Guest Authors

Guest Author Diane Major


Diane Major 

Keep Calm & Answer These 25 Questions  

  1. Do you consider yourself a logophile?  This may make it impossible for me to ever persuade anyone to READ me, but – really, no.  I just don’t categorize myself at all; I contain multitudes; logophilia is in there, but it is not all that I am …  If so, have you always been?  Only since literacy.  😉
  2. What is your favorite color?  I don’t have favorite things; much as I don’t categorize myself, I can’t imagine embracing a limit like this.  For this reason, my questionnaire is going to suck:  I rebel against their reductive nature.
  3. Where were you born?  Central VA  Where did you grow up?  Same.
  4. What is your favorite football team?  Ew.
  5. Who is your favorite author?  Even in this, I can’t limit nor reduce myself.  One favorite?  Impossible.  Even if I could reduce it to a reductive-list-sized-list, from one day to another, from one age to another, from one mood to another, what I want to read will be very very different.
  6. What is your favorite book?  See above re:  reductive questionnaires and my inability to satisfy them.
  7. What do you do when you are not writing?  I read, and know perfectly well if that’s not first in this response I’m a heel.  I have a terrible Roku box addiction.  I shamelessly flatter the resident cat and dog.  I Tweet and blog and read a lot of historical and costume blogs, and network as much as I can through these channels.  I wear far too much makeup on the odd Saturday night, and go out dancing.  Sometimes I sleep unconscionably late.  Mmm.  Sleep.
  8. Do you have a day job as well?  Thank G-d:  yes.
  9. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?  This would be my advice to myself:  don’t pretend you’re not still aspiring, kiddo.  Also, don’t pretend there is no reason to.
  10. Is being a writer a curse or a gift?  Gift.
  11. Where do you write?  It varies a bit, but on my laptop.
  12. Do you prefer silence or some noise while you write?  Either is workable, depending on how inspired I am, but probably some background noise is usually buzzing.  I might not notice it’s not there if I’m actually concentrating.
  13. What do you typically drink while writing?  Water.  I can’t do soda anymore, never could do coffee, and don’t subscribe well to the solitary alcoholic muse model.
  14. What challenges have you had in regards to your writing life?  Laziness and un-admitted fears.  See also:
  15. When did you first start and when did you finish your book?  I’m revising.  Again.  Still without any readers.  Sigh!
  16. If your book is made into a movie, which actors/actresses do you envision playing the parts?  I do not casturbate.  Anyway, my characters aren’t made of Hollywood.
  17. What does your protagonist think of you?  He chose me for reasons even he would not know nor admit to.  I suspect he found me worthy once I’d gotten him spat out, but other than that have no idea whether he likes me for telling the story. Would he/she want to hang out with you?  Almost certainly not.  Unless we were both in those awkwardly excitable teenaged years.
  18. How do you market your book?  Mostly via my blog, querying (again suspended as I edit again), social networking and writing events.  I’ve done Pitchapalooza twice, which is nerve-wracking.  What avenues work best?  Ask me if and when I ever get an agent and they sell the thing.
  19. What has been the toughest criticism so far?  James River Writers’ response to my Best Unpublished Novel contest submission I actually found (eventually, after really thinking about it) incorrect in one or two fundamental ways.  I actually have trouble getting *enough* criticism, as finding readers for hefty historical fiction is incredibly hard to do, and a number of those who’ve agreed to read for me have subsequently simply not done so at all.  I take criticism well, but finding someone I would trust to give it is a trick, and finding someone who actually WILL is even harder.
  20. What has been the best compliment?  I honestly have no idea.  I don’t hear the compliments, as they don’t tend to come from critical readers really.
  21. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?  MY experiences?  Lord no.  I write historical fiction set in Late Antiquity.  So it’s real enough, but I have only seldom actually axed anyone in the brainpan …
  22. How did you come up with the title?  It took over a year, but The Ax and the Vase is about Clovis I of the Salian Franks.  The Franks’ name came from the ax they were famous for carrying – the francisca.  So, The Ax …  The vase refers to perhaps the most famous legend about Clovis’ frequently legendary and even propagandistic vengeance, the story of the Vase of Soissons.  If you Google Vase of Soissons, the story is out there.
  23. Will there be a sequel?  My work in progress is not a sequel, but does follow the life of a next-generation member of Clovis’ bloodline.  She may never have met him in her life, and lived far, far from Gaul and the Franks, and because the novel will be from a feminine point of view this time I consider the two works very much independent from one another.
  24. What project are you working on now?  See above.  It remains untitled as of yet.
  25. What question did I leave out that you’d like to answer?  You didn’t ask me what I am doing on Saturday night …

Please fill in the blank: Keep Calm and skip the slogans …

Check out Diane’s blog at

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  1. My thanks and my apologies for such a LONG batch of responses, Kristy! BTW I should have edited them – above where it says querying is suspended as I’m querying again, it should have said editing again. Is that a Freudian slip of some sort, or simply a hilarious fail … ?
    Diane recently posted…More on Henry and His OffspringMy Profile

  2. Casturbate? HA! I can’t stop laughing over that one. Hilarious. What a great interview. I found it very refreshing. You go, girl. You sleep in and wear that makeup. Good for you.
    Katie Cross recently posted…Why Making A Book Cover Is A Snobbish BusinessMy Profile

    • Hee. Well, I tend to save *that* much makeup for special occasions (at my age, in the light of day, makeup looks way makeuppy), but I appreciate it. Frankly I think I stink as an interviewee, so I’m happy to hear someone could stand it!

      As to casturbation, I of course dare not take credit. The Friedrich Agency has the best piece about it I’ve ever seen:

      If you need any further refreshing, I have a blog and even manage to keep it coherent from time to time. Thank you again! And thanks of course to Kristy for putting up with me …
      Diane recently posted…Worst. Interview. Ever.My Profile

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