July 14, 2012

Looking for adventure? Get in the zone with Diane Burton

Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction, and romance into writing romantic fiction. She's a member of Romance Writers of America as well as the Mid-Michigan RWA and Young Adult RWA chapters. She is the author of the Switched series, about twins exchanging places—from Earth to a starship. The first two books, Switched and Switched, Too, are available as e-books. The concluding book is a work in progress. Diane and her husband live in mid-Michigan. They have two children and two grandchildren.

Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?

I'm a Midwest girl who grew up in the Detroit suburbs then moved to Missouri and Chicago and back to Michigan because of my husband's job. I love movies—my favorites are Star Trek, Star Wars and Firefly because I'm absolutely intrigued by the possibility of space travel and living/working in space or on other planets. My first book, Switched, a futuristic, was print published in 2001. I self-published it as an e-book last fall.

Please tell us your latest news!

The sequel to Switched, Switched, Too, is now available as an e-book. This book was a long time coming and I'm so excited it's finally available, especially for those who enjoyed Switched and practically begged for Scott and Veronese's story.

Please describe your writing environment.

My husband made me a beautiful desk (woodworking is his hobby). Do I work there? LOL No. My favorite place to write is in a recliner on my laptop in the early morning when all is quiet. If my husband wants to watch TV, I stick in my earbuds and listen to either New Age (Enya is a favorite) or classical music—nothing with English lyrics because words are a distraction.

Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?

Sort of. My stories usually start with the first scene popping into my head. Then, I play the "what-if" game. I'm more of a write-by-the-seat-of-the-pants writer than a plotter so my characters evolve as I learn about them. They often surprise me. I'll be writing along and they'll "say" something totally out of the blue which sometimes takes the story in a new (often better) direction.

What main genre do you write in?

I'm published in Paranormal Romance—space adventure with romance. I also write romantic suspense, Young Adult (more middle grade) space adventure and I'm working on a female detective series.

How does your family feel about having a writer in the family? Do they read your books?

Of course, they read my books. :)  My family is very supportive—especially my husband. His attitude has always been "go for it". There were times when I wanted to quit, but he encouraged me to keep going. I've always loved him for that. Well, I love him for other reasons, too. My children are also supportive, as is my extended family.

What are your hobbies?

Reading is #1. I couldn't be a writer without being a reader first. I love gardening. Since we've moved so many times, I've left a little part of myself behind at each house with my perennials, especially irises and lilies of the valley which came from my mother's and grandmother's gardens. I like to quilt but need to make time for it again. Photography has been part of my life since I was ten and got my first camera. I've used some of my own photos in posts on my blog.

If you had to choose one person to have dinner with, who would it be? And why?

Star Trek's Mr. Spock. His character has evolved so much from the original series, through the first six movies, and into the latest where we see him as an old man as well as a younger version in the alternate reality. I'd like to hear his perspective on what it's like to bridge two cultures since he's half-Vulcan and half-human. Bridging two cultures is a problem for two of my characters: Veronese, the main character in Switched, Too, and Marcus in Switched. How should they choose which world to live in and what will be the consequences?

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Oh, yes. My best friend in high school and I wrote fan fiction, only we didn't know that was what it was called. We would write and share with each other stories based on our favorite TV shows starring ourselves, of course. LOL We have huge crushes on certain characters. The one time I submitted a story in a creative writing class my teacher told me to stop wasting my time writing romance and write serious stuff. That ended my budding writing career. For a while. After my children graduated high school and I was done with the school/church/scouts volunteering, I decided to write the stories I love to read—romance, suspense, adventure. Now, they happen to take place on starships.

Do you write full time? What did you do before you became a writer? Or Still do?

If I added up all the hours per week I spend on my writing career, it would definitely be more than forty. But I don't write 8 hours/day, 5 days/week. Some days, when I'm really cooking, it's twelve or more. Other days, when I get a chance to play with my grandchildren, it's nada. Have to keep my priorities straight.

My most important job was as a stay-at-home mom raising two children. I've been an elementary teacher, inventory clerk in a flute store, and have done temp office work for a Girl Scout council and a medical non-profit. My last job before retiring was with an oil and gas exploration company where I found the cure for insomnia—reading oil and gas leases.

Current Release Details:

The theme of Switched, Too is be careful what you wish for . . . you might get it. Scott Cherella's lifelong dream to go into space quickly becomes a nightmare. Veronese Qilana must protect him, a Terran masquerading as a starship captain. When sabotage erupts, they must work together to get the crew safely home. In doing so, they discover opposites really do attract.

How can readers find out more about you and your books?

Readers can learn more about me and my books at:

my website: www.dianeburton.com

my blog: http://dianeburton.blogspot.com (I blog every Monday morning)

I'm on FB at Diane Burton – Author  Twitter at @dmburton72 and Goodreads

 Thank you for having me. It's been a pleasure chatting with you.

Scott had no choice but to use the computer now. Before tackling it for the first time, he'd hoped for the privacy of his quarters—and Veronese Qilana's help. His reluctant co-conspirator ditched him as soon as they came aboard. He mentally kicked himself for his selfishness. They were in the middle of a crisis. She had her duties. He had his.

Damn. He didn't want to tackle the computer. Suck it up, Ace. You can do this. You wanted adventure. You wanted to explore space. You got it. Now, man up.

He sat in the captain's chair. Automatically, an instrument panel on the right swung up and in front of him. A hit in the solar plexus might have been easier to take. Symbols and shapes he'd never seen before covered the segmented screen. It might as well be filled with ancient Sanskrit. Panic shot through him. He couldn't read.


Lorna Collins - said...

Hi, Diane. Burton is my husband's mother's maiden name. It's also been carried through the family as a middle name. So I used it for the protagonist in my latest book, "Ghost Writer." her name is Nan Burton, short for Nanette.

Some of my husband's Burton family could have earned livings as stand-up comics. Are yours funny?

All the best with your books.

Diane Burton said...

Thanks for stopping by, Lorna. My husband has a great sense of humor & helped me find mine. We recently came across letters from his dad and rediscovered his droll sense of humor. Not stand-up comedian funny, though. Both warm, light-hearted men.

christine warner said...

Hi Diane!
Wonderful to learn more about you. I'm a huge movie girl myself and had to laugh that your hubby made you a desk but you write in the recliner. My hubs converted a small bedroom into our dual office, but I write in the living room chair bound as well! lol

Congrats on your books!

Nancy Jardine said...

Hi Diane,
Good to read about you. I think getting the priorities right is a great thing to say. Though my teaching career is now over, I've just started to officially childmind my 10 month old grand-daughter for 1.5 days a week. She's my priority on those days, and I write after she's gone home.

Diane Burton said...

Christine, our guys mean well. LOL Glad you stopped by.

Diane Burton said...

Nancy, I hear you on the grandchild. Ours moved closer (2 hrs away instead of 5) so I get to play more often.

Maddy said...

Yes, how would we survive without ear-buds! And gardening is the best therapy when everything gets too much.

Diane Burton said...

Hi, Maddy. Glad you stopped by.

Alicia Dean said...

Hi Diane,

Love the interview. I learned all kinds of interesting tidbits about you. Since you're not using that desk, may I have it? :-D

Switched was fantastic, for those of you who haven't had the pleasure of reading it. Can't wait for the sequel!

Diane Burton said...

Hi, Alicia. You'd need several really strong guys & a moving truck to take that desk. LOL I don't think he considered the size of the room. But it is beautiful!

Dale Furse said...

Great interview and Diane is an interesting woman. Switched is on my must-read list.

Diane Burton said...

Thanks, Dale. I hope you enjoy Switched.

Erotica, She Wrote said...

Hi Diane,

Just joined this blog and this was a fun first read.

Thank Diane!

Diane Burton said...

Maria, thanks for stopping by.

Jennifer Lowery (Kamptner) said...

Fantastic interview, Diane! I would love to see the desk your hubs built! What a sweetie! Can't wait to read the books! They sound fabulous! Wishing you many, many sales!

Diane Burton said...

Hi, Jennifer. Yeah, hubs is a sweetie. I think I'll keep him around. :) Thanks for your good wishes.

teresa said...

I didn't realize you had lived in Missouri. My mom is from Popular Bluff. Great interview!
Best wishes!


Patricia Kiyono said...

I had to laugh when you said you have a beautiful desk but write in a recliner using headphones. I do the same! Hubby says he gets lonely if I shut myself off in another room. Gotta love 'em. Still enjoying Switched Too - I WILL finish it!

Diane Burton said...

Thanks for stopping by, Patty. Glad you're enjoying Switched, Too. Would love to hear your comments.

Margo Hoornstra said...


We were out of town camping with the grandkids, so I'm catching up. Great interview. I learned a couple of new things about you. I can't work in my office either.

Diane Burton said...

Hey, Margo. Welcome back. Thanks for dropping by.