Interview with Diana Forsberg

Published 2021-10-08.
What was the inspiration for your book, Never Tell Chloe?
I don’t know if I would use the word inspiration. But I had several things I wanted my book to say. For instance, I wanted the story to reflect things like the importance of overcoming fears/roadblocks in life, the importance of forgiveness, and the healing power of nature. So, I tried to weave all of these into the fabric of the story. Secondly, I have always been interested in the paranormal and wanted to write something with a paranormal edge to it.
When did you develop an interest in the paranormal?
I can’t really say when it started as it seems that I always had an interest in the paranormal. It wasn’t really a subject discussed in my family, but yet, I was drawn to it. My high school had a small section in the library with paranormal books, and I think that I read all of them. But why I was drawn to it, I don’t know.
You didn’t write your first book until recently. Why did you wait until you were in your sixties to do so?
Writing a book has been a lifelong dream. Even as a young child, I liked to do creative things, including writing little stories. A few years ago, I decided that I needed to actually do it . . . or pick something else to daydream about. What happened between childhood and my sixties? Well, to be honest, I let life get in the way. Like most people, I was busy just trying to pay my rent, my car payment, and so on. This left me with very little time or energy to write. At a certain point, I decided to retire so that I could finally focus on stuff that I really wanted to do in life—such as writing a book!
Are there any characters in your book that are based on you or people you know?
I hadn’t really planned it, but all of the characters reflect a little of me and those I know. For instance, the title character, Chloe, is afraid to really experience life and break free of her norm. This is due, of course, to the fact that she lost her mother at a young age.

I have to admit to harboring some fears myself. For instance, I have pulled back from certain things due to a fear of what others might think. This book, actually, is one way that I publicly acknowledged my deep belief in the paranormal—something that I was hesitant to openly share with certain folks.

Also a friend read my book recently and asked if the character Harriet was based on some of our former co-workers. This surprised me somewhat as I hadn’t consciously based Harriet on anyone in particular. But apparently, I did so.
Did you consider writing under a pseudonym?
Yes, I did. However, I’m in my sixties, and I ultimately decided not to hide behind a pseudonym but rather to “own” what I write. I’m not wasting any more time worrying about what others think.
What is your writing process?
This is a hard question. When I wrote, Never Tell Chloe, it was the first actual book that I wrote. I had started out with a general idea and developed an outline more or less to follow. But what I found out was that the story seemed to go in its own direction. I was driving the car, but the car was going where it wanted to go.
What is the most valuable piece of advice you’ve been given about writing?
I actually got one piece of really good advice that has stuck with me. I don’t remember the exact words, but it was something like this: In the end, the book is yours.

As background, all writers probably get conflicting advice on how to develop their plot/characters. This conflicting advice often comes from professionals—not just family or friends. And I was no exception, and I was getting anxious trying to adjust to shifting viewpoints.

So that one piece of advice really hit me as true. One should listen to advice but also listen to your own instincts. After all, the author will be the one judged—not the advice-givers.
What does literary success mean to you?
My only goal with regard to “success” is that whoever reads anything that I write enjoys it and hopefully feels a connection with the story in some way. This may seem a little lofty, but I feel all books from ghost stories to the classics provide both a glimpse into another world and a glimpse into the reader’s own hidden dreams, desires, or even fears.
What type of books do you read?
I am open to reading a variety of types. Through the years, I have read self-help, mystery, true crime, and so on. For example, recently I read Nightmare by Robin Parrish, a paranormal mystery. I also recently read Run Me to Earth by Paul Yoon, which is set in Laos in the 1960’s and centers around three orphan teens. These are very different types of books, but I enjoyed both.
Please give three words that describes you.
Searching, learning, growing.
What will your next book be about?
I'm still in the early stages, but it will have a little paranormal mixed in again!
Anything else that you would like to add?
Never stop reading! “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.” -- George R.R. Martin
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Books by This Author

Never Tell Chloe
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 66,470. Language: English. Published: September 9, 2021 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Never Tell Chloe is a cozy mystery with a little paranormal mixed in. But more than that, it is a story about a family’s healing and forgiveness amid strange goings-on. While on a summer road trip through Wisconsin, twenty-something Chloe experiences so much more than she expected—from the paranormal to the healing power of nature.