My guest, Diana Stout, MFA,
Ph.D. is an award-winning screenwriter, author, and former English professor,
whose writing led her into academic teaching, then creating a production
company. Published in multiple genres, she has written romances, magazine
articles and short stories, is a former magazine and newspaper columnist,
optioned a Hollywood screenplay, and had two short plays produced in New York
city.She’s served as a judge for
various screenwriting, romance, and academic contests. When not writing and
helping other writers, she enjoys reading, watching movies, bird watching,
researching new topics, jigsaw puzzles, and visiting family and friends.
Diana's epic fantasy GRENDEL'S MOTHER is on sale at Amazon. I will feature her and GRENDEL'S MOTHER here on May 2. Stay tuned!
The Super Simple Easy Basic Cookbook
A cookbook for those who love
to cook, those who don’t, for beginners, and for experienced cooks looking for
something different. Super foods, simple steps, easy to fix, and basic
ingredients. The key to using this cookbook is to take my recipes and make
adjustments suited for your use. Think of this cookbook as a starter or base to
build upon, and then have fun with it!
My experience with cooking: I
wanted to eat, didn’t want to spend hours preparing a meal that would take ten
minutes to eat. I preferred easy to fix with simple ingredients. Then I
discovered I was highly allergic to onions, which gave me three-day migraines
and were pervasive in everything! No
more processed foods. Today, I still want easy-to-fix foods. I’d rather be
writing than cooking.
This book began when I
started putting recipes into a notebook with dividers, wanting one place for
all my go-to special and favorite recipes. Over time, the notebook began
filling up. Around 2007, I typed them into a standard format, thinking one day
I could print them up for my two girls. When I formed my production company in
2015, I realized she could publish the book myself and three years later, since
it was my next product closest to being finished, I made the publication
A few of my most favorite
recipes are: Butterbeer, a recent addition; Zucchini Bread; Diana’s Crustless
Quiche; Byron’s Favorite Chocolate Cherry Cake; Pralines, which were replicated
after tasting those sold in Savannah; Diana’s Easy Lobster/Crab/Fish Bisque,
and Diana’s Simple Cheesy Vegetable Soup.
Legal nurse consultant, victim advocate, sexual assault nurse
examiner Kat Henry Doranand her alter
ego, Veronica Lynch, has been there and done that—many times over. She often
travels to the wilds of Northern New York State, witnessing the wonders of
mother nature at her best. From the shores of Lake Ontario and the Saint
Lawrence River to the historic Adirondack and Catskill Mountains, she creates
stories featuring strong women and the men who love them.
writing, she can be found lashed to one of her sewing machines—or chauffeuring
the four brightest stars in her life: Meredith and Ashlin, Owen and Kieran.
About VENGEANCE IS MINE
Ever think about going back to study
hall to face down the school bully?
jocks who made your life a pure misery?
Horvath, gypsy orphan turned Pulitzer Prize winning photo-journalist; Rafe
Archangeli, Scourge of Summerville who now heads a multi-million dollar trust;
and Fiona “Fat Aggie” Thorpe who recreated herself into an A-list model with
her own A-list agency, the opportunity to exact revenge is too good to pass up.
Will they find the vengeance they
“Tough way to
find out about the other woman.”
hell,” Dru groused. “The assistant was some young stud from Tommy's gym with abs
to die for.”
With that. she
side-stepped him and reached for the knob on the bathroom door.
Fast on his
feet, Rory's counter move brought them nose to nose. “Play much poker,
“I don't know
what you mean.”
started trash talking the cheating ex-husband, your face lit up like the Fourth
of July. That tells me you've got something stashed in the tote. Until you let
me look inside, it stays out here.”
canvas tote to her chest, she sneered, “The only thing in here is my outfit for
tonight's event. If you think I'd go naked, one of us is a couple fries short
of a happy meal.”
came in the form of another gimme motion with those thick, blunt fingers. “How
about I close my eyes if I encounter any lacy unmentionables?”
She knew the
instant he found the back-up phone. The screw-you look morphed into a smirk.
“It's not smart to mess with Homeland Security, sweetie. Those guys eat small
rodents for breakfast.”
An Interview with Kat
You, the Author
What kind of books do you love to read? Why?
I like and appreciate the mystery/thrillers by John
Sanford, John R. Maxim, David Wiltse and Vince Flynn. I love characters who
make me laugh and make me think about things.
What type of music do you enjoy?
I am a sixties and seventies girl all the way: the
Mamas and the Papas, the Bee Gees, the Four Seasons, Sergio Mendez and Brazil
'66; anything by George Gershwin and Roy Orbison; Peter Paul & Mary and
Carly Simon. Johnny Mathis songs still make me smile.
What is your favorite food? What comfort food do you
seek when you need it?
Everything that's not good for me: pasta, pizza,
Chinese take out and . . . iced coffee, two creams and three Splendas via IV
Describe yourself in one word.
What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
I drove by myself to Maine to attend a writers' retreat.
Doesn't sound like much but it was 1,000 miles, by myself in a vehicle which
could be generously described as a rust bucket. On the way home, I hit every
outlet mall along the Maine coast and ran the numbers off my credit cards. It
When did you
write your first book? How long did it take you to write it?
In the early to mid 1980's; it was complete and utter
dreck. It probably took months. Contest judges were so kind and generous in
their comments and I'm sure they were horrified at some of my topics or some of
the stupid situations I put my characters in.
Did you encounter any obstacles in writing?
There are people out there who are so fearful of
others, they'll go to any lengths to sabotage the competition. A few of those
saboteurs were members of the first writer's group I joined. I never was afraid
to bring 3-5 pages to critique sessions because I wanted to learn. The response
was really quite cruel, particularly when I included medical or legal information in the pages. It
wasn't only me they tore down; they were
equal opportunity when it came to choosing victims. Many [victims] never
returned to the group.
How did you overcome them?
I'd come home from meetings,
close to tears and quite frustrated. My husband asked, more than once, “Why do
you put up with it?” My response was “because I want to write.” I kept going
back and eventually the 'mean girls' went in different directions. I don't know
where but I do know I'm published and have received a couple awards. I often
speak at conferences and retreats. So who won?
What kind of books do you love to write?
Contemporary romances which usually feature women who,
in some way, shape or form, advocate for the less thans in our society. There's
usually a lot of humor which comes out of my fingertips onto the keyboard
without my control. The male characters more often than not are associated with
the criminal justice system. I don't care to write male doctors as leads but I
have done a couple female physicians. And nurses. There's always a few
smart-mouthed suppository pushers in the group.
For more years than I care to count, I worked as an
advocate for victims of sexual violence. Later, I turned my unfulfilled Nancy
Drew fantasies into investigating allegations of medical malpractice. That can
get kind of dicey when a ego-driven surgeon decides he doesn't like a woman
asking them questions about how their decision making process.I liked
those jobs; liked doing them. I learned something new each day.
I loathe lazy, take the easy way out medical or
nursing providers as much as I loathe those in power positions who abuse that
power over helpless victims. Writing about injustice, whether it's in the
medical arena, a court of law or a police interrogation room, fills the need to
help those who have no one to stand for them.
How do you write? Do your characters come to you first
or the plot or the world of the story?
My first novel, Try Just Once More began with a line
from a song by Blood Sweat and Tears. The idea for my second novel came as I
was traveling to a med-mal investigation and drove past a State Trooper
sub-station with one car in the parking lot. [This was waaayyyy out in the
boonies of Central New York, as rural as it gets]. The thought came: what
happens when some hotshot detective is transferred from the big city and all
its action to the butt-end of the earth? How does he cope with the
ego-deflation, the injustice of it all? That novel is titled Captain Marvelous.
How do you go on from there?
I now do a lot of research, particularly for the
setting and the hobbies of the lead characters.I believe, strongly,
that the setting should be treated as one of the characters. I also believe
what a character likes to do for fun and relaxation is important to have in a
book and deserves more than a simple nod.
Maybe you can give us an example with one of your
In 2016 I became involved with an anthology written by
the Maine Romance authors, Welcome to Serenity Harbor. The hero, a licensed
contractor, helps his widowed mother run the family landscaping business. For
fun he plays hockey. That meant I needed to do a lot of research on hockey and
the men who play it--no huge trial there. It also meant I needed to interview a
local contractor to learn about things like 'walking the roof'. Then it came to
learning which plants thrive in the Down-East coast of Maine and which don't
stand a chance in Hades of surviving. All in all, it was a lot of fun. If
something isn't fun, I'm not interested.
What books can you recommend to aspiring writers to
improve on style, character development, plot, structure, dialogue, etc?
I recently came upon two self editing books: Revision and Self-Editing by James Scott Bell
and Fire Up Your Fiction by Jodie Renner. Both are excellent and, as I found
out, available at the public library. My absolute personal fave is Goal,
Motivation and Conflict by Debra Dixon. That one is pure gold.
What is your advice to aspiring writers?
Don't give up. Keep trying. Keep learning. Take a leap
and try a different genre from what others tell you to write; write what you
love. If one person says something is stupid or wrong or idiotic, okay. If two
people say the same thing, consider it. If three or more say it, it's time to
look it what you've written and consider changing things.
What genre(s) do you write?
Contemporary romance, occasionally with some romantic
suspense or romantic mystery thrown in.
Why do you write the stories that you write?
That's what I love to read.
Where do you
get your ideas?
Newspaper reports, nightly news spots, and
occasionally I see something on the
Internet that deserves attention.
Do you jot them down in a notebook, in case you
forgot? Absolutely. I suffer from a
romping case of CRS Syndrome and cannot trust my memory. I think I have spent
enough money to own stock in Post-It notes.
Angela M. Rosati (nee Russo) was born (8/22/29) in Long Island City, NY and grew up in Astoria, NY. That's just across the East River from Manhattan. "I worked in my father’s Italian Dairy business for years. I worked hard and read a lot. I loved going to the Broadway Shows, Metropolitan Opera and the New York City Opera. I purchased my first computer when I was 70 yo, or something like that. I began writing because my family was sick of hearing my historical/hysterical family stories. Later I took an online writing course; I was a 76 yo college girl! I don't want to be rich and famous; I just want to be rich, rich, rich."
Angela and I have been dear friends for over 20 years when we met through CompuServe's Italian Forum. She's the daughter of Italian immigrants and writes delightful, sweet romance novels with her unique touch of wit. Angela calls on her life experiences for her books, which is why they are so authentic--they read like true memoirs rather than fiction.
She told me one of her many engaging stories the other day, and graciously allowed me to repeat it here.
"Maybe, this one will cheer you up...and I should include it in one of my books. I was 10 yrs. old and was going to make my First Holy Communion. (how do you like for formality!) The tough head nun told us girls we had to buy our missals, rosaries and VEILS from the church. The veils looked like the netting mothers used to put on the carriages to protect the sleeping babies from flies. I told my mother but she had already bought white satin for my dress (pattern Snow White) and my veil. The veil was the frilliest thing you could imagine. I, stupidly, went to the tough nun and told her my mother's actions. She asked me to describe the veil and I eagerly described it. (Any bride would have been happy to wear it.) When the nun heard, her lips thinned out and she told me to bring my mother in to see her. My mother, less than five feet tall, feared no living or dead human being. She was afraid of mice; that's all. Nancy, (mamma) and I went to see the nun; who asked about the veil. My mother, in church, facing the nun and said in her broken English, "Oh, is veddy plain, notting. I veddy poor. My Comara give to me." At the time, I was shorter than mamma and looking up at her, LYING in CHURCH to the NUN, face to face, her hands moving as Italians do. The nun, no fool and a daughter of Abruzzese knew my mother was lying. I saw smoke coming out of her ears. Her lips completely disappeared. She was beaten. On Communion Day, I was the only girl in a beautiful veil. The nun looked at me and I knew she wanted to not only kill me but my mother, too. Ha, she could have tried but Nancy would have floored her. And all the other girls in their raggy veils were jealous, even the rich ones."
My guest Lynn Crain has an anthology out, Mystic Realms…and her own
bookAvenging Aingeal, Book 1 of the
Protectors of the Earth series, which is also in the Mystic Realms anthology.
Award-winning author Lynn writes full-time, weaving contemporary,
fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic. Her home is in the
desert southwest with her husband of 32 years. Readers can find her at firstname.lastname@example.org or her website at http://www.lynncrain.com.
About the Mystic Realms books:
What goes bump in the night? What causes you a fright? While the
answers for each may vary, I promise that these stories will not leave you
From vampires and demons to shifters and creatures that you’d never
suspect, this set will leave you breathless in the best possible ways.
So, don’t be afraid. Come, step inside our realm. Allow the mysticism
of romance in many shapes and forms fall over you like a veil of sweet,
soothing, spine tingling comfort.
We promise…you won’t be sorry.
Secrets of the Hollows (Book 2)
- Nicole Morgan
What’s a girl to do once she falls in love with a demon?
Fallen - Tamsin Baker
Gabriel thought he’d do anything to earn his way back into Heaven. He
Cursed - Tracy Goodwin
Forbidden love. Dangerous prophecies. Limitless power. Fate is a witch.
Avenging Aingeal (Protectors of
the Earth 1) - Lynn Crain
Bound by vengeance, she is humanity’s one hope…
Her Fate, His Mate (Wolves of
Windsor Woods) - Krista Ames
Can she accept all he is and all he stands for?
Sleeping in the Dragon’s Den -
His Hungry Dragon My Curious Desire; His Tattoo Curse My Wet Dreams
Dark Side of the Moon - Laura
Vampire rentboy vs. the world.
Angel Vindicated - Viola
Some sins are hard to avoid...
A Wolf’s Touch - Christine
Can she love him--wolf and all?
Dr. Magic (Vampire Island, Book
1) - Jo Grafford
One more dance with the devil...
Dark Heat - Jan Springer
Betrayed by her two forced mates, she hides within Vampira.
Torkel - Mardi Maxwell
Love unites them in the mists of time.
Silent Storm - Sadie Carter
Sometimes the monster is the good guy...
Tangled Sin - Georgia Lyn Hunter
She was the light in his eternal darkness...
Seduction’s Scent - C.I. Black
Giving in to temptation threatens everything.
Ghost Mate - D. Anne Paris
She was going to kill him even though he was already dead.
Living on the Edge (Clan Book 1)
- Laverne Thompson
Mate wanted. Dead or alive.
The Warrior’s Curse - M. Elliott
& T. Eden
What comes next may be the end of it all.
Three Days From Hell - Dariel
Can a permanent resident of Third Hell be trusted?
Just Tell Me What You Want -
Her wishes will leave him breathless…
About Lynn’s Book, Avenging
A young woman with elemental powers must learn who she is before she
can help save the Earth. Bound by vengeance, she is humanity’s one hope…
Aingeal Cochran is on a mission to save humanity from itself when
suddenly she’s staring head-on at her forgotten past. Lukas Everhard must bring
her up to speed regarding the real enemy before allowing himself to love her
completely. In learning about her past and mission, Aingeal realizes the best
is yet to be and she will do anything to protect those she loves. For Lukas,
Aingeal is the mission.
eyebrow, I stared at him. No one in this facility could begin to hold a candle
to me and I knew it. Worse, they knew it. “Whatever gave you the idea any one could
kick my butt? Cause I know you can’t.” I sat there and listened to his buddies
all crack up as Jonathan’s ears turned red. Now this was something I could really get into.
of Lukas Everhard?” The flash of puppy-like adoration almost made me lose it
joking right? Everhard?” I couldn’t contain myself any longer and
laughed so hard tears flowed from my eyes.That would be the day.
a bitch who won’t know what hit her.” His face took on a hard edge and if I
hadn’t been so bored, I might have backed away.
just an ass who will.” The orb bobbed in my hand as I stood, dangerously close
to being thrown when something huge grabbed my wrist.
“You know the
rules here. No fighting in the mess hall.”The object didn’t remove itself from my body.
furious, jerking my arm away, energy in both hands now and was stopped short by
the man who stood before me. I was not a small woman, yet this man dwarfed
me.Slowly, my gaze moved from his chest
to his wide shoulders to his face and stopped there. Ice blue eyes stared at me
without one bit of emotion attached to the look. He’s one cold cookie. I
blinked rapidly almost as if I had been hit in the gut. This man was not going
to take my crap in any way, shape or form. While I might be able to fool Darien
somewhat as I had learned since I had arrived, I would never be able to fool
was the fact I felt more aware of him sexually than I had been with anyone
else. Ever. There was a charisma about him which made me want to throw myself
into his arms and beg to be taken.And
it was more than his physical appearance because if truth be told, this man
looked good…the best I had ever seen…again a rarity for me to note. It was as
if he were palpable under my hands even though we weren’t touching. My crotch
tightened once more and I shook my head to clear my errant thoughts.
“Told you.” A
snide voice commented somewhere off to my left.
I turned to
look at my accuser, electricity leaping to my hand yet again. Some days I
couldn’t control it at all. This could be a problem.
front of me, the big man’s forefinger jabbed my chest in a hard push. “You. Me.
In the sparring room immediately.”
I watched as
he walked out the door, all predatory-like and with more purpose than I had
seen anyone in this place have since my arrival. I eyed everyone else and
realized it wouldn’t matter what I said, they were going to see if their man
could best me. Sighing, I also knew I had brought this on myself. Vowing to
make his fall gentle, I shook my head and followed him down the main corridor,
wondering if I should even bother to introduce myself. I ran up to walk next to
him and before I could even start, I was cut off by his raised hand.
bother. I know who you are.” He kept his eyes straight forward.
watched him for a minute. “Yeah, but I don’t know who you are, now do I?”
He stopped in
front of the sparring room door. “And that should make a difference how?”
Shoving it open, he waved a hand. “Ladies first.”
“As if I’d
fall for that one,” I muttered more to myself than anyone.
me, he shook his head. “Look one of us has to go in first. The door isn’t big
enough for us to go side by side.”
said through clenched teeth. This would end bad, I could feel it in my bones.
Warning: This book has adult
situations and is meant to be read by those over 18.