Monday, December 11, 2017

Birthday Presents by Dianne Hartsock

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Dianne Hartsock will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?

I stumbled on my first m/m erotic romance about six years ago, and I have to say, I was instantly hooked! I’ve read plenty of romances, but there was something about the intimacy and passion and strength of their love in a world that doesn’t always except them as a couple, that really got to me. I wanted to write something this touching and intensely personal, really climb into their skin and see what makes them tick. I can’t seem to find this level of intimacy in any other genre.

What research/world-builing is required?

Everything! Birthday Presents is a contemporary story, so I didn’t have to world build for this one. But it’s about a serial killer and his victims and the police/detectives that are tracking him down. I needed to research modern serial killers. What survivors have to say about their horrifying experience. Their family’s ordeal. PTSD. Police procedure. Some of this I already knew from other crime stories I’ve written, but with new characters come more things to research. If I don’t get it right, the story loses credibility, which loses the reader’s interest.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

How to be brave. My goodness, the terrible things that were done, the fear and pain and terror they went through. How they didn’t simply fall apart and give in to despair, I’ll never know. But they kept hold of hope, and though they have a long recovery ahead of them, they’re going to make it. They have good friends who will make sure they do.

Do you have any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

I think if I didn’t have to work and could stay home and write full time, we’d have the cleanest house in the world! When I get into a writing a difficult scene, I get restless and nervous and pace the floor, scrub the counter, straighten a bookshelf, anything while I work out the sequence of events in my head. Sitting still while I untwist a plot point is not an option.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

Panster? I say that hesitantly because I usually am plotting out a storyline for a new book while still working on another one. I usually know the main characters, the beginning, where I’d like the story to go, and the ending. Of course, once I start writing, my characters take over and then it’s like herding cats to get them to go where I want them to. It’s always an adventure and I don’t always end up where I thought we’d be, but it’s also the only way I can write. If it’s too structured, I lose out on the fun and the surprises my characters have in store for me.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

My notebook for Birthday Presents! I wanted to make sure I got all the names right and didn’t leave anything important out of this interview. I did have a cup of coffee there about ten minutes ago, but finished it (my third cup) and didn’t think I should have any more. Being a jittery author is not always a good combination. Who knows what my characters would do then!

Anything new coming up from you? What?

Most everything I’ve written up to date has been published. (Lucky me!) At the moment I’m finishing up a psychological thriller and will send that to my publisher at the end of the year to see what they think. After that I’ll start a romantic suspense story based on a winter legend. I won’t tell you which one! I want it to be a surprise.

Do you have a question for our readers?

With so many terrific stories out there, I have a hard time picking which one to buy next. Do you have a favorite author, and if so, which book of theirs would you recommend I read first?

For Tracey, life has become a nightmare. Kidnapped from a nightclub in Boulder, Colorado, brutalized and raped by the killer known as Crimson, he's held captive alongside Kyle, a young man Crimson keeps chained to his bed and is slowly torturing to death. Though Tracey manages to escape with Kyle's help, he is forced to leave Kyle behind.

Gene has never stopped looking for his brother Kyle, abducted from a nightclub seven months previously. The case breaks open when Tracey comes forward, claiming to have knowledge of the whereabouts of Crimson's hideout.

A manhunt begins, but Crimson's birthday has come and gone, and he will kill again.

Read an excerpt:

"I know." Paige gave him an intense look. "I will find them, Gene."

Gene sighed, scrubbing at his face with his hands. "How many men do we have out here?" he asked, staring into the darkness below them.

"There's a team two ridges over, working their way toward us, and another sweeping from the west. We have Crimson boxed in, as long as no one gets careless. Another reason I wanted to stop. Can't risk him doubling back and getting behind us."

Gene nodded, though his skin crawled with nerves. He let out a long breath and shifted, stretching out on the hard ground.

Paige leaned back on his elbows, his gaze on the dark trees in front of them. He flicked Gene a glance. "You should get some sleep."

"Fuck that." Gene saw him flinch. "Can you find Crimson in this?"

"Yes. He's very good, though. The signs I've been finding have been left by Tracey. A footprint here, bent twigs, a button. "

Gene pictured Tracey as he'd last seen him: beautiful, strong, despite the shadows lurking darkly in his eyes.

"Okay," Genes said, nerves on edge. "We've had Crimson cornered several times and he's managed to get away every time. And now he has Tracey again." He rubbed his aching forehead. "How did that happen, exactly? How'd Crimson find us?"

"I have no idea. You, Craig, Klinton, and me were the only ones who knew the location. My money's on Craig."

About the Author:
Dianne is the author of paranormal/suspense, fantasy adventure, m/m romance, the occasional thriller, and anything else that comes to mind. She lives in the beautiful Willamette Valley of Oregon with her incredibly patient husband, who puts up with the endless hours she spends hunched over the keyboard letting her characters play. She says Oregon’s raindrops are the perfect setting in which to write. There’s something about being cooped up in the house with a fire crackling on the hearth and a cup of hot coffee warming her hands, which kindles her imagination.

Currently, Dianne works as a floral designer in a locally-owned gift shop. Which is the perfect job for her. When not writing, she can express herself through the rich colors and textures of flowers and foliage.

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Buy the book at Amazon, Less Than Three Press, or Kobo.

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So... inquiring minds want to know: what do you think?