Guest Author Friday – Diana Wallace Peach and Kari’s Reckoning

Who Has a New Book?     I’m thrilled to welcome today’s featured author, friend and guest, Diana Wallace Peach. Diana is a dynamo author who writes and produces books at lightning speed these days. She has disciplined herself well with the time she commits to her writing, yet manages to make time to blog about all things writing on her blog Myths of the Mirror .   Today we’re going to get to know Diana and learn about what inspires her writing, and I’m going to be asking her about the ‘book writing break’ she is threatening to take, to find out if that can actually happen.     About Diana: I didn’t care for reading as a child – I preferred Bonanza and Beverly Hillbillies reruns, Saturday morning cartoons and the Ed Sullivan show. Then one day, I opened a book titled The Hobbit. Tolkien … literally changed my life. I love to write. It’s a luxury I never expected I’d have time for – life got in the way. You know how that goes – kids, work, chores… sleep. I worked for 18 years in business where amassing coin was the all-consuming objective. It required huge amounts of time and mental energy. And for me personally, it was soul-slaying. Then on September 11, 2001 two planes flew into the World Trade Center. I was working in Connecticut, about 2 hours from ground zero, and remember sitting in a conference room, watching the second tower fall. That tragedy initiated a process of redefinition for me, an evaluation of what was vital and important. Life felt short and precarious, and I started to wonder if it was time to do something that actually mattered. In a moment of loving kindness, my husband suggested that I quit my job and go back to school (he still wonders what he could possibly have been thinking). I graduated with a Masters in Counseling and a mountain of debt. Oh well. I worked in Burlington, Vermont for peanuts – but, oh, they were chocolate covered! The human experience was sweet and rich. I had the pleasure of working with people who cared deeply about the challenges facing children and families, and I came to understand how the power of relationship, in all its myriad forms, can change the world. In Myths of the Mirror it is called the Belonging. Then life got in the way again, and Randy and I made a move to the lush, wet, green wilderness of the Oregon rainforest. We live on a mountain a half-hour beyond the edge of civilization in a wonderful community where, once again, I encountered the Belonging. In another regrettable moment of loving kindness, Randy suggested that I write a book rather than work, and Myths of the Mirror poured onto the keyboard. Fast forward some years and more than a dozen books line my Amazon shelf. They have each been labors of love and I hope you enjoy them.   Diana’s latest book, Book IV in her Rose Shield Tetralogy: Get this book on Amazon!  The Blurb:   The epic adventure concludes as the Shiplord vies for what he desires—the throne of Ellegeance. Their power in jeopardy, influencers surrender their oaths, their loyalties fractured. Rose, a child of untrained and reckless talent, once again becomes a pawn in the quest for control. As the Cull Tarr solidify their rule, Guardian plots rebellion. Catling and Whitt, each gifted with singular skills, seek to sway the course of the conflict. Oathbreakers, traitors, and those desperate to save Rose collide in a final battle for the realm. Yet, a third player emerges in the deadly game. The kari, spirits of a sentient planet, command the air, water, and land. They manipulate events to satisfy their sovereign designs and care not who survives the human war.   About the Rose Shield Series: The Rose Shield Series – A blend of science fiction and fantasy. Welcome to a world of three moons, a sentient landscape, rivers of light, and tier cities that rise from the swamps like otherworld flowers. A planet of waterdragons, where humans are the aliens living among three-fingered natives with spotted skin. Where a half-blood converses with the fog and the goddess plans her final reckoning. Follow Catling’s journey as she grows from childhood into the deadly force that shapes the future. She is the realm’s shield, an influencer, assassin, healer, mother, and avenger. And all she wants is to go home.   Visit Diana’s Book page to view all 4 books in The Rose Shield series HERE  and visit her Amazon author page to check out her many other books!   Now, let’s dig in to our interview! Welcome Diana, it’s a real treat to have you here today.     How did you come up with the name for your blog, Myths of the Mirror?   Myths of the Mirror was my first book and my publisher told me I needed a blog. A what? A blog. My daughter helped me set it up since I’m technologically clueless, and as a newly published author with one literary offspring, I named the blog after my baby. I probably should have named it after moi, but the name’s grown on me, so I’m sticking with it.   You write fantasy, fiction, where do you get your ideas for characters from? Are any taken from real life or are they all fictional?   There’s a scene in the movie Ghost in which Whoopi Goldberg suddenly discovers her ability to talk to the dead and her apartment is crowded with all these characters who want her to deliver messages. That’s what it’s like for me; they just pop into my head with their stories. The only book in which I based the characters on real people is The Sorcerer’s Garden. The three main characters are a version of my brothers and me (without the romantic elements, of course).   You speak of having a muse. Does your muse have a name, and does she nag at you in unexpected moments or must you summon her?   No name for the muse since she’s a changling, and she’s rather miffed at me right now because I’m taking a little writing hiatus. I told her I want her looking for the next book, either an intricate stand-alone or something epic that I can turn into a series. I assume she’s off in the woods or jumping through portals trying to roust it out. She has until the end of the summer, so I’m not worried.   I read on your blog, after completing your recent Rose Shield series that you were going to take a break from writing books. Do you actually believe that will happen or are you already brewing up ideas? (lol)   Oh, I really am taking a break, and it feels good because there are things I’ve neglected for six years that need attention – like the spouse! I’m still being creative, but in different ways, and I plan to get a hammock and indulge in plenty of reading!   You are such a disciplined writer, strictly abiding by your own self-imposed writing time commitments, no doubt you’ve produced many books. Can you please share your ‘secret formula’ with us by telling us what a typical writing day is like for you?   I’m super disciplined and intense about things I like doing, Debby. (The stuff I don’t like? I’m a procrastinator and lazy bum.) My writing routine is to start by 4:30 AM and write until 4:30 PM. No getting dressed, eating, errands, etc. Coffee and bathroom breaks only. In 12 hours, I can cough up about 3000 words.   Now the truth… that’s what I would like to do, and it’s easy-peasy for me to work at that intense level of focus. But… I’m also a blogger, so I make room in there to blog and blogging is Time-Consuming! I made a deal with the muse that I’d write 2,000 words a day, 5 days a week, and I’ve been able to stick to that.   There are many advantages and disadvantages between being traditionally published and self-publishing. I know that your earlier books were traditionally published and now you’re a self-published author. What do you think it was that made you decide to turn to self-publishing?   There were a host of factors that compelled me to cancel all my contracts and go indie. The most significant of them was marketing control. As a traditionally published author, I had no control over pricing and I couldn’t discount, which made promotion almost impossible.  My sales were abysmal. After the switch, which included new covers, my sales and profits increased overnight. It was the right choice, and I haven’t regretted it for a moment. It anyone is interested, I wrote a series of posts about the decision starting with: https://mythsofthemirror.com/2016/01/15/goodbye-traditional-hello-indie-part-i/   Can you share with us what inspired you to write the Rose Shield series and please share an excerpt with us from the last of the series, your most recent publication, Kari’s Reckoning.   I think life is more mysterious than our puny brains can imagine, and I like musing over possibilities. I honestly believe that our emotions define us more than our thoughts. Our emotions drive our choices, our relationships, our attitudes. I believe that we have emotional auras or energy fields that interact not only with each other but, collectively, with the world. I also believe that the planet is sentient, a living organism that seeks balance and takes corrective measures to repair itself, just like our bodies do.   So, what if I created a world where emotions could be manipulated by modifying the planet’s “blood.” And what if someone had the ability to shield or block that power. And what if the planet had a voice and an agenda to stop its destruction. All those elements come together in the book.   A short excerpt from Kari’s Reckoning: Book 4.   The sun peeked in the east, the sea a satin sheet of rumbling luminescence. An offshore breeze blew at Gannon’s back, the white haze of smoke bending as he stood on the ridge among the blackened trees. As he expected, the Cull Tarr had incinerated the city, yet they hadn’t stopped there. The crops and pastures and forests smoldered, a legacy of soot. Except for a frosting of ash, the tiers looked pristine. Had they sagged and reformed? What a strange sight… if anyone had seen it. He chewed on a nail, his hand shaking. The leaden sky rested silently on the tiers, too silent, so silent he heard the crows as they fluttered their wings and alit on the promenade rails. Men had begun searching the tiers and outer-city rubble at the bleak sunrise. At the bottom of the ridge, Parrie beckoned him with a wave. Gannon ambled down, unsure of his feet. The land smoldered, unbearably hot, red embers glowing in the crannies beneath downed trees. Enough smoke wafted through the air to hurt his lungs, and he coughed. When Parrie finished with the last sooty man to offer a report, Gannon faced him. “Just tell me.” The captain spat a wad of blackened phlegm and cleared his throat. “We located a score or two of survivors, maybe double the number in bodies. The rest of them are gone.” Tragedy gathered on Gannon’s brow. “What do you mean ‘gone’? There were mostly women and children here.” “All of them, Gannon. They’re gone.”   Connect with Diana:   Website/Blog: http://mythsofthemirror.com Website/Books: http://dwallacepeachbooks.com Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Myths-of-the-Mirror/187264861398982 Twitter: @dwallacepeach Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7068749.D_Wallace_Peach Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/dianapeach33/pins/   You can also visit Diana’s book page HERE to read snippets about all of her books.   Thank you so much Diana for being here today and sharing some of yourself with us. I read and loved The Sorcerer’s Garden and reviewed it HERE  I look forward to reading more of your books that await … Continue reading Guest Author Friday – Diana Wallace Peach and Kari’s Reckoning