Monday, August 24, 2015

Interview with Diane Gronas: STARSEEKER: Flower of Tamaroon


STARSEEKER:The Flower of Tamaroon by Diane Gronas AUTHOR INTERVIEW

 

“Young readers are sure to enjoy the fascinating and imaginative world of Treya, where teens fly Starseeker ships with futuristic gadgets and lead missions into space.”

— Dayne Sislen, illustrator of “Madeline Delilah”


Thank you Diane Gronas for letting me interview you about your new book: Starseeker— Flower of Tamaroon. To start with, I included above a quote from one of your many Five Star Reviews. ★★★★★

“Thank you for having me here today David Ferretti, People like you and Dayne have been a long time inspiration for me.”

What author(s) or people in your life inspired you to write your young adult novel?

“There are so many, my influences that would be recognizable include J.R. Tolkien, Walt Disney, Star Wars creators and a multitude of Sci-fi movies.”

Nice answer. I believe that your reply is also responsible for my own writing style(s) too.

Why did you choose the genre of Science Fiction as your first book?

“I always wanted a flying car and Cinderella is my favorite theme, so the setting became a science fiction world in the future with castles.”

The Cinderella theme in space caught my attention as I read your book, worthy of a movie.

Have any other writers inspired your writing style?

“Yes, I found that Rick Riordan’s “Heroes of Olympus” style easily connects with young YA readers. I love his humor and easygoing characters. John Rocco’s cover illustration of the mechanical dragon is terrific. Rick’s books target the same age group as my books even though STARSEEKER has been re-read 3 times by adult readers working for NASA. The comment I hear most from readers is that it is a good story.”

I might point out that your story is also a page-turner.

If you could talk to any author, from any year in time, which would you choose.

“Rosemary Wells – I’ve always loved children’s books in rhythmic verse and would like to know how she approached this; Noisy Nora is my favorite. I also like the Berenstain Bears, The Bike Lesson. My favorite Illustrators I would also like to talk to are Tomie DePaola, The Mysterious Giant of Barletta, Sheilah Beckett: The Christmas Story and Snow White, Mercer Meyer author of Critter books, Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like and Beauty and the Beast and Greg and Tim Hildebrant Illustrators of The Gift of Galadriel and other Tolkien scenes.”

Speaking of illustrators, your cover art is fantastic.

Do you have a list of current author’s books that you read for inspiration?

“Young Adult series I’ve read recently are THE SELECTION by Kiera Cass, LEGEND by Marie Lu Kirkus, and MATCHED by Ally Condie, but my favorite was Cinder in THE LUNAR CHRONICLES series by Marissa Meyer. The first book also had a Cinderella character in a futuristic world. These were all well written books. THE SEVEN REALMS series by Chima that I just read was also very good, but these are all for a slightly older target market.”

Speaking of a ‘slightly older target market,’ the New Age (17 to 25 years of age) is beginning to draw in YA, and in some books, the MG readers. Think of it as the Indiana Jones/Star Wars effect.

What was the hardest lesson that you learned while writing your novel.

“Re-writes and formatting take forever and plot changes not only increase the complexity of the story but also are hard to keep track of.”

I agree with your answer as it links to my own philosophy of self-editing: If I’d known how hard editing my manuscript was going to be, I would have done that first, and then written the story.

Any tips that you would like to pass on to future writers of Science Fiction.

“Outlining the plot in detail will help create a solid framework to build on. It also helps to see the story as it plays out through the main characters eyes and write their thoughts and reactions.”

I would like to add to your answer by saying that a timeline is also a necessity to writing a good story. 

I loved Tipper and E-Chip and want to read about them again. Any teasers that you want to tell us about your next book in the trilogy.

“I’m really excited about Book 2, STARTRAIL TO TAMAROON. E-Chip and Tipper join Annie, Garret, Melody, Brandon and the crew to explore another world. New surprises in discoveries and technology will be found as they meet interesting characters along the way.”

I can’t wait to read more.

What is your favorite scene in your book?

Truthfully it’s the one I haven’t written yet. But, if I have to choose one from the first book, it would probably be where Annie meets the prince. Although the shuttle race, sword fight, discovery of the Lastradanyan luminos dociles, palace escape, and explosive ending were all fun as well.”

I liked your answer so much that I placed it in italics. Perhaps I’ll discover it in your second book, STARTRAIL TO TAMAROON, in this amazing trilogy or the final one.

Some of my characters screamed in my mind, telling me that they wanted more dangerous action paced scenes. Did the characters of your story turn out the way your expected them to or did they dictate the scenes as you wrote them?

“I always had some idea of where the scene was heading, but I must admit I was always surprised by where the characters would take me. I would like to say I was in control, but other characters would often pop up without warning. Needless to say this story was fun to write.”

Your answer is the same as mine. Both of us unlock the hidden doors inside our mind and ask the what if question which often leads our characters to do the unexpected.

I wrote an outline for my first story. After a few months, I remembered it. I only found one scene that was mentioned in my outline and it was out of place in my story. Did you write an outline and follow it as your story unfolded?

“I started with a general outline of some chapters. But, by the end, several chapters I added to the beginning as well as the beginning chapters with Annie’s parents were cut, twice as many chapters were added and the original ones were rearranged. I would still recommend starting with an outline so you can build on a solid plot or story thread. Just be prepared to allow the story to shift and grow. Treat your manuscript as a fluid sea of words that can morph into most any form until you hit the key Send and Print.

Your last sentence has just added a pearl of wisdom for any writer to follow. It’s not surprising that you come up with these ideas, there sprinkled throughout your story.

Is there going to be a Starseeker Movie?

“No offers have come my way yet but it would make a great space age science fiction adventure for a family audience. Thanks for asking.”

Ha, I’m going to go online and pre-purchase tickets for the movie. I think that Hallmark should be interested in doing a miniseries for television too.

Well, I hate to say that is all for now. Thank you for spending time with me today and answering some tough questions. Quoted from a saying from the United States Navy’s, Top Gun School, “We all stand on the backs of giants.” The philosophy of this saying also extends to writers.

Thank you David, it has been wonderful being here with you today. As I said earlier, you have been a terrific inspiration for me. My best wishes for success with your series “The Darkside of the Medallion.” Your first book is full of wonderful futuristic happenings and I’m eager to read what comes next.



Thank you Diane for your words of inspiration to me and many other writers in the Christian Speculative Science Fiction and Fantasy genres. Below is a copy of your beautiful book cover followed by a short synopsis.

Readers can follow Diane at her Website: http://dianegronas.com