Interview with Dianna Hardy

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.
Published 2018-11-19.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Blanket of Snow (After the Storm #1)
Series: After The Storm, Book 1. Pre-release—available January 7, 2019. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 19,770. Language: British English. Published 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.)
Fathoms Deep (A Blood Shadow Novel)
Series: Blood Shadow, Book 1. Pre-release—available July 30, 2019. Price: $4.99 USD. Language: British English. Published by Bitten Fruit Books / Satin Smoke Press. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Fantasy » Dark
Amid the white-washed houses of Greece, lies an ancient secret that will pull Laura and Roman fathoms deep into an atrocity obscured by mythology, and buried by aristocracy. Posing as man and wife, and battling their own villainous shadows from a past best left drowned, a she-wolf and a human afflicted with the siren gene, are about to embark on a deadly mission in the hopes of finding a cure.
Autumn's Fall (Once Times Thrice #3)
Series: Once Times Thrice, Book 3. Pre-release—available March 5, 2019. Price: $4.99 USD. Language: British English. Published by Bitten Fruit Books / Satin Smoke Press. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit
Candy's world is falling: Lauren, her life partner and Tim's wife, is dying. Going from three to two is a terrifying prospect; love may not be enough to save them. Then, Rachel walks into Candy's life, a cheerful soul brightening her dark. But there's a witch in black dress who wants her for herself. As autumn falls, new magic weaves into the wind, further endangering Candy's already broken heart.
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)
The Spell of Summer (Once Times Thrice)
Series: Once Times Thrice, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 81,660. Language: British English. Published: June 17, 2014 by Bitten Fruit Books / Satin Smoke Press. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » New adult
Meredith is leading a straight-laced life in London with her straight-laced fiancé, determined to forget her reckless past. Jamie is an old, poetic soul with a broken heart returning home to Cornwall to sort himself out. What binds them? One chance meeting thirteen summers ago; one innocent spell spoken after one perfect night... Words can change everything, but can they change your destiny?
The Complete Witching Pen Series, Boxed Set: The Witching Pen, The Sands Of Time, The Demon Bride, The Last Dragon and Wilted
Series: The Witching Pen, The Complete Boxed Set. Price: $9.45 USD. Words: 235,790. Language: British English. Published: February 16, 2014 by Bitten Fruit Books / Satin Smoke Press. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Elena is the most powerful witch on the planet, Amy is hidden from her true self, and Mary feels the pain of mankind. On the appearance of a magic pen, three women uncover family secrets and deep betrayal, which may just lead to the end of the world. Unique, fun, fast-paced, sexy and passionate, this is paranormal romance that combines the dark with the light, and the sweet with the gritty.
Happy Anniversary (An erotic short story about a marriage rekindled.)
Price: Free! Words: 5,150. Language: British English. Published: January 26, 2014 by Bitten Fruit Books / Satin Smoke Press. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Short stories, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
(4.00 from 1 review)
Claudia's been working too many nights, too hard. One drunken evening, she promises to make it up to her husband, Martin, on their anniversary - by doing anything he asks of her. Martin is not only going to make sure she keeps her word, but is determined to remind her exactly what she's been missing these past few months. (IRC, Readers Choice Awards Nominee 2013: Best Indie Short Romance)
Heart Of The Wolf (Eye Of The Storm #3)
Series: Eye Of The Storm, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 65,740. Language: British English. Published: December 19, 2013 by Bitten Fruit Books / Satin Smoke Press. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
Lydia grows closer to her three mates, but with unrest all around, she struggles to keep her wolves together. Ryan takes a trip back home, but at what cost? Lawrence is encouraged to return as Alpha, but no one knows his secret - can he protect his pack? Meanwhile, in Egypt, Amil is pitting himself against his inner-beast to find salvation, only to realise much more is at stake than his soul.
The Last Dragon (Book Four of The Witching Pen Series)
Series: The Witching Pen, The final instalment. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 90,730. Language: British English. Published: October 3, 2013 by Bitten Fruit Books / Satin Smoke Press. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
The Earth is in a state of shock after the apocalypse. Demons and fallen angels walk among humans, and everyone is trying to find their place in the new world - Morgan le Fey's world. But the fairy queen struggles with human emotions, Lucifer is keeping secrets, and Karl and Elena battle with their powers. The last Dragon is about to rise in this final instalment of The Witching Pen series.
Cry Of The Wolf (Eye Of The Storm #2)
Series: Eye Of The Storm, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 60,370. Language: British English. Published: April 17, 2013 by Bitten Fruit Books / Satin Smoke Press. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
(5.00 from 1 review)
The full moon is a week away, and although Lydia is excited to run as a wolf for the first time, she is also fighting to keep her independence among the three males that have come to rule her life. However, the testosterone surrounding her is the last thing she should be worrying about. Her family bear truths about her heritage she's not ready to face. The past never stays buried for long...
Releasing The Wolf (Eye Of The Storm #1)
Series: Eye Of The Storm, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 39,880. Language: British English. Published: November 28, 2012 by Bitten Fruit Books / Satin Smoke Press. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
Lydia Martin has always had dreams of a sexy, muscle-bound man who speaks like sin and smells like sex. She blames her overactive imagination, coupled with a higher than average libido. But one night, she finds him in her dream, chained to a wall and screaming in pain. What unfolds is beyond even her wildest imaginings, as she's sucked into a dangerous and deadly world she never knew existed...
The Demon Bride (Book Three of The Witching Pen Series)
Series: The Witching Pen, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 69,630. Language: British English. Published: August 30, 2012 by Bitten Fruit Books / Satin Smoke Press. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Fantasy
Mary has finally discovered who she really is, and what that means for the human race. What Mary doesn't know, is that Gwain has been searching for her for over ten thousand years, and had lost all hope of finding her. Now that he has her, he's faced with an impossible choice: does he save the woman who altered his very existence, or does he sacrifice her to save mankind? (approx. 70,000 words)
The Sands Of Time (Book Two of The Witching Pen Series)
Series: The Witching Pen, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 41,270. Language: English. Published: April 26, 2012 by Bitten Fruit Books / Satin Smoke Press. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
(5.00 from 1 review)
"Elizabeth" has no idea who she really is, Amy has gone missing without a trace, and Pueblo is going out of his mind trying to find the witch he accidentally bonded with. As he enlists the help of angels and demons alike, Elizabeth begins to remember... But what she uncovers may just have her wanting to turn away from who she really is ... for good.
Wilted (A Witching Pen Series Prequel)
Series: The Witching Pen, Prequel (bonus read). Price: Free! Words: 6,550. Language: English. Published: February 9, 2012 by Bitten Fruit Books / Satin Smoke Press. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
(4.50 from 6 reviews)
Fifteen-year-old Elena hides her magical abilities from everyone, except her best friend, Karl. Inseparable since very young, they've always shared everything, including the darkest parts of their lives. Elena's beginning to realise her feelings for Karl are growing into something more. But her mother's about to drop a bombshell – one that will change the course of her life, and heart, forever.
'Til Death Do Us Part (an adult retelling of The Little Mermaid)
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 11,810. Language: English. Published: November 22, 2011 by Bitten Fruit Books / Satin Smoke Press. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy, Fiction » Romance » Gothic
(4.00 from 2 reviews)
When you love someone so much that your heart aches without them, would you give up everything you've ever known to be with them? This is exactly what Aria did. But her sacrifice comes at a great cost, with startling consequences. In this dark and passionate retelling of The Little Mermaid, can a love founded on humanity, stand the passing of time, an angry sea-God, and even death itself?
The Witching Pen (Book One of The Witching Pen Series)
Series: The Witching Pen, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 38,780. Language: British English. Published: July 29, 2011 by Bitten Fruit Books / Satin Smoke Press. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
(4.75 from 4 reviews)
It's hard being the most powerful witch on the planet. It's even harder when you're a twenty-five year old virgin who'll lose all of that power the moment you sleep with someone ... that's why Elena's never slept with her best friend and flatmate, Karl, despite the true feelings they harbour for each other. But on discovery of a magic pen, Elena's life is about to get a whole lot worse...
A Silver Kiss (Vampire Poetry)
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,690. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2010 by Bitten Fruit Books / Satin Smoke Press. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry, Fiction » Horror » General
A dark, daring addition to the vampire genre, this is a collection of rhyming and freestyle poetry that explores the often taboo themes of power, possession and seduction. Emotionally charging, each poem is written from a different perspective, be it the hunter or the hunted and inspires a deeper look into the psychology of the human mind and the darker aspects of human relationships and society.