Q & A with D.G. Kaye
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Q & A With D.G. Kaye – Featuring Diane McGyver – Northern Survival

Today I’m delighted to be featuring Canadian author Diane McGyver. Diane writes fantasy novels, and has recently started her Romance Collection, as she explains – not typical romance, but with themes of adventure, action, survival and awakenings that thread through her stories that take precedence over relationships.

 

 

Diane McGyver

 

About Diane:

Diane McGyver writes stories, some long, some short. Regardless of genre, each story contains a bit of adventure, romance, survival and humour. She loves writing stories with a fantastical theme, but her current release “Northern Survival” is all about surviving in the wilderness after a plane crash. She’s been writing a long time, and the journey has taught her to not squander words. Each new story is more concise with less clutter than the previous. McGyver: “Writing feeds my soul, fills my heart, keeps me wild and gives me freedom few other occupations can give. Why would I do anything else?”

Diana writes stories and articles and operates a publishing company based in mainland Nova Scotia. She’s written on many topics over the years, including genealogy, writing, publishing, gardening and history. Since 1997, a few thousand articles have appeared in dozens of  publications, including Saltscapes MagazinePlant and Garden Magazinealive MagazineEast Coast Gardener and Canadian Gardening.

 

 

 

Blurb:

Olive Tweed planned her trip for two years. She’d vacation at Summer Beaver, gather the research material needed to write the next book and spend a few days hiking the vast wilderness. When she is called home unexpectedly and boards a chartered plane, she never dreamt it would crash, leaving her alone with a man who knew nothing about survival or the woods. If they don’t put aside their differences and work together, they’ll never escape alive.

Northern Survival was inspired by a video created by a pilot who recorded the crash of his small plane in Northern Quebec. The only reason he survived was because the plane had a parachute.

If you love stories of adventure, survival challenges and characters who test each others ability to endure, you’ll love Northern Survival.

 

Review:

Jacqui Murray

Reviewed in the United States on September 13, 2020

In Northern Survival (Quarter Castle Publishing 2020), two strangers–Olive, a writer researching an upcoming book and and Johnathan, a movie star–are returning to civilization aboard a small plane when a large bird slams into the windshield and crashes the plane. Everyone is killed except Olive and Johnathan and they are stranded in the middle of the frozen Canadian forests. Conventional wisdom says to stay with the plane but nearby hungry wolves convince them they must leave. They have little food, minimal shelter, and no weapons, and both think they know the right way to hike out of the desolate wilderness. That’s their first disagreement but by no means their last.

“I can do this.” “I know you can, but you can’t do it like I can because you’re a pampered city boy with no damn experience.” “Leave me alone [rephrased].”

Olive has some survival skills while Johnathan has none so she wins. Still, it is a daunting task that leaves them often weak, hungry, thirsty, cold, and frightened. As a reader, I’m left thinking it is only because of Olive’s brutal honesty that they even have a chance:

“I don’t expect you to do what I do, but I expect you to tell me your limits so we don’t exceed them and cause unnecessary injuries, which ultimately will slow us down or…”

A good read with lots of how-to information if you ever find yourself stranded in below-zero weather with nothing but trees around you.

 

Well, let’s get down to some Q and A now that we’ve gotten to know a bit about Diane and her books.

NB: I would just to like to add here that I have spent over 10 hours over various days trying to fix the format issues you will find below in the Q & A session. I know of many bloggers being forced the block editor on them. I’m self-hosted and have gone through as many WP nightmares fighting off the editor by adding various plugins. For this post there was no way it would double space where I wanted to in order to create whitespace. It was impossible, so I’d just like to apologize for the shoddy formating below, as I had to surrender. Sorry, and thank you.

Do events in your daily life inspire your writing ideas?

I’ve never given an explanation, but I will today. I think I’m trigger happy when it comes to being inspired. Everything inspires me. From the most exciting events to the mundane. All my stories were inspired by either something I experienced, something someone shared with me, or something I heard about. I take that event, person, name or sensation, embellish it and twist it to create my stories. If I could disassemble my stories, I’d say about 80% of them are true in some fashion.
That probably sounds incredible given I write fantasy novels, but when I write about riding a horse, I’ve done that countless times. I’ve been to Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, USA, and while I walked through that castle, I imagined how grand it would be for kings, queens and knights. Even the tight quarters at Rose Blanche Lighthouse in Newfoundland plays a part in my stories when I need such a setting.
D.G. – Writing from true situations is something many of us writers do, whether fiction or nonfiction. That’s who we are as writers. Lots of truth in fiction.

Do you have any advice you can share for new writers?

Never stop learning. The wonderful aspect of this craft is there’s an endless amount of things to learn. As you learn, do not judge your writing to that of others, only to the writer you were last year. Have you improved? If yes, then you’re moving in the right direction. Keep going. If you haven’t improved, buckle down. If you really want to do this, write more, learn more, ask for advice, share your writing and consider the feedback.
We learn more from our mistakes than we do our successes. In the feedback, when someone points out a mistake or a weakness in your writing, it’s okay to fly off the handle (in an empty room where no ears but your own hears what you have to say). That negative energy must be released to see the truth behind the comments. Then reconsider the criticism. Was it valid? Let the comments ripen for a few days and return to them. You’ll have a better perspective of their value. Many times I’ve tossed aside comments by fellow writers only to have the comments nag at me until I realise, oh, they may have a point. Now that I know the process—rage, denial, rethinking and acceptance—I don’t hesitate to begin it every time I receive feedback from beta readers
D.G. – Great advice. I agree. We learn from every book we write.

Do you find your writing is geared toward a specific audience or do you just write what inspires you to write?

Long ago, back in the late 1990s, I was often told to learn who my reading audience was and make sure I wrote to please them. I still hear echoes of that sentiment in the writing business, and it’s wonderful advice when writing non-fiction articles for magazines. I believe my research into the readers of the various publications I appeared in was sound because I had a high acceptance
rate. That means if I submitted 20 pitches a month, 18 were accepted by the magazine or newspaper. Editors knew what their readers wanted, and they saw that in my pitches. Other writers I knew didn’t do the research, and they often had more than half of their pitches rejected. In my experience, this advice doesn’t fit fiction. Where non-fiction comes from the brain, fiction comes from the heart.
Writing fiction from the brain sets one up for a fall, one that usually leads to one of two paths: giving up and seeking other places to make money or switching gears and writing from the heart. I write stories that inspire me, ones that make me think, ones that connect with me emotionally. I don’t write for a particular audience. I feel the audience interested in my stories will find them.
D.G. – I agree 100%. We write what resonates with us, and there is a reader for everything.

Where do you believe your passion for storytelling originated from?

I think I learned to tell stories from sitting quietly and observing my family share their experiences in life. I am number 10 of 11 kids, my father was one of 17 kids, and my grandparents (except for Mom’s mom) were born in the 1880s. There were lots of stories told from many different perspectives. When the older members of the family started passing away, I felt the need to write down their stories to preserve them for the future, both for me to remember and to share with my kids. I was a natural with words, and I filled pages with stories about Newfoundland in the 1930s, shearing sheep, the Eastern Shore in the 1920s, pulpwood cutting, both world wars and how these families who lived far below the poverty line survived through out the centuries by hard work and perseverance.

Naturally, my imagination took some of these real stories, embellished them and created fictional stories. The rest is history.

D.G. – Life fills us with stories.

 

Would you like to share with us what upcoming projects and/or ideas for books you’re working on?

I have several projects on the go. At the moment, I’m in the final production stage of “the Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes” scheduled for release October 27th. I classify it as women’s fiction, inspirational, mid-life awakening with a dash of romance. It starts a few days after Mary’s 50th birthday, on a day she is inspired to try something new. The description for the book is: Mary Lola Barnes has everything: a loving husband, two wonderful grown children, good friends and a lovely home. She has no business asking for more. It doesn’t matter if she feels something is missing. She’s just being silly. After all, what could she ask for? When new friends enter her world, she’s ill prepared for the harsh light that shines on the imperfections in her life. It reveals the emptiness she refuses to acknowledge.
Every day, I commit to writing at least 500 words regardless of what else I’m doing in the publishing business. At this time, these words go to my first dystopian novel with the working title “Seed Keeper”. It takes place 28 years after the Devastation destroyed the world as we know it and reduced the population drastically. This leaves a mixed population of those old enough to remember what life was like and a new generation that knows nothing about the conveniences we currently enjoy.
D.G. – You are one busy girl! And I love that some of your characters are aged mid-life.
Diane is sharing an excerpt from her new release today – Northern Survival, and she adds a bit of backstory:
The excerpt is from my most recently published book, “Northern Survival”. It was inspired by a video I watched on YouTube about a man who crashed his small plane in Northern Quebec. The only reason he survived was because the plane had a parachute. I’d never heard of this before and after a little research, my story took shape. The excerpt is from chapter 3, just after the plane crash when Olive Tweed and Johnathan Stone are deciding what to do: stay with the plane or find their own way out of the wilderness.

Excerpt:

 

“Why doesn’t it shock me you have a paper map?” Johnathan pulled open a door on the belly of the plane and dragged out a suitcase.

“They’re practical.”

“Hardly.”

“Their batteries don’t die.” Olive gave no thought to the last word until it passed over her lips.

“It won’t tell you anything you don’t already know.” He threw the suitcase to the ground and unzipped the lid.

“It tells me we are somewhere near Lake Miminska.”

He stomped over and through glasses still covered in debris from the crash stared at her finger.

“We made it farther than that.”

“No, we didn’t.”

“Says you.”

“Says my measurement.”

“Your finger is hardly a measuring device.”

“Al said we had two and a half hours remaining of the three-hour flight.” She placed her finger on Thunder Bay. “If you break the trip into thirds—three hours—and then half hours, you have half of a third, putting us approximately right here.” She tapped the lake with the stick. “I saw a river after the parachute was released. That’s probably Albany River.”

“Approximates and probablies.” He pulled out his phone. “Useless even in the best situations.” Tapping the screen a few times, he held the phone flat and slowly twisted his body. When he found the information he sought, he took a screenshot, then knelt next to the map. “Where are the location numbers?”

“Longitude and latitude?”

He stared with a blank expression, then as if he understood what she said, he nodded. She pointed to where the degrees were recorded along the edges of the map, and he checked his phone. “51.56 degrees north; 88.81 degrees west.” He set down the phone, found the numbers with his fingers and followed them until they crossed. “We’re north of…” His voice slipped and when he next spoke, he sounded like a deflated balloon. “Albany River near Miminska Lake.” She swallowed slowly, allowing his acknowledgment to settle into his gut gently to save herself from another outburst. Glancing at the sun dipping towards the treetops, she calculated the remaining daylight: less than five hours. Her body wanted to rise, gather the supplies they had and get moving, but it remained still while he bandaged his pride.

“There’s nothing for miles. The nearest settlement is Fort Hope.” He winced. “Aptly named.” “It’d be a difficult trek. We’d have to go north, around Miminska Lake. I don’t know how wide these rivers feeding into the lake are. We might not be able to cross them, and once we did, we’d have to go farther north and skirt Eabamet Lake to reach Fort Hope.” Locking eyes with him sent a chill down her spine. “It’s a good idea,” she said quickly. “By map, it’s the closest place, but the terrain.” She pointed to Mishkeegogamang. “If we follow Albany River and go south, where temperatures will be better, we can reach this settlement; it’s late September and this far north, it might snow. It looks farther, but with no lake to navigate or major rivers to cross, it’s probably easier. Which means we’ll reach it faster.”

His cold eyes left her and fell to the map. He found the scale, broke a stick to the length of the 20-mile measurement and counted the number of times he used it between their location and her suggested destination. “That’s almost a hundred miles.” His eyes widened. “Fuck.” The muscles in his face twisted several times. “It’ll take days. It’s only 40 to Fort Hope.”

“We can’t go in a direct line to the fort.”

“So, 60 miles; it’s still a hell of a lot shorter.”

“North into the cold this time of year. To rivers we may not be able to cross.”

“It doesn’t make sense to travel twice the distance.”

“Given the circumstances, distance is irrelevant. Terrain is more important.”
“This map doesn’t tell you if there’s a mountain on your route. That would be tough to climb.”

“Exactly.” She lowered her brow. “There might be one on your route.”

“Useless map.” He rolled his eyes. “If you were smart, you’d have an APP that’d tell you the layout of the land.”

“A lot of good that would do without a signal.”

“Do you have such an APP?”

“No.”

“So even if we had a signal, your phone is useless.”

“If I had a signal, I wouldn’t bother with a stupid APP; I’d call 911.” In spite of telling herself to be patient, her voice rose to an unnecessary level. “Technically, it’s the same distance; a hundred miles to Mishiegammie—or whatever they call it—and a hundred kilometres to Fort Hope,” she snapped sarcastically.

His face darkened. “How far is a fucking kilometer?”

“A thousand metres.”

“In miles,” he growled.

“Don’t you have an APP to figure that out?”

He stood and shoved his phone into his pocket. “We’re not going anywhere.” He went to his open suitcase and rifled through the contents. “I’m staying here. They’re searching for the plane, not us.”

“They won’t reach us before others do.” She folded the map, leaving the area they’d travel south exposed.

“Others? Who else is searching?”

“Every beast hoping for a free meal.”

His hands froze with a pair pants in them. “What do you mean?”

“Do you smell that?” Her eyes gestured towards the plane. “Those rotting birds will attract wildlife. Some will be small, harmless to us; others will eat us first and the geese for dessert.” “Geese?” His voice shook. “That’s what those birds are?”

“You’ve probably eaten goose. Some say it’s tasty. Coyotes, wolves, bears may also find themdelicious, and they’ll smell this miles away.”

“Fuck,” he mumbled under his breath. “I have to get out of these clothes first.” He glared at her. “Then we go to Fort Hope.”

“Good luck. I’ll let them know where to find you.” Sweat gathered on her palms at the thought of travelling alone. She couldn’t do it, but she dreaded following a fool who knew nothing about the woods.

“You’re not coming with me?”

“Why would I? You know nothing about survival, the north or the woods, and you’ve chosen the most difficult path.” She pulled out a change of clothes. “I’ll travel faster alone. I can easily hike three kilometres—that’s almost two miles—in rugged terrain in an hour. If I travel ten hours a day, I’ll be there in roughly five days.” She spotted her extra compass in her pack and picked up the orange metal tube. “Expect a helicopter to come looking for you after that.” She stood.
“Here.” She tossed the one-inch cylinder to him. “Fasten that around your belt loop.”

“What is it?”

“My spare compass. The top screws off and inside is a bead with a red dot on one end. Put it on a flat surface away from metal, and the dot will point north. You have twelve and a half hours of light each day; use it wisely.”

He opened the canister and dropped the magnetic bead onto his palm. After examining it, he returned it to the cylinder. “What are you going to do for water. I’m taking the bottle from the plane.”

“I have a refillable bottle that self-filters. I can drink from any water source.”

“We should stick together.”

“I know, but you’ve made your decision, and I respect that.” She walked towards the bushes to find a place to change in private.

“How am I to find Fort Hope without the map?”

“You don’t need a useless paper map.” She ducked beneath a branch, leaving him cursing and mumbling under in his breath.

 

Find Diane on her Social Links:

Diane McGyver Blog :  https://dianelynnmcgyver.com

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0083WOOHW

Instagram:                    https://www.instagram.com/dianemcgyver/

Wattpad:                       https://www.wattpad.com/user/DLMcGyver

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D.G. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer, who writes from her own life experiences and self-medicates with a daily dose of humor.

64 Comments

  • Toni Pike

    It’s so lovely to meet Diane here, Debby, and what an exciting excerpt. I loved hearing about what writing means to her and how she is inspired by everything. Toni x

    • Diane McGyver

      Hello, Toni. Thank you for reading. It was difficult to chose an excerpt, then this little scene came to mind. I think it sets up the rest of their relationship well and gives readers a glimpse of what is to come. At least I hope it does. I’m a paper map girl. I have several types for Nova Scotia. I also have two different road maps for the province.

  • Stevie Turner

    Great interview Debby! Wow Diane, I can’t imagine being number 10 of 11 kids (I’m an only child)! You say that 80% of your writing is true, so were you ever in the survival situation you write about in the book above?

    • Diane McGyver

      That is a great question. While I’ve never been in a plane crash, I’ve been in a plane several times. On one trip, I was in a very small plane for part of it. I think it was between Moncton, NB, and Quebec City. There was no tunnel. We walked onto the runway to get to the plane. The thought travelling in a very small plane was a little scary, but all was fine.

      On a trip back from Montreal one year, we dropped off passengers at Moncton and my brother and I were the only ones left on the plane to continue to Halifax International. The steward asked if either of us wanted to go into the cockpit for take off. I jumped at the chance, leaving my brother (who gets motion sickness) with the steward to break into the liquor supply (those were days).

      I talked with the pilot and co-pilot the whole way home (take off, flight and landing). It was Christmas Eve, and there was some joking on the radio of seeing Santa Clause. This experience gave me a view from the cockpit I will never forget.

      As for being lost in the woods overnight: No, never while lost. However, I’ve lost my way many times for a few hours, and sometimes I’ve been by myself when this happened miles into the woods. I’ve also spent some interesting times camped in the woods. One long weekend in May (I was 13), a group of us hiked about 10 miles into the woods, set up our tents and enjoyed the wilderness. That Saturday, we were hit with a torrential downpour. Everything was soaked and a few tents along the river were flooded out. My brother was in one of them. We spent much of the next two days drying stuff near the fire. Some of our food was ruined, and I recall one evening we made a large batch of Kraft Dinner. While it cooked over the fire, bugs and twigs fell in. Did we care? No. We were starving.

      From my earliest days, I’ve been walking in the woods and camping. My friends and I built countless lean-tos, bough forts and log cabins. Sometimes we’d spend the night in our forts. I can’t recall the first time I built a fire; it’s been something I’ve been doing in all sorts of weather since a young age. Amongst my kids and nephews, I’m famous for my one-match fire.

      As for fishing, I love it. Nowadays, I fish in the ocean, but I’ve fished in fresh water many times with various rod set-ups. There’s something about cleaning fish I really enjoy. It’s difficult to explain. I used to clean the ones I caught and those caught by my brothers. I’m also a hiker and a boater. Whether I’m hiking or boating alone or with someone, I always carry my pack that has everything I need to spend the night in the woods, including the self-filtering water bottle Olive had in the story.

      As for the large family. The fact I had an outdoorsy father and seven older brothers, who dragged me everywhere, from hunting to fishing trips, only fed my love of being in the woods.

        • Diane McGyver

          I definitely feel more at home in the country than the city. There was a scene I left out of “Northern Survival” because I thought it might be too sensitive for some readers.

          My brother, who was two years older than I was, and I used to snare rabbits. Mom would make stews from them, and we’d dry the pelts and feet for fun. He taught me how to skin a rabbit when I was about 12 years old. It’s a fascinating thing to do but for the book, I stuck with cleaning fish.

  • Diane McGyver

    Oh, Debby, I’m so sorry this was a formatting issue for you. I hope it wasn’t anything on my part. I’ve had major issues with WordPress in the pass when setting up posts with copy and paste. I’ve typed right into the editor and still had spacing issues. Often, adding an unreasonable number of spaces will fix the problem, but not always. At times when it seems like the devil controlling the spacing, I try adding a space with one letter, then making that letter white (or whatever the colour the background is) so it can’t be seen, yet it holds a space. This is not a 100% fix, but it’s something that has worked on many occasions.

    However, the formatting isn’t horrible to the eye.

    Thank you for inviting me to share my new book. I don’t know how you get all the things done that you do. Everywhere on the web I go, I usually see you. You are a very busy lady.

    • dgkaye

      Lol, thanks so much Diane, you made me chuckle. I’m thrilled to have you over at my blog. I’m usually quite anal how my blog presents, and I kid you not hours I’ve tried all the trick you mentioned, as this isn’t the first time the formating started up with me, but worse now with the block editor trying to bust through. And so funny, yes, I know that little trick – add a letter to hold space – an old trick that used to work. I even took down the post and copied to a doc then copied back. Let’s just say I tried everything many times, so I’m sorry it doesn’t look proper, and may be a tad crunched looking between questions, but that was the best I could do, but I wanted to let readers know that I’m fully aware, I’m not just a lazy blogger, lol. 🙂

      • Diane McGyver

        I know upgrades are supposed to make our life easier, but I’m quickly learning they make life harder. I’m fighting the new WordPress editor, sticking with the Classic Editor whenever I can. I see those blocks you mentioned and so far, I’ve been able to avoid them. I think the only benefit to those blocks (if there is any benefit) is with images. The Classic Editor is straightforward. I like straightforward.

        • dgkaye

          I’m 100% with you. And to be honest, I’ve noticed a few friends blogs now using the blocks. My opinion – too much for the eyes to take in and sends me away from info overload. 🙂

          • Diane McGyver

            Oh, I haven’t noticed blocks on blogs (say that five times fast 🙂 ) or I haven’t realised what it was. Websites are becoming more complex. Sometimes I don’t know where to find the basic information on a site. Sometimes it appears to be just one page, but there are many layers. However, I can’t navigate the pages. I like simple.

  • Sue Dreamwalker

    Loved your interview with Diane…. Debby, and so enjoyed the excerpt from Northern Survival … And I didn’t know planes had a parachute either! 🙂
    The dialogue in the excerpt shows sparks of a love hate relationship already… And sounds like its a good thing Olive seems to know what she is doing… 🙂
    This sounds a book I could enjoy…
    Many thanks for sharing Debby, and wishing Diane well with her book….
    Sending hugs across the ocean…
    Much love to you both <3

    • Diane McGyver

      Thanks for reading, Sally. This is my first book with mature main characters. As an active hiker in my early 50s, I’ve hiked with people 20 years older than me. Some of them are faster and more fit than me, so there’s no doubt someone in their early 50s can meet the challenges set forth in “Northern Survival”. I hope to be hiking and camping in the woods well into my 80s.

      • sally cronin

        We loved hiking Diane on our travels particularly mountains… things are a little flatter now we have returned to Ireland and we are in our late 60s but we now live by the coast which has its own attractions.. looking forward to the book very much… enjoy your weekend..x

        • Diane McGyver

          One of my dream hikes is hiking the Highlands in Scotland (it’s where my ancestors came from). I suppose that’s why I mentioned it in the book. I agree: the seashore has its own unique features. Thanks, Sally. I hope your weekend is going well.

  • Marian Beaman

    There’s no shortage of books this fall season. The trick is to find time to read them all. I notice Jacqui Murray posted the amazing review here, another busy and productive author, as you are, dear Debby. I especially liked your comment at the end of the Q & A: D.G. – Life fills us with stories.

    Thanks to all and best wishes to Diane and her new book!

    • dgkaye

      Hi Marian. I love that you are always so observant. 🙂 And I agree, so many great books out this year. So much to look forward to reading. Yes, what a spectacular review from Jacqui, that’s why I shared it. So glad you enjoyed. <3

    • Diane McGyver

      I’m seeing a mountain of new books, too. I think many are held over from the spring when things were uncertain. Thanks, Marian, for the wonderful comment. Yes, Jacqui’s review was very generous.

  • Diana Peach

    Wonderful interview as always, Debby. I loved Diane’s answer about writing to an audience and distinguishing between fiction and non-fiction. She’s right indeed that fiction comes from the heart. It would seem odd to make such a story conform to generic expectations. To me, it’s the authenticity of the story and characters that contributes to a great read and those don’t come out of a can. And excellent review and excerpt. 🙂

    • Diane McGyver

      Thanks, Diana. For many years, I thought nonfiction and fiction were written from the same source. Not until I thought about it in this way did I realise my mistake. I guess the exception would be memoir writing. It’s a mixture of brain and heart. It’s story telling with truth as the base.

  • Joy Lennick

    Hi Debby and Diane, Thank you both for the opportunity to learn about Northern Survival. To have a competent person and an incompetent one as a starting point – what a great gift to yourself, Diane! Always an excellent idea for a novel, especially in your particular story…HavIng lived and travelled in Canada in the late 1950’s, we came to realize just now vast and impenetrable it is! Here’s to mega sales, Cheers.

    • Diane McGyver

      Sometimes I forget there are people who have never been in the woods, people who have never slept in a tent or built a campfire. I agree: Canada is vast. Even here in small Nova Scotia, I can hike for a day and not see a house. I’d cross a logging road or a bike trail, but not a dwelling. I suppose since I live here, I take it for granted. Yet, I know how beautiful it is. Most days, it’s magical.

      I was in my early 20s when I learned that not everyone in the city left the city on long weekends. I remember arguing with my boss because I didn’t want to work the weekend. I said, “It will be dead. No one will be shopping. They’ll all be gone camping.” Well, I got stuck working, and I was amazed at how many people were still in the city and shopping. My mind was blown.

      Thanks for reading, Joy, and the best wishes.

  • Robbie Cheadle

    I enjoyed meeting Diana and learning about her books and writing. I enjoyed her comments about writing non-fiction and know from my own experience that this is true.

  • Olga Núñez Miret

    A great sample and a fantastic interview, Debby!. I’ve always been intrigued by survival stories, although I have no knowledge and no skill when it comes to that. (I can walk and that’s about it).
    Thanks for introducing us to Diane and good luck to her all her books. Take care

  • Balroop Singh

    Thank you Deb, for introducing us to Diane, I am intrigued by how much she packs into her books. Jacqui’s review adds another dimension to this interview. Thanks for sharing.

    • Diane McGyver

      I agree with Debby: That’s high praise. Thank you for the kind words. I confess, I’ve never eaten the roots of bulrushes (cattails), but I have tasted the new growth of evergreen tips. It’s Buckley’s medicine x 10. Very ‘tangy’. One day, I will eat the roots to see what they taste like. I watched several videos of others preparing and eating them as research for this book. The bulrushes growing around me are probably full of toxins. Since this plant is like a sponge that cleans the water, it’s not safe to eat the roots in settled areas.

  • Deborah Jay

    Great excerpt, I love the opposing attitudes, perfect for oodles of conflict!
    Despite being outside my regular genres, I might just have to check this one out – thanks for the intro.

  • Diane McGyver

    Deborah, thanks for reading. I love it when conflicting attitudes naturally occur in a story. It allows my sarcasm to exercise. I’m bratty like that. It was the only way to be heard in a large family where several members had voices 10 times louder than mine.

  • carol Balawyder

    That was an interesting post. Interesting review by Jacqui, interesting questions by you, Debby, and interesting answers by Diane. I particularly was struck by the question regarding writing for an audience. Although I didn’t completly agree, Diane with your statement that non-fiction is written from the brain and fiction by the heart because I think there are a lot of non-fiction writers who put heart into their writing and some fiction writers who write from the brain (those who write to an audience and follow a pre-determined pattern). But I do wholeheartedly agree that one must write what touches and what moves them. And, after reading the excerpt from your novel it’s quite clear that you are a writer of the heart. Diane, I admire your way with words.

    • dgkaye

      Thanks for your thoughful comment Carol. I tend to agree because after all, our hearts go into all our stories, like there’s so much truth in fiction. 🙂 <3

  • Diane McGyver

    Thanks, Carol. I understand what you’re saying. Not everyone approaches writing the same way and like many things, there is overlap and exceptions. Memoir writing is a strong mixture of both: brain and heart. While the facts need to be presented, the emotions attached to them also need to be recorded. But again, this is my personal view from my experience, and others have their own ideas about it. We must use what works for us, and the same thing doesn’t work for everyone.

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