Guest author Dianne Hartsock

Great to have my fellows ‘Summer’s dayer’ Dianne popping in today.

What inspired you to join The Summer’s Day project?

I was super excited to be asked to join The Summer’s Day project. It sounded like such an intriguing idea. Take a Shakespearean play and turn it into my own story? I could do that. Shakespeare has such terrific plays to choose from. And the fact that it’s for charity just makes it that much more fun.

How did your story take form in your mind?

That was easy! The Two Gentlemen of Verona is about Valentine, half in love with his best friend Proteus, who in turn loves the beautiful Julia. Val travels to Milan to seek his fortune. Proteus follows. They both fall in love with the lovely Silvia. Proteus betrays Valentine to Silvia’s father and Valentine flees into the forest where he is made the king of a band of outlaws. Julia dresses as a man to be near Proteus…

As you can see, all the drama I could want is in this play! I simply put all these elements into a modern setting and let the story unfold.

What did it feel like watching your first book fledge and leave the nest?

 Simple relief! That first book was a trial by fire. ALEX, my psychological thriller, took me a year to write, another four months with an editor. Then, when it was picked up by a publisher, one month before it was due to be released, the publishing company folded. I received my rights back, but it was devastating, to say the least. Luckily, I found a new publisher for it. Needless to say, all my other publishing experiences have been much more pleasant.

Are you character or plot driven? What do you do if one of your characters starts developing at a tangent?

Definitely character driven, and I’m all about emotion, climbing right into my character’s mind and body to live the story through their eyes. How they experience a scene, especially their emotional response, propels my story forward.

And I love when a character wanders from the plot. It adds another dimension to the story and takes my characters to places I hadn’t originally thought of. If they try to take over the story, well, I usually let them, making sure what they do ties in with my main character. And I can always rein them in if they get too far off the mark.

If you were in a tight corner and had to rely on one of your characters to save you, which would it be and why?

 That would be Valentine from Two Guys from Vancouver. Not only is he sweet and dependable, but he would do anything to help his friends. He has a kind heart and doesn’t like to see anyone in trouble. And when it comes to helping his friends, he never backs down from a fight.

If you had no constraints of time and a guarantee of publication, what book would you write?

I write the books I want to regardless of a guarantee of publication. At the moment I’m doing research for a book involving hoodoo bokors and zombies. After that, I want to write the third story in my ALEX series, involving psychics and killers and a little boy lost. Hopefully they’ll be published, but I’m writing them anyway.

Is there a classic book you started and simply couldn’t finish?

 Moby Dick. I’m intrigued by the whole psychological aspect of the story, but the writing is simply too dry for me.

What’s your favourite gay romance/other genre book? And why?

That would be A Charm of Magpies series by K.J. Charles. Intriguing, plot driven, Victorian novels with characters I’ve come to love and admire.

Warning: Contains hot m/m sex between a deeply inappropriate earl and a very confused magician, dark plots in a magical version of Victorian England, family values (not the good kind), and a lot of swearing.

What’s your next project?

At the moment I’m doing my final read through for a story, Robin’s Confession, I’m submitting to another charity anthology called Turn the Page. The specific focus of this project is suicide prevention and awareness. The planned beneficiaries (at this point, subject to change) are: The Trevor Project (local chapter), Prevent Suicide Wisconsin, HOPES – Helping Others Prevent and Educate about Suicide, and Suicide Prevention Resource Center – UWM (Milwaukee), with a tentative release date of October 8, 2016

Robin’s Confession

How can Robin find true love without accepting himself first?

Sweet, shy, gender fluid; Robin hides who he is, molding himself into what society views as ‘normal’, finding solace in the intricate pattern of scars he carves into his arms.

That is, until he starts dating Jase, the new man at his father’s construction company and the one who seems to want Robin for who he is, dresses and all. Jase even stands up to his own parents for Robin’s sake, risking his father’s anger and his chance to go to college. Robin is poised on the edge of happiness, ready to step into Jase’s open arms. Yet how can he believe in Jase’s love without first learning to believe in himself?



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