Well, I'm forty-one years old, I've been married for seventeen years, and I have two teenage daughters and two canine babies. I'm originally from Gary, IN, but for the last twenty or so years I've lived in various parts of northern CA. I love to write, read, and talk (my husband can attest to that). My friends refer to me as the bootleg therapist because I'm always willing to listen to other people's problems and offer some sort of insight if I have it. I would describe myself as a homebody for the most part. Some of my best days are spent in a quiet house with a piece of cake and a good book. Just as a weird bit of information, I wrote Imagined Love, For the Love of Jade, and Love's Fool with Coraline playing in the background! I don't know what it was about that movie but I had to have it on when I wrote.
DWED: Have you always aspired to publish a novel?
Yes! From the time I was in the first grade and my teacher chose my story as the best of the bunch and read it for the entire class I dreamed of seeing my name on the back of a book. I talked about it all the time so to have three published novels is most definitely a dream come true. I still hold them in my arms like babies.
DWED: Would you say the journey to publishing was easy or hard? Why?
It was definitely difficult . . . the rejection and the self-doubt that ensues. More than anything, though, I think it was a learning process that I wasn't willing to embark upon in the beginning, at twenty, when I wrote my very first book entitled Tricked. I thought everything I wrote was brilliant and rejected anyone who said differently. And that's exactly why those manuscripts are collecting dust in my garage! I had a lot of maturing to do and twenty years later I'm proud of the work I've produced and that I have a team that believes in me enough to offer me unconditional support. I appreciate the journey now in a way I couldn't back then.
DWED: Who or what would you say inspired “Imagined Love” & “For the Love of Jade”?
My life and upbringing definitely inspired Imagined Love and For the Love of Jade. It was therapeutic to be able to put everything that was in my heart on paper. Although fictionalized, it was based on a lot of my own experiences so it helped me to bare my soul and leave it there for others to relate to and hopefully find healing.
DWED: How was the concept of “Imagined Love” & “For the Love of Jade” born?
The diaries that I've kept over the years gave me a starting place for Imagined Love. Then as I wrote, memories began to resurface as well as the emotions that went with them. Soon my creative juices got going and I was able to rewrite history, in a sense. I honestly never intended to do a sequel but after Imagined Love was published the characters continued to talk, so I continued to write. For the Love of Jade is definitely more fiction than fact and more of my idea of what the characters would do or say if they were in those situations.
DWED: How does “Imagined Love” & “For the Love of Jade” stand out? What does it offer and more importantly what can viewers find within it pages?
I think the emotions and heart behind all three of my novels is what makes them stand out. Within them readers will find real people dealing with real situations. And just like in real life, the characters don't always do or say the right thing. They have lessons to learn and journeys to travel just like the rest of us. All three novels offer hope and encouragement that no matter how bad things get, there's always light at the end of the tunnel.
The feedback has been AMAZING . . . especially lately! Readers have really connected with the characters and are fully invested in them. I've had the opportunity to communicate with readers as they're reading and I love it! They call or e-mail screaming about something one of the characters has said or done. Shortly after, they contact me crying their eyes out! However, the part that impacts me the most is the thing I never expected, and that's how much people actively begin making changes in their own lives because of the affect the characters had on them. THAT is the greatest reward and I cherish it wholeheartedly.
DWED: Would you say you have a unique style of writing?
I think so. In regards to the actual writing process I always write the ending first and work my way back. And as far as the story line goes, I think being able to convey intense emotions that readers carry with them long after they've finished the book is special and unique. I love that readers talk to me about the characters like they are living, breathing creatures!
DWED: what kind of messages do you try to instill in your writing?
Hope, perseverance, and empowerment are things that I try to convey in my novels. Sometimes life can be painful but no matter what situations occur I try to demonstrate that there's always light at the end of the tunnel if you're willing to ride it out.
DWED: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
Jade is my favorite character because she's who I identify with most. She and I share a lot of experiences. Though, despite her upbringing and the challenges she faced, Jade did all that she could to become the person she most wanted to be.
DWED: Who is your least favorite character in your book and why?
I would have to say Miles because he was the one character that never really changed. Even though he seemed sorry for the pain he caused others, he never did anything permanently to put a stop to it.
DWED: What can we look forward to seeing from you throughout 2013?
Currently I'm working on my fourth novel, Love's Choice, and I'm so excited about it. I'm absolutely in love with Dwight and Robin Haughton and I can't wait for everyone to meet them! They are a happily married couple with two wonderful kids, their dream home, and careers they both love. And everything is right with the world . . . until Dwight takes a new position on his job that wreaks havoc on his family life, particularly his marriage. Oh, and did I mention Robin's new boss--the very sexy, very powerful Devaughn Gannon who's willing to do just about anything to make Robin his! Love's Choice is full of drama and there are characters you'll love and some you'll love to hate!
DWED: What would you say to all aspiring authors like yourself?
I would say to aspiring authors that there is ALWAYS room to improve so never stop learning, growing, and honing your craft. Taking criticism and changing for the better is not the same as changing who you are as a writer. It's about making sure your work is presented at its best.
DWED: Is there anything we haven’t covered that you would like your readers and potential readers to know about both your work and yourself?
I would just like to reassure readers that when they pick up a Diamond Drake novel they will always get the very best of me; my whole heart, all of my emotions, and my hopes and dreams too. I fully enmesh myself into the characters and the story line with the hope that readers will do the same.
Thank you so much for this opportunity.
About the Author:
Diamond Drake is the author of three dramatic romance novels: Imagined Love, For the Love of Jade, and the 2012 Editor's Choice Award nominee, Love's Fool. Noted for her emotionally gripping tales, Drake has been dubbed "the queen of heartbreak" and continues to write stories that will touch the hearts of her readers. Originally from Gary, IN, she now resides in Stockton, CA with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs. Find out more about Diamond Drake at www.diamonddrakebooks.com
For the Love of Jade
Jade, now a stay-home wife and mother of three is caught in the middle of the two men she loves most . . . her husband and the man he believes is in love with her! Despite her efforts to bring peace, the tension between them mounts and begins to drive a wedge between the happy couple. The situation becomes even more complicated when another man enters Jade's life vying for a piece of her heart. It's enough to make her crazy. Though, nothing could have prepared Jade for the devastating tragedy and unexpected betrayal that leaves her questioning whether true love really exists.
With the cast of characters from Imagined Love, Drake delves deep into matters of the heart and shows what lengths some men will go . . . For the Love of Jade.
Madeline Stiles is a beautiful, successful, independent thirty-year-old who seems to have it all--but appearances can be deceiving. Oddly enough, it's when her sister Christa is left by her fiance on the way to their lavish wedding that the light begins to shine on just how unhappy both the Stiles women are, particularly Madeline. Demons from the past keep her from moving forward in the area of love. Madeline's obsession with a former lover leaves her even more heartbroken and desperate. And it's that state of mind that often leads her back into the arms of her on again, off again lover, Sidney Reid--the man who loves her unconditionally despite how she treats him. Even when Madeline falls in love with someone else Sidney can't let her go and breaks a lot of hearts, including his own, in his quest to get her back.
Madeline's friends Tamia, Avis, Raye Ann, and Deidra are just as unlucky in love and try desperately to navigate the pitfalls of dating and relationships while searching for that perfect someone. A daunting task in itself, but it's made even more so by the fact that each woman has a secret, one they'll do anything to protect. It's only at Avis's 40th birthday party, the last place any of them expect, that their secrets are exposed! Trust is broken and relationships are destroyed beyond repair. Will any of them be able to pick up the pieces after playing the role of . . . Love's Fool?