanks for being interviewed!
Luna Joya Award-winning author Luna Joya writes hex and sex in The Legacy Series, praised for its romance, mystery, and magic. I was keen to hear about how she expresses her artistic world.
What is it about paranormal romance that appeals to you and have you ever written other genres?
I love how paranormal adds that “extra” to the guaranteed happily ever after with magical and supernatural elements. It lets me layer more twists and turns into every story to keep my readers flipping pages.
I once wrote dark stories with dark endings, and my agent asked for even darker. But I wasn’t happy, and I was thankful they weren’t published so that now I can always guarantee a great ending for my readers.
Romance is love and hope. Who doesn’t need a little extra of that in their lives right now?
Who are your support people, and how do they help you?
I have so many support people. I have a great publisher, an amazing editor, and great teachers. (Yes, I will always be learning new craft skills because my readers deserve the best.) Writers can be extremely generous and supportive when you find the right group. I have too many writer friends to name even as an introvert. My husband will listen to any crazy plot ideas I throw at him without ever reading a single page.
But my biggest supporters? My readers. When they email me what they loved about the books or post encouragement on social media, it’s the best.
Is there any part of the writing process that you find more difficult than other parts?
Most writers hate revisions. I love them because they let me take an “okay” draft and tinker it into something great for my readers. Worrying about the first draft, if it has all the right pieces of the oh-so-massive puzzle to emotionally connect with readers is probably the hardest. Oh, and the two kinds of scenes where I dedicate the most writing time? Steamy sexy times and fight scenes.
Who is your favourite character, either one that you created or one that you have read, and why?
I have to pick one? But I love all of my characters. Even the villains. Maybe especially the villains. They’re so much fun to write because you can sink into their characters and make them larger than life. Queen Clio in my series is a blast to write with her warped immortal perspective—a goddess of beauty with such brutality. Maybe that’s why she keeps reappearing.
Luna loves writing her reader newsletters, and having readers respond. She also adores talking with readers as part of the Paranormal Romance Rock Stars on Facebook. Maybe you could stop by and hang out with them!
I hope you can take a moment to offer support for her by checking out her books, and I extend my thanks for being interviewed!
I wish to thank you for taking the time to read and engage with me! Happy reading everyone!
Join me for a LIVESTREAM launch of my latest book A TOWN CALLED NOWHERE...
It will be available at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1351912111851763/
on Friday at 6:30 PM UTC+09:30
It will have INSIDER tips and stories about how the series was created and the characters involved!
What happens when two lost were-panthers meet for the first time?
Nicci, a were-panther abandoned as a child and without a pack, finds herself on the run from the law. With nothing left to lose, she doesn’t trust anyone, especially her own heart.
Dru, a famous race car driver and inheritor of one of the most influential packs in Australia, is trying to escape notoriety, and his fate. Prepared to throw away everything, he is trusting his instincts to get him through.
Together they find themselves stuck in a small rundown deserted town called Nowhere in the wilderness of rural Australia.
Can they learn to trust each other and find a future, or is the call of the wild too strong?