Diane Solomon enjoyed a wonderfully diverse career path that included her own variety show on BBC TV in England, “The Diane Solomon Show.” She recorded five albums, appeared on countless radio shows, TV hosting, and musical theater productions. She headed four major UK Theater concert tours of her own, toured with Glen Campbell on three European tours, and opened for a major Kenny Rogers’ tour in 1991.
But then life took a nasty turn, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome laid waste to her performing career. For more than seven years, she struggled with half a life. When she discovered homeopathy, she dramatically regained her health. Impressed with this modality, she went on to gain degrees in both nutrition and homeopathy and practiced fifteen years.
Now retired from practice and focusing on writing, Diane published “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A guide to the homeopathic treatment of CFS/M.E.,” in November of 2015. This book is a best seller in Amazon’s homeopathic section.
“The Ravenstone: The Secret of Ninham Mountain” is her first novel written with her husband, Mark Carey, who is a retired biologist, naturalist, and accomplished voice-over artist.
Sometimes called a “Renaissance Woman,” she writes, edits, researches, designs and builds gardens, always seeking more knowledge, more understanding, and more creative flow.
What inspires you to write?
The joy of creativity, of being creative, inspires and drives me. It has for as long as I can remember! As a singer and songwriter, I dabbled early in the creative process and dived deeply into it. I learned to trust it. I learned that I must dare to be criticized, dare to be silly, to be crazy, to be wild. There are moments when I am writing that I forget myself, entirely. I lose track of time. Does this happen to you? The writing seems to have taken over. Sometimes you look down and are surprised by what you read, as if you didn't, in fact, write it! I can only describe this experience as somehow verging on transcendent, in that it feels beyond the limits of experience, or independent of this world. It is exciting, inspiring, and rewarding.
Tell us about your writing process.
Logistics first: I am an outliner. I use a large board, into which I stick push pins to hold up postcard sized cards with scenes, sections, individual pieces of the story (or sections if non-fiction). Then I can physically see the jigsaw puzzle and move things around until they feel right.
Character Development: I spend a long time on character development, and before I begin to write, at least at the beginning, I read through all my notes and reacquaint myself with the character. If I am in her head, and she is in mine, she will write her own actions and words.
Required for the process for me: My writing seems to stem from what my husband calls my "extreme heart." So my writing process only works well if heart is involved; I have to be working on a piece that has heart. By that I mean it has honor, integrity, caring for others, meaning, courage, and love in some form. I can't write in fields of horror or terror, or genres that focus on shallow, meaningless violence. The protagonists, the main characters in fiction need to be real, to be human, with flaws, certainly, but with good hearts. The character arc of the main character must move toward kindness compassion, truth, honor. When working in non-fiction I lean towards self-help books or educational books that offer something of value to the reader. Ok, ok, yes, I am Pollyanna.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
No, it is more that I get into their heads and they speak through me. They definitely write their own dialogue and drive the story. As long as I have fully developed them, and take time to know them well, they take over and I don't have to wonder what they might say or do. Who they are determines that.
Who are your favorite authors?
What a list – how long have you got? Tolkien of course, Mary Stewart, CS Lewis, Madeleine L'Engle, Barbara Delinsky, Harlan Coben, Elizabeth Gilbert, Kristen Hannah, Dean Koontz, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Mary Norton, Frank Conroy, Wilbur Smith,David Hawkins,Eckhart Tolle, Dick Francis, Eileen Goudge, Caroline Myss, Laura Gillenbrand
How did you decide how to publish your books?
My husband and I formed our own publishing company, Eloquent Rascals Publishing, as we did not want to undergo the long process of finding an agent and via her, a traditional publisher. We are both savvy when it comes to social media and online marketing, so we are doing it that way. It was very successful for my first book, and we have learned and fine-tuned the process for "The Ravenstone: The Secret of Ninham Mountain." However, if an agent and/or traditional publisher found us and was excited to handle us, we might think about it! Publishing is complicated, time-consuming, and robs us of our writing time!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Publishing is, of course, in an enormous transition. But I believe people will always want a real book in their hands, and I also believe the publishing industry will get onboard the eBook phenomenon, because it is certainly here to stay.
What genres do you write?
Middle grade, Women's literature, memoirs, self-help, health and wellness
What formats are your books in?
All information is provided by the author and is presented as it was submitted so you the reader get to hear the author’s own “voice” in their interview.