I’m delighted to be hosting bestselling author, Keta Diablo for an interview! Welcome to my blog and thank you for answering my nosy, I mean discerning, questions! First, please tell us a little about yourself, Keta, and the kinds of stories you like to write. Would you say there is an underlying theme behind your stories?
I write in several genres. Don’t ask me why, but I guess I like to bounce around a little. I have written western romance, contemporary romance, historical romance and quite a bit of paranormal. It’s funny you’d ask me this question because not long ago I was looking through my back list and discovered ghosts generally make an appearance. It doesn’t seem to matter what genre either. I didn’t consciously realize the ‘ghost’ thing until I perused my books. Hmm. Wonder if it’s because as a child I saw ghosts. And that’s not fiction, but a story for another day. LOL
Here’s my latest ghost story, a contemporary military romance: A Ghost To Die For.
That’s really interesting! I’m tempted into other genres myself, though like you, there are certain themes I prefer.
What part of the world do you call home? Can you tell us a little about where you grew up and where you live now?
I grew up in the Midwest and still live in the Midwest. For the last fifteen years I’ve lived in a little resort town where it’s very quiet in the winter and teeming with a gazillion tourists in the summer. They arrive in droves to water ski, jet ski, cruise the lakes in their big fancy boats and hit all the quaint local boutiques. Believe it or not they also come to participate in the weekly turtle races. Yes, I said ‘turtle’ races. It’s a huge event here in the summer.
Now that I’d like to see!!
How long have you been writing? Did you write as a child or is it something you developed a passion for later in life?
I’ve been writing for about 15 years. I didn’t write as a child, but there is one incident that planted a seed in my brain about books. When I was in the 6th grade, a teacher gave me a copy of To Kill A Mockingbird and said I should read it. I wasn’t too interested in taking her up on her suggestion, but over spring break, I picked the book up, read the first sentence, “When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow,” and I was hooked. I wanted to know how Jem broke his elbow and what happened next. Guess that’s what we call a great opening hook. I realized while reading that book that I could go anywhere in the world by simply turning the pages. I fell in love with the town, the characters and the sultry heat of the deep South. I kept reading after that, everything I could get my hands on. I often wonder if that teacher hadn’t placed that book on my desk if I would have chosen another profession. Seems to me that’s when I knew one day I’d write a book.
That’s so true about reading–and it saddens me when I see how many kids today wrinkle their nose at the idea of reading a book. You were lucky you had a great teacher who hooked you in.
How would you characterize your stories? As romance, erotica, or something entirely different?
See above – jumping around genres. I also jump around when it comes to heat level. I used to write quite a bit of erotic romance, and then tamed it down to sensual. I’ve written one series of clean historical romance, just because I wanted to try it. I vacillate back and forth in both genre and heat level.
City Boy/Girl or Country Mouse—and why?
Country Lady. I feel safer in the country and enjoy the fact that everyone knows one another. When I go to the grocery store here, they call me by name. When I lived in the city, I’d be lucky to get a smile out of the clerks. lol
I can sympathize–I’m all about the country myself. We’re often told “Writers should write what they know.” What does this statement mean to you as an author?
I would change that a little – Writers should write what really intrigues them. I’m drawn to Native American history and history of the Old West. I find both topics fascinating, but, of course, I didn’t live back then so I have to do research when writing about either one. That doesn’t mean I know it but it means I’d like to know it. With those subjects, one has to rely on research, lots and lots of research. You think about an author who writes strictly Regency Romance. She/he didn’t live it either, but learned about that specific era because of an intense interest.
Are you a panster or a plotter? Do you outline extensively or write your story as you go along?
I’m a panster. I’ve tried note cards, outlines, many different techniques and failed at most. I think about the story in my head for a long, long time. You might say I write the story in my head – the plot – and then I do research about the terrain, the clothing, the weather, whatever finds its way into my characters’ lives. I might make a few notes while I’m writing, but mostly it’s in my head until I plant my butt in the chair and begin writing.
I hear you! I’m a panster myself, though I am trying to be more organized these days! Of the stories you’ve written, which one do you like the most? Which one would you recommend a new reader begin with?
I like all of my stories and have come to like my characters by the time I’m done writing about them. If I’m pressed to choose one, I think it would be Season, Unforgettable. It’s a contemporary romance turned thriller. Readers seem to like that. Several have commented they thought it was a typical boy meets girls romance (hey, so did I until the characters took over) that suddenly turned into an intense thriller. For some reason, that book came easy for me. I know it sounds silly, but the words/plot just flowed from page to page.
What are the three most important things in your life—the things you can’t do without?
My children and grandchildren (I’m counting them as one), my furry feline companion who I rescued 10 years ago. Miss Emma LaPounce is now 16 years old. Her family moved out of town, took their furniture and left her on the doorstep of the animal shelter. I’d visit her often at the shelter and she didn’t want much to do with me. She was so depressed about her family leaving her. One day, I said to her, “I’m taking you home and you and I are going to be best friends.” She must have listened because you won’t ever find her more than one foot away from me when I’m home. She’s has had a wonderful life and I’m so glad I rescued her. Oh, the third thing—I count these as one too—my computer, my Kindle Fire and my writing. Lol.
Emma La Pounce–what a great name and a lovely cat. What a great story, too. 🙂
Do you read reviews? How do you handle a negative review?
I don’t search for them, but once in a while run across them when I’m Amazon. I had a good laugh over my one and only 1 star review. It was for Land of Falling Stars , a Civil War historical romance that received many five star reviews. Did I mention it was EROTIC romance? Well, this person did not like the book at all. She wrote a one paragraph review and used the word “disgusting’ at least seven times. Ya gotta have a sense of humor about that stuff. Clearly, the product description said it was an erotic romance, but she read it anyway and then let me know how disgusted she was over the language and the sex. You can’t please them all. The review is still there on Amazon, and I chuckle every time I read it.
What are you reading now?
The Orchardist, The Silent Wife, and Only Killer and Thieves. As you can see my reading tastes are about as scattered as my writing.
Thanks so much for hosting me on you blog. I really enjoyed the questions. I hope your fans, friends and followers will check out my books on my Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Keta-Diablo/e/B002BODURI/
Or follow me on the Net at the following places:
★ Author Home: http://authorketadiablo.com
★ Author Blog: http://ketaskeep.blogspot.com
★Facebook Author Page https://www.facebook.com/KetaDiablo.Author/
★Goodreads Page https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2620426.Keta_Diablo
About Keta Diablo
Keta lives in the Midwest part of the United States on six acres of gorgeous woodland. When she isn’t writing or gardening she loves to commune with nature. A pair of barn owls returns to the property every year to birth their young and show them off in the high branches of the oak trees. Nothing more adorable than these white fluffy babies with heart-shaped faces. A lifelong animal lover, Keta devotes her time and support to the local animal shelter. Emma LaPounce, a rescued feline, has been her furry companion for the last ten years.
Keta is an award-winning and best-selling author who writes in several genres: Western Romance, Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance and Contemporary Romance. In a past life, she wrote Gay Romance. Her books have received numerous accolades, including RWA contest finalist, Authors After Dark finalist, Top Pick of the Month and Recommended Review from top review sites, and Best Romance Finalist from The Independent Author Network.
Ps: For some strange reason, ghosts often show up in her stories, no matter the genre.