Welcome to author Diane Bator and we thank her for taking time away from her busy life, professional and personal.
Describe your favorite writing spot or space.
I’ve been known to write anywhere and everywhere – doctor’s offices, waiting for kids at karate, lunch breaks at work, and so on. My favorite places to write are outdoors or in coffee shops. Coffee shops are great for finding inspiring characters and even locations for scenes. Writing outdoors is so peaceful that my imagination can run amok. I’ve been lucky to spend mornings at my boyfriend’s family cottage drinking coffee and writing on lazy summer days.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Since I’m currently working from home, my schedule is a bit looser. I can spend quiet time writing or editing until I have to get back to my day job. “Normally,” I write a bit first thing in the morning, on lunch breaks, and a little in the evening as time permits. I’ve been lucky to be a part of three Write In groups since August 2020. We meet online and get to chat a little before digging into our work. I’ve been grateful to make new friends all across Canada this way.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I have traditionally published 11 cozy mystery novels since 2014. Half-finished books, I’d say at least as many if not more. Sometimes I start things and set them aside then forget about them because I have a deadline for something else. Currently, I’m working on editing a few forgotten books and either self-publishing or seeking a publisher for them.
Do you write under a pseudonym? If not, have you ever considered it?
I write under my own name. I figure if I’m writing it, I’m owning it! That said, I will likely use a pseudonym when I publish my fantasy novels.
What comes first for you, the plot or characters?
What comes first depends on the inspiration I get. Some of my books start with a character that wanders into my mind or, as with two of my latest books, with a setting. The Glitter Bay Mystery series started with a coastal town in Oregon that I saw a beautiful B&B that became a vintage clothing store with an apartment upstairs. A book I’m working on now was inspired by a house for sale – a former funeral home turned residence. As you can guess, a few ghosts in this one!
Can you hear your characters talking?
Absolutely! Which is not a good thing when you’re writing about ghosts! LOL! I love that the characters help to steer the story, which is why I will never be a 100% plotter. I have done it with one book, but I find it to become more of a loose guide than a template. I’ll be writing to the guide then a character will reveal something I didn’t see coming. That always tends to shuffle the order of things in my outline.
Were you a part-time writer before you became a full-time one? For how long?
I have dreamed about writing full-time since I started writing as a kid, but the bills have to be paid. Since I was a single parent for the past few years, I had bigger worries than writing full-time, but the dream never faded. On the upside, over the years I’ve had a real variety of jobs. I find the experiences I’ve had also add more to my books. Gilda Wright Mysteries takes place in a karate school. I actually worked in one for a few years in her role as receptionist..
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
I’d say a woodpecker! With all the clacking on the keyboard that I do, I’d say it’s appropriate!
Do you ever Google yourself?
I did Google myself once when I couldn’t remember the link to my blog! LOL! Since then, I don’t do it often but I was in a meeting this week where someone else did. She nearly fell off her chair!
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Learn the craft. Write what you love. Don’t let anyone tell you to give up because writing is as much a part of you as breathing and it’s great for your sanity – even if hunting for a publisher and agent isn’t!
A prolific mystery writer, I am the mom of three kids and two cats who loves to help promote other authors. I enjoy writing, painting, hiking, and spending time with my loved ones.
I am the author of Wild Blue Mysteries, Gilda Wright Mysteries, Glitter Bay Mysteries, and the Audra Clemmings Mysteries from Books We Love Ltd. with many more to come! I am a member of Crime Writers of Canada and the Headwater Writers’ Guild.