I’m happy to announce my author interviews are back and if you’re a fan of cozy mysteries my first interviewee needs no introduction. She’s topped the bestseller lists on both Amazon and USA Today. Say hello to Dianne Harman…
This Writer’s Life (TWL)-You’ve had lots of careers, art appraiser, yoga instructor…what made you one day decide to write and does having such a varied business background help you with plots and character creation?
Dianne Harman (DH)-It just happened. My husband and I were at a boutique hotel in Palm Springs for a wedding. Our son was best man. It was in October and it was 107 degrees. The old hotel had been recently renovated and the air conditioner was absolutely quiet. For some reason, I remember saying to my husband, “Wouldn’t it be wild if someone put a ‘feel-good’ drug in the air conditioner and everyone felt good all the time?” He looked at me and said, “Write a novel about it.” And I started Blue Coyote Motel that afternoon after having lunch at the Blue Coyote Restaurant. Felt it was a sign from wherever.
TWL-You started out writing suspense novels. Any particular reason you chose that genre?
DH-See the above answer.
TWL-You then switched to cozy mysteries. Are you an avid reader of that genre?
DH-I am now. When I wrote Coyote in Provence, I’d spent some time in the small village that’s in it and food was huge, both in the village and in my book. A reader said it would make a good cozy mystery because of the food. I’d never heard of the genre so I bought a couple of them to see why the reader thought that.
TWL-Every author remembers their first book, could you share some insights into yours and how it came about?
TWL-All your books feature animals and recipes; do you think they go hand in hand with cozy mysteries and do you create the recipes specifically for each plot?
DH-Sometime I create them, but mainly they’re based on recipes of mine. I love to cook and have been fortunate to have attended cooking schools in Italy, France, Portugal, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Fe, etc.
I also love dogs and don’t think I’ve ever been without one. Writing cozies has allowed me to bring two of my passions into my books.
TWL-You’re a USA Today bestselling author. How did it feel when you were told you made it to that list?
DH-In all honesty, pretty good. What’s even more fun is the immediate respect you get from people who, when you tell them you’re an author, think Right. One book every two years or so and probably the only people who read them are her family members. When you tell them you’ve been a USA Today bestselling author twice, they sit up and take notice!
TWL-You’re obviously a prolific writer, any tips for getting the writing done?
DH-Sit down and start writing even if that’s the last thing you want to do. No matter how badly it starts out, it always gets better and then you get in the groove.
TWL-If you could share one writing tip what would it be?
DH-Something very inelegant I heard another author say, and I think it may be the best advice anyone can get or give who is in this field. “Put your butt in the chair and write.”
TWL-What’s next for you?
DH-I’ve been asked by a number of readers to write cookbooks, since they can’t remember which recipe is from which book. I expect to publish the first in a month or so.
Find out more about Dianne at her web site www.dianneharman.com