She studied writing and literature through high school and into the first two years of college. But then, her fascination with other cultures and religious practices took over. She has degrees in Cultural Anthropology and Comparative Religious Studies from San Jose State University and is published in non-fiction.
After college, her life took an unexpected turn. She's currently a project manager and technical spec writer for a Silicon Valley computer company by day and a daring novelist by night. When she's not tearing up the felt playing at the World Series of Poker, she's traveling to her favorite Caribbean islands.
Her latest book is the erotic romance, Training Temptation.
You can visit Diana Baron’s website at www.dianabaron.com.
Connect & Socialize with Diana!
Thanks for letting us
interrogate interview you! Can you give us a
go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?
I grew up in a very challenging household and books were the only way I could escape. I knew from a very young age that I wanted to write to give other people the opportunity to dream about a future overflowing with happiness.
Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be? I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?
It’s hard and amazing at the same time. When the words are flowing and the characters are screaming at me to write the next scene, I feel like a god! But some days, I have to pry every single line of dialog out of a character’s soul.My favorite perk is being able to justify every novel I purchase by calling it “market research”.
Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?
I spent a lot of time researching the world of publishing and decided to self-publish. I enjoy having control over the process. I found an excellent editor, a fabulous cover artist and was able to choose the title. But it hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows. Smashwords has a 95 page book on how to format your manuscript to get it accepted by their auto-vetter. It took five hours to go through the book and get the formatting right. There’s also a big learning curve when it comes to marketing. I’m still learning a lot, but the rewards have been amazing. Self-publishing is a classic case of being rewarded based on the amount of time and effort you put into it. It takes a lot of energy, but the royalty rate is worth it.
Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?
My fiancé Larry is a saint. To give me more time to write, he’s taken over cooking dinner and does more than his share of cleaning the house. He steps in to help me whenever I’m ready to throw my keyboard across the room due to technical issues. One morning, while still in a sleepy haze, I asked him to do a power round of brainstorming for the book title. He blurted out Training Temptation. It was perfect. Did I mention he also gives me the most amazing foot rubs every night? I can’t wait to marry him in November.
This is for plant lovers. If you don’t own a plant, skip this question, but if you do, are they actually still alive?
I have an orchid that Larry and I battle to keep alive. It’s us vs. the evil squirrels that live in our apartment complex. Those little monsters attempt to scarf down the flowers a few times a week. So far, the orchid’s still alive so we’re winning the war.
In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?
I switch my phone to silent, Larry cooks dinner and I’m never late to work. Really, never. I have an ability to tune everyone and everything out and it really comes in handy when I write.
What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?
I’m a member of the Romance Writers of America and attend local chapter meetings. Last fall I meet my writing idols Brenda Novak and Allison Brennan. I was so excited about meeting them, that I couldn’t sleep at all the night before the meeting. I probably looked like a crazed fan by the time I got to talk with them. They were so inspiring that I drove home from that meeting determined to finish the first draft of Training Temptation.
How about the social networks? Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?
Facebook is a great way to reach out to readers and talk with fans. It’s my favorite form of social media. I still don’t really understand the appeal of Twitter, but I want to play with it more to see what it’s all about.
Book sales. Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)? How are you making the sales happen for you?
Sales have been great so far. I set a reasonable expectation before publishing the book and I’ve exceeded it so far. I’ve been interacting with people on the Kindle Boards every day and that seems to have a direct impact on sales. I’m on my first blog tour right now so I’m hoping a stampede of readers will run to Amazon to buy the book <grin>.
What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?
I want to jump off a rooftop into a sea of hot romance cover male models and scream “Will you be on my next cover?” With any luck, my head won’t explode on the pavement.
Okay, too much sugar for you today!
You have NO idea! I’m about to slurp a Grande Caramel Frappuccino and can’t wait for the sugar rush.
Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in. Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?
Every single day of being a published author I hit a new milestone. I celebrate everything - first sale on Smashwords, on Amazon, in the U.S., in the UK, first review, and list goes on. It’s a ton of work, but the reward is a sense of accomplishment that can only be earned through hard work. If you’re a pre-published writer, never give up. When you see your book for sale, it will make all the blood, sweat and tears worth it!