‘Debut Author Spotlight’ is a new feature here at Book Chick City. We will be showcasing a debut author each week from the genres of horror, urban fantasy and paranormal romance. We will give you all the relevant book information as well as an insight into the author.
Born and raised in the rural Northeast, Diana lives with her husband and two beautiful children in a cozy little house in the woods. She has an Associate’s Degree in Communications, a B.S. in Education, and a Master’s in Reading. She has worked as a DJ, a radio commercial scriptwriter, and a teacher, but becoming a published author has always been her dream. COURTING THE FLAME is Diana DeCameron’s debut novel.
RELEASE DATE: 20th June 2012 | PUBLISHER: Muse It Up | GENRE: Paranormal Romance
Gracie is rudderless since the recent death of her husband. Trusting to Fate and the flip of a coin, she returns to Boston, unsure of herself and what to do. She meets Chloe—an eccentric young artist with a vibrant personality—and they instantly click. But then there’s Michael…Gracie can’t explain the attraction between them, the way she’s always backing into him. The matter is compounded by the presence of her dearly departed Jonathan. He’s still there, and Gracie clings to his ghostly presence as if he were her lifeline. Without him, she can’t even sleep in a proper bed!
With the support of her new friends, Gracie begins to develop into a strong woman, each step taking her closer to Michael. Unwilling to let go, Jonathan grows increasingly abusive, threatening all the people that Gracie loves. It’s up to Gracie to uncover the truth about the invisible thread that binds them all together, and the ripple effect that perpetuating that thread has had on them all… before it’s too late.
Hi Diana, welcome to Book Chick City. What’s COURTING THE FLAME about?
On the surface, Courting the Flame is a passionate, albeit non-traditional love story/triangle involving Gracie, Michael, and Gracie’s not-so-dearly-departed husband, Jonathan. Dig a little deeper, though, and Courting the Flame is about peeling away the layers of one’s soul in search of the truth. It begs the question: how many times is too many times to make the same mistakes? More importantly, why do we keep making them?
Tell us a bit more about the hero/heroine.
In a nutshell, newly widowed Gracie Clarke is a feisty young redhead who, by her own accounts, is a slightly neurotic, emotional basket case with attention issues. Gracie doesn’t know the first thing about surviving without the constant support and guidance of her late husband, Jonathan. Baffled by this overdependence and grief stricken beyond words, Gracie unexpectedly meets Boston gallery owner, Michael Turner, the one man who can lead her—kicking and screaming—to the truth. It’s up to Gracie, though, to find her inner strength and finally face it…before it’s too late.
Michael Turner is the well educated, well groomed, always in control (for the most part) art enthusiast/gallery owner who brings Gracie to near hysteria whenever he’s within ten feet of her. But it’s more than just Michael’s wavy dark hair and chocolaty brown eyes that has her rattled; it’s the undeniable connection she feels toward him. How is it that Gracie can feel so connected to this Boston socialite when she’s never met him before?
How did you research COURTING THE FLAME?
I was never much of a history buff when I was in school, mainly because I had no intrinsic motivation to learn about the past. Everything changed once I started writing Courting the Flame, though. Driven by my quest to learn more about the various time periods my characters appeared in, suddenly, all that mattered was history. I became obsessed with all things historical: television, internet, music, literature. I felt like I owed it to my characters to be accurate. I was, after all, telling their story. So if you’re asking me where my research came from, I think the better question would be, where didn’t it come from, LOL.
Geographically speaking, Courting the Flame proved to be a little more challenging. Holding a full time job and being a wife and mother of two small children doesn’t leave a lot of spare time for traveling. Translation? I had to get creative when it came to researching my main setting, Boston. So I did the next best thing to actually traveling there; I contacted the Boston Chamber of Commerce and ordered their traveler’s guide package and pretended to visit. When the large white envelope arrived, I spread all of the materials out on the floor and dove right in. Good lord, there was even a train schedule…which I actually referenced from time to time when Gracie needed to get from point A to point B. What can I say? I needed to keep my leading lady punctual and moving in the right direction!
I remember when I started working with my first editor, she asked me how long I’d lived in Boston after reading through the manuscript. I smiled and said, “I’ve never actually “been” to Boston.” It was a big smile.
The paranormal aspects of Courting the Flame (and there are many) are mainly a culmination of my own life experiences, coupled with some much-valued input from friends. Yes, I have some very cool friends. When that wasn’t enough, I referenced the internet for further clarification.
Is COURTING THE FLAME the first in a series or a stand alone?
Courting the Flame is the first novel in The Driving Forces of Love series. I’m currently working on book II.
When is your favourite time to write?
Anytime I can find a spare moment. No, seriously, necessity dictates that I write when everyone else is asleep. Usually that means no writing until around 9:30 PM. There are some rare instances when I’m able to write during the day, but it always seems so weird to sit down with the sun shining through my windows; it’s almost distracting. As you can imagine, my writing habits have turned me into quite the night owl. I work until 2 AM most nights.
Where is your favourite place to write?
I’ve put quite a bit of effort into creating a writing space that’s special to me. Although small, my writing room has walls that are adorned with my favorite reprints of Renoir’s Dance at Bougival (which makes an appearance in Courting the Flame, by the way) and Botticelli’s Birth of Venus. There are also bookcases filled with my favorite books, and my iPod is always within reach. Oh, and coffee and snacks—I must have coffee and snacks when I write.
What was the last book you read and enjoyed?
The last fiction book I read was from The Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. She makes me bite my nails one minute and then chuckle the next, but she always keeps me turning the pages. The series is definitely entertaining.
The last nonfiction book I read was Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I’m not normally a memoir kind of gal, but this one knocked my socks off. Kudos to Ms. Gilbert for a job well done!
Which authors do you admire?
The top three on my list are Emily Bronte, J.R.R. Tolkien, and J.K. Rowling. With Wuthering Heights, Ms. Bronte proved to me that it is possible for a reader to despise every single character in a story yet still absolutely love a story as a whole—to the point where I couldn’t put it down until I knew how it ended. Great story.
I admire J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling for the same reasons—their passion and creative genius as writers. Both have introduced me to worlds of their own creation that I continually choose to revisit whenever I get the chance. I mean, who could image life without Hobbits or Hogwarts? Seriously?!
Describe yourself in five words
Neurotic. Sensitive. Loving. Passionate. Loyal.
Hopefully, a snack of some sort. Preferably something chocolate. Then it’s onto finishing book II in the Driving Forces of Love series. I see at least four books, possibly five in the series, but one thing I definitely don’t see in my future is much sleep. Pfffffft. Sleep. I mean, who needs it, right? Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. What? Huh??
BUY THE BOOK
Diana would like to give away (2) “finished” copies of Courting the Flame. They will be ebook versions (winner’s choice on the format): PDF, Prc (Kindle), E-pub (Sony/Nook), and HTML.
This giveaway is open internationally and ends 20th July 2012
To enter the giveaway please follow Rafflecopter instructions below