Diane Bator Interview Published on: 20, Jul 2020

Where were you born, and what was your childhood like?

I was born in Alberta, Canada and have one brother. We lived in outside of a small town and I spent a lot of time reading and in nature. Eventually, I started writing.

At what age did you read your first book? Which genre do you love reading the most?

I think I started reading around 5 or 6 years old. I’ve always been drawn to mystery novels, even when I was a kid. I loved The Hardy Boys & Nancy Drew books and watching Columbo and Murder, She Wrote on television.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

The most important elements of good writing are creating characters readers will cheer for, having a great editor to make it readable and mostly clean of typos, and having a smooth flow in your story line so readers don’t get bounced back and forth between ideas and forget about minor characters who become buried in the plot. Some of those minor characters who don’t have a purpose should disappear completely before publishing.

Being a prolific mystery writer, what do you think are the elements of a good suspense story?

As with all books, not just mystery, the story should progress from scene to scene and chapter to chapter. With mysteries, it’s important to give your reader a handful of viable suspects, a few red herrings to not give the ending away immediately, and a sleuth that readers will cheer on and want to solve the crime. Yes, they’re solving a crime, but the writer can’t make it easy for them!

How did you begin writing the Wild Blue Mysteries?

Wild Blue Mysteries began as a dream about a cat. Seriously! Being a part of a local writing group, I used the prompts we wrote from in each meeting to craft my novel. We jokingly call them “Frankenbooks.”

How many books do you plan to write in "A Glitter Bay Mystery" series?

Right now, I’m working on Book 2 in the Glitter Bay series, which will come out in 2021. I’m considering 4, but that could always change. The POV will alternate each book between Laken Miller and her sister Sage.

Who inspired the character of Gilda Wright? When did you plan to make it a series?

Gilda Wright was inspired by my job as a receptionist in a karate school. True story! I worked there for four years and earned my blue belt before I left. Gilda will eventually grade for her black belt, but that’s in another book or two.

What are some books that have really impacted you and your writing?

Stephen King’s On Writing was a biggie! So was Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones, and Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way.

When writing a story, what do you like to give the most importance to: the buildup of suspense, the witty dialogue, the interesting characters, etc?

My stories always seem to begin with dialogue. It’s what I do well. I tend to read my books aloud to make sure the language isn’t stilted and flows. I have a great sense of humor so witty dialogue is a given. I also being with a framework for my characters and develop them further as I do a good edit after my rough draft is done.

What do you love the most about the local tattoo artist's sister Christina in "The Bakery Lady"?

Christina Davidson is a woman who has been through a great deal and keeps going. She does whatever it is she has to do to get by and goes from being a bit of a doormat at the beginning of The Bakery Lady, to standing up for herself and making her own decisions.

Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips for aspiring writers?

Keep a real job. Mostly so you have an excuse to be around other people who can inspire scenes, characters, and situation. Be careful not to isolate yourself too much.

I go for a walk every day. It helps me get out of my office and headspace as well as keeping my body moving.

Find people you can brainstorm or talk to. There are so many talented writers out there who would be thrilled to mentor an aspiring writer!

What inspired the intriguing plot of "Dead Without Honor"?

My novels tend to start with “What if” questions. For that one there were some things going on with people around me. I asked myself, “What if I came into work one day and someone had used the Sensei’s katana to kill another instructor?” The funny thing is, I just released book 4 in the Gilda Wright Mystery series (Dead Without Shame) and have yet to run out of what ifs.

What is the next book that you are writing? When can the readers expect it to be out?

Dead Without Shame came out in January and Drop Dead Cowboy was launched in in June. I currently have one new book on the back burner that may come out in 2021 called Written in Stone. This one is a whole new series, which is why I’ve held onto it for a while. Currently, I’m editing a thriller I wrote nearly 10 years ago and working on Book 2 of my Glitter Bay Mysteries. There’s always another book – or three!

How are you trying to keep yourself busy during the lock-down (covid-19)?

Even in lockdown, I’ve been fortunate to keep working at my day job with a local theatre so far! Aside from our daily Zoom meetings, I’ve been attending virtual author events, taping a couple chats for our local library, honing my writing skills, doing more marketing than ever before, reading, needlepoint, and working on new books.

How has your experience with AllAuthor been?

I’ve had fun doing the monthly book cover contests, but I haven’t been on the site much lately to check out more than that. I’m trying to get word out about my books as well as write new books, so I try to stay off social media and the like some days, but… it always gets me! One “just a quick look” and down the rabbit hole I go again!

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