Friday, July 8, 2011

Author Interview: Diane Majeske author of Death on Deadline

Let me tell ya, Mrs. Majeske is one of the sweetest ladies I have had the pleasure to "meet" in a while...  I am SO excited to be able to share her with you all!  Today, Diane has graciously stopped in for a little interview. 


You can check out my review of Death on Deadline HERE and Diane's fun guest post HERE


Author Interview
Diane Majeske
Death on Deadline





GL:  
I always like to start with a little blurb. Please, tell us a bit about yourself!  


Diane:  Well
, I’m a born and bred Midwesterner. I was born in Chicago and grew up in Illinois, Kansas and Indiana.  I have a degree in communications from Purdue University (Go Boilers!). After I got married, we lived for about a decade in the Missouri Ozarks, and now we’ve settled in Michigan.  As for my personal life, I have a husband, two kids and a somewhat overweight cat.  Now the kids want a dog.


GL:  
Have you always been a writer? When did you start and what prompted you? 


Diane:  Like
 most writers,
I’ve written stories all my life. I was a newspaper journalist for years and I enjoyed that, but I always wanted to write fiction. I had tons of excuses why I didn’t write books, though – I was busy, I was tired, I was a new mom … blah, blah, blah. Then I realized one day that my excuses were great –they might even be true – but in the end, they didn’t matter.  If I wanted to be an author, I needed to sit down and write.


GL:  
Is the newspaper environment exactly as you described it (minus the murders of course ;-))?  


Diane:  
I would say it’s pretty close, at least based on my experience. Unfortunately, with all of the newspaper staff cuts going on these days, there isn’t that much of an environment to compare it to! But I tried to make the office atmosphere general enough so that readers could identify with the situations, i.e., layoffs, office politics, even if they’d never set foot in a newsroom.


GL:  
Are any of the characters based on people you have actually worked with? 


Diane:  
It’s so funny you would ask me that!! When I first wrote the book, I didn’t really know what to do with it, so I sent it off to a couple of my reporter friends, just to get their thoughts. And right away, they picked out “their” character – the one they thought I’d written based on them.  And every one of them thought they’d picked out the “real” evil editor, LOL!! They were like, “You better watch it, Diane – he’s gonna be mad!” Actually, the characters are all bits and pieces of people I worked with – no one is based on one single person. (sorry, guys) : )


GL:  
Are you a lot, a little, or not at all like the main character? Any other character that you relate to more
?  


Diane:  
There’s a little of me in America Miles, sure, although obviously we’re in different stages of our life. America Miles is
funny and cynical and smart. She’s had her heart broken, but she hasn’t given up on love quite yet.  I could see her as maybe my snarky little sister who’s always getting into trouble.


GL:  
During the writing process, was there one person without whom you just could not have survived? 


Diane:  
Definitely my husband, Jeff
. He motivates me, kicks me in the butt when I need it. He watches the kids, too, so I can get some quality writing time. I can be in the house for hours and nobody notices me, but believe me, when I sit down to write, I’m suddenly the most interesting person around.  Jeff also spent many years in a newspaper newsroom (it’s where we met – it took him six months to ask me out) as both a reporter and section editor, so he’s a big help when it comes to editing, voice and just as a sounding board for ideas.


GL:  I hear you about the kids!  If I even think about doing something like writing, my kids are all over me!


GL:  What was the biggest challenge you faced while writing Death on Deadline

Diane:  Finding the time to write it!! Writing doesn’t pay the bills yet, so I work full-time, and I have two kids, so I have to make the time to write. And sometimes, when you sit down to write and you’re harried and stressed … that’s not exactly the opportune time for the ideas to flow. You have to force yourself to write.


GL:  
Was there anything that you really wanted in the book, but had to cut because it just wasn’t working? 


Diane:  
Not really. I actually added a few characters and scenes because I thought they were funny
Wayne Grubbs kind of grew on me. He actually only had a few lines at the beginning.  Then as the newspaper industry changed in real life, his role changed to reflect some things that were really happening in newsrooms across the country, tweaked, of course, to make them humorous.


GL:  
Do you have any wise advice that you can pass along to other aspiring writers? 


Diane:  
I’m not sure I’m the person to go to for wisdom … but I can just share what I’ve learned.  Writers write. There’s always going to be reasons why you can’t start that book, or obstacles that stand in your way, but in the end, you’ll either have that book you always wanted or you won’t.  So don’t wait for that muse to show up. The time to get started is now.


GL:  
What are you working on now? Anything we can look forward to? 


Diane:  
I have a lot of irons in the fire
I have a non-fiction book of mom essays that’s almost finished, tentatively titled Mom Tales; I have the sequel to Death on Deadline that I’m working on, tentatively titled Dead Time, and I had started to put together a paranormal mystery/romance that’s kind of on the back burner for now.  So much to write, so little time . . .


GL:  
What types of books do you enjoy reading? Any favorites? What are you reading right now? 


Diane:  
Oh my gosh – I have so many favorites! I love the Agatha Raisin mysteries by M.C. Beaton and the Death on Demand series by Carolyn Hart. I love the Maggody series by Joan Hess and the China Bayles books by Susan Wittig Albert.  The paranormal mysteries by Heather Graham are fantastic and addicting, and I’ve just discovered a new paranormal series by an author named Juliet Blackwell that’s wonderful, too.  I love the fiction by Jennifer Crusie, and the non-fiction by Laurie Notaro makes me laugh out loud. I have a special place in my heart for children’s books –  the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling were terrific, of course, and  I can read Rumer Godden’s books over and over. I love all the Tasha Tudor books with their beautiful illustrations, as well. I could go on. . .


GL:  
What authors inspire you? Who would you love (or hope) to write like? 


Diane:  
Every time I read a great book, I’m inspired all over again.


GL:  
Where would you like to travel? 


Diane:  
I dream about visiting France and Italy. I even have a Twitter artist friend who owns this beautiful little bed and breakfast in Italy. Because you never know.



GL:  Sounds perfect!  Sign me up! :-)


GL:  
What is one food that you will not—for any reason at all—even touch with a ten-foot-pole?
J 


Diane:  
Ugh. Probably veal. Or liver.


GL:  
What is your favorite thing to do when you have completely free me-time? 


Diane:  
I can spend hours in bookstores and completely lose track of time.



GL:  My husband and I found that we had quite a bit of time to waste on our "date night" between dinner and our movie.  We drove by a bookstore, and I said, "Hey, we could go in there...sniff some books!"  I was serious.  He didn't think it was such a great idea, seeing as how we did have to get to the movie at some point ;-)...


GL:  
Favorite restaurant? 


Diane:  
The Candlestick Inn, Branson, Mo.
It’s a beautiful little restaurant perched on a bluff 300 feet above Lake Taneycomo. The food is delectable and the view is stunning. Add a bottle of champagne, and you’ll never want to leave.


GL:  
Are you an outdoors or indoors type of gal? 


Diane:  
Outdoors, as long as the weather is completely cool and comfortable
and there are no bugs. Or dirt.  Or reptiles.


GL:  You sound exactly like me!  I've gotten very picky about my surroundings as I have aged...lol...

GL:  Do you have a funny or embarrassing story you could share? 


Diane:  
When I was little, I would invite my friends over to play Barbies. I would write out the entire storylines, and give my friends their parts. There was no improv allowed. I would even direct how the lines should be said. I just thought they were really great stories. I couldn’t figure out why no one wanted to play Barbies when they came over!!



GL:  That is priceless!




Thank you so much, Diane for hanging out with us this week!  I am looking forward to staying in touch with you and reading all your future work!


Everyone please get yourself a copy of Death on Deadline!  It's only a buck on Amazon--really, you have no excuse...  It will definitely have you laughing and wondering who-in-the-world 'dunnit'...  



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