Brought up on a ranch in southern Alberta, Darlene Foster dreamt of travelling the world and meeting interesting people. She had a desire to write since she was twelve. Her short stories have won a number of awards. She is the author of the exciting adventure series featuring spunky 12 year-old Amanda Ross who loves to travel to unique places. Her books include: Amanda in Arabia – The Perfume Flask, Amanda in Spain – The Girl in The Painting, Amanda in England – The Missing Novel and Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone. Readers of all ages enjoy travelling with Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another. Darlene and her husband divide their time between the west coast of Canada and Orihuela Costa, in Spain. She believes everyone is capable of making their dreams come true.
What inspires you to write?
The places I travel to and the people I meet inspire me. The world is an amazing place full of unique characters. No matter where I go, I always think, I must include this in a story. Historical sites especially inspire me as I can’t help but consider the stories the walls harbour. Children also inspire me as they are incredible, so full of life and hope.
Tell us about your writing process.
I am a seat of the pants writer. I seldom do an outline although I sometimes create a mind map of sorts. I wish I could work with an outline but it just doesn’t work for me. I tend to sit in front of the computer and just write. The story seems to unfold as I write. The mind map helps me keep track of characters and places, but I often deviate from it.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I listen to my characters. After all it is all about them, isn’t it? They have a mind of their own and often say and do things I hadn’t planned. My characters are full of surprises. I don’t talk to them though. My family would think that was just too weird.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favourite authors include Jane Austen, Lucy Maude Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott, Margaret Atwood, Margaret Laurence and Alexander McCall Smith. All of these authors have created strong, determined female characters. Anne Shirley, Elizabeth Bennett and Jo March were great role models for me growing up. I like to think my character, Amanda Jane Ross, is a strong young woman and serves as a positive role model for my readers.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I found a wonderful independent publisher after a five year long and arduous search. I didn’t feel I had the skills to self-publish but may have gone that route had I not found my publisher.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think book publishing has changed a lot and will continue to change. I believe it is important for publishers and writers to keep on top of the trends and be open to anything new in the publishing world. Writers have to be prepared to market their book whether it is traditionally published or self published.
What genres do you write?
Middle grade adventure
What formats are your books in?