I step into my transporter on this hot Friday morning to pick up this week's featured author, Diana Black. I ask her where she wants to be interviewed and I hesitate before I put in the coordinates. Oh wow!
Soon, we are in the desert, strapping ourselves into a very large machine and before I can change my mind...
"Well, Ms. Black, here we are."
"Thanks, Stephen, for agreeing to do the interview on this awesome first commercial flight into outer space! Pictures of the Earth from this altitude just don’t do it justice, do they? And here I thought standing at the Grand Canyon was breathtaking! Oops, isn’t that your laptop floating above your head? … There now, what was your first question?"
1. Who is Diana Black and what makes you the most fascinating person in your city?
Why not the world? The universe? I hate to disappoint, but I am not that fascinating. Oh, in my own mind I am. But for the most part I’m like everyone else. Only funnier. And more talented. Intelligent. Way more cuter. And…narcissistic!
2. Without revealing a deep dark secret (unless you want to), what one thing would people be surprised to learn about you?
That my second toe is longer than my supposedly big toe. I think it’s called Morton’s foot. Not to be confused with the salt.
3. What interested you to be become a writer rather than something else such as becoming an astronaut?
Well, the fact that my stomach is more than a bit queasy as we soar through space, writing seemed like a less challenging endeavor -- physically. Emotionally, well, that’s a whole other interview.
4. Writers are readers. With which author(s) would you enjoy sharing dinner? Why?
Flaubert. His attention to detail, toiling for days, weeks…to find just the right word. His respect for the craft and his readers may never be matched.
5. If I were stranded on a deserted island (or suffering a four hour layover at the airport), why would your book(s) be great company?
My coauthored book WOOF: Women Only Over Fifty would make you laugh. If you’re a woman over 50, you’d identify and think, oh, thank goodness, I’m not alone in menopaws! If you’re a man, you’d think, oh, thank goodness, I’m not going through menopaws! Then you’d think, but wait, these women sure are having a lot of fun with this…
6. Share the Black process of writing in regards to: idea and character development, story outline, research (do you Google, visit places/people or make it up on the spot?), writing schedule, editing, and number of rewrites.
Since a novel I started 20 years ago is still missing two words (The End), I’m not sure anyone would want to emulate my writing process. That said, in the last few years I have coauthored the humor book previously mentioned as well as written and illustrated two children’s picture books. Words have not always been my friend, and I still lean toward the visual side of things, but writing is something I must do every day. In some form. And when I haven’t seriously written for a while, it makes me crabby. One thought on editing and rewriting. In a letter dated 1888, Twain said, “The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter--it's the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Still holds true today.
7. “I think I have a good idea for a story, but I don’t know where or how to begin. Your process may not work for me. Any advice?”
Just begin somewhere. Anywhere.
8. I saw an amusing t-shirt the other day which read ‘Every great idea I have gets me in trouble.” What is your philosophy of life?
Eat more chocolate. It stimulates that happy place in our brain. And keeps our mouths too occupied to get us in much trouble.
9. Please tell me you’re not going to stop writing? What’s next for you?
I’ve made a promise to myself to finish my novel in 2011.
10. Where can people find more information on you and your projects?
Well, before that, thanks, Stephen, for this opportunity, and sorry for crushing your knuckles when I squeezed your hand so hard. But when that thruster kicked in…Anyway, you asked for links? Here ya gooooooooooo!!!