Name  Diane Rinella

Age It’s all in the mind.

Where are you from Beautiful San Francisco

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

After much stress, along with many trials and tribulations, as of November 2015, I am a USA Today Bestselling Author. I still can’t freaking believe it! In December, I released my fifth novel, Voices Carry, a part of my Rock and Roll Fantasy Collection.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

One chilly fall afternoon I curled up and watched an obscure counter culture film called The Buttercup Chain. In it, two cousins, related through identical twins—thus making them genetic half-siblings—have a strong attraction. She is fine with the situation while he is a huge ball of denial. The entire film I waited for the obvious to happen. When the film ended and the man was heartbroken I felt a huge opportunity had been squandered. Clearly they were soul mates, and never once did we find out why he was so freaked out by his emotions. All you could believe was that he hid from who he was because of society. What a horrible world we live in where love is wrong.

The sadness of the situation stayed with me, as did my anger at the author for not taking the story where it needed to go either by explaining the problem or by facing it. Upon doing research I discovered that there are so many biases toward the subject that I could not find a single book that really tackled it non-judgmentally. Yet the more I dug, the more common I found the real-life situation to be. The proverbial gloves came off and I started writing Love’s Forbidden Flower. What started as a story ended as a chalice in which I placed my heart, all the while asking why we make love laws. How we can tell others it is wrong to love, I will never understand.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

My old acting teacher said I should never say I wanted to be an actress but to just be one. I apply that thought to everything I do, thus I have been a writer since I started composing Love’s Forbidden Flower.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

 For my Forbidden Flower books, I tossed around words that applied until a combination stuck. I was pretty clueless when it came to Something To Dream On. Then one day I checked out a jellyfish exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I was surrounded by room after room of jellyfish that were illuminated under black light. The whole thing was so surreal that it was like living in an alien, psychedelic light show. At the end of the exhibit was a quote by Jimi Hendrix, “You have to give people something to dream on.” Dreams were already a part of the book, and seeing that felt like the universe was telling me to delve in deeper. As for my Rock and Roll Fantasy Collection, all of the novels and novellas are named after classic songs, with the exception of Scary Modsters, which is a pun based on the Bowie album, Scary Monsters. Since our dead rock star was King of the Mods, the title nails the feel of the book.

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

 In my Forbidden Flower books, I want the reader to question her/his beliefs about the fairness of love laws. In Something To Dream On, and my Rock and Roll Fantasy books, I hope people will see beyond what is in front of them and find the core of who they are. I always hope that people walk away from my books either solidly rooted in their original beliefs or changed for the better. The bottom line is that I want people to consider thinking of life in a new light, even if they decide not to.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic ?

 According to the people they represent, my Forbidden Flower books are freakishly real. Several readers who are in Lily’s situation told me some of the conversations were almost word-for-word matches to ones she had about her situation.  As for the other books, the horrible stuff that happened to rock star Peter Lane in Scary Modsters can be found in music history books. As for the metaphysical aspects, everything is a twisted form of my reality.

Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?

 S.E. Hinton’s, The Outsiders, was the first book to grip my heart. I love how free-spirited Jacqueline Susann was. Valley of the Dolls was the story that she wanted to tell, and she did a great job at convincing publishers not to mess with it. She was Indie spirited long before we dreamed Indie published could exist, and it shows.

Fiona: What are your current projects?

Scary Modsters spawned two novellas: a prequel (It’s A Marshmallow World) and a follow-up story featuring a supporting character (Queen Midas In Reverse, coming in February 2016.) I’ve already started on a follow-up novella featuring characters from Voices Carry and have a second on planned after that.


Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Nope! However, I will say that December is a horrible month for me to try to plan a release. In fact, I didn’t plan much of anything for it. I will soon though.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I can’t rave about Heidi ‘Azurylipfe’ Darras enough! I found her on Deviant Art while scratching my head over the cover of Something To Dream On. A painting is one of the focal points of that book, and I hoped to have it reflected in the cover. Not only is Heidi’s style perfect, she did the art for The Mystic Dreamer Tarot deck, so she understands symbolism. We live across the world from each other, but I swear that if I think something, she knows and puts it in the cover. We struggled over what to do for Scary Modsters, but I love what she did. Now, all of the books in the Rock and Roll Fantasy Collection will have the same feel. I’ve also got an ongoing graphic of them as Tarot cards. They will make a gorgeous ad once they are complied.

Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Knowing if I have really conveyed key points in a way others can understand. Since no two people truly share the same views and experiences, it can be tough. That is when I call in my friend, Trenda Lundin, of It’s Your Story Content Editing. She is brilliant, and has saved my butt many times!!!

Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

 First drafts always stink. Just get your story down and worry about how pretty it is later. Accept you will need many drafts and don’t get discouraged. You have to step back and appreciate the full story before you can add in the details that make people really think about what you are saying. Don’t skimp on details for the sake of getting your story done and out there. In my opinion, not taking your time to truly craft art is the true drawback of Indie publishing. Get critique partners you trust. (I emphasize the word trust. Don’t listen to anyone and everyone. Find someone who shares your vision.)

Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you! From the bottom of my heart, thank you for allowing my words to enter your life.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

 Will Friedle on Boy Meets World/Girl Meets World. Cracks me up every darn time!

Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?

 The list is vast, ranging from family who passed before I was born to modern-day artists.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?

 I’m kind of leaning toward, “What the hell was she thinking?” I am also considering having my ashes pressed into vinyl. I can’t decide on the A-side, but I think the B-side needs to be “Cadillac Ranch”, Springsteen’s rocker about being hauled off to the cemetery.

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

 I love anything 1960s – fashion, music, film, etc.  I was trained as a pastry chef, which is terrible for my waistline. I’ve also been involved in The Rocky Horror Picture Show for way too long, but I don’t see that ending soon.

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

Mostly vintage TV, but I am also a sucker for Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries. I already miss Downton Abbey. 

Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?



My Links







Goodreads profile:




Love’s Forbidden Flower:

Time’s Forbidden Flower:

Something To Dream On:

It’s A Marshmallow World:

Scary Modsters:

Voices Carry: