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Writer Wednesday Welcomes: Diane Lebow

A short while back, I saw a tweet from Diane Lebow (TWITTER IS THE PLACE TO BE WRITERS). I’d never talked with her before, but she was using a tag I was following ans she wanted writers to know about a new FaceBook Group “Thursday’s Novelists”. I checked out the link and requested to join, voila! Networking at its core. In fact, most of my featured Writer Wednesday writers have come from connections made there over the past couple of months. It’s a lot of fun. Writers are at all different levels of experience in the industry and all are willing to share what they know. I highly recommend!

Imagine my thrill when I asked Diane to make an appearance on Musings and she agreed! I’m still pretty stoked. Well, before I ramble too far away, I will get right into the interview with Diane. I know you’ll love her just like I do! Leave a comment afterward, stop over and see her. We’ll have links at the end.


Diane! Welcome! So glad you’re here so I can show you off! I’ve already given them the scoop on Thursday’s Novelists, now, I simply must know more about Y.o.u. :) Let’s start with the basics…

How long have you been writing and what do you write?

I think my answer to the first part of this question is fairly typical of writers.  I have been writing for as long as I can remember.  Don’t most writers say that?  Anyway, as a young girl my parents encouraged me in my writing endeavors, going so far as to help me submit a couple of stories to appropriate magazines.  I got form rejection letters for both of them but my Dad especially kept me from being too discouraged.

As for what I write, let’s see.  I love the horror genre so my own writing leans far in that direction.  I enjoy reading horror that makes me shiver with the “ick” factor, you know… lots of blood and gore, but my writing tends to be more on the psychological side of horror.  Not that I wouldn’t rip a character to shreds in vividly colored description, it just doesn’t come up in my stories that often.  I also dabble in urban fantasy, a new love of mine.  My fiance tells me that I should not, under any circumstances, write a story with a vampire in it.  Too overdone and saturated, he claims.  I love vampire stories, so will take the fifth on that.

Oh, I think we all understand that. Something about vampires gets to us. There’s that crazy tension, will he won’t he? He’s the ultimate bad boy. Yes. We understand ;)

See, just thinking of my favorite vamp books/shows got me in a fit. *Must focus*
We’re all writers, but YOU decided to do something more than blog  to help us meet and mingle. What was it that made you decide to start a Facebook group for fellow unpubs?

Unfortunately, for the entertainment factor of this interview, it wasn’t any great epiphany I had that made me start Thursday’s Novelists.  In reality, I was new to Facebook, wanted to use it almost exclusively for my online writer’s platform, and decided that forming my own group would be the best way to connect with the people I wanted to connect with. I wanted to know what other unpublished writers were doing online, I wanted to learn from them, share with them, and make some friends while doing it. It has been a success beyond my wildest dreams.
Hmm. I’m not sure what your wildest dreams were, but saying it’s a success is a real understatement!  It’s the bees knees, the cat’s pajamas, and all kinds of other fun things.

The group really took off last year. I was so please to get in early and get to meet newbies as they arrive. (I fancy myself a bit of a welcome wagon). Are you continuing to get a lot of interest?

The response has been fantastic so far!  I’m humbled each and every time someone requests membership to the group.  I never expected it to get as big as it is.  As of this writing, we’re almost at 100 members, show no signs of slowing down, and have only barely scratched the surface.  And all the current members are always so welcoming of each new member.  It’s all very exciting.
What are you hoping to accomplish with the group? If there was a single goal in mind, what is it?

Ooops, look like I sort of jumped the gun and answered this question already.  So I’ll say here, that coming from a professional background in online marketing I’ve come to love social media and wanted to immerse myself in it as much as possible with fellow struggling writers like me.   Now that I’m thinking more about it… I was invited to another writer’s group which is open to published and unpublished alike.  To be honest, the topics being discussed by the published authors were too advanced and tended to frustrate me.  I wanted to be one of them, but I wasn’t there yet.  This was absolutely no fault of theirs; they are all warm, welcoming people.  I just started to long for a group of people all at the same or very similar stage that I was so we could all struggle and commiserate together.
Are you looking for help from the writing community with this project?

Any help is always welcomed.  That’s what social media is all about.  Connecting with people and watching as those connections grow into more connections and friendships.  I am always amazed by the willingness of the writing community to help each other.  Amazed in a good way, of course.  For example, your offer to interview me in order to let even more people know about what I’m doing and Thursday’s Novelists.  What a cool time we live in.  This couldn’t have happened in the same way before the Internet gave us a global online voice.
I couldn’t agree more. Everyone knows I’m a social media addict and shameless promoter of Twitter. The main reason for that is the wealth of knowledge and endless support available on the web. Writing must have been such a lonely frustrating thing to do before the Internet. Everything is at our fingertips and even my worst day can be turned around in no time.  Thursdays Novelists is one source of that support and information!

I am loving the discussions being generated in Thursday’s Novelists.  It is not just a place to post your link to your latest blog post.  Yes, it is for that too so that we can help promote each other, but the discussions about writing have been exhilarating and educational.  I’ve already learned so much and look forward to more of the same.

Today writers have big choices and decisions to make.  Not just about the writing process or how to obtain an agent or publishing contract, but whether or not to even go that route at all.  Self-publishing is a huge buzz word these days and everyone has an opinion.  For me, the opinions with the most weight are from those who have already started to test the self-publishing waters. They’re on the front lines and reporting back. That’s why I saw an almost immediate need to revise the membership rules for Thursday’s Novelists. Self-published authors have a wealth of information to offer and they definitely can use the cross promotional help too.  They don’t have the big traditional publishing houses behind them so in that respect they’re the same as the rest of us completely unpublished writers.

And no, self-publishing is not all we talk about.  Writers ask great questions and the answers are fascinating reads.  I’m forever being blown away by what one writer wonders about from other writers.  Especially us, the ones working in the trenches without having seen any light of day yet.  I’ve started to ramble, so I’ll begin my wrap up now.

Thank you so much for this opportunity.  Writing, by it’s very nature, is a very solitary and lonely occupation.  For me, that makes social groups like Thursday’s Novelists a welcome community to hang out in when I have a spare moment or three.  Membership is open to almost anyone who hasn’t been published traditionally.  Just knock on the door, we’ll let you in!  Once again, I am honored and humbled to even have been asked for this interview. I’m “just” another unpublished writer like so many others out there.  Thank you.

Thanks so much Diane! I hope I’ll begin to see some of my bloggy friends around Thursday’s Novelists now too!

You can hear more from Diane at her site About Writing, Follow her on Twitter @Diane_Amy, and of course, check out Thursday’s Novelists on FaceBook!

Leave a comment and say Hi!

Do You Rock AND Write?

Lots of my writer friends say they listen to music while they write. I have a hard time doing that. It seems I am equally motivated to dance. When presented with the two…writing time and music too, I get all discombobulated. I keep getting up to dance. I forget why the MC’s coffee shop just blew up. Who threw a fish threw the window again? What was that about anyway? It’s all very confusing. Probably a direct result of my ADD. I can’t handle more than one thing at a time. Writing takes all working brain cells, so there can be no dancing AND writing.

This is a huge problem because I LOVE music. I like to shake my groove thing, get into character and  see myself as the character I’m writing through. It’s been an enigma.

I found the trade off. I write anytime I possibly can and when I’m not writing, I keep the radio or Pandora on. Pandora is my absolute favorite for writing-music because I can make a channel for the character. If I know a single artist he or she would love, I make a channel and Pandora does the rest. Voila! Easy Peasy. Luv.

Well, if you aren’t familiar with Pandora, check it out. You will luv.

If you rock while you write, please dish…what puts you in the mood? What’s your WIP’s theme song?Do you have one?

How to you rock AND write?

IMM & Mailbox Monday 2/20/11

I’m nearly caught up on my reading! I have Across the Universe left in my stack and the local library has some things on hold for me. I went ahead and preordered three books coming out this summer: Forever, Original Sin, and Passion. I’ve been writing and editing up a YA storm and all is good my way LOL. This week I have one new novel waiting and I’m pretty excited about it. I’ve heard great things!

The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells

After getting dumped by her boyfriend, sixteen-year-old Mia Gordon is looking forward to spending a relaxing summer in the Hamptons with her glamorous cousins. But when she arrives, her cousins are distant, moody, and caught up with a fast crowd. Mia finds herself lonelier than ever. That’s when she meets her next-door-neighbor, Simon Ross. Simon isn’t like the snobby party boys her cousins seem obsessed with; he’s funny, artistic, and utterly adventurous. And from the very first time he encourages Mia to go skinny-dipping, she’s caught up in a current impossible to resist. Timeless in feel, The Summer of Skinny-Dipping is a poignant, literary read sure to dazzle tweens and teens alike.



In My Mailbox is a meme from the Story Siren designed to help book lovers unite, meet, greet and follow one another in our quests to find the next most awe inspiring, tear jerking, mesmerizing or just entertaining new tome.

Mailbox Monday is a meme hosted this month at Library of Clean Reads. This is one more incredible way to get to know one another, build your following and find great new sites to add to your dashboard.

What was in your mailbox this week?

Bloggers! Be sure to follow me if you like what you see. I always follow back!!  & I love making new bookish friends!

But Have You Researched Editors & Houses?

I was listening to a fun blog chat last night with Scott Eagan of Greyhaus Literary and though he is actively seeking romance (at which I am a major writing fail) I love this guy and was thrilled to know I could take part. If you don’t follow his blog, you should. It’s a wealth of knowledge about the business. Anyway – something he said resonated with me. He said he wants to ask his potential authors where their work fits, as in where in the market, at which houses would it fit?

This was one of those #headslap moments. Of course we should know this. Agents are fab to have, but if no one’s buying what you’re pushing, where have you really gotten? So, here’s the scoop. Walk over to your bulging book case, pull off your favorite dozen books, the ones that have influenced your style, voice, or story, then flip to the front and see where it was published? Who bought it? Chances are the editors who offered a contract on those books like yours will feel the same about your material, or will at least see you took the time to know what they like.

I’m in the middle of a YA mystery. Sadly, all of myYA shelves are filled with paranormals. Yes, I read plenty of non-para but it must come from the library because it ain’t here. LOL. No problem, I popped over to Amazon, Borders.com and my favorite author sites to see who bought them. Now, I’ve got a direction.

I’m blessed to have several writers conferences roll into my great state every year and I plan to attend at least two this year. I’ve already secured a pitch session with an editor at the June conference, and guess what? She’s looking for YA for her line. Ta-da. <– not a coincidence. *Don’t schedule pitch sessions just to test your chops. If you’re not ready or aren’t writing what they’re seeking, pass on the pitch. Let someone else get the chance. Those sessions are quite  limited and way coveted* Next step, I opened the publisher site and requested every new title for 2010 & 2011 (fitting my manuscript’s likeness) from my local library. I will read them all and make notes on my favorites. Now, when I meet the editor in June, I can honestly say, “This will be a great add to your contemporary teen line. I’ve read this and that and the other thing you bought and my book will fit in well. It has this and that in common with those novels, BUT is different than the others too – bringing this to the table for you.”

Will it work? I have no idea and the magic 8-ball says signs point to ‘no’, but that’s the business we’re in. You gotta try. Gotta reach. gotta test your bounds, toughen up the skin, and be willing to learn. I learned from Mr. Eagan how important it is to know where your work will fit in the buyers part of the equation. I wanted to pass it on to you ;)

It’s FRIDAY!!! Time For the Blog Hop & Follow!

It’s time for Follow Friday again! I love this part of the week because  I’m meeting so many awesome bloggers, writers, readers *sigh*. So to all of you hopping with me I’m smiling widely like a doofus and waving frantically as always!!

Follow Friday is hosted at Parajunkee. These memes were created to help make the web smaller, and introduce us bloggers to one another. We can find sites and meet people and follow those we love! We increase our followers and we get some fun new sites to add to our dashboards too. Its a big win-win and I am thrilled to be taking part again this week.


Parajunkee’s question was: If you’re a fan of science fiction, what is your favorite book? If you haven’t read science fiction before…any inkling to? Anything catch your eyes?

I read mostly YA, and most of those are paranormal. Though, I recently read Delirium and have Across the Universe on my desk waiting for me. Science fiction is completely hit or miss for me, even in movies. The premise has to be good and I like to have humor involved somehow. Books that are too intense without a break stress me out and I put them down. I’m hoping to read Across the Universe this week, so we’ll see what I think of that one!

Thanks everyone for stopping by! Leave a comment and tell me if you follow! I always follow back!!!

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