The Romance Room is a blog that romance readers & writers can come to find out what's new in romance releases. A place to just talk about romance itself. We welcome readers & writers of all romance genres: traditional, contemporary, historical, paranormal, erotica, etc.
Monday, April 6, 2015
An Interview With Author, Diana Tobin
Welcome, Diana Tobin!
My first job was at a
hotel in southern California where I grew up – not Eloise style. Over the years
I’ve provided daycare, worked as a cake decorator, been a farmer, and retired
from 30 years of banking. These days I
spend my time writing, gardening, scrapbooking, and spending every possible
moment with my beloved grandchildren.
One of my best vacations was taking them to Disneyland for the first
With family members spread across the country, and
overseas, I was born in Maine, grew up near Los Angeles, and have made the
Rogue Valley of Oregon my home for the past 34 years.
Half my life has been involved with writing; the study
and practice of it, plus being part of local and national organizations. A lifelong love of reading has filled my
bookshelves to overflowing. There is
nothing like entering another world, another place, and meeting new people through
the pages of a book.
is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
I don’t see myself as an adventurous
person, yet some might think I am. I’d
have to say I really had nothing to do with my greatest adventure and that was
becoming a grandmother. Thankfully, it’s
adventure would you like to have that you haven’t done yet if money and skill
were no problem?
I would like to travel around the US
more, and take those grandkids with me.
I’d also like to go to Israel and visit my niece.
are some of your favorite authors? What
commonality do you see in them?
My favorite authors are Nora
Roberts, Linda Howard, Marilyn Pappano, and Sharon Sala. The list keeps growing. Their characters meet their challenges, whether
large or small, and become willing to give their all for the love of their
life, no matter how long it takes to fall in love with that person.
believe color says something about a person’s personality. What’s your favorite color?
My favorite color is purple, all
shades, from flowers, to clothes, to paint colors. Okay, only my bedroom is purple.
you could have a do-over life, what one thing would you do differently? What would you do again?
for my life. I’ve been fortunate to see
and do many wonderful things. I do feel I made one big mistake and considered
correcting it many times over 28 years, but if I had I wouldn’t have those
adorable grandchildren that make it all worth while. I like my life and it’s hard to beat having a
30 year dream come true; being a published author.
is your writing process from conception to finished MS? Are you a planner, panster
I’m definitely a panster
writer. I get an idea, get a feel for
the characters, and go for it. Planning
doesn’t always work for me because the characters have a tendency to take over
and say and do what they want. I listen
to them since it is their story. Once
the story is down then I edit, edit, edit, edit, until I’m satisfied it’s the
best it can be. Then, of course, the
worry sets in; should I change this, that?
did you research for your book?
There was no research for KISSING
COUSINS. I live in the Rogue Valley of
southern Oregon and have attended many of the S. Oregon Spartans Hockey
games. (Yes, readers, they are
real!) I was born in Maine, have
relatives there, and been to the places in the book. While I borrowed family names, none of the
characters in the book are based on them.
Life provides much fodder for writers.
is your all-time favorite movie? TV
My favorite TV show is “NCIS” I love the interaction of the characters more
than the crime solving part. My favorite
movie is harder to pick. I loved Daniel
Day Lewis’ portrayal of “Lincoln” and sobbed even though I knew what was
coming. “Ever After” is a good one
because Cinderella saves herself and by the time she does, the prince is worthy
of her love. I have a great fondness for
“Hocus Pocus” due to a fascination with the Salem witch trials. Enough that I wrote two books set during that
important do feel writing workshops are to any writer?
Writing workshops are a great help
and I highly recommend them as time and money allows. You will always learn something, and that one
thing could be just what you need. Or,
you might make a contact that becomes your new best friend.
you could learn one new skill, fear and money no deterrent, what would it be?
I would love to learn to dance like
on “Dancing with the Stars.” I have no
desire to be on the show, but learning to dance would get me in shape without
looking like I was being attacked by a hairy bug.
you had a million dollars to donate to any one charity, what would it be?
There are so many important causes
that could use an infusion of cash but I’d go with literacy. It doesn’t matter what a person reads, as
long as they can read, and they will learn something. Even if what they learn is to have faith in
What advice would you like to give to
an aspiring writer? Did anyone mentor you or help you along the way?
Please tell us about your mentor and
what you feel they contributed to your writing career.
What is the best advice anyone ever
The best advice I got was from Nora
Roberts. Either I was extremely naïve or
totally brazen, but shortly after I got serious about writing I penned a note
to Ms Roberts and asked her advice. Much
to my shock she answered with join Romance Writers of America. This was a total eye-opening experience. Those at the top were willing to help those
just starting, completely the opposite of corporate America where I was earning
my living. The conferences, the
workshops, the contacts, the do’s-don’t’s-and why-nots. A group of us formed a local chapter; half
our members were multi-published and willing to help the rest of us. My mentors were Vella Mun, Wendy Warren,
Rosalie More, Sheila Straus, Gail Jenner, and many more. As chapter president I became a cheerleader
with my monthly messages aimed at myself as well as my fellow members.
Reading is a big help; not just the
genre you write, but any and every thing.
You learn how a story flows or doesn’t.
You learn how traits of a character are revealed. If you read something you don’t like, you’ve
learned what not to do.
you could live anywhere in the world you wanted to, where would it be?
(Language is no barrier)
I love where I live, but the bottom
line for me is to be near my grandchildren as long as I can. I would love to also have homes in Maine,
Nantucket, and one of the Carolinas.
Where do you write?
How much time do you devote to
writing each week?
Do you have a day every week that you take
I write at home with the days and
hours varying depending on what’s happening with the rest of my world. I pick up my grandkids from school and stay
with them until mom or dad arrives home.
Most often I write in the mornings before going to get them, but if a
story is really clicking and I can’t bear to leave it I take my computer with
me. We each have our own homework….and
my grandson only asks for my help with English and spelling. Hmmm.
This flexibility is possible because I am now retired.
is a genre that you have not attempted that you would like to try?
I would love to write a humorous
mystery like Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. Some have told me they got some chuckles
while reading KISSING COUSINS.
Hopefully, not during a love scene.
There may be hope for me one day.
there anything you would like readers to know about you?
Readers probably know more about me
than they wish. I do hope readers enjoy
KISSING COUSINS and want to thank everyone for this opportunity.
GIVE AWAY ALERT!! Diana will be giving away a digital copy of KISSING COUSINS to someone who comments on her interview. Be sure to include your email address in your comment.
Augusta Thompson has lost everything—her parents, her husband, her home…and now, her only child. Then, a legal notice arrives asking her to travel across the country to claim an inheritance from an unknown relative—a grandmother she never knew she had. There’s only one catch: she must share her grandmother’s beautiful old home with handsome Olympic contender Charles “Web” Webster—the only other person named in the inheritance—for one year. Web finds it difficult to believe Augusta never knew about her family in Maine, the family Augusta’s mother turned her back on. As time goes by, he realizes Augusta was mentally and emotionally abused by her ex-husband, and her heart and soul are wounded. Can Augusta learn to trust in others once more and make a new life for herself? Can Web’s love for Augusta heal her broken heart and allow them a future together? Will the conditions of the inheritance prove to be a help or hindrance for these KISSING COUSINS?
Thompson kept her most treasured belongings in the trunk of her car. Her scrapbooks and boxes of photos; a string
of pearls once belonging to her mother and a macaroni necklace made by her
daughter; a blanket she’d crocheted when pregnant and had wrapped around baby
Hope. A few precious books by her
favorite authors; Nora Roberts when she wanted to read about true love, however
fictional, and Janet Evanovich when she needed to be reminded there was humor
in the world. A small collection of
Junie B. Jones books she and Hope had read, and laughed over, together.
What took up most of the trunk space in her fifteen year
old Dodge Neon were skeins of yarn, pattern books, notebooks holding more
patterns and ideas, and a variety of knitting needles and crochet hooks.
Logically, keeping her most prized possessions in a vehicle might
not be the best idea, but Augusta, better known as Gus, had lost much to
someone she was supposed to be able to trust and in places supposedly
safe. Plus, her car had become her home. It was old enough, with various dings and
dents, no one would deem it worthy of stealing.
Today Gus packed the last few items as she wondered how
long it would take her to drive from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine. One saw the end of what she loved best and held most
dear, the other, hopefully, would help her find a way to go on living.
Armed with numerous maps to help her find her way across
the country, she placed the last item in the trunk. A small ornately carved box holding the ashes
of her beloved eight year old daughter, Hope.