Monday, June 28, 2010
Diane Chamberlain's Lies
My guest today is another North Carolina gal, Diane Chamberlain. Welcome, Diane, and please tell us more about you.
I started writing nearly thirty years ago, when I was working as a social worker in a hospital. When I started, I thought of writing fiction as a hobby, but it soon became an obsession. It took me four years to write my first book, and four years more to see it published. Since then, I’ve written nineteen more novels.
Is there a message in your writing you want readers to grasp?
I want my readers to be entertained, first and foremost, but I definitely hope they will take away a message of hope, resilience, and the importance of family in all its varieties.
Briefly tell us about your latest book.
The Lies We Told is the story of two physician sisters, Maya and Rebecca, who are part of a disaster relief team. When they were teens, they witnessed the murder of their parents, and each of them carries a haunting secret about that event. Now, one of them is in a helicopter crash and presumed dead. . . and I don’t want to give away what happens next!
Do you think your writing has improved since your first attempt? In what way?
Oh, yes! I view my first book as a training ground, even though it won the Rita Award from the Romance Writers of America. Over time, my books have developed more suspense and mystery and less romance, but the main focus is always on relationships between family members and friends.
How do you develop characters? Setting?
I usually pick a setting that intrigues me or resonates for me personally. Often it’s an area I want to explore more, such as the city in The Lies We Told, Wilmington, NC. I loved it so much as I researched it that my next book is set there as well. As for characters, I employ some of the same techniques I used when getting to know my clients back in my psychotherapy days. Basically, I talk to them and listen hard to their answers. When they start to feel like real people to me, I know I’m on the right track.
I set my fourth novel in Wilmington as well. Beautiful place! I lived there when I was first married.
How do you determine voice in your writing?
I gave both sisters a voice in The Lies We Told. Maya is in first person, because I wanted the reader to feel closer to her. Rebecca is in third person.
How do you promote yourself online and off?
I have a very active blog at www.dianechamberlain.com/blog and I’m active on Facebook. If you’re on Facebook, too, please friend me! My website www.dianechamberlain.com has tons of information, including trailers of The Lies We Told and other recent books as well as contests and a printable booklist. I try to interact with my readers as much as I can.
Where do you write? When? What do you have around you?
I usually write at a coffee shop in the mornings. I need to get out of the house! In the afternoon and evening, I write in my office or if it’s a nice day, on the porch. My significant other is a photographer, so we both work at home, where we hang out with our two shelties.
Diane, thanks for dropping by. I'll have to get The Lies We Told. Good luck with it.