This week I’m delighted to introduce a new acquaintance – Dianne Hartsock. Dianne’s MM Fantasy novella, Nathaniel, was released by Etopia Press earlier this month. I was delighted when she said she’d let me interrogate her 🙂 So let’s find out more about Dianne and Nathaniel!
Kiran: What you made you want to be a writer. Why did you choose the genre you write?
Dianne: I’ve been captivated by stories from as far back as I can remember. It started with the stories my older sister would tell us at bedtime. From the moment I learned to read, I became an avid bookworm. Then, when I was fourteen years old I discovered Ray Bradbury. His stories changed the way I perceived the world. They’re filled with the wonder and magic and terror of childhood. His science fiction opened my mind to new possibilities. I decided then that I wanted to write like him when I grew up. I began then, penning short stories in all genres, trying to capture his feeling in my own work. It took a while, but I finally discovered my own style and have enjoyed writing ever since.
As for picking a genre, I haven’t, really. I’ve written a paranormal thriller, fantasy adventure and m/m erotic contemporary and fantasy stories. But the one thing in common all my stories share is that I focus almost solely on the emotions driving the characters. I love to delve into their minds and discover their motivations.
Kiran: What do your friends and family think of your writing?
Dianne: They’ve been so supportive! I’ve been writing for most of my life, and they’re very happy to see me finally fulfilling my dream of being a published author. Of course, there are times when I’m distracted with working out a scene in my mind and not being there with them. Also, my husband sometimes frowns when I become lost in the bed sheets with my men. But I tell him it’s okay. The men in my stories don’t like girls that way.
Kiran: Tell me what inspired your latest release, Nathaniel.
Dianne: I’ve written several fantasy novels where a reader can become lost in my world, leave reality and enter the realm of fantasy and adventure and romance. It’s a world very much like our own, with a touch of magic and awe that lifts you out of your every day life and sets you in the midst of a battle between free will and destiny.
With Nathaniel, I wanted to take this world one step further. Sure, there’s magic, but I wanted my hero, Taden, to be completely enchanted by my magic user. Nathaniel is beautiful and sensual and possesses powers far beyond anything Taden has encountered before. Taden is bewildered and captivated by him, falling hopelessly in love despite his better judgment. The story focuses on their love affair, weaving Nathaniel’s magic throughout the pages until Taden surrenders to his charms
Kiran: How do you approach writing sex scenes? Do you find it difficult to keep them fresh?
Dianne: The sex definitely has to be realistic and hot! But I have to love and sympathize with my characters. If they can make me laugh and cry and be happy for them, then I know I’ve written something worthwhile. There’s just something so sensual and arousing in reading and writing about men in love. I can’t explain it, but I have so much fun writing the love scenes between my beautiful men. I approach the sex scenes slowly, letting the characters lead me through each touch, from the first caress to the very last tender kiss. I suppose I keep them fresh by having them in new settings and in different stages of their relationships.
Kiran: Do you have a favourite character from your own stories? If so, tell us who it is and why.
Dianne: I have several fantasy adventure novels that I’m working on, and it’s the second book in this series that I like the most. It’s an exciting tale with lots of action and some very sexy, powerful heroes. My favourite character is from this book, a rogue named Korel. He’s lovely and smart, with a shock of copper hair and brilliant blue eyes full of mischief. He enjoys good food and wine and lovely objects. He’s also an incorrigible tease. If there’s any trouble around, you’re sure to find Korel in the middle of it.
Kiran: Who do you imagine is your ideal reader? What do you want them to take away from your writing?
Dianne: I suppose they would be someone who loves the adventure and otherworldliness and magic of fantasy, but also the eroticism and thrill of gay romance. I hope they’d close the book with a smile on their face from a well told, exciting story.
Kiran: Do you have any plans to try your hand at writing in a completely different genre?
Dianne: I’ve been working on a scifi story for some time now, but I’m having trouble with the science part! The story has to be at least plausible or the readers will tear me to shreds. But the story’s plotted out. Now it’s time to get serious and do some research. I’m terrified, though, that my story will get bogged down and boring with too much explanation. You see! I still have a long way to go with this one. But I do like the challenge of stepping outside my comfort zone.
Kiran: Who is your all-time favourite gay fiction author? Are there any new authors who have grabbed your interest?
Dianne: My very favourite author has to be Poppy Z. Brite. Her novel ‘Lost Souls’ was the first book I’d read where two men’s love was handled delicately and sweetly. I was moved by their friendship and the care they took of each other. I decided then that I wanted to write my own love story, using this same feeling of compassion and fondness.
There are so many new authors out there with great books I couldn’t name them all, but here are a few of my favourites:
Vivien Dean http://vivien-dean.blogspot.com/
Gem Sivad http://www.gemsivad.com/blog/
Alix Cameron http://romancingalix.wordpress.com/
Marie Dees http://mariedees.com/
Kiran: What can we expect from Dianne Hartsock in the future?
Dianne: Lots of stories, I hope! At the moment I’m working on a stand alone fantasy story involving gargoyles and witches. I also have the outline plotted for a sequel to Nathaniel, which will be my next project. I hadn’t planned on doing a sequel, but now that Nathaniel is out, I miss him and Taden, Miranda and the gorgeous, deadly Corin.
Thank you so much, Kiran, for having me here today!
And many thanks to you, Dianne, for taking time out to answer my questions! And now to find out more about the book…
From the moment Taden rescues Nathaniel from the Sutherlin soldiers’ torture, he finds himself caught in the gaze of the most beautiful eyes he’s ever seen; amazing eyes that hold him thrilled and confused. The Sutherlins are planning to invade the beautiful Tahon Valley, but as Taden secrets Nathaniel from their reach, he finds himself drawn to the young man. Not only does he feel the urge to protect him, but he feels an ache he hasn’t felt in many long years.
Nathaniel claims to be a traveler from a distant continent, saying he comes in peace. True or not, the youth has powers beyond anything Taden has seen—control over men and animals and the very weather. Taden falls hard for the strange traveler, protecting him not only from the Sutherlins but from his own mistrustful people, who don’t understand Nathaniel’s powers and accuse him of being a witch…
You can purchase Nathaniel from:
and find out more about Dianne Hartsock here: