It’s a pleasure to be here, M.J. Thanks for inviting me.
The pleasure is all mine. Now let's talk about your writing. What would you say is the best thing you’ve learned about writing and/or the publishing business?
Developing a thick skin. At the beginning, I was so wide-eyed optimistic. Of course, an editor would buy my story. The first rejection was—I won’t say shock, more like big surprise. Chaptermates would say “it’s not personal. They’re rejecting your work not you.” That helped a little. Until I heard Nora Roberts describe rejection as they’re saying your baby is ugly. Yeah, that’s what it felt like. I did learn to shrug it off and try again. And again. And again. My skin toughened after each one. Good thing, too, because even after having your book accepted there are edits. And you want to call up the editor and yell at her for saying my precious words <tongue planted firmly in cheek> need changing. Then after the work is published, there were reviews. Do I pay attention to the good ones? Of course. But the ones that stick are the negative ones. The skin keeps getting thicker and thicker.
I hear you, my sister! Now here's a toughie: How do you balance the demands of your everyday life and your writing life?
I don’t. I’m continually amazed at how authors with full-time jobs outside the home plus young children manage. It’s only my husband and me, and he is very patient and very supportive. He’s retired now and is happy that my dream (of publication) has finally been realized. When I’m buried—either in the “zone” writing or up to my ears in promotion or finishing edits—he makes meals. He also vacuums when he can’t stand the “stuff” on the floor and does laundry when he runs out of underwear. Not that he’s always patient with me but he tries. The only thing that drags me willingly away from the computer is a visit from my grandchildren. For me, that’s a no-brainer.
Sounds like a wonderful man! If you had time away from writing, what would you do with it?
I love quilting but have no time. Flower gardening except for my bad knees. Photography is probably my favorite hobby. My first camera was a Brownie Hawkeye, a Christmas present when I was ten. I “graduated” to an Instamatic then Hubs, an amateur photographer himself, gave me an SLR camera. That lasted many years—from my children’s birth through their college graduations. I love my digital camera best where I can take as many photos as I want to get the “good” one to print. When my life settles down (hah!) I plan to learn how to use one of the photo programs to make a “book” instead of printing photos and putting them into albums—which I haven’t for years.
Share with us a little about your family.
I met my husband on a blind date. We’ve been together over forty years. We have two children and two grandchildren. We had two dogs (one at a time) for over thirty years. Then our son gave us his dog because he couldn’t keep her in his apartment. We had her for almost two years. Right now, we’re dog-free. As much as I enjoy canine company, it’s great to be able to get up and go without having to make arrangement for the pet. Every once in a while, Hubs and I will talk about getting another dog. Maybe we will one of these days.
Okay, now, just for fun-
Name your favorite children's story.
Anne of Green Gables.
What was your nickname growing up or now?
I never had a nickname as a child, and I always wanted one. My husband always refers to me as Di, so his friends call me that, and now my good friends call me Di.
What is your concept of a fruitful day?
When the words just flow onto the page—uh, monitor. It’s like magic.
What one thing (modern convenience) could you not live without?
We can always learn to live without conveniences. I’ve been watching the TV show “Revolution” where everyone lost electricity. In dire circumstances, a person does what one needs to do. However, the one convenience I would hate to lose is my Keurig. I love coffee and the Keurig makes it so easy to brew.
Ha! That's funny! I had another author tell me the same thing! I've gotta get me one of those babies!
What are your three favorite smells?
Besides fresh-brewed coffee? LOL Cinnamon in something baking, lilies of the valley, my children and grandchildren when they were babies. That baby smell is so special.
Well, that's it. Fairly painless.
Thanks, M.J. for having me here on your blog. It’s been fun.
I enjoyed it, too. Come back any time!
Now here's a blurb for Diane's Switched Resolution:
Actions have consequences as Space Fleet CaptainMarcus Viator and NASA reject Scott Cherella discover when they switched places. Does the reserved Marcus have what it takes to imitate his smart-aleck twin? Despite help from his love, Veronese, Scott’s already been outed by two of Marcus’ best friends.
When rebels steal the ship with part of the crew aboard, Scott has to rescue them and retrieve the Freedom. The stakes increase when he discovers the rebels are heading for Earth. They know he’s a fraud and they want Marcus. The safety of the Alliance of Planets depends on Scott and his allies.
Switched Resolution, which wraps up the Switched series, takes the reader from Earth—where Marcus adjusts to a pregnant Jessie—to the starship Freedom commandeered by rebels, to the chase ship with Scott and Veronese aboard.
Here's an excerpt:
Gloria held out her arms to Jessie who seemed to have no qualms about accepting a hug. “Oh, I can’t wait to see that grandbaby. May I?”
She reached toward Jessie’s protruding abdomen. Jessie took her hand and brought it to rest on top. Gloria’s eyes widened, and she quickly removed her hand. “It kicked. Oh, my goodness.” She giggled and touched again. “Active.”
“Oh, yes.” Jessie laughed. “Very active.”
“Do you know what it is yet?”
“I—We want to be surprised,” Jessie said. “We can tell you we’re having twins.”
Gloria jerked her hand away as if burned. “Twins?”
She actually stumbled back against Marcus. He put his arm around her to steady her and felt her tremble.
“Are you okay, Mom?” He was surprised how right it felt to call Gloria that.
Jessie ran back into the garage and brought out a canvas chair. As he eased his mother into it, Jessie asked, “What happened?”
Gloria touched her temple. “I’m being silly. Pay me no mind.”
“Seriously, Mrs. C. Did Max trip you?”
“No, no. It’s nothing.”
Jessie went back into the garage and came out with a paper cup. “Here’s some water. Do you think the heat got to you?” The late April day, which started out cool, had gotten progressively warmer.
“No.” Gloria took a sip of water. “Hearing about twins always . . . affects me. I—I thought I was going to have twins. When I was pregnant with you, Scottie.” She patted his hand.
Since he and his twin had switched places, Marcus often had to remind Jessie to call him Scott. More often than not, she called him an endearment, like honey. Hearing his own mother call him by another’s name seemed . . . wrong.
Gloria cleared her throat. “One day, I felt— I can’t explain it. I felt different. The doctor said he must have been mistaken about twins. When you were born, I was so sure there would be another baby.” She pulled a tissue out of her pocket and dabbed at her eyes. “Don’t listen to me, Jessie dear. Nothing will happen to your babies.”
Marcus knelt beside her and held her hand. It seemed like the right thing to do. He knew exactly what had happened all those years ago, and anger surged through him as her words reminded him of the Gemini Experiment. Only a lifetime of controlling his emotions enabled him to conceal visible evidence of hatred for the one who had stolen his mother’s baby. Her other baby. Him.
Switched Resolution is available at:
Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing science fiction romance. Besides the Switched series, she is the author of The Pilot, a 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.
For more info and excerpts from her books, visit
Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com
Connect with Diane Burton online
Goodreads: Diane Burton Author