I was introduced to Dianne Harman when I discovered her book, Blue Coyote Motel; it was so intriguing that I went on to read the entire series as the remaining titles were available. I discovered her Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery series and read a few books, as well - never imagining it would blossom into a 27 book series. I have some catching up to do!
I've enjoyed all of the time I spent in the worlds Dianne has created; I've even tried some of the recipes she has shared and enjoyed them with my family. Admittedly, I've wanted to feature her
on my site for a long time and, finally, decided it was time to pop the question to see if she might be interested in an interview. I received a response almost immediately - saying she
was honored - which makes me feel honored. I am excited to share her responses with you.
Norma: What does being an author mean to you?
Dianne: I get to use creativity I didn't know I had. Everything - a word overheard, something in a book I'm reading, everything - becomes the germ of an idea. I usually hear a voice say, "What if?" And then I go.
Norma: When did you first realize that you wanted to write and publish a book? How old/young were you at the time?
Dianne: I was 69-years-old. My husband retired as a California State Senator and I had some time on my hands. An idea popped in my head and then I started. It was definitely not a thing that I'd ever thought about doing.
Norma: From its inception, how long did it take you to write and publish your first book? Was the experience mostly rewarding or filled with varying levels of
Dianne: It took me about nine months. More than anything, it was
a learning experience.
Norma: Are you currently writing another book which you hope to publish at some point? If so, we'd love to hear more about it.
Dianne: Yes, I'm currently writing a book about people and moral dilemmas within the framework of being a cozy mystery, which is now my preferred genre.
Norma: If you have published multiple titles, which book is your
favourite and why? If you can't decide on one favourite, that's OK; break the rules and give us two or three.
Dianne: Usually whichever book I'm writing is a favorite, but overall, one does stand out: The Confession, in the Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery series. When a priest hears a confession from a woman that tells him who she's going to kill, as well as when and where, he's very troubled. He's taken an oath not to ever reveal what was said to him in the sanctity of the confessional, but when it's going to occur at a baptism where he'll be officiating, and it's for the granddaughter of his closest friends, he becomes desperate to find a way out. He doesn't want to live his last few years knowing he could have committed a murder.
Norma: Wow! That's an incredible idea for a story and I can imagine your mind was scrambling to come up with a way for the priest to get himself out of such an ordeal. I will have to check this book out, but I realize it is the last title in its series - which means I have several books to read first. I will get to it; I am too fascinated with the premise. That being said, I am curious: who has been a major source of inspiration for you as a writer/author?
Dianne: I started reading at a very early age and I've never stopped. I don't have any one person I could say has been an inspiration, but probably all the authors I've ever read. I've learned from them - things I would do in my writing, and things I definitely would not do.
Norma: I can definitely understand what you mean. Dianne, we all have an ultimate dream as an author; what's yours?
Dianne: I would have to say that I would want people to want to read another book of mine because they so enjoyed the experience of reading the first one.
Norma: You achieved that goal with me. I am glad you have so many books available because, if I do go on a reading binge and finish one series, I know I still have other titles to read. I have an issue with reading everything a favorite author has written because I always like the idea of knowing there is something more out there; it doesn't matter how many other authors are out there for me to discover. Enough about me, though; I have a burning question on my mind: what is one of your favourite quotes? It can be from a book you wrote or something you heard throughout your life.
Dianne: I like the old Arabian one about trust in Allah, but tie your camel up. In other words, you can pray to whomever and believe in whatever, but have a backup plan so your camel doesn't get loose!
Norma: Tell us a little about your life. What does an average day look like?
Dianne: I get up early and usually write and do marketing until about 2:00 in the afternoon and then I read and do whatever. I'm very fortunate that my husband told me when he retired that I'd supported him in politics for all those years, so he'd support me by taking care of the house. He cooks four nights a week and I cook three! Really frees my time up.
Norma: It sounds like your husband is a gem and you have a true partnership. It has actually given me an idea for a potential future interview with you but, before I become too excited about that idea, would you tell us three of your favourite hobbies?
Dianne: That's easy! Cooking, reading, and growing orchids!
Norma's closing thoughts:
It has been such a pleasure getting to know a little about Dianne Harman. Even if she does have some free time on her hands with her husband dedicated to helping her around the house, there is never a guarantee an interview request will be accepted. After all, look at the number of books Dianne has published to date! I felt like I was going to scroll forever when I took a look at her website. That she took time to answer my questions was a definite honor.
You can catch up with Dianne Harman by visiting her at her website. You can also find her at Bookbub, Facebook and Goodreads. Take a look at her books on Amazon and see her audiobooks here.
I would invite you to read the book reviews for The Coyote Series and Cedar Bay Cozy Mysteries here at Norma's World; you may decide to add them to your reading shelf.
Published: February 12, 2023