Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Dianna Wilkes, and let’s say I qualify for Early Bird Specials!
Fiona: Where are you from?
Originally, West Virginia, but I moved to Delaware 11 years ago. Just last week, someone asked me if I was “from the South.” The accent obviously is here to stay.
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Single, no kids. I have4 sisters and ten nieces and nephews. I stopped counting when the great-nieces and nephews came along. I have a BFA in Visual Communication and an MEd in Instructional Technology.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My debut book, Main Street (Providence Island Book 1)won Best First Book category in the Golden Leaf Contest, sponsored by the New Jersey chapter of the RWA. It also was a finalist in the Romance Suspense category. In other news, Book 2 Towne Square is due out late January/early February 2018.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
My first memory of writing was as a child (age 8-9). If a TV show ended with scenes from the next episode, my sister and I would write stories based on those scenes. Of course, ours never came close to the actual story, but it was the foundation for finding inspiration and crafting my own stories.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
High School. I worked on the school newspaper and considered a career in journalism at that time (which didn’t happen.) At the same time, I wrote sweeping sagas of romance and adventure.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
A renovation project on Main Street is the catalyst that brings heroine Dana Canfield to Providence Island. The name is also a contrast between the friendly hometown connotation of an old fashioned small town and what secrets lie hidden.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I write in multiple points of view. Main Street has three main POVs and two storylines. One is Nick & Dana’s romance which is the HEA. The other is the mystery in Dana’s past which extends over the next two books in the series. The challenge is managing the intricate threads between the storylines over multiple books.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I constantly get ideas from people watching or overhearing passing conversations. That’s when “what if” takes over.If there is a snippet from real life (mine and others I know) in the books, it’s used for background or seasoning.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Before, for the Providence Island series. For another series I have planned, travel will be a definite requirement.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Karri Klawiter. She did an amazing job creating the covers for Main Street and Towne Square.Bothincorporate elements of the two main characters with a touch of romance along with an “Easter egg”.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
One theme is the importance of family. How family is more than a blood connection. It’s built on love, trust, and respect. It’s about the paths our lives take and the chains of events that lead us to where we are today. Some of those events are self-made choices, others are by another person’s intervention or events out of anyone’s control.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
Sherryl Woods is one of my all-time favorite writers. Also Nora Roberts, Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick, and Irene Hannon. For utter relaxation, I love cozy mysteries.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Author Lea Kirk. Many years ago, or as Lea termed it “dial-up days” on AOL, we formed a critique group along with Dena, another member. The group went idle as life took us in other directions. Lea spurred us back into action a couple years ago.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Main Street changed significantly from conception to completion. During that development time, I had ideas in mind for Towne Square and knew at a high level how the third book would end. However, sometimes you can overthink, and it’s best to just WRITE. Along the way, I got the know the characters on a deeper level and was able to craft a stronger story.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
The importance of a good editor. I learned so much during theMain Street editswhich helped when I wrote Towne Square.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
When I started Main Street, I located pictures online that matched physically how I envisioned the characters. As for the actors, I’d love to hear from readers who they would like to see as Nick and Dana.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
For aspiring writers, don’t give up, and don’t get discouraged. Find a critique group. Take a writing class or find other ways to improve your craft. If you chose to self-publish, recognize that you will be running a business so prepare for that.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I appreciate you! To know that my stories gave you enjoyment, comfort or escape means the world to me.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Right now, I’m deep in edits for Towne Square plus plotting South Pointe (Book 3).
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I learned to read when I was four years old, so probably it was a Little Golden Book.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
It would have one of my ancestors with whom I’ve hit a brick wall researching a family line.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I do watch TheWalking Dead. I much prefer to read when I have spare time.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Definitely seafood—shrimp, crab cakes, clam chowder. Also pizza and Mexican. As for colors, all the colors of Autumn, my favorite time of year.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Work on my family history. There’s something mystical about walking in the areas where my ancestors lived.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
It’s all about the journey.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Yes. Website is www.diannawilkes.com. Best place to connect with me is on Facebook www.facebook.com/DiannaWilkesAuthor.
Amazon authors page https://www.amazon.com/Dianna-Wilkes/e/B01N9VZY48/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
Beautiful interview, Di! I am deeply touched and honored at the mention. XOXO Fiona, thanks for cornering this gal! She’s an amazing talent taking her first steps. I have a feeling her name will be up there with all her favorite authors soon.
Armen Pogharian said:
I enjoyed the story about you and your sister filling in the blanks for next episodes of TV programs – very creative. Best of luck to you.