In this post: Charity Blast Details, Rafflecopter, Interview with Diane Rinella
See my 4 STAR review of Diane's Novel here
Scary Modsters… and Creepy Freaks
A fantastical romance involving a girl, the music that fuels her, and her Ouija board.
Interview with Diane Rinella: Charity, books and the fate of the world...
What gave you the idea for the Scary Modsters World Improvement Project?
There are three main characters in Scary Modsters. One of them is Peter Lane, a rock star who died in 1968. A few months ago I was talking to some friends of Peter's generation about the turbulent times in which they grew up. Their generation felt destined to change the world for the better. Now it’s almost fifty years later and not much has improved. In some ways things have gotten a lot worse. There is still widespread hunger, homelessness, and this country is involved in a war that people want nothing to do with. Sound familiar? You can also add in that our food is being poisoned and the planet is dying. Mankind has put itself on the brink of extinction. Peter closes eyes in 1968 and reopens them in 2014. He expects to see positive changes. Instead he gets the modern world.
When I look at the magnitude of devastation on this planet I feel hopeless. However, I can be part of change. Every creature, along with the Earth itself, is in this together. Humans and animals need the planet to survive, and now the planet needs us to fix it. I can't turn a blind eye anymore. Since I was going to hit people up to help me promote Scary Modsters I figured I might as well hit them up for a greater purpose.
While preparing for this promotion you have done a lot of research. What's the most shocking thing you've learned?
While in a café I noticed that sitting before me were two paper cups. I wondered what impact they had on the environment. A few clicks on my keyboard later I found that half a pound of CO2 emissions happened because of those cups. The café owner told me they go through at least five hundred paper cups per week. (This café does also use ceramic cups.) That is one hundred and twenty pounds of CO2 emissions per week. If my tiny corner café is pumping that much CO2 into the air just by their paper cup consumption, what kind of damage does the big Starbucks down the road do? I've since made packing a travel mug part of my ritual. A reminder on my phone goes off half an hour before I'm scheduled to leave for the café.
The giveaway includes something for the winner and something for a charity. Tell us briefly about the charities that you selected.
St. Jude has always been close to my heart. The world is cruel enough for adults. It shouldn't be hell when you are a child. St. Jude has saved the lives of countless children whose families could not afford medical treatment. The ISF (Ian Somerhalder Foundation) has started a revolutionary animal grant program. If a homeless animal is jeopardy, shelters or individuals can apply for a grant of up to $2500 so the animal can get the medical attention it needs and get placed in a proper home. Since it seems like everyone has been touched by cancer, The American Cancer Society was a natural choice.
Now that you have reached this new level of awareness, does it stop here or are there bigger things ahead?
I won't say that I'm now on a huge quest to change the world. However, I do believe that we all hold the power to help do so. Changing the world is a team effort. I am now on that team. I thought I was before, but I had no clue the damage I was doing. I really still don't. However, I am now resolved educate myself and to do better. When I find something revolutionary I will certainly pass it on to others via my blog and Facebook page.
Will this generation be the one to save the world?
The scientists are saying no. However, we can certainly be the ones who jumpstart it. It's not that our hearts are in the wrong places, it's that the situation is that bad.
The economy is still in recovery mode. How can I help when I don’t have money or time to spread around?
Look to your trashcan. Is there anything in there that should have gone in the compost? How about things that should have been recycled? It can be that simple. Parents, don't just teach your children about the environment; put their hands in the soil. Have them make compost and grow their own vegetables. They will learn about the cycle of life. Teach them that they are fighting back against the chemical lobbyists who are poisoning their food and killing the bees. Change always starts with a seed, whether it is the seed of a plant or the seed of an idea. All you have to do is plant it.
Did the music of the 1960s inspire this story or vice versa?
Without a doubt, the music inspired the story. Rosalyn and I have a lot in common. While our situations may be different, our tastes are exactly the same. In many ways, Scary Modsters is my way of venting about the struggles I have always faced in being true to myself. I was born in the wrong era, and a lot of people who don’t know me well have a hard time embracing my quirks.
What kind of research and knowledge did you have to acquire to write it?
Peter’s struggles with the music business are epic. I had always known artists were never given the financial respect they deserved. However, once I delved in I realized the situations were far worse than I ever imagined. In the introduction to Scary Modsters I mention how the story is fictional but stories similar to Peter’s can be found in rock history books. If anyone thinks the saga of Peter Lane is over the top, all they need to do is a little web surfing on the managerial talents of Don Arden. For a fun yet heartbreaking read, pick up a copy of Howard Kaylan’s Shell Shocked. His band, The Turtles, was robbed several times over, and Howard is very vocal about it. For a quick and humorous overview, watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDeYbealhNU In three minutes you will both laugh and have your brain haze over.
I loved Peter Lane! Who or what inspired his creation?
Thank you! Peter was heavily inspired by the legendary Steve Marriot of The Small Faces and Humble Pie. Steve was talented beyond comprehension, one hell of a spitfire, and wore his heart on his sleeve. In the beginning of Scary Modsters Rosalyn passes her hand over Peter’s autograph and feels energized. I have a thing with feeling energy off of autographs. The one I have from Steve is off of the chart!
How long was the process of writing this book?
I started in September 2013 and it was ready in March 2014, despite the fact that I took nearly two months off. For some reason this book flew out of me.
What's next for you as an author?
That is an excellent question. I actually just shelved a project because it sounded too much like everything else out there. I know a lot of the same-old formulas sell really well, but writing something I feel I have read before makes me uncomfortable. I have four major ideas swimming in my head. I’m not sure which one will win the tug of war.
Find out more at Diane's Official Website
A lot of blogs are doing this right now... and I'm one of them!
I was nominated to do this by the fabulous Kristy Feltenberger Gillespsie, author of the YA thriller Jaded (which I rate a big fat 5 STARS).
My Writing Process:
What am I working on right now?
At the moment I am doing Camp Nanowrimo's April season to get 50,000 words down this month. This wordcount will complete the two novellas which are set for release between last December's The Book Of Shade and this October's The Potioneer, to keep fans going with some more adventures from the most interesting characters in TBoS. After that I have a strict deadline for the third book in the Synsk series with Clean Teen Publishing.
I also usually work on projects on the side and this month is no exception, right now I have a historical horror that is 50% written (think Pride and Prejudice meets Jekyll and Hyde), a non-fiction book about my long-term illness and a top-secret collaborate project with the fabulous Amy Freeman.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I read a lot of reviews about my work that say 'At first, I really didn't think I was going to get into this book'. Now some writers might react to that in a negative way, but to me I feel that I'm doing something right if a reader reacts this way, because it means they're reading something that they weren't expecting. I abhor typical genre fiction and predictable storylines: a book where I can guess every nuance of the plot even from reading the first page is not for me, so I like to give a real mixture of genre influences that subvert normality and help readers to experience something new.
Why do I write what I write?
... because the sky is blue?
I really couldn't tell you why I have specifically chosen the areas and storylines that I have explored in the past; they are simply an amalgamation of influences that collect in my mind and form themselves into tangible things that I can work with. What I can tell you, however, is that once a project has begun and those ideas have taken root, I always endeavour to incorporate as much diversity into my books as I can. I stopped reading commercial, mass-market fiction because all the heroes were fit, healthy, good-looking white people. I started reading independent fiction because people were offering me other options, so now I want to carry on that tradition and represent culture, race, disability, sexuality, gender and all other forms of variation that I can in my work. Life's just more interesting that way!
How does my writing process work?
I always just let the words out onto the page at first. The first few chapters (usually up to about 10,000 words) of any project that I begin will always be 100% organic and relatively unplanned apart from a few ideas I've been rolling around in my brain. Generally there is never a written plan until I reach about the 2/3 stage of the story, at which point I'll skeleton out the build-up to the end, the end itself and the aftermath to ensure I'm going to do it within the right amount of words. I'm very big on numbers and targets, I like to calculate words per chapter and estimate from that how long a book is going to be so I know roughly what I'm aiming for. I do it so well that I'm almost always within 2000 words of what I estimated my total book length would be. I think it's helpful to do that; it stops you waffling on for too long or skipping to the good bits without enough development.
Tag, you're it!
Meet the next two writers who are going to take this personal discovery challenge on:
Amy Freeman grew up in Salt Lake City in a family of five siblings, one of which is an identical twin. She spent most of her time as a child daydreaming and creating stories. She wrote a stellar screen play at ten, her first full length book at age thirteen, and her second and third at age nineteen. She has been published in Meridian magazine, Moab Adventures magazine and has just released her debut novel SHINE the Knowing Ones: the award-winning first edition in the SHINE series. The second book in the series will be released in 2014. She is active in several writing and critique groups and maintains an online page for writers, as well as her own website http://vedunywriter.com and writing blog http://vedunywriter.blogspot.com
Toni Lesatz is a wife, mother, gamer, aspiring writer, and lover of the culinary arts. I have been blogging for over ten years about a variety of topics. If I’m not curled up with a good book and a steaming hot cup of coffee, you’ll most likely find me playing with my kids, writing, baking cupcakes, or killing zombies.
She is known and loved for her stellar book blog: http://mybookaddiction.com/
You can catch their posts at their blogs on April 14th!