Saturday, September 8, 2012

Dianne Gardner Interview

Dianne Gardner

Please welcome Dianne Gardner. She will be talking about her just-released YA fantasy book, Deception Peak. But first a little about the book.

Book Summary: 

The first book of a trilogy, Deception Peak is a young adult adventure fantasy about a teenager, Ian Wilson, who follows his father through a portal that magically appears on their computer screen. They travel into a deceptively beautiful Realm, where horses run free, the wind sings prophetic melodies, and their computer avatars come to life. But when the two are separated, Ian is abducted by a tribe of dragon worshipers and is forced to find his courage. As he struggles for his freedom and embarks on a perilous search to find his father, Ian meets the true peacekeepers of the Realm. It's then that he learns there is a greater purpose for being there.


1. Where did you get the idea for the novel? 
It’s been a process and a combination of paradigms that brought the Ian’s Realm Saga together. I love fantasy and have always been a dreamer; so no doubt my novel would be fantasy. I wanted to write the kind of books that I liked reading when I was young, and I wanted to write a book that boys would like as well. I have nine grandsons and hear so often from their mother’s how they want the boys to read, but how hard it is to find books geared for them. Boys do not like romance novels as a rule and much of the young adult genre leans toward romance.

Not that there isn’t a little romance threaded through the saga, but it’s not the theme.
The theme is about integrity, courage, and confronting overwhelming odds, something that every young person faces as they are growing up.
With the theme laid out, I knew my character, Ian (which by the way means the forgiven) pretty well already because he has traits very common of young people-strong in some ways, timid in others, with some dysfunctional family relationships. I placed the boy in an enticing world that is dangerously deceiving, and we began the adventure.

2. Your title. Who came up with it? Did you ever change your title? 
Sometimes I struggle with titles. I changed this one many times, actually and finally had a contest on my blog offering the first signed book free to the one who came up with a good title. There was only one entry, so she won.

3. Which came first, the title or the novel? 
The novel. 

4. Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you? 
I have to say taking the Discovery Tour of the tall ship The Hawaiian Chieftain just this last month was the most exciting thing that’s happened to me since writing the book. In Book 2 and 3, our antagonists sail the sea, and it’s always been one of my dreams to sail on the Lady Washington. This summer, my granddaughter invited me as a chaperone to their educational tour and I learned so much and got so much reference material for my book that I’m extremely excited. I also am an illustrator, and came back with some wonderful photos to paint from. All my illustrations for the books are oil paintings, by the way.

5. What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read? 
I’m currently reading Leap of Faith by Richard Hardie (a very entertaining YA novel by the way), and Breakfast at Sally’s.

6. What was your first book that you ever wrote (very first one you wrote, not published)? 
The Dragon Targe was the original idea for Ian’s Realm but needed to be modified.

7. What is your writing process? 
If you’ve read John Truby’s Anatomy of Story, I try to follow his steps as best I can. It’s a little complicated, doing character analysis, running a theme and evaluating how each character is intertwined with that theme, what each character’s goals are and what they would do to achieve those goals. Then I outline the events that bring my protagonist as far away from his goal and his strengths as I can get him. That creates the tension. I can use the outline for chapters and scene changes.

8. Who are your favorite authors of all time? 
C.S. Lewis is my favorite. I love how the man thinks. He never grew old, only wiser. I love C.S. Forester’s Hornblower series; Mark Twain is also one of my favorite writers.

9. At a book signing, do you just sign your name or do you write a note? How do you come up with stuff to say? 
I haven’t had a signing yet, but when I do I would like to write a note. I think just asking a question and having a brief conversation would help know what to say. Or I might say something encouraging in line with the story. Matt de la Pena, after hearing I was writing a book, wrote in my copy of We Were Here “Let them know you’re here!”

10. What is something people would be surprised to know about you? 
I’m not sure about that--maybe that I lived in a hogan (a Navajo style mud hut) for many years in the desert of Arizona.

11. How do you react to a bad review? 
I would analyze it and see what part of the review I could agree with and learn from it to see how that criticism could improve my work.

12. How did you celebrate the sale of your first book? 
I cheered and thank the man who bought it!

13. What is it like writing a book from a boy's point of view? 
I found it fun. I think there’s a part of me that thinks like a boy from time to time. Writing this series has actually brought me closer to my grandsons as I learn how they think. I feel for teenage boys because so often they are misunderstood in the transition between being a child and becoming a man. Writing in Ian’s point of view taught me a lot about how crucial decisions can be for a boy.

Check out the trailer:



How about now?

You can buy a paperback copy HERE.
Or you can buy a kindle copy HERE.

One Last Thing:

Check out this blog! Yes, it's about the book! There are more pictures and trailers. And there may or may not be a giveaway that is going on right now (until Sept. 26). Yes, there IS a giveaway!! 

You know the cover of the book at the top?? Well on the blog I just mentioned, it has the cover but it's flashing!! Like lightning!! So cool! 


  1. Thanks for the interview, Alicia! It was fun getting to know you.

  2. This is a great interview, Dianne! I enjoyed getting to know a little more about you. :)

  3. Well done Dianne, lovely interview