This is May 2013 First Friday Breakfast with an Author.
We’re having breakfast this first Friday in May with best-selling author Jacqueline Diamond who has sold more than 95 novels, including romantic comedy, romantic suspense, fantasy, mystery and Regency historical romance, to a range of publishers. A two-time finalist for the Rita Award, Jackie received a Career Achievement Award from Romantic Times and is a former reporter and TV columnist for the Associated Press. She also writes the Safe Harbor Medical miniseries for Harlequin American Romance.
MK: Good morning, Jackie. Thank you for joining us today. I’ve just fixed myself scrambled eggs, a spoonful of Wildbrine kraut, and a lovely salad of romaine, basil, blackberries, and banana sprinkled with lime-infused olive oil and a dash of pecans. What are you having for your virtual breakfast?
JD: Since I’m avidly learning to use Photoshop Elements, I should say .jpegs over easy, but that would be too facile. So pretend you didn’t hear that. My ideal breakfast in a world without calories or cholesterol would be Eggs Benedict followed by a cheese Danish, with coffee and orange juice. My real breakfast is shredded wheat with almond milk. I do get the coffee, though.
MK: Let me pour a cup of your favorite French Roast. Tell us about your writing process from concept to draft to revision.
JD: I start with a germ of an idea and develop that with what-if questions, figuring out what kind of person would do that and how they might proceed, making sure to include some unexpected twists. Gradually I develop the characters and plot, outlining turning points and the climax as well as character arcs. This changes as I write. I revise from time to time while writing, and again when I’m done. I also like to run my work by a few beta readers, especially those with expertise in a relevant field (such as medicine or police work), for feedback. When I’m writing for Harlequin, my editor provides input at several stages.
MK: You are one of a few successful cross-genre authors. Do you prefer one over the other and why?
JD: I read widely, so I write the same way. On the other hand, I’ve also completed twelve books in my Safe Harbor Medical series for Harlequin—I just sold three more on proposal—and still find them interesting. If left to my own devices, free of marketing considerations, I’d be all over the map. As for my favorite genre, it’s whatever is burning a hole in my brain right now.
MK: Let me top off your coffee. You write for traditional publishers and publish your own e-books. What do you find to be the benefits of writing to both markets?
JD: Publishers pay advances (which helps with the bills), and handle editing, cover design, marketing and some of the promotion. With self-publishing, I’m able to reach out directly to readers, to offer occasional sale pricing, and to get creative with covers. Mostly I’ve been revising and reissuing old favorites to which I’ve regained the rights, including my Regency romances set in Jane Austen’s era.
I’ve only self-published one novel that wasn’t previously issued by a publisher, Out of Her Universe, an unusual science fiction story that is truly the book of my heart. It never found a conventional publisher, so I’m hoping readers will discover it as an ebook.
MK: Which of your books would you recommend to someone reading this interview and not familiar with your writing.
JD: For anyone who enjoys speculative or science fiction with vivid characters, a real-world setting and fast pacing (as in the TV show Fringe), I recommend Out of Her Universe.
For a darkly funny mystery, try Danger Music, which is on sale this month (May) for 99 cents.
I’m best known for laugh-out-loud romantic comedies, and one of my favorites, which I recently rewrote and reissued, is Run, Run, Runaway Bride. Jane Austen fans and others who love historicals without a lot of sex might try my half-dozen Regencies, starting with A Lady’s Point of View, specially priced at 99 cents. In other genres: fantasy, Shadowlight; horror, Echoes, women’s fiction, By Leaps and Bounds.
MK: What are you working on now? When and where will it be available?
JD: I’m just starting a new Safe Harbor Medical romance. No date set, but the next book to be published in the series will be His Baby Dream, due out in June in paperback as well as ebook from Harlequin.
MK: Thank you for sharing your breakfast and writing life, Jackie. Congratulations on writing over 95 novels, and all the best with your future work.
JD: Thanks for inviting me to breakfast!
You can learn more about Jackie at http://www.jacquelinediamond.com, or, on Facebook, JacquelineDiamondAuthor.
Before we blast off to Amazon, Barnes & Noble or our local bookseller to buy a stack of Jackie’s books, how about another cup of coffee?