Monday, August 1, 2011

Dianne Hartsock

What is your favorite thing about being a romance writer?

I love romance! Every book I read has to have some kind of love story going on, even if it’s just the sub-plot. When I write my own stories, I get to put in all the romance I like. Everything I find sexy and endearing and attractive about people, I can use with my own characters. And even if the story is filled with heartache and struggle, I can make sure my heroes find their ‘happily ever after’.

When writing your description of your hero/ine what feature do you start with? Eyes, age, hair color, etc?
Personality always come first with me. Who is this person? Who do I want them to be? Next come the eyes. I love eyes, and eye color plays a big role with my characters. It’s usually what other characters notice first about them. Hair color and physical type come next, then style and personality traits/quirks. Age can change until I put the last word on the page. If I need them younger or older, I don’t have a problem with that.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m mostly a plotter. There’s usually a main theme I’m trying to write about, and I’ll have a beginning, middle and ending thought out before I start to write.

Then the panster in me comes out! Often I have to change the beginning two or three times to make my characters come to life. And boy do they have minds of their own! Sometimes the story heads in directions I never anticipated. But somehow I guide things back on course and manage to tell my story, but not always the way I had plotted it to begin with.

Describe to us you typical day
7a.m. The alarm goes off. Morning already? Shouldn't have stayed up so late last night. Shower. Coffee. Computer on. Check mail, social networks. News at 7:30.7:45. Time to write! WooHoo! I open my current wip and get to work. What? Wait. 8:30 already? Drag myself reluctantly to the bedroom to get ready for work. If I'm very lucky, I'll be ready by 8:50 and can get in another 25 minutes. But first, check mail again. Hey, I might have sold something while I was gone! Get home from work at 6pm. Make dinner, spend time with husband. 9pm., computer back on! Check mail, social networks. Write blogs, etc. Then back to what I love best. Writing! Hey, it can't be 11pm already? Well, I don't think another hour will hurt me. Maybe two. Who needs more than six hours of sleep anyway? If only I didn't love it so much. :)

Do you work on one project at a time? Or do you multi-task?
Oh, I’m definitely a multi-tasker in every part of my life! Currently, I’m working on the third book in my ‘Shelton’ series. I’m two-thirds of the way through a fantasy story, and have the outline and sketchy chapters written for a sci/fi. Also, I have two stories I add a little more to each week for one of my blogs.

What song would best describe your life?
Walking on Sunshine, Katrina and the Waves- Corny, I know, but life’s been really good to me. 

What’s a guilty pleasure you have?
A white chocolate/caramel mocha with whip

What’s the perfect romantic evening?
Sitting in a candlelit room sharing a glass of wine with my lover. Soft music is playing and I’m stealing sweet kisses from him. Oh wait, I do that every evening!

If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Fragile. Handle with Care! (My heart breaks easily)

What is sexier boxer or briefs?
Oh goodness, those little buttons on boxers drive me wild!

Please share with us your future projects and upcoming releases.
My paranormal/suspense novel, ALEX, has just been published by Solstice Publishing:
Severely abused as a child, he is left with horrible scars on his body and even worse scars within his mind. Even though it puts him in danger, he’s compelled to help those who call to him. He’s driven, motivated by his visions to rescue them and uncover the killer. When he can, he helps the police; yet some detectives suspect he’s the cause of the problem, not the solution. Often, Alex finds himself alone and afraid in a world he doesn’t always comprehend.
Shelton in Love, is out from Breathless Press:
Shelton is falling hard for his best friend and roommate, finding Nevil’s dark good looks and moments of gentleness almost impossible to resist. But Nevil is more interested in affairs of the body than the heart. As Shelton’s desire for the man grows, he wonders if he can change Nevil’s mind. But does he even want to? Nevil might not stay, once he learns Shelton’s secret, and then his loneliness would be complete.
Also, I have a short ghost story ‘The Trials of a Lonely Specter’ with MuseItUp Publishing for this October:
There’s been an accident. Quinn believes he’s dead, though Liam insists otherwise. But if that is the case, why does Quinn see the two of them as ghosts? And why does Liam play along? Exposed to Mediums and apparitions, Quinn has a decision to make: either accept his fate or risk everything to trust Liam one more time.
I’ve mentioned a few stories above that I’m working on, and I’m still reworking two fantasy novels, hoping to send out queries for them soon. I seem to have more ideas than time anymore!


This excerpt comes from my m/m romance, ‘Shelton’s Promise’
Breathless Press, July 8, 2011

Shelton has a gift he’s anxious to give to Nevil. At the party, Nevil flirts with one man after another, keeping Shelton on his toes. Then Percy shows up to complicate things. Despite his best efforts, Shelton can’t find the right moment to give Nevil his gift. Will Nevil ever let Shelton get close to him, or will Shelton have to keep the gift in his pocket all evening?
Nevil smiled fondly down at him, running a hand through Shelton's chestnut curls. He tilted Shelton's chin up and kissed him one more time. "Get dressed, love. I'll warm the car."

"Are you sure that's what you want?" Shelton made a grab for him, but Nevil skipped out of reach. Shelton heard him laughing as he left the room. When the front door slammed, Shelton dressed hurriedly but took a moment to transfer the jewelry box from his suit to his winter coat pocket and turn off the stereo. Shelton crammed a tan snowcap over his hair and pulled on his gloves as he left the house. The snow had begun to stick, and he walked gingerly over the ice slicking the pavement. He could see his breath in the cold air and wrapped his scarf tighter against the chilled wind. He was shivering by the time he reached the car.

Climbing into the passenger seat, he noted that Nevil wore his black leather coat and cap. Nevil looked darkly handsome, the blue green eyes startlingly beautiful as Nevil glanced at him. He smiled affectionately and Shelton’s heart swelled with love for him.

"Can't we stay home?" he tried one last time, not eager to be out in the storm. And he wanted to give Nevil his gift in private that night. He'd been thinking about it all day.

"Don't be stupid," Nevil said cheerfully, steering the car into the street. The car slid a little on the dusting of snow, and Nevil slowed down to a safer speed, though he teased Shelton about his white knuckles on the dashboard. It took twenty minutes to cross town, and then they were climbing into the hills, Nevil slowing further as evening shadows settled in and the snow thickened.

Usually it was a beautiful drive into the woods, but as the car began to slide more often on the curves, Shelton gritted his teeth, wishing they'd stayed home like he'd wanted. He didn't breathe freely until they parked in the line of cars already in Stewart's driveway. Nevil left the Prius with a look of anticipation on his face, but Shelton walked more slowly through the slush before climbing onto the porch a few steps behind Nevil.

Stewart answered the door, and after a riotous greeting, Nevil disappeared with him into the crowd. Shelton took a minute to talk to Stewart's wife, though he shuddered as she drunkenly flung her arms around him. "Shelton, darling!"

"Andrea." Shelton nodded, forcefully removing her hands from his butt and stepping around her into the house. He shrugged out of his coat before shoving it into her hands to stop her from unbuttoning his shirt as well. "Thanks for inviting us," he called over his shoulder, winding his way around couples toward the kitchen. He caught Nevil's laughing eyes on him from across the room and scowled, realizing Nevil had left him with the woman on purpose. Really, Andrea's aggressive advances were enough to make any man's pride curl up and hide.

He found safety in the kitchen, where he grabbed a beer. He headed for the den, hoping someone was watching the game. Sure enough, the second period of the hockey match had already begun, ice flying on the TV screen. Ignoring the couple making out on the far end of couch, Shelton nodded to the few people he knew in the room and settled into the cushions to watch.

He took a swallow of the cold beer. God, I am tired. He never should have come out with Nevil. He didn't have the energy for one of Stewart's parties. His eyes grew heavy, and a dream began to form behind his lids of a warm bed and soft pillows and Nevil's arms, when he was startled awake by someone leaning over the couch, their hands running over his chest.


  1. Thanks for interviewing me today!

  2. Thank you for hosting Dianne today. Great interview.
    Marketing Director with Breathless Press