Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Talk to the Hat: Diane Strong

JD  My guest today on GALERICULATE is Diane Strong, author of 'The Running Suspense Series'. Diane, welcome. You look puzzled.

DS  I am.

JD  Pray tell me why, o succulent little blonde.

DS  I was expecting to be interviewed in a dungeon in Dubai and strapped to a chair like Travis Luedke, Charles Wells and Billy Ray Chitwood were. Yet here we are drinking champagne in an expensive penthouse overlooking the River Thames in London.

JD  Ah well, there’s a big difference between you and the other three.

DS  What’s that?

JD  I wasn’t trying to get them into bed.

DS  And you think the champagne will work?

JD  No, I think the Rohypnol in the champagne will work.

DS  You would actually have had a better chance with leather gear in the dungeon.

JD  Really? Hmn. Well I keep some leather gear in that cupboard over there if it would make you feel more comfortable.

DS  What makes you think it will fit me?

JD  I stock every size from bulimic to Mama Cass. You just never know who’s going to drop by.

DS (Looking) These are all black leather catsuits.

JD  Call me old-fashioned. You can change through there. I’ll just stop the tape.

DS  No, it’s OK. I’ll change here.

JD  Really? HERE?

DS  Yes. Let’s talk while I’m changing.

(Long silence)

DS  Perhaps we should start with your asking me something? You might want to know that you’re drooling, by the way.

JD  What? Oh, sorry. Right, OK. Let me just consult my notes. Ah, yes … You’re quite a brainy bird, aren’t you? As well as being … fit.

DS  Yes, I have a few degrees.  My psychology degree comes in useful when I play mind games.  Is this outfit too tight?  Am I spilling out in the back?  (Bending over) I was originally going to get a PhD in Vet Science, I was really into biomedical research.  I changed my mind mid-way through my program after seeing that all the PhD’s did was sit in offices writing grant proposals.  So I stopped at a Master’s degree. I’m a creative writer.  Scientific writing makes me want to barf.  Though I loved the research side of what I did, I’m much happier at home with my kids and writing.  Are these fishnets part of the outfit?  Shoot, I’m gonna have to take it off again.  Do YOU have any qualifications?

JD  I’ve got a diploma in woodwork. Also a 100m breast-stroke certificate. Speaking of which, you’re also a bit of a fitness nut. Sorry, would you mind leaning forward a bit before you comment on that?

DS  Like this?  Yes, I love to run and bike and swim and hike.  They all fuel my creative mind and feed my thirst for the outdoors.  I’m also a little competitive, since I’m not doing ground-breaking research, at least I can get a little ribbon now and then that says I’m half-way fast for my age.

JD  So you like getting sweaty? 

DS  In the right circumstances, yes. I guess YOU don’t exercise?

JD  Only my imagination.

DS  Hmn. I suspect Stephen Hawking might beat you in a 100-yard sprint.  You really should you know, maybe I can help you get started.

JD  I’ve already started, don’t worry. Moving on. I’ve read three of your books, as you know – ‘Newspaper Bundle’, ‘The Run’ and ‘Falcon Point’. And I’m currently reading ‘The Other Way’ (which I thought from the title might have some girl-on-girl action but no sign of that yet). I enjoy your writing very much, as you also know. Your ‘Running Suspense Series' is KIND OF about running, although it’s really about the things that happen to runners and their families, isn’t it?

DS  Yeah, ‘The Running Suspense Series’ is a collection of short stories, all about 10,000 words/43 pages long.  They are stand-alone stories that can be read in any order.  The reason I call it ‘The Running Suspense Series’ is because the protagonist in every story is a runner.  If I could change anything it would be to call it a collection instead of a series.  It isn’t a series in the traditional sense.  
And no, they are not stories about running, I never claim that but many people assume that.  If you are a runner, you may relate to the main character but you don’t need to be a runner to appreciate their story.  Am I babbling?  My boobs are really not that big but they sure don’t fit into this outfit. 

JD  Stop, I’m trying to concentrate here. You also homeschool your children, I understand. How do you find the time for that? Or do you just lock them in the basement with a TV and a bowl of grits while you go out running with your friends?

DS  Grits?  Who the hell eats grits?  More like organic, raw veggies.  And we don’t really have a television, I mean, we can watch movies but not all that other mind-numbing crap.  
I’m a control freak, that’s why I homeschool my kids.  I don’t think the government does a very good job of anything so I prefer not to let them school my kids either.  (I don’t judge people who send their kids to public school though, different strokes, I understand.) 
Yeah, ya know, I don’t really feel it’s appropriate to talk about my kids right now, at least not while wearing a tight leather cat suit. 

JD  Fair comment. Coming back to your writing for a moment. You’ve just got a new book out in ‘The Running Suspense Series’ … Book Five, right?

DS  Ah, yes.  Finally.  My latest release is finally out.  It is the fifth in the series.  Reservoir Run   Alison lies unconscious in a hospital bed after a long-distance training run leaves her half-dead at the bottom of a deep ravine. While Rick is a faithful husband, Alison gave him many reasons to attempt to kill her. The question of who tried to kill Alison hangs in the air while Rick waits impatiently for her to awake and assure her he’s innocent.
This last story took me a little longer because I learned so much while revising.  I actually went back and revised all of my other stories at the same time.  I feel like they are all so much better now, especially this last one.  I’m excited to see what the readers think of it.

JD  And this is available where exactly?
DS  It’s available on Amazon.  I may make it available at other locals later but Amazon is my big seller so I plan to stick with it.  Here’s the link (again): Reservoir Run 

JD  OK, now we’ve done the advertisements and the Rohypnol is obviously not working. You want to get something to eat?

DS  Sure.  Absolutely, I ran long this morning and need some calories.  And can I get a beer? I’m not much of a champagne drinker. 

JD  You northerners sure like your beer.  Sorry we don’t have any road-kill for you here in London, but there are lots of restaurants that serve many other sorts of murdered animal species. I’ll get my butler Digby to bring the car round.

DS  You know, just because I rescue injured animals from the road doesn’t mean I eat them.  Although I do hate to see perfectly good meat go to waste.  Digby’s here with you in London? 

JD  Well, I couldn’t leave him in Dubai. He’d eat the walls. Let’s go.

DS  Shouldn’t I change first?  And let’s walk.  It’s great exercise.

JD  No better not, London is a Weirdo City, we’ll take the car. You’ll fit right in though. Worst case is they’ll think you’re a hooker – but we might get discount that way.

DS  Oh I just love coupons!  Race you to the lift?

JD  Now you’re just being silly.

DS No, silly is the lengths that I will go to in order to sell a few books.  I feel a little slutty.

JD  Don’t worry about it. If this sells books we’ll all be wearing catsuits. Even Billy Ray Chitwood. Now there’s a thought to ruin your appetite.

You can find out more about Diane Strong and her writing from the links below:

For a FREE copy of Book #1 in 'The Running Suspense Series' ('The Run') click HERE (Amazon.com)

Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Diane-Strong/e/B007WLP78U/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1357057178&sr=1-2-ent

Blog http://www.dianestrong.wordpress.com/

Twitter https://twitter.com/DianeIStrong or @DianeIStrong


  1. John Dolan's Galericulate is a Power House of impunity! You have done it again. It is a long way from 1940 when Catwoman emerged on the scene. How far we have come from not knowing what their conception was but now we do. Woman epitomized in the metaphor as a Superwoman has changed drastically through the development of the 50's when our nurturing giving mother's driven by their new found power given through the creation of "The Cat" for their children to be healthier,stronger,more educated then at any other time in our history has now lead to our ever ,fully intellectual,personal & socially confident 2013 Woman who have so much to give! As media consumers we crave these Spectacular reviews it's about time one comes along and reasserts the value of importance of true play & fantasy. One must RUN don't walk to pick up Diane Strong's series I know I will! Very Best Regards,

  2. Thanks, as always, for your support Kerriann. I hope your enjoyment of Galericulate runs and runs (like Diane's books, in fact). I'm sure you'll enjoy Diane's writing - I know I do. :-)

  3. Picked up Diane's book because she sounds like a hoot! Great, fun, and imaginative interview.


    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Eden. And Diane is most certainly a hoot :-)

  4. Great interview. I can't wait until I am rich and famous and can talk someone into changing into leather in front me.

    1. You don't have to be rich and famous, John, only sneaky and persistent. Thanks for the comment - I hope you've been to Amazon to grab Diane's book (since that's all you're allowed to grab).