Writer Spotlight Interview: Dianne Gardner

Dianne Gardner

I'm so happy to have Dianne Gardner all the way from Washington stepping into the spotlight today. We "met" through WriteOnCon, which I hope you all attended and enjoyed. Dianne is a writer, an artist, a mother, a grandmother, and a world builder.

Dianne, welcome!!!

Tell us, what manuscript do you have out on submission now?

The title currently is IAN'S REALM: DECEPTION PEAK
It’s a Young Adult character driven Fantasy novel
58,000 words

Give us the three to four sentence pitch.

There is no way fifteen-year-old Ian Wilson could know he’s destined to fulfill an ancient prophecy. His immediate concern is for his dad whose experimental software has opened a window to another world and is being lured into it by a haunting song. Ian follows his father into the Realm, a deceptively beautiful country where horses run free, the wind sings prophetic melodies, and their computer avatars come to life, but which is ruled by a terrible dragon and plagued by evil sorcery. When Ian is separated from his dad and abducted by dragon worshipers, he is forced to find his courage and learn how and who to trust. As he struggles for his freedom and embarks on a perilous search for his father he meets the true peace-keepers of the Realm and through them becomes aware of his greater calling.

Awesome!!! My son would love the whole living computer avatar thing. Nice.

Would you care to share the opening line or paragraph?

Ian woke with a jerk. His eyes flew open. The dream was too vivid, as if he himself were falling. He lay nestled on his pillows watching the dragon in his mind, its flame shooting towards him until the sparks turned into the popcorn texture on the ceiling.

Very cool!!!! Or should I say hot? : )

What is your least and most favorite word? Use each in a sentence, writing in the voice of one of your characters from any of your manuscripts.

Least favorite word? Well, Ian doesn’t like the thought of dying. He’d rather just be released, or banished and get on with finding his dad. But Emil has devised a questionable escape route for him and now Ian is sure he’s going to die…

The wagon tossed Ian’s body around like jelly. He was going to die, he was sure of it. And then they’d all be happy: the Meneks would, maybe they’d have a celebration…eat fish and bread and goat cheese and sing and dance in the streets. No more Ian to disrupt their neat little ‘fraidy-cat lives. No more Ian sneaking around in the dark, or dropping their slimy fish, or spilling their precious salt water on their nicely mopped docks. Glad they got rid of that joker, they will be.

Nice voice!!

Favorite word? If dying were the least of Ian’s favorite thoughts, courage would be what sees him through.

Ian gulped down his fear and took a deep breath, standing erect. Courage, he said to himself. Now that all the things he had been fearful of were coming to pass, Ian amazed himself that he could be so calm.

What are you working on while you wait?

I’m working on the sequels titled, IAN'S REALM: INVASION and IAN'S REALM: RUBIES AND ROBBERS

Oooh!! Love the titles. 

What book(s) have you read in the past six mo that’s inspired you?

In the last six months I’ve been reading a lot of how-to books instead of novels. The Writer’s Guide to Crafting Stories for Children, by Nancy Lamb

The Scene Book, by Sandra Scofield

And others.

I haven't heard of the second one, I'll have to check it out, thanks.

Just for fun, do you have a literary-character crush (if you were a teen, or a crush you had when you were a teen)?

I really like Bilbo in Tolkein’s, The Hobbit. I think Tolkein gave him such a wonderful character. I enjoyed taking his journey with him. I think he’s the first character I ever read who had such obvious and loveable faults.

So true. In regard to faults, I read a post recently about character faults, the message being that too many of us mistake quirks for faults. Interesting, something to think on, at least it was for me.

Any random fun-facts you’d like to share about yourself?

I am a portrait artist as well as a writer and I love developing character’s portraits as though I were painting them. In fact, I hope to do an oil painting of each of my main characters and put them up on my blog along with their character analysis. I think that would be totally fun.

Ian Wilson, by Dianne Gardner
Very fun, yes!! And here is her first, a portrait of Ian Wilson just posted on her blog. This totally blew me away when I saw it!!! WOW, WOW, WOW!!! Impressive!

I’m a mother of 7 and grandmother of 14. My grandsons are really enjoying my manuscripts, but so are my daughters. I am having a great time creating this story and this world.

You must've been fun in the arts and crafts department with your kids and grandkids.

Dianne, thanks again for sharing your manuscript, your art, and yourself with us today. I wish you all the best in finding a home for IAN'S REALM: DECEPTION PEAK. Please keep us posted.

In addition to her writer's blog, which you can find here, Dianne also has an art website here.

I'll leave you with another of Dianne's works below of Lady Washington and another excerpt from her manuscript.

Lady Washington
Excerpt from Chapter X of IAN'S REALM: DECEPTION PEAK
Finally, as the orange and pinks of the setting sun shimmered on the water, the sailors came to them and took the nets, reeling them into long rolls and then folding them crosswise. Ian liked the sailors. They stayed to their work and were kind to the boys, talking to them as if they were part of the crew, as if they were men.


  1. Thank you so much for this fun interview, Paula! You're the greatest.

  2. GORGEOUS artwork, Dianne, and the story sounds very intriguing. I hope if I ever have seven kids I can keep being as productive as you! Thanks for the inspiration.
    And thanks for doing the interview, Paula! I'm glad we have some more writer spotlights to look forward to because I enjoy them so much!

  3. Dianne's writing is like listening to music. I especially liked her chapter 10 quote about Ian's observation of the sailors. Her portrait of Ian is stunning!Blessings on all your ventures, Dianne!

  4. As a fellow artist who was very fortunate to read the entire manuscript of "Ian's Realm: Deception Point", I can only say that I'm on pins and needles awaiting the sequel. Diane has the incredible ability to paint a scene and situation in your head as well as she can create unbelievable portraits.

  5. Dianne writes as she paints, with authority, reality and beauty. I'm looking forward to reading Ian's whole story, in print!

  6. Nice to meet you, Dianne. Your words and pictures are stunning.

    Paula, so glad you have another of these spotlights. It's such a great way to "meet" other writers.

  7. Thanks again, Dianne for the interview. Thanks Faith, Jan, Shelly, Carol, and Michael for stopping by, too.

    Keep us posted, Dianne.

  8. Yes, thank you everyone for your kind comments! I will keep you all posted as to whether my stories get published. Here's hoping!

  9. Great spotlight, Paula. Thanks for doing this. I agree with Jan, Diana's writing is like listening to music. It is just beautiful. And her art, wow. I am in awe, and a little envious. How I would love to paint.

  10. Paula, did I ever tell you my book is now published. I'm working on the sequel which should come out sometime in February/March. http://amzn.com/0615679706


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