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Thursday, April 02, 2015

Interview and Giveaway with Dianne Lynn Gardner

What inspired you to become an author?

I would word that question differently simply because to me I didn’t really aspire to become an author, I aspired to write. I love to express what’s in my heart and for many years I did so painting. I still paint. But I have found that writing is much more communicable than visual arts as more people understand the written word than they do art.

I love speaking my heart through stories, just as I love reading stories that have an underlying theme, a voice, a word to say about life. I guess in that sense I will never stop ‘talking.’

Do you have a specific writing style?

That’s an interesting question. In art, ‘style’ develops as you hone your skill. It’s what comes out of you naturally. A painter can’t help but paint in their style. It’s the way they see, the way they hold their brush, the way they apply paint. It’s like walking. We all have our own gaits. So I suppose a ‘writing style’ just happens and is perfected the more I write.

That being said, there are different voices that I use which could be termed ‘style’. The voice is determined by my main character in each of my stories.

Do you write in different genres?

I write YA fantasy and different sub genres. For instance my first series is a YA adventure fantasy, I’ve written a novel a YA dystopia, and now Pouraka YA fantasy paranormal romance.

The book I’m working on now is a YA comical horror story.

If yes which is your favorite genre to write?

I’m loving them all.

How did you come up with the title for your latest book?

I wanted to use a Maori word for the sea cavern where the northern mers live, so I looked up the word for ‘cradle’ in Maori, which in a sense is what Pouraka (pour-ah-kah) is to the mer people. Their cradle, a place of nourishment and protection. The word had such a nice ring to it, and I liked the idea of titling the book after the sea cavern that I used it.

Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?

Oh it differs. Sometimes it takes forever to decide on a title, and sometimes it just is born while writing the book. In Pouraka’s case, I found the title before the book was finished.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

In a sense, yes. I care deeply for sea life, especially dolphins and orcas (I live in the Pacific Northwest, so we see Orcas a lot). The dolphin runs have been in the news so much, and they distress so many people that I felt a need to say something. But posting sad images and holding picket signs isn’t my thing. Instead, I thought if I could put myself in their place, and what better way than to take on the persona of a sea creature with human thoughts and a human voice (i.e. a mermaid), and then dive into the sea and live with those caring loving creatures and give them names and personalities and a purpose that I can understand, then perhaps my readers will understand too. Pouraka is a love story between two merpeople, but it’s also a story about a love for all of life’s creatures, especially those that live in the ocean.

Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?

Not exactly, and yet in a way. When I was young I lived along the coast of California. I loved the beach so much. So the descriptions of the sea are very real.

The dolphin run is real. I tried to describe it from the mermaid’s point of view because you can see what is happening in the water.

The characters are fictitious.

What books/authors have influenced your life?

C.S. Lewis, C.S. Forester, J.R.R. Tolkien, Mark Twain, Shakespeare.

What book are you reading now?

Gnosis by Tom Wallace

What books are in your to read pile?

A thousand? I have Game of Thrones in my TBR. I have many Indie authors’ books in my TBR, I have some classics that I never read but I should have in there too.

What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?

I’m editing a manuscript titled The Unconventional Mr. Peadlebody. It’s a tongue in cheek comedy set in the 1950s about a dysfunctional vampire family.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Battles. Battles are always tough for me. I have to edit them over and over again.

Do you have to travel much to do research for your books?

I should travel more. I do what I can.

Who designed the cover of your latest book?

I did. I’m an oil painter and Pouraka’s cover is from an original oil painting.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Study. Go to workshops, read books, study some more. Learn what it takes to make a story appealing and meaningful.

Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book?

Ah! I’m so glad you asked. This book is inspired by Il Divo’s “Memory.”

Book One
Dianne Lynn Gardner

Genre: Fantasy romance

Publisher: Dianne Lynn Gardner


Number of pages: 242
Word Count: 75369

Cover Artist: Dianne Lynn Gardner

Book Description:

Pouraka is a magical sea cavern tucked under the rocky cliffs near Barnacle Bay. Cora, a Pouraka mer, is torn between her friends in the seaside town, and her true love Tas, a foreign mer whose people fled when men invaded their waters.

Life becomes difficult for all mers when an arrogant oil rigger's son, Tom, finds the bay and the rich aquatic life it harbors. When Tas attempts to rescue a pod of dolphins from Tom's gill net, he is captured and taken away as a prize to be sold to a theme park. When Cora hears of his capture she changes into human form and travels south to find him, risking her life to free him.

Time away from Pouraka leaves the cavern vulnerable, and a new threat arises when tourists discover its magic.

Available at Amazon


Leni brushed his hair back with his hands and focused on the ocean again. Cora followed his eye. Stars cast dancing beams that rippled in the dark. Tiny lights flickered in the distance and the lights of a boat on the horizon spread a beam of color on the quiet waters. Leni rubbed his chin awhile. “I take it he’s in merman form?” 

The look on Leni’s face when she nodded, and the way he shook his head made Cora’s stomach churn. “You have to help us, Leni. There’s no one else.”

“Cora.” Leni bowed his head. Cora waited for him to think, to come up with a plan but all he did was shake his head over and over again.

“Leni!” she pleaded.

“I’m not sure what all I can do. If they caught themselves a merman, they aren’t going to give him up just because an old fisherman asks them to. If it’s that oil rigger’s son, he’ll laugh and who knows what he’d do to Tas. They don’t have any respect for me you know. They don’t have much respect for life at all.”

“What are you saying?” She couldn’t believe his response. Leni had always been so understanding, so available when the merpeople needed him. “Are you saying you won’t do anything?”

“I’m saying I can’t just race out there and ask them to release Tas. If he’s held captive, he’s going to be under tight security. Heck, he might not even be on that boat. He might be halfway to Ocean Bend by now.”


“Cora, this is bigger than you can imagine. Men have been trying to catch merfolk for thousands of years! They’ll take him to the nearest lab or university and do tests on him. The newspapers will be all over it. The government might even claim him.” He shook his head again and met Cora’s eyes. A sympathetic pout turned down the corners of his lips. “I’m afraid Tas’ fate is out of our hands, Cora. You’d better warn your friends because those people will be coming back for more. Believe me.”

About the Author:

Dianne is an author and illustrator of YA adventure fantasy with a dab of historical content thrown in. Building worlds that might resemble the forests of her home in the Pacific Northwest, or the shimmering deserts of Arizona, add to that a pinch of magic dust and a few million stars and you just might find the portal to another Realm.

Happily married to a man that puts up with her celestial wanderings and wonderings, she is the mother of seven lovely adult children and grandmother to sixteen gorgeous boys and girls.

Dianne loves writing, painting in oils and living in other dimensions. She finds life much more colorful that way! Her books are middle grade to young adult adventure fantasies with dragons and wizards and sorcery and battles on the high seas. Her grandchildren are a big inspiration for her stories. There’s a shared camaraderie, something akin to what C.S. Lewis said about someday being old enough to enjoy fairy tales again.

Dianne’s newest series Pouraka dives into the depths to explore life as a mer. She also has a series that is being re released by PDMI publishing called the Ian’s Realm Saga.

Stretching her tent stakes, she is working on an Indie Film production of her V book Cassandra’s Castle.

Twitter @DianneGardner

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DLGardner said...

Roxanne thank you for having Pouraka on your blog!