Friday, March 26, 2010

Welcome Diane Burke

Today I have the special pleasure of introducing Love Inspired Suspense debut author, Diane Burke. Diane's book is the first one I've ever held in print after seeing the actual manuscript! I didn't critique it, but I was privileged to read the first couple chapters of Diane's manuscript Whispers in the Dark before Diane won the Daphne and I'm absolutely thrilled with her success.

Diane, your debut book is a March release called Midnight Caller which won the 2008 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense in the Inspirational category with the working title of Whispers in the Dark. How many manuscripts had you completed before winning this prestigious award?

This is my first manuscript BUT it has been revised a million times over a six-year period of time and had multiple working titles.

Are you mostly interested in writing Suspense?

Yes, I love the suspense genre. I started out with Nancy Drew mysteries, got hooked and have never looked back.

What are your favorite TV shows? Why?

That’s a tough one. It would probably be easier to ask what I don’t like. (haha) I am a tv addict and don’t miss much. I love Desperate Housewives, Brothers and Sisters and Grey’s Anatomy because I like the play on the relationships between the people. I love all the true crime shows. And I rarely miss a movie---Hallmark movies leading the top of the list.

You’ve used the antagonist’s POV effectively in Midnight Caller. Do you foresee doing this in other books?

I loved writing from the villian’s viewpoint. One of the things I think many of us ask ourselves are what these people are thinking and why are they doing what they do.

So, yes, I will probably do it again. However, my next two manuscripts don’t have a villian’s pov.

We’ve been discussing characters here at Prairie Chicks. Tell us one unique quality for each of your main characters.

I think the one unique quality that drew me to Tony was his compassion. It’s pretty hard not to fall in love with someone so kind and giving.

I suppose Erin’s most admirable quality would be her love for her aunt, her son, and her friend Carol. They are the most important people in her life and she’d do anything for them.

While researching for this interview, I could only find information on you at the eHarlequin website. Are you working on a personal blog or website?

I’m not doing a website at this time. They’re expensive and time consuming and I don’t think enough people know me yet to justify the time and money. BUT that’s only a temporary situation and I hope to invest in a website in the not too distant future.

As for blogging, I have found that group blogging is the way I’d like to go. It gives you a wider audience and frees more of your time to devote to your writing. At the moment, I am actively looking for like-minded people to start a blog with.

However, I do have a FaceBook page and would welcome people to visit me there.

Have you considered branding and taglines? Any ideas you’d like to run past us?

I’m not good at branding but realize the importance of it. The only thing I can say is that I try to write about everyday people finding themselves in extraordinary circumstances. My characters in Midnight Caller always believed that bad things happen to everybody---but evil is supposed to happen to somebody else. In my books, evil comes calling to the common, ordinary person. I try to write an edge-of-the-seat story without the gore, high on relationships, family, and firmly based in faith. Any suggestions your readers might have for a tag line would be greatly appreciated.

What’s your next project?

I just got the call that my second manuscript, Double Identity, has been purchased and will be published by Steeple Hill next year, March 2011.

Currently, I’m working on my third manuscript. The working title is The Bounty Hunter.

Anything you want to add?

Only that I’m grateful for the opportunity to visit with you and your readers and let them know a little bit about myself and my writing.

Diane's Question for You: Are there any subjects in romantic suspense that you feel have been overdone? Any subject that you might like to see explored more? And do you think a romantic suspense can be interesting, compelling read without excessive gore or explicit sex?

Diane would love to offer a signed copy of her debut book, Midnight Caller, to one person who comments before 6 p.m. Sunday night. The winner will be announced Monday and contacted for both the name they want the book signed to and their snail mail address so Diane can mail the book. If you want your name in the draw, please remember to leave your email address with (dot) and (at) so the web monkeys don't get you. :)

Midnight Caller:

Three deaths, one connection—the anonymous calls all three women reported in the weeks before they died. Detective Tony Marino wants to close this case before another woman disappears. Especially when he meets a fatherless little boy whose mother is being stalked. Single mom Erin O'Malley tells Tony about her anonymous caller's heavy breathing and unnerving silences. And the feeling of being watched—constantly. Now, after years of thinking he had nothing to offer a wife and child, Tony will do anything to protect the family that feels like his own. Because Erin is next on the killer's list.
Read an excerpt

Diane lives in Florida, nestled between the excitement of the Daytona Speedway and the quiet, historical St. Augustine. When not writing, she enjoys spending her time with her family and friends, reading, sitting by the ocean and playing with her dogs, Thea and Cocoa. Diane is very excited about her debut novel and would love to hear from her readers. She can be reached at .

Diane is very excited about her debut novel and would love to hear from her readers. She can be reached at

You can also find her at eHarlequin  and Facebook.

Thanks for being with us today, Diane.


Deb H said...

oooo, another Nancy Drew fan! I also liked the Hardy Boys books as well.
I really enjoyed the interview. It is interesting that you haven't established an "internet presence" that many people say is a must have. It sounds like you're making good use of your time breaking out more manuscripts instead. I'm planning on purchasing your book (if i don't win it *heh*) especially after reading your exerpt.

BTW, I "hate" exerpts because they only whet the appetite for more and make me have to wait to finish. I want instant gratification, by golly...*heh*

I'll have to ponder your questions for us a bit and comment later with answers. So glad to have the chance to be introduced to your work!

nm8r67 at hotmail dot com

Janet said...

Congratulations on your debut novel, Diane. And welcome to The Prairies - we're so glad you stopped by.

Great interview. And I love the fact you told us about the re-writes. Sometimes new writers are discouraged from reworking something that many times, getting stuck in a novel that may never get anywhere (can you tell where I am at this point of my writing?) - to hear about debut novelists who stuck with something they believed in, persisted perhaps against the odds, is music to my ears. So, thank you for that.

I love romantic suspense - with or without explicit gore and sex. I follow along hoping I can find all the clues and come to the same conclusion at the end of the book. And I enjoy reading a villain's POV - afterall, he's a major player in a suspense novel, it's good to see the story played out from his perspective.

Again, thanks and congrats, Diane. Best of luck with the debut and your future books.

diane said...

Hi Deb H,

I read some of the Hardy Boys but was drawn to Nancy more. I'm glad the exerpt whet your appetite for more. HAHA. I don't choose the winner so good luck and if you do happen to win, be sure to contact me at the email inside the cover as I'd love to hear what you thought of the story.

diane said...

Hi Janet,

As a suggestion from one author to another, a great way, besides critique groups, is contests. I went from years of not finaling, to finaling, and then to winning. When I won first place in the Daphne, I knew it was just a matter of time from there. So chart your progress with contests. You get good feedback and you'll know soon enough whether that story you're working on is worth saving.

Also, if you ever read my book please email me and let me know at what point in the story you figured out who the serial killer was.

Anita Mae Draper said...

Hey everyone.

Uh Diane, I forgot to tell you... you DO choose the winner! LOL. And you put it here in a comment and I'll draft an announcement post for it. :)

I enjoyed your book when I first saw the ms and it's giving me more chills reading it again. I wanted to have it read by today but I'm only half done.

I will say I disagree with one of your answers. I think the way Tony is trying to break his swearing habit by throwing a dollar in the can and having enough to buy a car is very unique.

I also like secondary character Tess's habit of 'spouting the first line of famous sayings and never finishing them'.

It's a very exciting book and I can say that with a clear conscience because I bought it before you offered me one. :)

Karyn Good said...

Welcome to the Prairies, Diane, and congratulations on your debut novel!

I love to read and write romantic suspense. I have to admit I'm not a big fan of lots and lots of gore, but I don't mind plenty of physical intimacy :)

Thanks for talking about rewriting and commenting on entering contests. I entered my current wip in a contest, I didn't final but got decent marks, and now I'm in the middle of revising it and am considering sending it out again. You've helped decide to enter it again :D

Good luck with Midnight Caller!

Debra E Marvin said...

Great interview Anita! One of my goals is to final in the Daphne because mystery/suspense is my favorite genre. So it's very encouraging to read Diane's journey to publication. And -- the fact that first book was a very very long labor of love. (How familiar!)

Diane, I hope LIS expands. I personally love the combination of mystery/suspense and historicals. Definitely this genre does not need gore or sex. I look forward to reading your books so to start...
please put me in the drawing, ladies.
debraemarvin (at) yahoo

Laura Breck said...

Diane - I started reading your interview at the blurb, and it hooked me - good job! And congratulations on your release!

Jana Richards said...

Hi Diane,
Welcome to the Prairies! Thank you for being with us today.

I enjoy writing and reading romantic suspense, but I'm not a big fan of gore either. I think a psychological thriller can be just as exciting as a gorefest.

Best of luck with Midnight Caller and many sales!


diane said...

Thanks for visiting with me. These are ALL great comments. Now that I know I have to pick a winner, I'm gonna get little sleep. Sigh.

diane said...

The winner is Deb H