Interview with Dianna Hardy

Published 2018-11-19.
When did you first start writing?
I remember trying to write after I'd read 'A Little Princess', by Frances Hodgson Burnett, when I was six years old - that was the book that inspired me to try and create worlds. The first "book" I actually remember writing was 'Little Miss Rainbow' when I was eight years old. I illustrated it, too; coloured it in, stapled it together, and sold it to my mum for 20 pence.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Macau, which is a little island just off the south coast of China. When I grew up there, it was a Portuguese colony; it was handed back to the Chinese government in December 1999. I lived there until I was eight and really soaked in the multi-cultural treasures it had to offer. Roman Catholicism and Buddhism lived side by side in relative peace. I remember watching elderly men practice Tai Chi in the mornings and afternoons; I remember seeing the monks dressed in orange walking down through the streets swinging their incense; I remember dragon boat racing and huge junk boats with their dominating sails. Two different languages were spoken, and with a strong English influence in its neighbouring island, Hong Kong, I was also captured by English culture, American TV, and was lucky to have a busy, full childhood with days at the beach. Family was tight-knit back then, and I visited different members weekly.

All of this HAS influenced both me as a person, and my writing. Family is a big factor in my stories. My stories usually take place in various places across the globe, or the characters are from all over the world; there is an Eastern influence in some of my books, often mixed with Celtic and Pagan mythologies of Britain and Europe, as well as Egyptian and African legends. My childhood made me believe that we could all live together as a unified world because that's what I witnessed as a small child: many languages, cultures and religions living side by side in peace. I still believe that's possible on a larger scale, even if it often seems impossible. All the best things worth having seem impossible - that's why they're WORTH having. When my characters strive for their future in my stories, this very belief - WORTH - is a huge part of their journey.
If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?
"The way you find the world and people beautiful, and the way you want to throw your arms around it all - remember that. Remember it in your heart and how it feels. Because it'll get so damn hard to find the world and people beautiful when you're older. But if you remember, you'll find your way back to embracing it all."
What's the story behind your latest book?
Currently, I'm writing 'Autumn's Fall' which is the third (and final) book in my 'Once Times Thrice' series. This whole series follows a "spell" which was recited years ago and has been unwittingly reignited. The spell weaves its way into the lives of three women who are struggling with life and love ... perhaps to help show them the way? It's purposely ambiguous.

The series itself is 'Practical Magic' meets 'Serendipity' - it's contemporary romance / romantic chick-lit / women's fiction, with a hint of magical realism, and quite different to the dark fantasy and dark paranormal romance that I usually write.

I started writing book one ('The Spell of Summer') on a whim when my mother was diagnosed for the second time with breast cancer, and I understood that it would be terminal and that the prognosis (the time she had left) wasn't good. I think in my heart, I always knew she would never read the book, but it was my way of saying goodbye to her, and my way of saying to her that she didn't need to be afraid. Books two and three took on their own separate lives after that.
What drives you to keep on writing?
The need to create, and to express myself. If I didn't write, I'd have to dance, or sing, or act, or paint... I HAVE to create, and I HAVE to express myself.
What do your fans mean to you?
So much. I can't begin to explain. They feel like friends in many ways, and it means everything when they interact with me and vice versa. I used to act, and the dynamic (the magic!) you have with your audience when performing on stage is similar to the dynamic you have with your readers.
Describe your desk
It's small and square and white. I'd love a huge desk! But my office / writing room is small and cosy. I burn incense in it and light candles and I'm grateful for the tiny space because before I had my office, I was writing from a round bar table in the living room of the one-bed flat I shared with my partner and daughter, as we all desperately tried not to tread on each other's toes.
Describe your writing process.
I dream a lot, and daydream a lot, sometimes with music and sometimes without, and the world and plot take shape in the ether. I have a beginning, a middle, and an end - they form first - and the rest of the story usually stays in the ether until I begin to write. I don't always know how the story will play out. Then, it's a bit like channelling, or it's like I chart a map. I type. And creation takes place. It happens its own way with each different book.
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
It changes - there are so many! At the moment it's 'The Stolen Child', by Keith Donohue. It's so well written, well timed and detailed, with a good plot, and it's very, very eerie. I enjoyed it, but was simultaneously creeped out. I'd call it dark magical realism with elements of dark fantasy.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Curiosity was a factor - just the need to know if I COULD. But I've always been a self-starter, and I've always had ideas that are outside the box. I've always liked to break rules, delve into societal taboos, and shake people up a little - this is how we grow and change - and I felt that mainstream fiction couldn't offer me all that I wanted to do with my writing. Writing is also therapeutic for me and I do find it hard to "write on demand" - I have to write what I feel and what I'm driven to write, so the indie publishing model suits my motivations as well as my style.

When readers began to respond well to my stories, I didn't really look back. Of course, I've had 'what if' moments - there's a part of me that has wondered about being published by a big mainstream publisher, but I think I would rather mainstream was ready for my writing, than me having to bend and shape my stories to fit into a mould and lose the (sometimes controversial) essence of what I write in the process.
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Latest books by This Author

Blanket of Snow (After the Storm #1)
Series: After The Storm, Book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 19,770. Language: British English. Published: January 7, 2019 by Bitten Fruit Books / Satin Smoke Press. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Family sagas
Four months have passed since the night of the fatal storm. Lydia is mated to three and now married into the Gunvald lineage. But as January snow clouds gather overhead, Lydia's finally forced to confront the secret she's been keeping from everyone, including herself. (After the Storm is a series of novelettes that take place after Eye of the Storm, focusing on each character's needed healing.)
Eye of the Storm: Omnibus Edition
Series: Eye Of The Storm, Omnibus Edition. Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 448,640. Language: British English. Published: December 31, 2017 by Bitten Fruit Books / Satin Smoke Press. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Dark, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
Werewolves living in the Surrey Hills battle with deadly family secrets, an unforgiving ancient mythology, and monsters - human and created - striving for species dominance. One hell of a storm is coming. When all hangs in the balance, what do you sacrifice for the future you want? Emotional, humorous and highly erotic in places, this is dark paranormal fantasy, not for the faint of heart.
Aftershock: an Eye of the Storm Companion Novel
Series: Blood Never Lies. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 70,850. Language: British English. Published: October 30, 2018 by Bitten Fruit Books / Satin Smoke Press. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Family sagas
Five years ago, after the death of her friend, Claire nurtured both an open wound and her friend's baby, Jasmine. She and Pete have brought her up as their own, but despite their love for their adopted daughter, fate's about to test the foundations they've built. When a boy is hurt, Jasmine's terrible legacy threatens to be revealed. Can you ever escape what you truly are? Blood never lies.
Blood Shadow: an Eye of the Storm Companion Novel
Series: Blood Never Lies. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 73,810. Language: British English. Published: April 27, 2018 by Bitten Fruit Books / Satin Smoke Press. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Five years after her life changed forever, Jennifer Warren has put her past firmly behind her. No longer a werewolf, but human, she keeps herself to herself. But her anonymous 'friend' has started sending her notes again - there's a rare total lunar eclipse on the way, threatening to turn her shadows against her. Can you ever escape what you truly are? Blood never lies.
Reign Of The Wolf (Eye Of The Storm #6)
Series: Eye Of The Storm, Book 6. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 129,190. Language: British English. Published: October 31, 2017 by Bitten Fruit Books / Satin Smoke Press. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Dark, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
Lydia's mastery of her storm-wielding grows, Ryan faces his past once more in a bid to secure the happy future he glimpsed for them all, Sarah may be carrying more than she bargained for, and Lawrence has life-altering decisions to make. When the outcome is the sure extinction of the species you are responsible for, what do you sacrifice to keep it alive? (Final book of the series.)
Saving Eve
Series: The Witching Pen, Companion Novel. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 42,300. Language: British English. Published: April 30, 2015 by Bitten Fruit Books / Satin Smoke Press. Categories: Fiction » Religious, Fiction » Historical » Ancient
One for Witching Pen fans: Awaking with amnesia in St Mary's Hospital, after a near-fatal freak accident, he is known only as Luc. With the help of Evie Gold, the kind, young woman who found him, he starts a new life – a second chance, a clean slate. A bond burgeons between them. But nothing is as it seems, and as reality crumbles, Luc finds himself asking, not just who he is, but... Who is Evie?
Summer's End (Once Times Thrice #2)
Series: Once Times Thrice, Book 2. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 85,330. Language: British English. Published: June 23, 2016 by Bitten Fruit Books / Satin Smoke Press. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Adult
Pippa knew her life all but ended seven months ago when she answered the phone call no one ever wants to receive: her husband had been in a fatal car accident. Struggling to bring up her three kids, she finds herself turning to Jimmy, her younger brother's best friend. He has his own crosses to bear, but his long-held torch for Pippa never went out. All they need to do, is take a leap of faith...
Rise Of The Wolf (Eye Of The Storm #5)
Series: Eye Of The Storm, Book 5. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 91,790. Language: British English. Published: October 5, 2015 by Bitten Fruit Books / Satin Smoke Press. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
The bond between the mated four is stronger than ever; a future worth fighting for is within reach... As the moon begins to wax once more, long-awaited answers finally start to surface for our Surrey wolves, but they may come too late. The Trident have a new leader – one who will do anything to survive. And the knowledge one old woman harbours could be enough to destroy everything.
Broken Lights
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 37,240. Language: British English. Published: December 15, 2014 by Bitten Fruit Books / Satin Smoke Press. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
One gunshot, one scramble for life, one unlikely couple, one very long night ... can one damaged woman and one ordinary man, find the extraordinary in the very last second they're given? Broken Lights is a standalone story, packed with emotion and heat, of what's really worth fighting for, when one second is all you have left. (Contains strong language. Written in British English.)
Return Of The Wolf (Eye Of The Storm #4)
Series: Eye Of The Storm, Book 4. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 86,950. Language: British English. Published: October 30, 2014 by Bitten Fruit Books / Satin Smoke Press. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
The full moon has been and gone. Ryan's old pack from Wiltshire have ensured the Surrey pack's immediate safety from The Trident, but what will they demand in return for their protection? As Ryan battles with his own past, Lydia and Lawrence heal old wounds, Selena desperately tries to keep herself intact under Gabriel's cruelty, and Sarah has some tough choices to make. (18+ paranormal fantasy)
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