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Friday, March 23, 2012

Interview with Dianne Hartsock!

Dianne Hartsock is author of several titles, to name a few; Shelton in Love, Shelton's Promise, ALEX and Nathaniel.

Holly: Hello, Dianne! Would you tell us a little about yourself?

Dianne Hartsock: Hello! I grew up in a large, boisterous and loving family in California, spent ten years in the rocky mountains of Colorado, and now live in the beautiful Willamette Valley of Oregon. At the moment I spend every spare second on my writing, but I also read books like mad. I enjoy going out for coffee or lunch with friends, live music and browsing antique stores. I also like walking on the beach, hiking, having a good laugh, and sitting by the fire with my husband. Oh, and I’m also a floral designer.

Holly: How did you first become interested in writing?

Dianne Hartsock: 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.

Holly: Why Male/Male?

Dianne Hartsock: In all honesty, it was the novel Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite that opened my eyes to the sensual side of male romance. This 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 stories, using this same feeling of compassion and fondness. There’s just something so sensual and arousing in reading and writing about men in love. I can’t explain it, but I do have fun writing the love scenes between my beautiful men.

Holly: Can you tell us a little about your novel, ALEX?

Dianne Hartsock: ALEX is about a young psychic’s journey to find a normal life. Raised in isolation by a physically and emotionally abusive parent, on her death, Alex is thrust into a world of violence and intolerance that bewilders and hurts him.

With ALEX, I wanted to take a different approach than the usual serial killer/psychic story. This is a story of a young man able to experience other people’s emotions and sometimes see their thoughts. The story is told from Alex’s unique perspective, revealing how he deals with his ‘gift’ in a doubting world. I wanted to show the vulnerability and insecurities of the typical twenty year old, plus the added stress and confusion caused by his abilities. Alex is a young man whose mind has slipped beyond the common boundaries of life. Only the love and support of his friends brings him through the summer safely, with his mind whole.

Holly: Your first novel published this year is called Nathaniel. Would you mind telling us a little bit about the plot and our two main characters, Taden and Nathaniel?

Dianne Hartsock: Nathaniel opens with Taden rescuing the young magic user from the hands of his country’s enemies. Taden hasn’t seen war in his lifetime, but the Sutherlins have begun to push against the border between the two countries, expanding into the fertile land of Netherlin. Enemy soldiers have been spotted in the forest surrounding Taden’s stronghold, and as the titled land owner and head of his family, he takes a company of soldiers to investigate and stumbles upon Nathaniel and his captors.

And this is where the magic comes in. Not from elves or wizards, unicorns or faeries. It’s in the ‘gift’ Nathaniel’s people are blessed and often cursed with. These ‘wielders of magic’ have been banished from Taden’s homeland long ago, either killed or driven across the sea, threatened with death if they return. So when Taden meets Nathaniel, a man possessing the gift to manipulate men and beasts and nature itself, he’s torn between his duty to imprison the witch and the desire to keep the beautiful man for himself, protecting him against all others.

Holly: I love the cover for this novel, who does your cover art?

Dianne Hartsock: Isn’t the cover gorgeous? I fell in love with it the moment I saw it. Nathaniel is published through Etopia Press and it is the very talented cover artist Mina Carter who designed it. But then I think Etopia Press has some of the loveliest covers out there.

Holly: Do you have any plans for more works in 2012?

Dianne Hartsock: Oh my yes! It’s finding the time to do everything I want that’s the problem. At the moment, I have a short m/m contemporary erotic, Eran’s Release, coming out from Breathless Press in May. I’ve also signed a contract with them for the fourth book in my ‘Shelton’ series and will begin edits soon.

And like most authors I know, I’m currently working on three separate short stories with plans for several sequels, one of them being a sequel to ‘Nathaniel’ and also one for ‘ALEX’.

Holly: Do you have anything you would like to say to your readers?

Dianne Hartsock: One reviewer, Carol K., summed ‘ALEX’ up for me very nicely. ‘Overall, I am left with a new definition of what love is: an emotion that can endure through life and death. Love isn't over-romanticized as something that will conquer all, but love makes life worth living.’

I hope I bring this deep and beautiful meaning of love into all of my stories.

Holly: Do you remember the first piece of writing you ever wrote?

Dianne Hartsock: Oh yes! I began writing in first grade, a two paragraph story about a giraffe. I can’t remember much about it, except that everyone liked to visit him at the zoo. I was very proud when the story was pinned up on the wall for everyone to read, the teacher liked it that much. And I’ve been scribbling stories ever since.

Random Quickies!

Holly: What is you favorite color?

Dianne Hartsock: Red, especially in a sunset

Holly: When writing, music or silence?

Dianne Hartsock: Music. Silence makes me restless.

Holly: Do you eat when you read?

Dianne Hartsock: Yes, I’m constantly snacking, which probably accounts for those extra pounds…

Holly: What is the weirdest place you have ever written/read?

Dianne Hartsock: I confess. I’m one of those people who read in the bathroom. I’ve also been known to jot down a sentence or two while in there. You never know when that perfect line will come to you!

Holly: Where do you get your best ideas at?

Dianne Hartsock: I find inspiration in every day occurrences. It could be a song on the radio, a quote from a book, even a moving antidote from a customer at work. Sometimes even commercials can bring tears to my eyes and I run to jot down the thoughts and feelings it brought out.




Nathaniel by Dianne Hartsock
Publisher:
Etopia Press
Length: 23,000 words
Sub-Genres: Erotic, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, M/M

"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…"
Purchase: Amazon | B&N


Taden’s scalp prickled, a shiver running through him. He twirled, hand on his belt knife, and found Nathaniel standing inches from him. They were almost touching, and Taden watched, fascinated, as Nathaniel’s green eyes darkened under his stare. The heat from Nathaniel’s body wrapped around him, caressing him in that intimate moment.
“Miranda’s finally asleep,” Nathaniel told him shakily.
“That’s good. She appeared exhausted.” Taden didn’t ask who she was. At that moment, he didn’t care. He touched Nathaniel’s gold-flecked curls, as silken as he’d imagined them to be. Enthralled by the dimple at the corner of Nathaniel’s luscious mouth, he impulsively cupped his cheek, stroking the alluring hollow with a gentle finger. His pulses hammered at the contrast of pale skin and his own sun-darkened hand, picturing the exotic tangle of their bodies.
He slid an arm around Nathaniel’s waist as desire seared him. “Come with me,” he said huskily, aching to love Nathaniel as gently and tenderly as he could and drive the anxiety from his lovely eyes. Nathaniel lifted his shoulders but didn’t resist as Taden urged him into the trees.
Nathaniel remained silent as Taden spread the blankets on a fragrant carpet of pine needles. Taden gave him a close look. With a pang he realized that the young man stood passively, waiting for whatever Taden chose to do with him. As much as he hungered for him, Taden didn’t want Nathaniel like that, unresponsive. He reached for Nathaniel’s hand and pulled him down beside him on the blankets.

 “I would never hurt you,” he said as he leaned into Nathaniel’s body and slid his tongue over his full lips. He played with the laces of Nathaniel’s tunic, loosening them further. Fire licked through him as Nathaniel’s chest rose on a quick breath. Taden slipped two fingers inside the soft fabric to stroke the lean muscles of Nathaniel’s chest.
He nudged Nathaniel’s lips wider and groaned as the young man’s tongue darted into his own mouth, jolting him with lust. He caught the tongue with his lips, sucking, wanting to swallow Nathaniel whole.
Taden lingered over his kisses, slowly undoing the rest of the ties on Nathaniel’s tunic. He shifted on the blankets and thrilled at Nathaniel’s sigh as he bared his chest. Taden slid his tongue along Nathaniel’s chin with a fond murmur, savoring the saltiness of skin and the prickle of unshaven hair. He kissed the slim column of his throat and paused to suck gently on a vein pulsing in the heated skin.
He glanced lower and suddenly leaned on an elbow, his eyes ravaging the intoxicating sight of small nipples sitting like jewels on white skin. A single mole, innocent, utterly provocative, lay within kissing distance and drew his lips. Taden teased it with his tongue, smiling slyly when Nathaniel made a startled sound and gripped his shoulders.
Taden circled each hardening bud with his tongue, tenderly kissing the fading bruises. He slid a hand across Nathaniel’s abdomen and felt his muscles tighten. He slid a finger along the edge of Nathaniel’s pants, then moved his hand upward to brush his thumb over a sensitive nipple. Heat slammed through him as Nathaniel arched his back with a guttural cry. Unable to resist the temptation, Taden dropped his lips to the free bud, flicking it with his tongue, nibbling and nursing on it until Nathaniel was panting, a pleading note in the sound.
The tone changed suddenly to panic, and Taden jerked his head up in surprise, clashing with eyes wide with fear and arousal. He watched a trickle of sweat follow the curve of Nathaniel’s cheek. Surely the Nathaniel wasn’t afraid of him?
“I won’t hurt you,” Taden assured him again. Unexpectedly, Nathaniel gave him a tentative smile and touched Taden’s hair. The shy, heated glance undid him, and he had to fight the urge to strip Nathaniel then and there and thrust his arousal deep into the enticing body.
Taden dropped his head on Nathaniel’s chest. “Give me a moment,” he whispered hoarsely, concentrating on control. He wanted their joining to be perfect. It was hard when Nathaniel continued to thread his hands through his hair. With a growl, Taden straddled him, pinning the wandering hands over his head. “Careful, or I can’t promise to be gentle.”
Nathaniel’s eyes were hooded, and Taden watched, enchanted, as the tip of his pink tongue slid across pale lips. “Do anything you like,” Nathaniel invited.

Find full tour schedule here.


Dianne lives in the beautiful Willamette Valley of Oregon with her incredibly patient husband, who puts up with the endless hours she spends hunched over the keyboard letting her characters play.

She says Oregon’s raindrops are the perfect setting in which to write her tales. There’s something about being cooped up in the house while it pours rain outside and a fire crackles on the hearth inside that kindles her imagination.

Currently, Dianne works as a floral designer in a locally-owned gift shop. Which she says is the perfect job for her. When not writing, she can express herself through the rich colors and textures of flowers and foliage.


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2 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for having me here today!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great interview and excerpt, Dianne. Both were enjoyable reads.

    Thanks,
    Tracey D

    ReplyDelete

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