Saturday, November 15, 2008

Meet Diana Castilleja

Diana, good morning.
We would love to get to know you. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Well, I'm a SAHM, been married almost 10 years, with one son and have lived in Texas most of my life. I've been writing since 2004, in several romance genres. I've written some 25 different stories from 8K shorts to 85K length novels. The majority of what I've written have been novel length. I'm currently with three publishers.
What's your favorite genre to read?
Hands down this would be paranormal. Any kind of shifter, vampire, demon, dragon, fantasy laden story and I'm all over it. I read on average a book a day when I am reading. Some of who I read are Christine Feehan, Jacquelyn Frank, Vicki Lewis-Thompson and Mary Janice Davidson. Very small section of the TBR pile there.
Who or what influences you when you write?
Usually a lot of what I'm reading influences me, but I rely on my own imagination a lot. Scary, ain't it? LOL
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
My upcoming book is a shifter book, the first of my Aiza Wolf shifters, a four book series. It should be out in early '09.
Roman Aiza is the second son born into a set of quadruplets. All four share a unique family secret: they are the last known bloodline of an ancient family, one that gives them the ability to shapeshift at will into the form of a wolf. Roman has his hands full when he follows a trespasser into the depths of the Cassel residence, on the night of Cindy Cassel's eighteenth birthday party.
The trespasser ends up being a woman who shows no fear and tells him absolutely nothing before she manages to walk right out of his hands. After a week of trying to uncover who the mysterious woman could be, Cindy is kidnapped and he must trust the very woman he has no reason to trust at all.
Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?
A little bit of both. My muse can be hard on me but I make her work too. I just finished a 15K novella for an anthology in four days. I usually get my own way.
Who is your target audience? And what motivated you to start writing for this audience?
I would say my target audience is the 30-50 something crowd, well read, with a little free money, most likely enthusiastic readers. I started writing for myself to begin with and as I kept writing, my writing evolved and seemed to fit well with that demographic group.
What are the biggest challenges that you face? And, how do you deal with these challenges? Honestly, garnering readers. Starting in epublishing is a hard, hard road to take. Even being in print is no guarantee. For me, every book, any format counts. Any person who has something with my name on is a potential reader and that's how I work my career. I'm earning readers a book at a time. I market myself a lot. I actively promote my releases and attend book signings. Yes it takes away from writing the next book or story, but only a fraction of writers today and in the future will have the powerhouse marketing of the SuperHouses behind them. To earn readers, it's up to the author.
Which aspects of the work that you put into the book did you find most difficult? Keeping the story and characters from sounding like each other, or everything else I've done. There's nuances in each story that help to keep them separate but sometimes it's just hard in my mind to hear them. It's caused a fair share of problems for me.
What do you do for inspiration?
I read. A lot.
What type of book have you always wanted to write?
If it's a book I wanted to write, then I have already. I think I've hit on everything I've had an eye on so far.
When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
I actually submitted after I'd finished several stories. I had the idea that if I was going to write, I should know "how" to write better, if not well. LOL I joined a critique group then submitted my first book to Forbidden Publications. The whole process for that first book took about eight months from the crit group to several agent queries to finally trying my hand at an epublisher. My mother was actually one of the first to tell me I needed to try to get published. Even when it was bad.
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I'm a total pantser, a point to point writer. I get (if I'm lucky) the characters, a scenario or scene location, and a conflict.
Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you? I'm part of the Royal Blush Authors, a group of critters and mentors who work on bettering the writer's stories, plus I have a couple of people that can do reads for me. The only draw back is I'm obnoxiously slow to do the same, and I know it.
What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
This is the easy one. I have my websites, myspace, facebook, and several blogs that I'm on, or write with, as well as a few writing groups that I'm partnered with. Most links can be found on either website as well as an appearances page that I keep up to date with what's happening. Here's a just a few quick links:
And I'm available through my website or by email.
And here's a taste of The Eternal Kiss
Diego Viteri has lived for centuries with only one real goal, to avenge himself against the one who destroyed the man that he was and created the creature he is now. He is suffering a growing loneliness that is becoming impossible to ignore. His only reason for not ending his life is to see that Brakka is served his justice and then, Diego can rest.
The last thing he is expecting is to have an encounter with a human woman who is willing to jump between himself and Brakka during a harsh and bloody battle. Their one meeting changes everything for Diego, bringing to life emotions and wants that he has long believed to be as dead as he is.
As he follows Titania and her band, his needs reshape into something that he can't ignore. Before he knows what he has done, he bonds with her and sets into motion the very thing he swore he would never do to another person. He has shared his curse and in the process may have very well killed her. And there is only one choice to be made to try to save her.
Titania gripped the knob of her dressing room door, and made one more cursory look before meeting her band on stage. Without warning, an undulating wave of anger and hatred slammed into her, and she staggered backward with a cried squeal of alarm.Her first terrified thought was someone had discovered her and she yanked in her mental barriers to block the waves of emotion. She forced air in and out of her lungs. Bowing her head, she let her eyes drift closed as the onslaught continued without mercy. Sparks scattered in front of her vision as she stilled, completely frozen, and fought for control. She concentrated, forming a solid wall between herself and whoever was out there. She knew without a doubt it was a man, close, at the bar by the stage. It took work to be able to breathe normally, keeping the pressure of his emotions at bay.He had come to kill, she knew that with a certainty that chilled her to the quick. His hatred pulsed, feeling thick around her. There was a tang of insolence in his hatred, a sense of omnipotence. She studied the waves, unraveling them, and found…emptiness. A dark chasm where his soul had once been.She shuddered with a convulsive shake, ripping her thoughts back to her own mind. Her eyes snapped open, her entire being feeling colder than she'd ever felt in her life. Her arms wrapped around her body, and she rubbed herself in reaction. She took a deep breath, feeling relief blossom inside her when she focused and found herself still ensconced in her dressing room.She had touched death, and was still living.Thank you for reading!Full chapters to all my stories are available on my website!

All Romance
Barnes N Noble
And coming in early 2009..... Trusting Delilah Book 1 Aiza Clan.


Sandy said...

Great interview, Diana. That excerpt was powerful.


Maggie Toussaint said...

I enjoyed reading more about you, Diana. What's a SAHM? I'm so woefully out of touch.


Adelle said...

Hi Diana. I hear you about garnering readers, one book at a time. Sometimes I think writing the book was the easy part lol
Great interview.

Diana Castilleja said...

Hi Maggie. SAHM is a Stay At Home Mom. There's still a few of the acronyms that throw me so don't worry about it. :)

I totally understand Adelle. It is an uphill battle and I'm not sure there is way to get to the top.

Thanks Sandy!!

liana laverentz said...

Hi, Diana, from a fellow SRN author. Have a great week!

Z(Aasiyah/Nolwynn) said...

Hey Diana
Lovely to get another peek at the whole you! keep up the good work.

Chiron said...

Fabulous interview, D!

Keep writing!



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