The girls of Night Owl Romance are pleased that you have granted us an interview
Thank you for having me!
We would love to get to know you.
Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
Well, I'm a Romance author with a very wide portfolio. I write from sweet to some hot sensual, but I can't write erotic. There's things people know they don't have the ability or character to do, and I've found that my muse doesn't bend that way. I have to say that's okay. She keeps me busy with what she does love nonetheless. I've written romantic suspense, contemporary, fantasy, paranormal suspense, and I'm working on a paranormal adventure, and most range in novel lengths.
I've been writing for three years now as a career, but it wasn't like I thought I'd be doing this when I was younger. I actually wanted to be several things. A horse trainer, but that didn't happen, although I did get my chance to try it and didn't suffer any broken bones because of it. Then there was the translator, and had hopes in college but lack of a sleep, commuting at all hours and the tuitions killed me. I've also been a travel agent, and loved doing that, but it's a dinosaur of a career now.
So after two or so years at home with a child, boredom struck. I think I still bear the bruise! I had initially tried to write in my early twenties, I even had a few stories started. That first contemporary turned into a 85K finished manuscript and I never looked back. I've written over eighteen different books, with fifteen or so being novel length.
I've been a publisher Best Seller with two different publishers, and I'm constantly working on moving my career forward. I have dreams now of finding a New York publisher. So, I'm just a late bloomer on what I wanted to be when I grow up. Lucky for me, I haven't grown up yet.
What's your favorite genre to read?
One of my all time favorites is Paranormal, and it's no secret that I love Christine Feehan's Dark series. I love dragon stories too, so I'd have to say Fantasy too. But honestly, I like all kinds of stories. I prefer the HEA, unless it's assumed ( i.e. described, promoted) it's not given, but don't call it a romance and then don't give me an HEA. grrrrr.
I've also found I read in spurts. I'll read familiar books for the brain work escape. I'll read new authors for changes of voice and flairs of writing. I'll read favorite authors for inspiration. But any of those things can happen with any book I'm reading, which is what makes it all so fun.
What do you do on a typical writing day?
My typical day starts after I've dropped the boy off at school, about 7:30, I hit the computer and start checking emails, following up on updates, cruise a few sites (Romance Divas) and generally wake up. I'm not a morning person. From about eleven until I have to leave to walk the boy home, I try to write. It doesn't always work. Sometimes I have to go run errands while he's in school, or finish stuff here at home. I also tend to write after he's gone to bed, after eight in the evening or so. If I utulized all that time like I should, I'd have no problem getting to The End on stuff. I'm by far, not the most disciplined writer. It's something I struggle with daily.
However, I will say that even if I'm not writing, I'm productive in other ways. Making sure my calendars are up to date, working on networking or promotion, and in general doing something to keep my career alive and moving. That usually is a ten to fourteen hour day, less breaks and interruptions. If the hubby is home, though, I can't write. It just doesn't happen. So a lot of the "work" side of things gets done when he's home.
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
I'm actually working on two wips right now. One is a paranomal adventure with a Native American background, and a spiritual merging that is deadly if not done right. Of course, my heroine has no idea of it, so she's out of the starting gate with a disadvantage. The second is a fantasy that is a sequel to a story that will be releasing from The Dark Castle Lords. This one is about the King's brother, Quinn, and his attraction to the assassin who was ordered to destroy the sorceress seen as a threat to her own lands. Misunderstandings and misinformation from the beginning have her sights on the King's new bride instead!
When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
Surprisingly enough it was my husband. I was actually talking to him along the lines that if I was going to do this, I better learn how to do it right. So I joined a local critique circle and had them tear my choice apart. After that and many "You should submit this!" nudges, I did. It sunk like a rock out of New York, but at that time was when I learned about e-publishing. (BTW, the largest reason it sank was 1) it was too short for NY and 2) it was sweet-no sex.) Thanks to that first publisher taking a chance on me, I've grown and I'm more prepared to tackle New York again. It's on the horizon!
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I'm a pure pantser. I write by the seat of my pants. I have tried to outline work and usually by the fourth chapter it's already a lost cause. I have discovererd a writing program though that let's me gauge my progress and pace my scenes better. It can be used with or without an outline, but it's the scene pacing that I have found to be the most helpful, to stabalize chapter length.
I really enjoy the sit and write free-flowing thought process. Especially when I can get in the zone. The characters take me a wild journey and I'm just along for the ride.
What was your first published work and when was it published?
That would be Ice Cream In The Snow, a light, sweet romantic suspense. It was published through Forbidden Publications in May of 2005. It was a start to great adventure for me.
What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
I can be reached by email: Diana.castilleja @ gmail.com.
My website, updated monthly. http://www.dianacastilleja.com.
I also have a newsletter that is released quarterly. There's contests, fun, and newsletter only goodies. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dianacastilleja Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/dianacastilleja Blog: http://dianacastilleja.blogspot.com My writing group is Sweeter Romantic Notions. http://www.sweeterromanticnotions.com. SRN has its own site, a yahoo chat group and tons of fun.
How can readers find out more about you and your books?
The best way to find out what's happening is to join my newsletter, and check out my site. Or be brave, take the plunge and email me. I don't bite. :)
Thank you for this opportunity!