Monday, March 26, 2012


Diane Dooley is an author of horror shorts (short stories, not horrifyingly short pants) and science fiction romance. I met Diane through AbsoluteWrite, share a publisher with her, and am delighted to have her on my blog today.

Why, thanks for having me, Regan. I also write contemporary romance, science fiction and dark humor, as well as some stuff that is completely uncategorizable. I am my own worst nightmare, as I try to identify my “brand.”  Usually I just write stuff then try to figure out what the hell it is. Information about and links to my other published stuff can be found on my blog.

Mako’s Bounty was released on March 13th as part of Decadent Press’s 1-Night Stand series.

For nine long months, at the behest of the evil Ravenscorp, Mako Dolan has been hunting the space pirate they call The Saint. Now she’s finally lured her prey to a one night stand with a mysterious woman—herself. But Vin Sainte is not at all what she expected. Far from being a ruthless space pirate, his main occupation seems to be rescuing nuns, adopting orphans and praying like a champ.

For nine long months Vin Sainte has been fleeing the bounty hunter from one temporary refuge to the next. Now he’s got Mako exactly where he wants her: weak from gravity sickness and ripe for conversion. Problem is he didn’t expect a foul-mouthed, hard-as-nails bounty hunter to be such a devoted daughter. His head on a platter is Ravenscorp’s price for her mother’s freedom.

They have less than twenty four hours. One will win; one will lose. Mako might be a fearsome predator, but Vin has the Lord on his side. Who will win the bounty?

Diane, you seem to have a thing for space pirates (see Blue Galaxy).  What is it about these futuristic opportunists, as opposed to space cowboys or gangsters of love, that you find fascinating?

What can I say? I do enjoy writing scoundrels of various sorts. Captain Javan Rhodes of Blue Galaxy is a semi-alcoholic has-been; Vin Sainte of Mako’s Bounty is a commie pinko rabble-rouser on the run from the authorities. Other characters I’ve written include a pregnant cannibal, a vengeful waitress and an alluring psychopath.  You know what? I think it’s best that I not try to analyze myself. The results could be very disturbing.  Um, yeah. Let’s move on *grin*

Let’s talk characters. What would a girl’s night out with Mako – planet of her choice – entail?

Mako’s a bit of a lightweight. If we let her at the booze we might have to  carry her home. She’s a spacer, you see, born on a mining colony in the asteroid belt. In the low-grav environment they tend to grow long and thin, with lower bone density and less water fluid than planet-born humans. Alcohol hits spacers much harder than us Earthers. Plus, Mako is rambunctious enough without adding a pitcher of gargleblasters into the mix. We’ll just sit the beauteous bounty hunter in between us and see who comes to check out our milkshakes.  If anyone gets on our nerves we’ll just set Mako the Shark on them.

And Vin Sainte, what would he have been doing for the last nine months if Mako wasn’t nipping at his heels, or is “bounty” the status quo for The Saint?

Oh, he would have been out there cruising the galaxy, causing trouble for Ravenscorp, looking for heroic deeds to do and pretty ladies to impress. Even if Mako claims Vin as her personal bounty, there will still be plenty of bad ‘uns out there hoping to collect the price on his head. So, yeah -  Ole Vin is permanently on the run. He insists that he is not a pirate, but a freedom fighter.

You’ve got some wonderful banter, and moments where characters are thrown out of their comfort zones. Which scenes are the most fun for you to write, and which the most agonizing?

I love writing dialogue. That part comes easy, so I especially like writing scenes with interaction, particularly repartee or intense confrontations. In my horror stuff I enjoy jabbing at soft underbellies. I don’t think my horror stuff is as scary as much as it is discomforting and unsettling. In science fiction I love the freedom of building a world and populating it with lots of imaginary people.  Close to agonizing is writing the openings and endings of my stories. I’m never happy with them and will fiddle with them endlessly unless someone stops me. Actual agony is reading something of mine that has been published and noticing all the ways in which it could be better, but by then it’s too damn late to do anything about it.    

What do you like to read? Is there anything that might surprise us on your bookshelves?

I read very broadly: genre, literary, non-fiction (history, biography, art), poetry, children’s, cereal boxes - you name it. This writing business does severely get in the way of my reading, unfortunately. The most recent book I finished was Stacia Kane’s ‘Unholy Ghosts.’ I read it particularly to see what she got away with with her bad girl heroine, Chess. I really enjoyed it and think I’m going to delve further into the urban fantasy genre.  Next up on the old to-read pile is the entire set of the ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ books. Both my sons insist I read them so I can “get” all their jokes and references. Little geeks, those boys of mine! Probably the most surprising thing about my bookshelves is the sheer amount of space I need for my personal library. My husband recently built me wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves -- and there still wasn’t enough room for all my books.

What’s next for Diane Dooley? Any upcoming projects you can share?

‘Blue Nebula,’ the follow-up to ‘Blue Galaxy,’ will be released by Carina Press in September of this year. ‘That Night,’ a romantic comedy, will be released by Wild Rose Press in December. I have a short story, ‘The Staycation,’ being published by Underground Voices in May. I was delighted to get an acceptance on this story. It started out as a challenge to myself to write a story entirely without dialogue. I lean so heavily on dialogue that I wanted to see if I was capable of writing a story without it. I guess I succeeded!  

Works in progress? I’m close to finishing ‘Blue Planet,’ the third and final in the Blue trilogy, and am making progress on two contemporary romance novels. I have a gothic horror novella started, a post-apocalyptic novel started and I’d like to take a stab at urban fantasy at some point this year. In between longer works I’ll be tackling some more horror shorts.

I’d like to give away a copy of Mako’s Bounty to one of the readers of this blog. You can read the opening here to decide if it’s your cup of tea. To enter the giveaway please mention an urban fantasy story you think rocks. I like ‘em dark, funny or, preferably, dark *and* funny. (And, yes, I already have ‘Don’t Bite The Messenger’ on my Kindle *grin*)  

Thanks so much for stopping by, Diane! Mako’s Bounty is fun, sharp, with wonderful worldbuilding and a steamy center. The giveaway will be open to entries through April 2, 2012. I will draw a winner via random dot org on or around that day. Please include your email address in your entry!

And zee weener is: CobraMisfit. Congratulations!

Mako's Bounty is available from Decadent Publishing, Amazon, and all the usual online retailers.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I'm back on the chain gang! It's been awhile since I've participated in AbsoluteWrite's monthly blog chain. If you haven't dabbled in such a thing, I highly recommend it. Writing to a prompt is a good exercise (this month it's Rainy Days), writing with brevity (less than 1,000 words) even more challenging. Plus, you get to meet and read all sorts of other writers (participant list at the end).

This is a snippet of character work from RD, my work in progress. Fair warning: it's not one of my lighter pieces.

~~ Drowning of Her ~~

            It was the sound of rain that roused him. Not the darkness that had fallen, nor the cold that crept into the room in defiance of the fire. Water overcame the gutters all at once, round funnels dropping like the rails of a gate to obscure the view of fir trees and low skies.

            Victor closed the book that lay open on the desk, not bothering to mark the page. He hadn’t had much hope when he opened it. Another dead end in a lifetime of dead ends. He rose, abruptly restless. What he sought wouldn’t be found in a book, or any written record. It was the sort of thing – a legend cobbled together from half-truths and wishful thinking – that gushed up from deathbeds or was torn from men desperate to believe that these slivered rumors would buy them more time.

            The fire spit sparks onto the hearth as he passed. He would not know comfort again, not until he had the answer – not until he had her back.

            He clasped his hands and gazed into the stone yard behind the house. Elizabeth hated it. She’d been raised in wild gardens. The trellis was bare, stripped of the climbing, flowering vines she’d carefully cultivated.

            Victor turned at the sharp rap on the door. “Come.”

            “Sir.” Davis filled the doorway. “They've given up nothing.”

            She’d been delighted with her first sprouted seedlings, vibrant green leaves and weak wobbling stems overflowing her collection of mismatched jars.

            “Hang them up.” Victor jerked his chin toward the trellis. “Together if it can stand the weight.”

            Davis retreated and, as he descended the stairs, other heavy footsteps joined his. The old house muffled the inevitable shouting, absorbed the impact of disagreement. The back door opened and Victor’s people dragged two men out, one kicking against his bonds, the other quiet.

            The captives and the captors both bowed their heads to the icy rain. Blood diluted and dissipated in the water running rivers through the stone. One less thing to clean up. Davis raised his head, shielding his face with one hand. In the other, he held a length of chain.

            Victor nodded. He would have his answer, if he had to tear through every last man to get it. He would have his Elizabeth back.



Bogna -  (link to this month's post)

Ralph Pines -  (link to this month's post)

pyrosama -  (link to this month's post)

Nissie - (link to this month's post)

Lyra Jean -  (link to this month's post)

Domoviye -  (link to this month's post)

magicmint -  (link to this month's post)

areteus -  (link to this month's post)

julzperri -  (link to this month's post)

AFord -  (link to this month's post)

randi.lee -  (link to this month's post)

J. W. Alden -  (link to this month's post)

SuzanneSeese -  (link to this month's post)

Tomspy77 - (link to this month's post)

ronbwriting - (link to this month's post)

Saturday, March 10, 2012


I haven't been reading as much as I'd like. This is a serious problem for me. I read at a book-a-day pace, with average books. As many as three if they're light and on the shorter side. But I don't have the time, and I can't read certain books when I'm writing. Books with formal styles or anything written in present tense affect my voice, and not for the better.

I have to sneak stories in between projects, or while I'm sick or flying. My to-be-read pile got so tall that I had to stop buying books and just keep a list. Now that list is so long it's slowing down my hard drive. What happens if I can't read everything I want to read? Will the combined weight of words crush me?

How do you keep track of these things? Do you feel like you're missing out? Are there any must-read stories that came out recently that I actually Must Read?

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Sometimes twitter signs me out.

I don't know why.

Maybe it's cleaning house and sees me zoned out and thinks I'm some hairless dust bunny, or maybe there's a quota for mentioning coffee too many times in a week (I don't sleep well, twitter, please learn sympathy!).

Anyway, when I get the boot I lose all ability to reason. I refresh the sign-in page a few times, like maybe my browser will decide to start refreshing to a page with a page from the past. And then, when I go to sign in, I enter my username as "twitter", but without the quotation marks. Because in my small, reptilian brain, all I have to do is type "twitter" and I'm flooded with tweets. Mostly about coffee and self-promotion, but about ten percent are awesome and that's more than I can say about things people say to me in real life.

DO NOT enter your username as twitter, by the way. The program gets an attitude, and is like "oh, nuh-uh, you did not even".


Actually, I may have just discovered why twitter sometime signs me out. Also, I think it stuck a "pin me" stickynote to my butt. A Pinterest joke, twitter, really?