Dec. 1st, tour with new and famous authors – books, tips, and more.
Mystery Site Giveaway!
Today I present you Dianne Sagan!
Orphaned Rebekah becomes a servant in her uncle’s house in
Now read the interview with Dianne!
Interview with Dianne G. Sagan, the author of Shelter from the Storm
Tell us about yourself first.
I’ve lived in several places around the U.S. including the Northwest, but have spent the last 20 years in the Panhandle of Texas. For those of you who aren’t sure what the “panhandle” is – it’s that part that sticks up farthest to the north, between Oklahoma and New Mexico.
Both my husband and I are writers. He writes a regular column weekly and in addition is a freelance editor. I love having an editor in the family when it comes time to polishing manuscripts for submission. We have six children, a dog, and four grandchildren.
I absolutely love being a writer and enjoy the process.
When did you start writing?
I first got the bug to write from a high school English teacher. I’m one of those odd people who enjoyed and preferred essay questions on tests all through high school and college. My writing was sporadic for years but when I became a Mom I wrote stories for my children and inserted their names as characters. After years of working in offices, I was in a car accident that stopped me cold. I spent time thinking about what I should do after I was back to my full capacity again. I thought about all the things I love to do and finally settled on getting serious about writing. While the youngest of six children was in high school, I started writing as a freelancer for the regional newspaper on a rotation as part of Amarillo Voices. I did that for about five years.
Then, I got really serious. I started ghostwriting and working on ideas I’d been mulling over for a long time.
What genres have you written?
Aside from ghostwriting, I write Christian and historical fiction, as well as women’s fiction and suspense. I have always considered myself a fiction writer and then one day in the middle of a book I was ghostwriting I realized that most of my published work up to that time was nonfiction. I enjoy writing both.
Is Shelter from the Storm your first book?
My first published fiction book was released earlier this year, Rebekah Redeemed, a Historical/Christian fiction novella – the first in a series.
Tell us about your book. What is it about?
Shelter from the Storm is the story of a woman who must find shelter for herself and her children from a volatile husband. The story is set in Seattle during the worst snowstorm in 50 years. It is unlike other fiction about abuse. There is actually little violence and most of it takes place in her memories. It is her story as well as the story of many women who find themselves in that situation all too often. Brittany Camp, the protagonist, makes her way through the shelter, the legal system, and manages to stay one step ahead of her ever vigilant husband. Readers will follow the changes in Brittany as she emerges from her cocoon and finds out who she really is again and hopes for a better life.
What inspired you to write this book?
Domestic Violence is on the upswing again as a result of a troublesome economy but the problem is an old and enduring one. It is a way of helping people understand the situation better and to raise awareness. As a survivor of a violent first marriage, I want to help others make a new life.
How long did it take you to write it?
The ideas for the book were in the back of my mind for years. I combined my experiences and those of four other women in the fictionalized story. I focused on writing the book for about 4 years. I’d write some and put it away. I did numerous revisions before it was accepted for publication by a royalty publisher.
Who is the publisher of your book?
My publisher is WordWright.biz of Alpine, Texas. Joan Neubauer is my editor and she has been amazing. She challenged me in edits and helped me become a better writer. She and her husband Steve Neubauer also operate what they call a “writer’s incubator” to help new writers develop their craft and the skills needed to be a successful author besides publishing two or three lines of royalty books.
Where is it on sale?
Shelter from the Storm is on sale at amazon.com, my website http://dgsagan.tripod.com, and through the “Spirit of the Season” online catalog at bit.ly/1QzJX8 When you get to the catalog, go to “Book Marketing”
I’ll be holding a book signing in the Seattle area with proceeds to go to the Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County. It will be Saturday, December 12, 2009 at their thrift shop, New and Again, 3116 Rucker Ave, Everett, WA 98201. The book signing is between 12noon and 2pm. I’d love for anyone in the area to stop by and say “hi” even if you don’t purchase a book.
Tell us about your other books/work.
Rebekah Redeemed is the story of the daughter of a shepherd who saw the Christ child that first night, Rebekah is thrown into a life of servitude. Traded from relative to relative, she suffers through hard labor, neglect, and abuse. What will become of her? No one cares until a kinsman redeemer reveals himself. Who is this Nazarene? Can Rebekah forgive the past?
Available through: amazon.com, barnes&nobel.com, and the publisher at http://www.awocbooks.com/book.cfm?b=64&f=d
In addition, an anthology of flash fiction that I contributed to with four other women I was in a critique group with is also being released today. Flash Tales: An Adventure in Words is a fun book for when you only have a minute to read. These multi-genre stories are as different as the five of us who wrote them. Each contributed 20, 100 word stories with a set of required words chosen by the group. You’ll also have a chance to try your hand at it if you want. It is also available at amazon.com, http://dgsagan.tripod.com, or in the “Spirit of the Season” catalog. (link above)
What are the major challenges that you have faced in your career?
When I was younger and still had children at home and a single mom, I found that I didn’t write much and decided to wait until they were grown. If I had it to do over, then I would make time to write. Some health issues still get in the way sometimes. I also am challenged to balance writing, researching, speaking, promotion, and all the business details of being a full-time writer. In addition, my husband and I own a business consulting firm and I am a facilitator. As with all of us, budgeting time is really important to me and I don’t always do very well with that.
Has the Internet helped you in your writing career? How?
I think the internet has helped me enormously. I attended Lea Shivas’ first Muse Online Writer’s Conference and the people are wonderful, talented and inspirational. It was a great place to feel like I was constantly in touch with other writers and people in the publishing world. From that group I started building my website and started a blog. They are the stepping stone and foundation of my internet network.
Our VBT – Writer’s on the Move has been a wonderful way to help each other promote and meet new people and readers. You can’t beat sitting in your jamies and bunny slippers taking a book tour around the world. Using the internet can be done on a shoe string if you need to or you can spend quite a bit if you choose to. My books can get international exposure.
In ghost-writing, it has enabled me to work with clients all over the world.
What do you advise new writers to do?
Don’t give up. Keep writing. If one of the first things you think of when you wake up in the morning is writing or the plot you’ve been working on, then you are truly a writer. Persevere. Get into a critique group and go to conferences. Develop a thick skin for feedback about your work and don’t take it personally. Use what works and discard the rest. Read writer’s magazines and get involved in local writer’s organizations as well as online groups. Most of all enjoy the process and love the craft of writing.
Rebekah Redeemed, ISBN: 978-0-937660-52-2
Coming soon: Shelter from the Storm, ISBN: 978-1-934335-35-2
and Flash Tales, ISBN: 978-1-934335-37-6
Thank you Dianne, and Good Luck!