Diane Stratton is a great author with a great story. Whenever I get onto a plane–I always take a book with me. Now, I usually don’t just take any book with me– it has to be something I know will keep my attention! What’s this I hear? Diane Stratton has a book proven to keep people hooked on planes. Say no more… Let’s take off!
How do you get started with writing a story, i.e., how do you start developing the story, how do you get inspired for it?
I first developed the concept of Arrivals and Departures on my jumpseat while working as a flight attendant on a “red-eye” flight from San Francisco to Chicago. The cabin was dark, passengers asleep, and it hit me what an incredible life I was leading–pretty cool for a middle-aged woman from a small town in the Midwest to be traveling to so many places on a regular basis–and the thought came to me that my story might make an interesting book. I took a tablet out of my flight bag and began to make some notes. That was nearly ten years ago.
I also sing and listen to music from the 60s and 70s. Many of these songs inspired the development of the story and characters, and are included in the unique playlist at the end of the book.
Why a fiction book? What caused you to decide to write fiction?
The freedom! I love reading good fiction, and I thought it would be a lot of fun to create my own plots and characters.
You are on a plane and someone asks if you are Diane Stratton and raves about your new book—how do you handle it?
I’d give them a real big smile and thank them for their kind words—and then we might enter into a nice chat about flying and love and second chances.
How have your personal experiences affected your writing?
My book is not an autobiography, but I did draw on many personal experiences and observations blended with fictionalized ones to create the storyline.
Who is your favorite author and is your writing style similar to theirs?
I have two favorite authors: Jackie Collins and Jennifer Weiner. These authors create smart, interesting female characters, engaging storylines, clever dialogue, sexy couples…and all with just the right mix of humor and drama to keep the reader totally engaged. When I became serious about writing my novel, I tried not to read much fiction during the process as I did not want to copy anyone. I do hope I have captured the above qualities, though, in Arrivals and Departures.
What puts you off when reading a book? Bad grammar? Awful editing? Slow stories?
All of the above. Although I am a self-published Indie author, I have many talented friends who reviewed much of the book and saved it from these pitfalls.
You’re out on a date with a guy and he tells you that he hates reading—does that end the date or do you just consider that to be his loss?
This would not bode well for a happy, long-term relationship with me. If he hates reading, he would likely have a difficult time understanding and supporting my passion for writing. If I were smart, I would make that first date the last.
Do you agree that writers have to be salesmen in the Indie world?
Of course we do! It’s amazing that we can now by-pass the traditional publishing routes by self-publishing, then draw on our creativity once again to network and find opportunities to get our books out there. Thanks to you, Nick, for the opportunity to do just that with this interview!
Pick up Arrivals and Departures by Diane Stratton today on Amazon!
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