Diane Whiteside: Author Interview & ARC Giveaway Back to Blog
Update: The lucky winner of The Shadow Guard ARC is…Barb P! Congrats, Barb!
Today I’m thrilled to have author extraordinaire Diane Whiteside as my Deadly Valentine guest. I’m a huge fan of Diane’s work (and if you haven’t read her, you are totally missing out!). Diane was gracious enough to answer my interview questions AND to offer an ARC of THE SHADOW GUARD to one lucky commenter.
Hi, Diane! Thanks so much for participating in “My Deadly Valentine.” I’ve included some interview questions below, but if there is anything else you want to add, please do!
1. Do you have a favorite romance novel? If so, what is it and why is it your favorite?
If I could only pick one, it’d be TELL ME NO LIES by Elizabeth Lowell for fabulous characters and plot. I love the heroine’s growth, from competent but socially shy to ferocious, all while remaining very ladylike. The hero is one of my all-time favorites – he protects her at great cost from everything, even from himself. (Who wouldn’t want a guy like that?) Their love story is interwoven into an incredible story of antique Chinese bronzes, with dynasties and international spies competing with each other in high-style Washington, DC and San Francisco. Gorgeous!
2. You’ve written such an amazing variety of books – is there a particular sub-genre of romance that you enjoy writing the most?
I love writing historical fantasy, where I can find a magical reason for a true historical event. (Call it perverse of me but some occurrences were so weird that you’ve almost got to start suspecting magic. And no, I’m not talking about crop circles or building the pyramids!) . “Caught by the Tides” in BEYOND THE DARK is the only historical fantasy I’ve ever written.
I indulged myself by sneaking historical fantasy into THE SHADOW GUARD, since Astrid, my heroine, is a “government” sorceress who was born in the 1880’s.
3. In your upcoming release, THE SHADOW GUARD, you weave together both elements of suspense and the paranormal. What was the biggest challenge for you in writing this book and blending those two aspects?
THE SHADOW GUARD is a mystery, where the problem is to figure out who killed the lady washed up by the river? When you write a mystery, it’s like writing backwards and forwards at the same time: my hero and heroine move forward to solve the mystery, while I, the author, move backward to the mystery and figure out which clues to give them. All of those clues had to work in THE SHADOW GUARD’s paranormal universe – crystal magic, anyone? – and also had to be good suspense. Since this was my first mystery and paranormal with crystal magic, there were times when I thought I’d signed up to lose my mind.
4. Now, in contrast…what was your favorite part about writing THE SHADOW GUARD?
I love my hero Jake. He’s one of those characters whose voice an author can always hear and who can always throw in a plot twist. Sometimes writing scenes with him – never for him! LOL – felt like dancing the tango – hot, dark, and a surprise a minute.
5. Give me two words to describe your hero, Jake.
Protective workaholic. He puts a lot of energy into being protective, which leaves him no time for anything – except for a little video gaming. It’s played havoc with his private life.
6. Give me five words to describe your heroine, Astrid.
Widowed, brave, loyal, hot-tempered fashionista. Jake’s over-protective workaholic side pisses her off. He’s never been involved with a fashionista before – heck, he doesn’t really know how to date.
7. What can readers expect to find in the pages of THE SHADOW GUARD?
A rockin’ paranormal mystery with a hot romance.
Thanks so much for answering my questions, Diane! I’m looking forward to reading THE SHADOW GUARD. It certainly sounds like Jake will be one fantastic hero. And speaking of heroes…readers, what qualities do you enjoy in romance novel heroes? One commenter will win that awesome ARC!
Hi, Diane! Thanks so much for answering my interview questions!
The two main characters sound awesome! I love a protective man 🙂
Qualities that I like in a romance novel hero are strong, protective like Jake, but secure in their manhood around an independent female. Of course he has to have sex appeal, but having some sort of flaw makes him more realistic.
Hi. This definitely makes me want to read more. Thanks for taking the time to ask the questions and for the answers.
I like my hero to be the alpha male who is tripped up by his female. When you really look at things she ends up being the alpha ;).
Hi, Cynthia! Great questions. They were fun to answer, even while I had to dig deep to figure them out. LOL
Yo, Katie – Yup, a protective man is absolutely the best, even when you want to smack him. Just wait till you read some of the stuff he pulls on Astrid, who’s extremely competent.
Dannielle – Jake’s one of those characters who walked into my head full-blown. Then I sat back and thought, “Wow, very sexy – but he’s got some big issues which will make him almost impossible to live with. Thank you, subconscious!”
Hi there, Stephanie – Cynthia is such a sweetie – and writes good books, too! – that I was thrilled she invited me to blog here. There’s an excerpt at my website from The Shadow Guard, if you’re interested. Hope you like it!
Viki – Ooh, the alpha male tripped up the heroine? Love the way you think!
I love a hero who is very Alpha which usually means protective, confident and brave. I also like when the hero is able to show his vulnerable side to his heroine. She is the only person who gets to see past the hard shell he uses to protect himself!
The Shadow Guard sounds great!
I love a male character that is strong, determined but not too alpha, with a little sensitivity and cruelty mixed in… a lot like Anne Stuart’s heroes.
This book sounds really good. I have read other books by Diane and really enjoyed them-especially The Southern Devil
StacieDM – Don’t you just love it when an Alpha Male breaks down and lets the heroine inside his shell? Jake will only let Astrid – and his brother – see him feeling truly uncertain. He much prefers to present that super-competent persona to the world.
Regina – How did you know I read Anne Stuart for inspiration while I wrote The Shadow Guard? ROTFLMAO
Enjoyed the interview… Astrid & Jake sound like two characters I would enjoy reading! As for what I like in a hero… a strong reliable man that has some quirks.
Joye – You are my angel for liking The Southern Devil! Writing that book taught me so much – and I adore Morgan. 🙂
Hi Diane! I’m really looking forward to reading The Shadow Guard. I personally love a strong and protective man, of course not so much so that they are complete and total jerks. Thanks so much for the contest.
Colleen – Astrid and Jake strike sparks off each other. You’re right: reliability in a man is soo important.
Ah, Barb – you put your finger on the hardest part of writing Jake – how to make him protective but not a total jerk. Tricky but he always cares.
I love a hero with a strength of spirit, a sense of humor, strong physically, protective (but not a jerk), with off the charts chemistry with the heroine.
I love a hero who is confident, sexy, compassionate, fierce, and protective.
Congrats on the upcoming release, Diane. I like heroes who are intelligent, brave, compassionate and trustworthy.
I like a strong hero (physically and emotionally) who’s not afraid to show a softer side to his heroine. I also like that he can share the top position with his lady.
Well, Ms. Whiteside, I am sure to love your new novel as well. Your hero in Bond of Blood, Raphael, gave me quite a few chills and thrills… lol Looking forward to a new one by you!
And Ms. Eden, can’t wait till March to read Deadly Lies, I have been wanting Sam’s story!
Do you pattern your heroes after someone you know – or someone you would like to know?
I love a hero who is strong yet soft, hard yet tender, bullheaded yet understanding. A man who puts his woman first and foremost!
Jake sounds like my kind of guy, I like protective he-men too!
I also like a tough guy who is into his girl (and no one else), one who is loyal, brave and has some other unexpected talent or quality that makes him unique.
Cathy – Yes, a sense of humor is absolutely priceless! I have a very hard time warming up to any hero who doesn’t have that.
Danielle – Love how you mention fierce and compassionate! Very sexy indeed.
Jane – Oh yes, a hero definitely has to be trustworthy! Of course, Morgan Hawke, whose blog has taught me a lot, says romance is all about learning to trust.
Sheila – Don’t you think it’s so cool when a hero is confident enough to share control with his lady? Yum.
Oh Regina, I do hope you like The Shadow Guard! I’m thrilled you enjoyed Bond of Blood! Rafael was such an absolutely special character for me, too.
Judy – I rarely pattern characters after somebody I know. It’s far more likely that I thought “what if” and a scene came into my mind, complete with characters. But sometimes a character will spring to life full-blown in my mind, the way Jake did. That can be very unnerving.
Hi, Diane S! (Got to remember to add that initial. LOL) Love how you contrasted those adjectives, especially the bullheaded yet understanding. Makes me wonder if you know somebody like that.
Stephenia – Fidelity is critical, isn’t it? I also like how you want another little quirk to make your hero unique. One author had her heroine able to pick her lover out of a parade of uniformed men, from the back, just by how he rode. She knew his quirks that well. Lovely little romantic scene.
Hello Diane – Love the Texas Vampire series – on my keeper shelf. For me, a hero is measured by his honor – especially an internal honor code that can’t be compromised regardless of what society or even the law allows. Really looking forward to Shadow Guard – love your work!
I absolutely love alpha male and all that implies. 🙂
Hi Diane, Fascinating interview. I found your answer to question #3 interesting regarding your methods of creating a mystery with added paranormal aspects. Because you have the Hero and Heroine working together to solve the mystery, makes the Hero a true man IMHO. I loved your story Caught by the Tides and absolutely loved your Texas Vampire series. So obviously would LOVE to win an ARC of The Shadow Guard. I sounds fab. Thanks for this chance.
Hi Diane, Fascinating interview. I found your answer to question #3 interesting regarding your methods of creating a mystery with added paranormal aspects. Because you have the Hero and Heroine working together to solve the mystery, makes the Hero a true man IMHO. I loved your story Caught by the Tides and absolutely loved your Texas Vampire series. So obviously would LOVE to win an ARC of The Shadow Guard. It sounds fab. Thanks for this chance.
sounds like a great book. And as for heroes I love em strong, sexy, smart, loving, compassionate, and alpha lol.
I like my heroes with humor and a darker side…
can’t wait to read your book – it sounds really interesting 🙂
i love heroes that are dangerouse and sexy. I’m really looking forward to reading The Shadow Guard
Great interview! I love a hero who’s very alpha and protective and who will fall to his knees when he finds that one woman he can’t live without. So sexy and romantic!
Thanks for the lovely interview, Diane and Cynthia! I like heroes who are smart, hardworking, unafraid to do what’s right, and humble enough to admit when they’re wrong. It takes a real man to be able to say he’s sorry 😉