Author Diane Moore was interviewed by the American Christian Fiction Writers:
1. What turned your writing interests from investigative journalism to beauty services and from nonfiction to fiction, especially romantic suspense.
Growing up as an avid reader and big fan of Nancy Drew books, my interest in investigative reporting came pretty naturally. Growing up in a conservative, upper middle-class suburb of Chicago, I rarely encountered criminal people. So, when I first started doing investigative reporting, I was amazed that people actually would do bad things and then lie about them to the police. As an investigative journalist, I saw first-hand the true meaning of "truth is stranger than fiction." Through my reporting, I was able to help put a nurse impostor and a doctor impostor behind bars, so I feel like I've done my part in that arena.
The beauty services interest, was a result of having two young daughters. I grew up as a tomboy, so I knew that I was not knowledgeable about the "girly" stuff. So, I enrolled in beauty school as a hobby, really. Then I became fascinated with all of the cool "girly" stuff. And, the contact with people became a welcome change from my corporate job. So, I made the transition.
I enjoy both the nonfiction and fiction writing. I still do write occasional non-fiction articles in the form of newsletter articles for our San Antonio District Dental Society and newspapers, but not as often as I used to.
Romantic suspense goes back to Nancy Drew, but a little more grown up version. I think love is such a strong emotion, and has been the motivation for so many movements throughout the centuries. I like merging our love for eachother with our love for Christ and Christ's love for us, to show some of the parallels. Like, how we might occasionally be disappointed in our own actions (or thoughts), or the actions of our loved ones. It's the same way that Christ may, at times, be disappointed in our actions. The parallels help us to grow -- closer to each other and closer to Christ.
2. What challenges did you encounter in writing nonfiction to penning fiction:
Fiction writing presents interesting challenges. When I'm writing nonfiction, my role as writer is to investigate, confirm and present the facts in an objective manner AND to present both sides of a topic. As an aside, Investigating the facts and presenting both sides of a story appear to be qualities lost on today's media.
When writing fiction, my role as a writer is to create a mood and to create emotion -- the opposite of being objective and factual. The transition took me a year of really concentrating, attending writer's meetings and paying attention to detail that I didn't really have to worry about creating with non-fiction.
However, I do incorporate facts into my fiction writing. When I read fiction novels, I appreciate expanding my knowledge and learning facts. I think as writers it is our responsibility to help educate. I think it's lazy on the part of writers and editors not to incorporate some facts when the novel calls for it. For instance, I started reading a novel and in one of the first pages, it stated that such and such town was the rainiest in the U.S. Well, it's not, and it would have been just as easy for the writer and editor to state that it is ONE of the rainiest cities in the U.S. That type of thing, makes me put a novel done and read no further. So, I strive to be accurate when the storyline presents that opportunity.
3. Journalism entails a lot of research and fact-checking. Does this differ for fiction?
Actually, fiction writing also entails a lot of research and fact-checking. That's the journalist/reporter part of me that I use to enhance my fiction novels.
I do incorporate facts into my fiction writing. When I read fiction novels, I appreciate expanding my knowledge and learning facts. I think as writers it is our responsibility to help educate. I think it's lazy on the part of writers and editors not to incorporate some facts when the novel calls for it. For instance, I started reading a novel and in one of the first pages, it stated that such and such town was the rainiest in the U.S. Well, it's not, and it would have been just as easy for the writer and editor to state that it is ONE of the rainiest cities in the U.S. That type of thing, makes me put a novel done and read no further. So, I strive to be accurate when the storyline presents that opportunity.
4. Absolutely. I don't take any one person, but I do blend different personality characteristics of the real-life characters whose paths I've crossed in my reporting years. Needless to say, I have a lot of material from which to draw.
5. Yes. When I started the novel, I figured I'd heed the advice of many authors, who advised: "Write what you know." But my heroine, Deirdre Morgan, took on her own personality, just as each of the characters in my novel developed his or her own personality traits.
6. My plot was a conglomeration and exaggeration of several events that I witnessed or wrote about during my years as a journalist.
7. Yes, I like the natural beauty of several of the Western states, like Wyoming, Utah and the beautiful tundra of Alaska. One of my favorite places to visit is the Corn Palace in MItchell, South Dakota. We are so blessed to have such a beautiful country and highways to get us there. I also truly love traveling throughout Europe because of all of the history. Plus, I like trying to learn different languages and then see if I can actually converse with people abroad. I am currently living in Germany and doing just that.
8. Yes, my second novel, "D'Vine Intervention" is set in the scenic mountainsides of Florence, Italy, and the sandy beaches of Corpus Christi, Texas. In the book, reporter Deirdre Morgan races against time to solve a murder mystery entangled with a conspiracy that pours into Europe's centuries-old wineries.
9. I have several favorite non-writing activities. Spending time with my family and my extended family, which is comprised of all of my wonderful salon clients. I love to read, attend writer's conferences, attend hair shows, skincare seminars -- expanding my knowledge in so many different ways. The beauty industry just like the writing industry allows us to grow and learn in so many ways -- both fields are always exciting. Finally, I love to travel because that is the ultimate learning experience.