Q&A with Author Diane Bator
Q: When did you first begin writing stories?
I have always been a storyteller/writer from when I was little. I put the stories away for a while before my kids were born then started writing again while I was home with them.
In fact, I still have a few poems and children’s stories I’d love to publish one day!
I became more serious about writing and publishing when I moved across Canada and joined a local writing group.
They supplied the encouragement I needed to finish and polish my first novel!
Q: What was the name of your first book?
My first book is The Bookstore Lady published by BWL Publishing in Alberta. It is the first book in my Wild Blue Mystery series.
Q: How did you get into women’s fiction and mystery genres?
Funny enough, The Bookstore Lady started as a Women’s fiction novel and turned into a mystery novel after I entered a contest called Murder in Ink by a small Ontario publisher and WON!
Technically, Murder on Manitou was my first published book but had a short run. I plan to relaunch it later this year!
Considering I’ve always loved mysteries and puzzles, I’m surprised I never started writing them sooner.
Q: Who was your favorite author when you were younger?
I was a HUGE Hardy Boys fan as a kid. Granted they were all written by different ghostwriters over the years, but I was never concerned about the author back then just the stories!
My favorite outing as a kid was the library or a local used bookstore. Gradually, I began to read Stephen King, Sidney Sheldon, and so on.
Q: How would you describe your writing style in three words?
Q: How many books have you published so far?
To date, I have published 13 novels in 4 different series: Wild Blue Mysteries, Gilda Wright Mysteries, Glitter Bay Mysteries, Sugarwood Mysteries.
Q: What inspired you to write your latest release, The Conned Lady?
The Conned Lady is the final book in my Wild Blue Mysteries. It wraps up any loose ends in the series as well as giving direction as to where the cast of characters who live in the little town of Packham end up!
I had written the original version in 2014 then pretty much re-wrote the whole thing for 2022.
Q: What future projects are you currently working on that you can share with us, readers?
One is book two of the Sugarwood Mystery series.
Another is a whole new book I’m editing in a whole new series tentatively called Carved in Stone.
Third is making notes for the next book in my Gilda Wright series.
AND making notes for book 3 in my Glitter Bay Mystery series.
Of course, there are always little side projects that slip in and out – like writing plays, which is a new passion.
I also have 2-3 new series ideas on my shelves.
Q: Do you outline your stories or do you just dive into writing them?
I dive on in and like to think of myself as a plantser – a combination of a pantser and a plotter.
I do a vague outline and try to keep track of characters that pop up, but generally my characters have free reign!
Before Covid, some of my books were written in bits during writing meetings to prompts we used.
With series already going, I simply need to find new situations to stick my characters into. Granted, they don’t always play along and tend to wander off like ducklings!
Q: What is your go to beverage when working on a new book?
That depends on whether I’m writing or editing!
For writing, I prefer a glass of wine to let things flow.
For editing, coffee to keep me sharp.
Q: What is the writing and publishing process like for you?
While I’d love to write full-time, I currently work during the day at a professional theatre.
During lockdowns, I was fortunate to find two wonderful groups to write with. I have automatically carved out three 2 hour chunks of time in my week to work on projects.
It’s helped to keep me focused and motivated knowing that I have a meeting at 9am Sunday morning and I’d better have something to work on!
During the work week, I’m able to grab a few minutes here and there when things are quiet.
With regards to publishing, I’m fortunate to have a wonderful publisher who currently allows authors to choose their own deadlines each year.
So far, I’ve been able to write and publish two novels per year. One year it was 4 novels because we republished novels I had with a different publisher.
Q: For aspiring writers in your genre, what advice would you give to them?
Mystery writing is hard! You need to write your story then go back and be sure to fill in red herrings to throw off your readers as well as giving them great clues along the way to figure it out.
One of the worst things to you can do in a mystery is make the killer/thief someone you just drop into the story who your reader hasn’t met.
Readers, especially mystery readers, love the thrill of the chase!
The biggest piece of advice I give writers I work with as a book coach is to write the book! Don’t get stuck on a perfect opening line or a character’s name until you’re in full editing mode.
Things will change but you need to get a draft of the story down first!
Q: Tell us about your main characters in The Conned Lady.
My two main characters in The Conned Lady are Katie Mullins and Danny Walker.
Readers met them back in The Bookstore Lady when Katie escaped from her bosses who wanted her dead because she knew too much.
Danny, who was investigating the organization, was supposed to keep her safe and lost her. Only to find her again in his hometown.
Together, they faced the bad guys and made sure they were behind bars and developed a romantic relationship through the series.
When the bad guys are suddenly free, Katie needs to confront her past and deal with it – with the help of Danny and their friends.
During it all, they both face insecurities and have doubts until… You’ll have to read The Conned Lady to find out!
Q: Where can readers find you and your books online?
The easiest place to find where my books are sold is via my publisher’s page: http://bookswelove.net/bator-diane/
They are all available via Kobo, Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble and so on!
Diane Bator is a mom of three, a book coach, and the author of over a dozen mystery novels and
many works-in-progress. She has also hosted the Escape With a Writer blog to promote fellow
authors and is a member of Sisters in Crime Toronto, the Writers Union of Canada, and a board
member of Crime Writers of Canada. When she’s not writing and coaching authors, she works
for a professional theatre. No surprise she’s written her first play, which may lead to more.
Her website is https://dianebator.ca/
Her books are available through her publisher Books We Love at: https://bookswelove.net/bator-diane/