The Desert Muses are thrilled to announce our November guest blogger. Please help me welcome romance author, Diane Saxton.
Recently I was asked to speak at the Wellington Literary Festival in Shropshire, and rather than talk about why I write, I looked at why I write in different sub genres.
I was brought up on an eclectic mixture of encyclopedia’s and Mill’s and Boon.
When I was 6, my teacher let us sit on the classroom carpet and she read us The Hobbit. I fell in love with fantasy.
Aged 9, my older sister read The Princess Bride to me and I fell even more deeply in love with the idea of romance.
By the time my father discovered I was reading his Wilbur Smith novel, When the Lion Feeds at the age of 14, it was too late. I was already hooked on adventure.
I read across the genres – horror and historical fiction, autobiographies and dystopian. All of these before I was out of my teens. Yet it never occurred to me that I would one day write.
Over the years, I continued to read. And I dabbled. I never realised until relatively recently that not everyone spends their time building fantasy worlds in their heads.
While most people see mushrooms and toadstools, I visualise a whole world of little houses built specifically for faeries and woodland nymphs, somewhere tiny winged creatures can meet and fall in love.
As fate would have it, the company I worked for decided to re-locate. I could go with them, but I was already working full-stretch, travelling an hour each way, and juggling with family life.
So, my husband said:
So I wrote the book.
I’d wanted to write a thriller. Really had something in my head and even made a start. But I had a foot operation and couldn’t do anything but sit with my leg up for two weeks, and during that time a strange thing happened. I wrote my first book.
Loving Lydia wasn’t a thriller. It was a contemporary romance, and amazingly, I was offered a contract.
So the thriller was put to one side, and I wrote two further books in my Atlantic Divide series, rapidly followed by Flight of Her Life, a comedy.
Some authors I’d met challenged me to write outside my comfort zone. A science fiction story involving an android. I’d never contemplated writing science fiction before. But I had read it. I just had to cosy up with Stephen Hawkins and research my subject matter. That of time travel, worm holes and dystopian futures.
When I was asked to join a group of authors in a contemporary romance anthology, I thought yeah, cowboys. Then they told me it needed to be fantasy. Shapeshifters. I’d just had a Labrador puppy for my birthday we named Beau, and someone suggested it would be a great name for a hero. A hero who could transform…
So my short, funny story For Heaven’s Cakes came about, followed by a full length fantasy, Banshee Seduction.
Right now, I’m editing a contemporary suspense and I’ve just finished writing a paranormal romance.
But for Nanowrimo, I’m going back to that original thriller, while I romance the genres.
Diane Saxon lives in the Shropshire countryside with her tall, dark, handsome husband, two gorgeous daughters, a Dalmatian, one-eyed kitten, ginger cat, six chickens and a black Labrador called Beau, whose name has been borrowed for her hero in For Heaven’s Cakes.
After working for years in a demanding job, on-call and travelling great distances, Diane gave it all up when her husband said “follow that dream”.
Having been hidden all too long, her characters have burst forth demanding plot lines of their own and she’s found the more she lets them, the more they’re inclined to run wild.