TN: Today my interview is with Diane de Simone, a versatile and accomplished writer who began her writing career penning articles for top national and international magazines. Diane, when did you know you were a writer?
DH: When I was about 11, I fell in love with reading at an early age. Then as a reader I found Nikos Kazantzakis. I read The Last Temptation of Christ, Zorba the Greek, and his letters. I became aware how this man was changing my internal landscape. It was then that I became a writer. But I knew that first I’d need to experience the world a bit. That I needed some age, some texture, some knocks, some deepening engagements. So, I didn’t begin to write “seriously” until my late twenties, after some wide-ranging experiences.
TN: What is your writing style?
DH: It depends on what it is I’m writing. I’ve written non-fiction, memoir, and fiction. The “stories” ask for different voices.
TN: Why did you write your first book?
DH: I was passionate about the subject-matter.
TN: Why did you decide to self-publish?
DH: I had been part of the traditional publishing world for a number of years. But then I left it and New York and London, and went off to walk down some very different roads. When I came back to writing books, the publishing world had radically changed. Walls had been erected. Gates. Statistics. Rules. Writing was no longer solely about the joy and craft of writing. Yet for me it still was. I was not ever going to give that up.
TN: How did you come up with your cover design?
DH: A designer friend said…how about this?! (I just noticed that someone somewhere recently judged one of my covers as a very “bad” cover design. However, I like it. That’s what counts.)
TN: What software did you use? for print? for eBook?
DH: I’m a very simple lady who lives a very very simple life. Microsoft word. Hired out for formatting.
TN: Do you have any tips for someone who is considering self-publishing?
DH: Be in the joy and the flow of writing. Learn to listen to the gentle voice inside of you as you write. Learn to trust your rhythm and your intuition. Forget what the world says you should or should not do. As for the afterwards, take some deep breaths. Do your research re: the business of publishing. Again, keep on listening to your inner self. There’s a lot of noise out there about what to do, which ways to go. Slowly sort through the information. Watch out for companies who say you can hire them to publicize your book. Don’t rush into any decision.
TN: What do you do when you are “stuck?”
DH: Take a break. Walk. Breathe. Go into town. Stay with the process. Keep trusting I can become unstuck and that I’ll be led into the how of that. Usually I’m being asked to go deeper.
TN: Describe the plot for one of your books.
DH: Dear Thailand: A Love Story is a memoir. It reflects a transformative journey that happened for me after I found Thailand – after my first visit here. (I’m still here!!) I ended up bringing my father to Thailand to die, and learned so much in the process. I not only explore the joys of Thailand in the book, but also explore who we think we are, what values we think we believe in, our tensions and behavior, how we meet life, and how our culture determines all of that… Unless we … become aware.
TN: Which one of your books is your favorite?
DH: Dear Thailand: A Love Story.
TN: Thank you Diane and I wish you continuing success with your writing. If you would like to read more about Diane’s interesting writing career and discover her other books go to her author description on Amazon.