March 30, 2013

Diane Burton mans The Pilot where no woman has gone before.

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, Young Adult and Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal RWA chapters as well as the SFR Brigade. She is the author of the Switched series, about twins exchanging places—from Earth to a starship and the reverse. With The Pilot, she begins a new series about strong women on the frontier of space. She is also a contributor to the anthology How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in Michigan. They have two children and two grandchildren. 

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

I’m a wife, mother, grandmother, writer—in that order, though some days the order changes, like when the grandkiddies come to play. I’ve lived in Michigan most of my life with a couple of detours to Missouri and Chicago as we followed Hubs’ job. I write science fiction romance—heavy on the romance, light on the science—and romantic suspense. 

Please tell us a little about your new release without giving too much of a spoiler away. 

The Pilot kicks off my Outer Rim series about strong women on the frontier of space. There's no place like home and he just stole hers. For space pilot and cargo hauler Celera d'Enfaden, her ship is her home. Because of a misunderstanding, rule-bound Administrator Trevarr Jovano confiscates her vessel. Then he has the audacity to ask her to help him find his wife’s murderer. Celara agrees if he will help her save her brother from a galactic gangster. 

What was the hardest part of writing your book?  

Figuring out what would make Celara agree to help Trevarr. 

What comes first: the plot or the characters? 

Neither. The first scene always comes first. I “see” it like a movie in my mind then start writing. 

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

They definitely develop as I write. It always amazes me what they tell me—especially about their past. 

Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing? Example….get coffee, blanket, paper, pen, laptop and a comfy place. 

I write first thing in the morning so I need coffee (love my Keurig), my laptop, and my comfortable chair with a footrest. I have a lovely desk that Hubs made for me that I use more as a depository for papers.  

Do your books have a common theme or are they all different? 

They are all different. Yet almost all of the heroines are influenced by their fathers and not in a good way. Fathers who are disappointments or have high expectations that the heroine can never achieve. I’m sure a psychologist would have a field day with that. 

How long does it take you to write and then edit a story? 

That’s really hard to say. I’ve been writing for nearly twenty years. Some of the first manuscripts should stay buried. LOL They were practice. My most recent books were already written—just needed polishing—before being released. The book I’m writing now (rather, finishing) has taken me nine months from beginning to last edits before going to an editor. 

How do you go about naming characters? 

In my sci-fi rom books, I take a combination of sounds to see what feels right. In my contemporaries, I’ll go through a baby name book until a name hits me. 

What so you see for the future of publishing and e-books? 

There are readers who will always love the feel of a print book. I used to feel that way and resisted e-readers. Until Hubs “made” me get a Kindle. I am madly in love with it. Because of the convenience—not just reading but also purchasing—e-book sales have already surpassed print on Amazon. I just wish the NY publishers would lower the unrealistically high prices of their e-books. 

What are your current books out right now, and what are the books coming up for release? 

The first two books in the Switched series—about twins switching places from Earth to a starship and the reverse—are available. Switched was originally published in print. After I got the rights back, I released it in digital form. Switched, Too and The Pilot are available in print and digital. The third book in the Switched series, Switched, the Aftermath, will be released in the spring. And, I just sold a romantic suspense, One Red Shoe, to The Wild Rose Press. 

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?  

Play with my grandkiddies. Seriously. LOL I also like to read or watch movies. Both Hubs and I enjoy action adventure so we go to the movies a lot. And because he’s such a great guy, he’ll go with me to see fantasy (Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter) even though he doesn’t care for them that much. I love gardening but unfortunately bad knees have made that difficult.  

Where can the readers learn more about you and find your books on the web? 

For all my books, check my website: 

Besides my website, readers can find me around the Internet at:

CONTEST:  It’s been a pleasure being here today. I’m giving away a Smashwords coupon for a free copy of my first book Switched. Just leave a comment with your email address. The winner will be chosen Saturday night.

                             There's no place like home and he stole hers. 

Forced to use her starship as collateral to replace stolen cargo, pilot Celara d’Enfaden risks losing everything if she fails to deliver the goods. Her ship is the home she never had as a child.
Determined to bring order to the frontier, rule-bound official Trevarr Jovano refuses to tolerate those who disrespect the law. So when an indie pilot refuses to obey, he seizes her ship and cargo.
The only thing Celara cares about more than her ship is her brother. To rescue him from the clutches of a galactic gangster, she’ll even join forces with Trevarr who is bent on avenging his wife’s murder.

 The Pilot is available digitally at Barnes& Noble; in print and digitally at Amazon.


Diane Burton said...

Thanks for having me here today.

BTW, even though there's a white space, the link to my FB page does work.

nora snowdon said...

hey diane,
great interview. i'm always pleased to find other writers with a similar process--well almost a lack of process--in discovering their plots and characters. and your book sounds fascinating. good luck.

Patricia Kiyono said...

I like to write in my comfy chair with my feet up, too. I use my desk when hubby has the TV turned up so I can't concentrate - and to keep my books and paper and "stuff". I love the first two Switched books and can't wait for the third!

Carol Henry said...

Hi, Diane, like Nora says, we have a similar writing process and I love the morning for writing. And like you, my writing gets pushed aside when the grandkids come or call. Hubby is the taxi driver while parents aren't available. I don't do the comfy chair, but when I need to be out in the daylight and away from my cluttered office, I go to my laptop in the livingroom--big picture window makes me feel like I'm outside in the winter time when it's too cold to go to the gazebo.

RT Wolfe said...

Your work is incredibly diverse and fascinating. I'm so impressed. When do you have time to keep up your amazing blog? :)
-R.T. Wolfe

Alicia Dean said...

Love the interview. I'm a huge fan of my Keurig too! They're the best. :-) Thanks for sharing and best of luck with future books. SO glad we get to work together on a TWRP manuscript!

Lynn Cahoon said...

I was just thinking about my plotting (or lack of plotting) process. Great interview.

Jannine Gallant said...

Great interview. I had one of my books come to me as a first scene. It turned out to be one the the most fun to write. I'm not sure what that says... Best of luck with sales!

KaceyHammell said...

Hi Diane, Great interview.
Love that the hubs takes good care of you. :D
Wish you could garden more. I love playing in dirt myself *g* What is your fave flower?

Jessica Subject said...

Hey Diane! It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who sees my stories as movies in my head. LOL And I have to admit I have some heroines with father issues as well.

All the best!

Leah St. James said...

Diane, I'm with you on the Kindle/e-Book conversion. I was a hold-out for a long time as well, but I love my Kindle with its built-in book light! No more fishing for batteries in the dark bedroom (while my husband is snoring away beside me). :-) And I agree, the "big" publishers are making them tough to buy. I just borrowed a Nora Roberts book for Kindle from my library. It linked me directly to the Amazon page where I "borrowed" instead of purchased. Very cool!

Diane Burton said...

Thanks, everyone, for your lovely comments. It's amazing how alike so many of us are in our writing process.

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Diane,

I like the genre you've chosen to write in - romantic science fiction. It combines the elements I like best in a story: a new story world, people with problems, and the wonder of falling in love.

Your PILOT release sounds great. I enjoyed reading about your writing process, and I had to chuckle about your early works. I have some clunkers buried deep in my office as well.

Kara Ashley Dey said...

Hi Diane. I grew into kindle, too. Your Switched books sound interesting!


Diane Burton said...

Maggie, I've heard of cars being clunkers but never manuscripts. LOL Great--and accurate--description.

Debra Jupe said...

Great interview, Diane. I write from my sofa, a comfortable place too. The TV is background noise although it's not necessary. Your book sounds interesting. Will add to my TBR pile.

Diane Burton said...

Thanks, Debra. I can't concentrate with the TV on. Even if it's sports which I'm not really interested in--unless it's a Michigan team in the Final Four. Go Blue! :)

Margo Hoornstra said...

Enjoyed the interview. Best of luck with all of your endeavors. It's true. Many of our lives seem to follow the same path. I'm a great one for the glider rocker in my office. Footstool is a must.