Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Diane Burton's here today!

Today I extend a warm welcome to my friend, Diane Burton. Diane's kindly given me some fabulous information about her current projects and what she's just had published. After the neat little interview there's a fantastic excerpt.

If you've not met Diane, yet, here's a little about her.
Diane 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, Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal and Young Adult RWA chapters. She is the author of the Switched series, about twins exchanging places—from Earth to a starship and the reverse. The first two books, Switched and Switched, Too, are available as e-books. The concluding book is a work in progress. Diane is also a contributor to the anthology How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in mid-Michigan. They have two children and two grandchildren.

Diane can be found at:  

I put some questions to Diane...and here's her answers!

What work are you mainly promoting right now?

 Switched, Too is my latest book. It is a space adventure with romance in which a cocky downsized astronaut gets his chance to go into space. He just has to pretend to be his twin, the captain of an alien starship. With his reluctant co-conspirator, they have to return the crew to their home planet before a saboteur kills them all. Switched, Too is the second book in the Switched series but is still a stand-alone book.

What's your hero's biggest challenge in Switched, Too?

Scott's biggest challenge is watching his mouth. He's such a smart aleck whereas his twin was always very proper, controlled. Discovering who is wreaking havoc aboard the starship while impersonating another is almost as challenging. He has help from Veronese, a reluctant crewmate. The last time she broke the rules tragedy resulted. Her promise to the real captain overrides her fear of the deception being discovered.

Sounds like there's a bit of 'twin' comparison going on there! Are you a plotter who has the framework made first before you start writing chapter 1?

Nope. I'm a pantzer who just starts writing. The first scene usually just pops in my head and I'm off. The characters are sketchy at first then begin to reveal themselves as the story progresses. Switched, Too was a bit different. Scott and Veronese appeared in Switched (the first book in the series) so they were familiar to me, but I hadn't plumbed their depths so they still had much to reveal to me.

Do you ferret out a photo of a possible hero/heroine and use that for inspiration? I've now started to do that, and find it a useful process.

Not really. I'm not a scrapbook building person although I am using Pinterest more and have had fun finding pictures of people and places that could be in my books. Despite saying I don't use pictures, I always had the character Maverick from Top Gun in my head when I envisioned Scott—excellent pilot, risk taker, cocky with a sexy grin.

I've made some tentative Pinterest steps, too. Is your tendency to create their appearances in your imagination first, and wing it with their character developments as the story unfolds?

Oh, definitely wing it. My characters reveal themselves as I write. I'll be typing along and my subconscious will pull out a piece of the character's background that I didn't know. It's almost freaky. LOL With many of the same characters appearing in multiple books, I need to keep track of them so I keep a file with their physical characteristics, expressions, home planet, clothing, background. Readers are very sharp and will pick up on inconsistencies. That and the fact that my memory is often a sieve. :)

What about settings? Do you tend to write about places you’ve been to…or just ones you would like to visit?

I love using places I've visited because I can include details I've seen and/or experienced. At least part of my stories usually takes place in Michigan. It's my home and has a unique beauty. Switched, for example, starts and ends in Ann Arbor, Michigan whereas the middle is on a starship and on an alien planet. Switched, Too is different—no Michigan, in fact no Earth, at all. How I would love to visit that setting. Space, a starship, alien planets. What an adventure that would be.

What's your bigggest writing related challenge in the coming year?

Making time for everything I want to do. Finishing and publishing the third book in the Switched series (and coming up with a title), promoting Switched, Too and finding homes for my unpublished manuscripts. Traveling. However, everything stops when my grandchildren come to play—files closed, laptop put away, no email reading. The time with them is too precious to miss.
(I totally agree about the grandchildren, Diane. I consider myself very fortunate that I'm now childminding my 11 month old granddaughter two days a week, my daughter having returned to part-tme work.)

Who do you think is your biggest fan?

Besides husband and family? An open-minded reader who is intrigued by space exploration, who wants adventure and suspense, who enjoys watching two people discover they are stronger together than alone and who roots for them to discover true love.

 Great answers, Diane, and now onto a lovely taster from Switched, Too. (I love the title!)  
Blurb for Switched, Too:

Be careful what you wish might get it.

Down-sized astronaut candidate Scott Cherella leaps at the chance to go into space. He just has to pretend to be the captain of an Alliance of Planets starship. His lifelong dream quickly becomes a nightmare when sabotage erupts. To save the ship and crew he has to depend on an uptight, disapproving colleague.

The only time Veronese Qilana broke the rules tragedy resulted. She vowed never again. Now, to protect the real starship captain, she'll have to deceive the crew by helping the imposter. They must work together to uncover the saboteur and get the crew safely home. In doing so, they discover opposites really do attract.

Excerpt from Switched, Too:

Scott came closer. "No, you are not leaving until we get something straight."
He was a large man with broad shoulders. Almost against her will, Veronese backed up. When he came closer still, she could retreat no further. She flattened her palms against the wall behind her. He towered over her by at least fifteen centimeters. Once before, a Terran male had tried to frighten her with his presence. She would not allow Scott to do the same.
She straightened her shoulders. "Do not try to intimidate me, Captain."
"If I wanted to intimidate you, Lieutenant Qilana," he spoke very softly, "I would not do it like this." His voice, purring softer than a felox, resonated within her. The sensation excited and—all claims to the contrary—frightened her.
This was different from the other experience. Then, she had feared the man. Now, she was uncertain what frightened her. Scott or something inside her.
Mere centimeters separated them. Heat radiated from his body. Warmth rushed through her. When he placed one hand on the wall next to her head, an odd sensation settled in the pit of her stomach. His fingers brushed her ear and she shivered.
He began to smile, a coaxing smile accompanied by a feather-like stroke of his knuckle down her cheek. His mouth was so close she felt the warmth of his breath. This time the odd sensation settled lower in her abdomen. Her logical mind tried to analyze her body's reaction. Perhaps she had contracted a viral disease. Fever, chills, stomach disorders often characterized Terran ailments. If the symptoms persisted, she would have to consult the medical officer.
"The way things work, Lieutenant," he said in that deceptively soft voice, "is that I give the orders and you obey."
Still thinking about the odd sensations she was experiencing, she stared at him.
He stepped away. "What? Did you think I was gonna kiss you?"
"I'd rather kiss a Wookie." She slapped her hand over her mouth.
He threw his head back and laughed with abandon then reached out and ruffled her short hair. "You watched Star Wars. I knew there was hope for you, kiddo."
Hope? She feared not. They would be fortunate to return to Serenia without more catastrophes.

Switched, Too is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Switched is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble
How I Met My Husband is free at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Thank you so much for sharing all this with me today, Diane. Best wishes for your future sales, and happy writing.



  1. I'm having a great start to the day, Diane. The sun's shining, and I've got great gardening plans. See you later. *waving thumbs up* since it's quite rare here in my bit of Scotland, this so-called summer!

  2. Good morning, Nancy. Thanks so much for inviting me over. It's almost 7:30 here in the middle of Michigan and it looks like it's going to be another delightful summer day. We haven't had many this summer. After the beastly heat of July and early August, we're settling down some. Warm days and cool nights. Wonderful. Enjoy your gardening today.

  3. Wonderful interview! Always nice to learn more about you, Diane.

    All the best to both of you!

  4. Nice interview, ladies Enjoy this last beautiful month of summer and your day of gardening, Nancy. It's wonderful now here in Michigan. Could stay like this forever!

  5. Enjoyed the interview ladies! Diane, you are such an interesting lady! Great excerpt too...GOOD LUCK with your latest release :)

  6. Thank you, ladies, for stopping by and especially for all your kind words.

  7. Hello Jessica, Lucy and Christine! Lovely to have you visit. I've managed quite a lot of gardening today,that is in between getting soaked at least a half dozen times by very heavy showers!

  8. Diane, You never disappoint. Nice interview, ladies. Nice to see you again, Nancy.

  9. Thanks, Margo.

    Sorry to hear you got soaked, Nancy. And thanks again for having me.

  10. Great interview, Diane. The battle for time is my greatest challenge right now, too! Although I have to say I'm a teeny bit jealous of you and Nancy for having grandbabies! Oh well...maybe some day.

  11. Hi Leah. I never thought I'd see the day I had a grandchild...and am so glad for it now! Must touch bettter base with you, Margo. Sometime soon, maybe? Thank you for being my guest, Diane and besty wishes with Switched...:-))


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