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Diane Whiteside, Inveterate Romantic

Archive for the 'Serendipity' Category

Come Talk to Me – and Win A Book

March 3, 2009 | News,Serendipity

Hullo there! I’m being interviewed today over at Bitten by Books who came up with the most intriguing list of questions.

My darling publisher is giving away 10 copies of BOND OF DARKNESS. If you have time, please stop by!

1:17 pm | Comments are off  

The Unexpected Guardian

January 31, 2009 | Serendipity,The stories

KISSES LIKE A DEVIL, the latest episode in my Devil books, just arrived in your bookstores this week. (Whoopeee!) It’s about Brian Donovan, the second son of William and Viola Donovan, who you may remember from THE IRISH DEVIL. Teddy Roosevelt sends him off to the Grand Duchy of Eisengau in 1900 where he meets with many adventures, including meeting Meredith Duncan, the young student radical who steals his heart. (She has no use for marriage and the Russians want her at least as much as he does.) But I digress.

When I first started working on this book, Meredith announced very firmly that she had a black Standard Schnauzer. Nobody was more surprised than yours truly to hear this. She had a dog when she spent her days in school and her nights promoting revolution in turn of the century Europe? Huh? Could he handle keeping bullies away from one of the first young ladies to attend a university? Was he intelligent and strong enough to cope with the varied surroundings – and dangers – of beer halls, back alleys, firing ranges, and her mother’s drawing room?

Not to mention, just why did he have to be jet-black? Meredith was very, very clear her dog had to be completely black, as opposed to the more typical salt-and-pepper.Standard Schnauzer

At the same time I was fumbling through this bit of characterization, a friend at Virginia German Shepherd Rescue announced there was a German Shepherd Dog in urgent need of a foster parent. She was petite, shy, and jet-black and had been rescued from a pound hundreds of miles away. Could we look after her for a few weeks until something more permanent could be found? One look into those deep brown eyes ringed by all that black fur and I was a goner.

Honey is now a permanent part of the household. In fact, I have to be very careful when I get up in the middle of the night. She patrols her new home – and there’s no way an intruder can spot that pure black dog moving through the shadows.

Research soon told me that Standard Schnauzers are great watchdogs and were well known before World War I. Some have always been pure black, including one of the earliest favorites. I named Meredith’s dog “Morro” after him.

I began writing and Honey watched me do it, just the way Morro guarded Meredith’s adventures. Heck, he even discreetly protected her from her abominable parents if he could. And whenever I needed a little extra inspiration for a scene with Morro, Honey was right there with an example. She was his guardian spirit.

I hope I did her proud. She’s certainly been a blessing for me and everyone in the family.

9:19 pm | Comments are off  

The Library Arrives

December 1, 2008 | Better than chocolate,Me, myself,Serendipity

Six months after moving into my new house, my library is finally unpacked – all sixty-plus boxes of it. (I stopped counting at sixty.) I’d given myself a year to finish the job, planning it around research for books. Unfortunately, I hadn’t realized I’d be writing this particular manuscript right now, a tale which depends on one and only one reference book. And guess what? Yup, you’ve got it right: my aspiring anal-retentive self may have labeled all those boxes – but I hadn’t marked which one contained the unique reference book upon which this tale depended. So I needed to open box after box after box until I found it.

Well, I needed to find and enjoy my library again, right? My bookaholic self certainly thought so. My back disagreed but it was overruled.

Now I’m enjoying having all my treasures out in the open where I can see and touch them. All those dictionaries next to my desk, and my volumes of poetry just a few steps farther. My enormous Civil War atlas finally rejoices in a tall enough shelf, while Mount TBR has a bookcase to itself. Okay, it’s deliberately only a small bookcase but it is a dedicated one!

Some odd juxtapositions popped up along the way, too. Cats and baseball coexist on the same shelf. Okay, maybe that’s because the number of books on each subject worked out that way – or maybe cats and baseball players both scamper after balls? Perhaps. And Chaco Canyon, home of fascinating Native American ruins, lives right next to Washington’s spies, who in turn snuggles up to the Battle Cry of Freedom. My family took one look at that grouping and very firmly told me that I really needed to start writing more about pre-Civil War America! Harrumph!

As for fiction – well, at one point, Emma Holly was cozily sandwiched between Robert E. Howard’s Conan and E.M. Hull’s The Sheik. (Personally, I suspect she might have enjoyed their company.) If I find another auto-buy author starting with a ‘D’, I’m in serious trouble; that bookcase is already groaning. I’m barely coping with Kathleen Dante‘s career, since I grab everything she puts out.

Of course, there was the horrific moment when I realized a single one-foot-wide bookcase was expected to cope with four auto-buy authors: Emma Holly, Linda Howard, Angela Knight, and Mercedes Lackey. Ack! Peace was restored when Angela Knight and Mercedes Lackey moved to another bookcase. Hopefully, they can coexist with Elizabeth Lowell, since I buy everything she publishes on the first day it’s out. But if not, I’ve got a few spare shelves hidden away for expansion purposes… Life is good.

And if you’re wondering where that unique reference book was, which started the mad rush to unpack my entire library? Right where Murphy would have predicted it: the last stack, the bottom row, and the last box.

12:14 am | 4 Comments  

Holding Out for A Hero

October 1, 2007 | Quirky notions,Serendipity

So why do I write historicals? I’ve been asked that a lot over the years and the answer basically comes down to one thing: the men make me go weak at the knees.

Here’s a video by a lady with exactly the same reaction.

Hurrah for sisterhood!


9:06 pm | Comments are off  





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