A big welcome to our readers today! Be sure to read to the end of the interview to find out how to WIN the fabulous prizes being offered up.
PLEASE NOTE: This is not a fixed time event, the post just goes live at 10:30 am CDT. You can stop by any time during the day or evening and leave your questions and
PLEASE KEEP SPOILERS TO A MINIMUM. Not all of the readers today have read Diana’s book.
Welcome back to Bitten by Books, we are excited to have you here today!
I would like to thank you taking the time to join us for the question and answer session with our readers. It has been very interesting to get to know more about you and what makes you tick as a writer! Readers, if you haven’t done so already please stop by and get your copy of Diana’s newest book Mark of the Demon.
BBB: What are the most challenging and the most rewarding aspects of writing?
DR: Most challenging: When I have a deadline and I know I HAVE to be creative. Wrenching myself away from the ten million distractions in my life and sitting my butt in the chair can be a struggle sometimes. It’s
completely illogical, because I truly love writing, but for some reason the deadline makes it work, and there’s a knee-jerk reaction to avoid work because, well, work is icky. [g] On the other hand, the most rewarding aspect comes straight from that butt-in-chair. Sometimes I’ll read over something that I wrote the day before and think, “Did I write that? Wow, that doesn’t suck!” It still surprises me sometimes!
BBB: Do you consider your writing horror or urban fantasy and do you think it is important to distinguish between the two?
DR: I think that there’s so much crossover in genre fiction now that it can be almost self-defeating to try and distinguish a piece of fiction as only one genre. That being said, I don’t think Mark of the Demon is horror. Horror, to me, is a piece of fiction that seeks to explore aspects of the human condition by pushing the envelope of what we can tolerate. While there are definitely some horrific elements in this novel, it’s more of a crime thriller than anything else, albeit one with paranormal elements. Therefore, by current genre definitions, I feel comfortable labeling it as urban fantasy.
BBB: What first attracted you to using demons as characters?
DR: I wanted to try and do something a little different. While I know that there are many other books out there with demons, the demons in my book are not “evil creatures from hell.” I’ve never been a fan of antagonists and enemies who do bad things simply because They Are Bad, so I created my demons to be arcane creatures from an alternate sphere of existence. They have vastly different motivations and ideals–which are logical and reasonable to them, but might be horrifying to humans. They’re complex and
alien, which I hope also makes them interesting.
BBB: Will you continue on with the serial killer theme in future books or is this a one time shot with Mark of the Demon?
DR: I don’t think I’ll go back to a serial killer in this series. Serial killers border on being cliché as it is, and since these books are set in a small town, I don’t think it would be very believable to have multiple serial killers there. I know that if serial killers kept popping up in my town, I’d be moving!
BBB: How much research do you do for your books? How much of it actually gets used in the finished product?
DR: Most of the forensic details and police procedures in the books are drawn from personal experience. I worked in law enforcement and death investigations for almost ten years, which gives me a terrific base of
knowledge to draw from. However, no one knows everything, and there were quite a few times when I wasn’t certain about specific details. Luckily, there are quite a few people who are more than willing to answer my strange and offbeat questions. In fact, the pathologist with whom I used to work doesn’t even bat an eyelash anymore when I text him with questions like, “What would decomp of body look like after 3 months in water?” (His response to this was not, “Why the heck do you want to know this, you sick sick woman?” Instead it was, “Fresh or salt? What time of year?” He’s totally awesome!)
BBB: How do you keep track of your world building?
DR: Badly? [g] Actually, I’ve gotten better. Even though these books are set in the “real” world, the town and parish are fictional, so there was more to keep track of than I initially expected. In fact I didn’t realize that I
needed to be more organized with it until I started working on the second book and had to go back through the first one a dozen times to make sure I was being consistent. Now I have a spreadsheet of characters, with their names, jobs, and other pertinent details. I also have another chart for the demons, the demonic lords, and other arcane creatures that pop up. I know a couple of writers who maintain wikis for their worldbuilding, which sounds absolutely awesome to me, but so far I haven’t had the time to sit down and
devote the time to creating one. I think that soon I’ll have to, though, because the further along I go, the more time I find I’m wasting time searching back through previous books.
BBB: Does your background in martial arts and police work help you with writing your fight scenes?
DR: I had to think about this one for a couple of minutes, because there really aren’t any “fight scenes” in Mark of the Demon in the traditional sense. There are a few violent encounters, though, and upon reflection I had to conclude that my background definitely played a major role, even if it was only to keep flashy and unrealistic fight scenes out of the book. Not that I have anything against flashy and unrealistic fight scenes! I loves them! But, since I DO have an extensive background in martial arts, I deliberately made it so that my main character has only very basic fighting skills. She gets hit, she falls down, she gets up, and she uses her wits and determination to get through.
DR: Speaking from just my own experience, I use my Sony Book Reader mostly for reading manuscripts–both mine and those I’m reading/reviewing for others. In the couple of months that I’ve had it, I estimate that I’ve easily saved myself from having to print at least three reams worth of paper. (Not to
mention, it’s a lot easier to carry around!) I’m also hearing of more editors and agents who are using e-readers to review material that would have otherwise been printed out. Even though cutting back on printing manuscripts is probably a drop in the bucket when it comes to overall use of paper worldwide, I figure that it’s a start.
BBB: What impact do electronic readers create on the bottom line for authors in the end? Do you feel they have a negative impact or positive, or no impact at all that you can see?
DR: I think that any new method for people to enjoy books will do nothing but good in the long run. The “instant gratification” of the Kindle, where you can hear about a book and then have it on your device just a few minutes later, seems to me to be a truly fantastic thing from an author’s point of view. (Likewise the ability to download an e-book to other types of readers. It’s still essentially instant gratification.) Every obstacle that gets in the way of someone buying a book–whether it’s price, or the inconvenience
of driving to the bookstore, or font size, or whatever else–decreases the chance that the person will actually buy the book.
BBB: Who or what inspires you to write?
DR: That’s easy! My family. My mother’s influence inspires me–she introduced me to science fiction and fantasy when I was very young, and encouraged me to read read read. My sister inspires me because she
understands how important it is to grab your dream when you can, and I know she’d be disappointed in me if I let it slip away because I didn’t try hard enough. My husband inspires me because he’s my biggest fan, even though he’s not a fan of the genre I write in. It doesn’t matter to him. He knows I love what I’m doing and that’s enough for him. And my daughter inspires me, because I want her to be proud of me and I want to be an inspiration for her.
BBB: Can you tell us what your next release (s) will be? And do you have stand alone or anthology titles forthcoming?
DR: Blood of the Demon is next up, and it’s scheduled for release on January 26, 2010. I’m also working up proposals for more books in this series. I don’t have any stand alone titles in the works as yet, but this leads into your next question…
BBB: Do you have any stray plot bunnies running around in your head and do you think something may come of them?
DR: I have one gigantic plot bunny in particular that’s been galumphing madly through my head about a zombie morgue tech, and as soon as I know what my deadline schedule is going to be for The Demon series, I’m going to get it all out!
BBB: Outside of writing, what is the most interesting job that you have ever had?
DR: Forensic photographer and morgue assistant. Hands down. I saw just about every possible way for a life to end, and while many would consider that to be gruesome, I think it gave me a helluva lot more respect and appreciation for life.
BBB: If your series had a theme song, what would it be?
DR: “The Saints Are Coming” by U2 and Green Day. (Even though the video still makes me cry every time I watch it.)
BBB: If you could pick one of your characters to have dinner with, who would it be and why?
DR: I think it would have to be FBI Special Agent Ryan Kristoff. He has a lot of secrets, and I’d love to have the chance to get him alone and pry them out of him! Plus, he’s just so damn sexy…
BBB: If you could shapeshift, what animal would you be? And why?
DR: Y’know, I tried to come up with something that was exotic and /or funny, but my brain just wouldn’t cooperate. I kept coming back to a German Shepherd! I know, not exotic or exciting, but the best dog I ever had was a German Shepherd. They’re smart and strong, and–most importantly–if I were to shapechange into one, I wouldn’t have people screaming and yelling, “Akk! A wolf! Shoot it!” or “Akk! A tiger! Shoot it!” (This is the South. We shoot things.)
BBB: What is your favorite book of all time?
DR: It’s insanely tough to narrow it down to just one. But I think I’ll have to go back to one of my childhood favorites: Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome. I think I’ve read this at least twenty times!
BBB: Where is the most beautiful place you have visited in the world?
DR: Girl Scout National Center West in Wyoming. About ninety miles from Cheyenne, near a small town called Ten-Sleep. The Girl Scouts don’t own it anymore, which saddened me when I found out. I spent two weeks there when I was fourteen, hiking and camping and sleeping under the stars. It was utterly breathtaking.
BBB: What is your favorite quote?
DR: “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” ~Ambrose Redmoon
Learn more about Diana Rowland here:
CONTEST: Readers, here’s how to enter the contest. You can do just ONE or ALL of these things, and each one will give you additional entries at a chance to WIN. Diana will be giving away
The contest portion of the event will run until 11:59 pm PDT 6/16/09 and is open to readers worldwide! PLEASE NOTE THE NEW CONTEST EMAIL ADDRESS TO SEND YOUR ENTRIES TO BELOW. Also please state WHICH CONTEST you are entering when you send your verification emails.
1. The easiest way to enter is by purchasing copies of Diana’s books from Amazon here:
OR you can use the Barnes & Noble search banner on the right hand side of the site or this link HERE to make your purchase during the contest. Good for 100 entries to the contest for EACH copy you purchase.
It is NOT mandatory to purchase anything to enter the contests, there are plenty of other ways to enter and win. Just email us a copy of your purchase receipt to bittenbybooks.contests @ gmail.com (no spaces). Sorry no faxes or snail mail copies.
2. MakeEmail us a copy of your purchase receipt to bittenbybooks.contests @ gmail.com (no spaces). Sorry no faxes or snail mail copies. Good for 50 entries.
3. In order to be entered into this contest the ONE thing you ALL have to do is ask Diana a question. It can be ANY question you like. No questions = no entries! You can come by through TOMORROW 6/11/09 and ask your questions. Good for 10 entries. (max 2 questions that count towards entries)
4. SUBSCRIBE to the Bitten by Books newsletter here on the top right hand side of the site. Be sure you VERIFY your subscription, an email is sent with the verification link. Unverified subscribers will not be entered and will be deleted from the mailing list. If you are already a subscriber, just let us know and you will get entries too. Good for 20 entries.
5. Spread the word, the more places you post the event, the more entries you get. Use this direct link to the event: http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=8139 at another blog, website, Myspace, Ning Group, Facebook, Yahoo Group, Goodreads, Shelfari (any group where it is appropriate). You MUST come back here to this interview and post those links in one response here in this thread so we can verify your entries. Good for 50 entries per place you post the event link.
NOTE: if you post multiple links here, your post will not show up right away. If you don’t see it, don’t keep posting it, we WILL approve your entry later on in the day.
6. Be friends with Diana by joining her here:
Then send us all the confirmations you receive verifying subscription and friendship to: bittenbybooks.contests @ gmail.com (no spaces). Good for 20 entries per place you friend her.
7. Twitter and ask your friends to re-tweet the URL for this event be SURE to include us in your tweet @BittenbyBooks http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=8139. Good for 10 entries each day you tweet it. Max 1 tweet per day counts for entries.
IMPORTANT CONTEST RULES AND LEGAL DISCLAIMERS
GENERAL CONTEST INFORMATION:
The contest ends on 6/16/09 at 11:59 pm PDT and the winners will be contacted the following week. You will receive your prize directly from the author. PLEASE LEAVE YOUR FIRST AND THE INITIAL OF YOUR LAST NAME as well as a valid email where we can contact you. REMEMBER the more things you do, the more entries, the greater the chances of winning.
1. Please note, the prize stated IS the prize you will receive, there will be absolutely no substitutions or changes the prize is non-transferable. If you don’t want the prize being offered, please don’t enter the contest. If you ever win an electronic copy of a book, please note that it is ILLEGAL to forward, give away or copy it in anyway once you receive it. Doing so violates copyright. If we find out that it has been done, you will no longer be eligible to win any of our contests.
2. You have THREE days from the day the we contact you to claim your prize by sending your name/mailing address to me. Failure to contact me will forfeit your prize. BBB can at that time, choose either to re-award the prize to another entrant or not.
3. The prize stated IS the prize you will receive, there will be no substitutions, trades or changes. No exceptions. Please do not ask. If for some reason you do not wish to claim your prize, please let me know as soon as possible. Bitten by Books has the option to re-award it or not.
4. Contest is open to readers worldwide. The prizes are shipped directly from the author.
5. Bitten by Books is in NO way responsible for the prizes being offered in any of the contests. If for some reason a contributor does not honor their prize, there is nothing we can or will do about it. We are not worried that this will happen, but we want to be very clear that WE are not offering these prizes, the contributor is and it is their responsibility to fulfill their prize obligations.
6. These rules are subject to change or be modified without prior written notice.
7. Contest is void where prohibited.
8. By entering this contest you are agreeing to our terms of entry