Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Diane Strong - HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Diane Strong. She writes Mystery & Thrillers and Short Stories about running.

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Short Stories, Humor

Website: The Running Commentary
Twitter: @DianeIStrong
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads

Author Description:
Diane Strong lives in Kentucky with her husband and their two children. She received a liberal arts degree at Itasca Community College, a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and Equine Studies from Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana and a Master’s degree in Veterinary Science from the University of Kentucky.

She writes a small column for the Georgetown News Graphic and homeschools her children. In her spare time she competes in road races, triathlons and adventure races. She is the founder of the Georgetown Run Club and Intellectual Society. She loves what she does.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Let’s start with the good stuff. What’s next? Do you have another book on the horizon? Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease.

Let me begin by saying that The Running Suspense Series is a collection of short stories, all about 10,000 words or 43 pages in length. They are stand-alone stories and can be read in any order. They all feature a runner as the protagonist.

I am so happy to announce my latest release: Reservoir Run published on Dec. 27th. 2012. It took me a long time between the last story and this one since I learned so much while revising it. During the process of revising it, I went back and made improvements too my previous short stories.

I am currently writing the 6th and final story in The Running Suspense Series. It features a single mother who is a runner and a strange situation she finds herself in. I am enjoying getting into the head of Mr. Saunders, the antagonist. My background in psychology is coming in handy I must admit.

You have a good following on twitter. How important are the social media relationships that you’ve formed? Do you see a carry over to your writing success?

The relationships are very important. I have found some great friendships and a nice little fan base through twitter, which has led them to my blog and books. I have also gotten to know some great authors. The people who love my writing have a special place in my heart.

Do you do book signing, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? If so, where is the next place your readers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?

I have done book signings with Out and Back, my only published full-length novel, but not with the running series. I have done podcasts and spoken locally about writing. I only have blog interviews scheduled right now. I plan to bundle the 6 short stories into a short story collection and make them available in paperback. At that time I will do a lot more signings. Until then, readers can follow my blog The Running Commentary. I write about running, writing and interview authors there too. For the most part, it is ridiculously funny.

What kinds of support groups do you belong too? Do they help with writing, marketing and the publishing process?

I am a member of KIW (Kentucky Indie Writers), a small group of (mostly) independently published authors in Lexington, Kentucky and the surrounding area. They have been a huge support. I'm not sure what I would do without them. I feel very fortunate to have a group of friends I can go to with promotion, publishing, formatting, editing and life questions. They have taught me so much.

Between your book writing, blogging and jogging, writing a newspaper column, marketing, family and all the other things that can get in your way, how do you manage your time? Do you have a set schedule or do your sort of play it by ear?

I don't manage my time very well. When I have an idea for a story I basically drop everything and write until my body hurts. I focus on one task at a time and try to complete a project before jumping into another. I won't start writing another story until the latest one is published. I'm not afraid to drop everything and revise a story if I feel I can improve it.

Promotion is the most difficult thing for me. I don't like to sit on-line all day, but promoting my books requires a certain amount of that. I also feel obligated to respond to tweets and questions that are personal. I appreciate everyone who takes the time and don't want to leave them out.

What has been your experience in giving your books away free? Have you been involved in other types of giveaways and how did that work out? What was your main goal in doing this? Did you run into any obstacles?

The main reason I give books away is to introduce new readers to my work. Ultimately, when I give a book away, I would like to get a review. That isn't the case, however. I've given away over a thousand ebooks and only seen a handful of reviews from them. I don't think readers realize how important it is to review books they have been given. If the readers return for more of my books because of the giveaways, I will continue to do it. Then it becomes VERY worthwhile.

Does running let you relax from everything or is it part of your creative process? Does moving from writing to running give you a change of pace? (Pun intended)

All of my ideas for stories come while running. I develop my characters and story details while running too. While writing The Other Way, I was stuck. I loved the story and the characters but I was stuck, I couldn't figure out where the story needed to go. I went for a very short run by my standards (3.5 miles) and it came to me in a flood of answers. To this day, that is my favorite story.

Author's Book List
Reservoir Run
The Running Suspense Series
Alison lays unconscious in a hospital bed after a long-distance training run leaves her half-dead at the bottom of a deep ravine. While Rick is a faithful husband, Alison gave him many reasons to attempt to kill her. The question of who tried to kill Alison hangs in the air while Rick waits impatiently for her to awake and assure him he’s innocent.
Buy Page: Amazon
The Rescue
The Running Suspense Series
(This is a 10,000 word short story/ approx. 34 pages) (This is a stand-alone story) Luke is a single widower with a pet cat. He is just shy of retirement and about to take the ride of a lifetime on a train headed west. He is prepared for two weeks of adventure. When a pause to take leak during a run turns into more than a quick stop, his plans change dramatically. Luke quickly discovers he doesn’t have to venture far from home for the adventure of a lifetime.
Buy Page: Amazon
The Other Way
Isaac Fisher was not born a runner, he was born Amish. After getting a girl pregnant while exploring rumspringa at sixteen, he left the Amish community and ventured to the new world to become the girl’s husband. Now, four years and two children later, Isaac can’t help but sneak back home on his long runs for a feel of his past life and the taste of an old lover.
Buy Page: Amazon
Falcon Point
Running Suspense Series
Claire is 17 and spending the summer with her rich mother and step-father in Falcon Point. She has her eye on a boy, this could be the summer he finally notices her. But someone has his eye on her too. A perfect summer becomes an unforgettable one. You may never want to run alone again.
Buy Page: Amazon
The Run
Running Suspense Series
Cora is a runner and mother of two whose husband is working out of town on business. Always a protective mother, Cora has never left her children alone. That is until a well-intentioned friend encourages her to. This is a story that will leave you questioning your parenting skills and wanting to read more great running adventures by Diane Strong.
Buy Page: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
Out and Back
An out and back is a run that starts and ends at the same point. Along the way we are changed. In the end we are back where we started. Amber runs every morning, bakes home cooked meals, and keeps a spotless home. She homeschools her children, grows an organic garden and milks her own goats. But Amber Stonewall is not perfect. She is a mother who fails, a wife who is unable to show affection, a daughter who is absent and a sister who knows it all. When her mom dies, it all slaps her in the face.
Buy Page: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the HBS Author's Spotlight plus the blog: eBook Author’s Corner. Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.

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