For many authors it takes years to make their mark on the publishing industry, not so for author Delaney Diamond! This Virgin Island native and Atlanta, Georgia transplant published her firstnovel, The Arrangement, in November 2010 with Amira Press and in no time found herself on several bookseller’s bestseller’s list!
Personally, I’m not surprised by Ms. Diamond’s success. Her books are well-written, highly emotional and her hero’s are mouthwatering alpha!
And get this, unlike other romance authors, who decided on their chosen profession straight out of the womb, Diamond didn’t get the fever to pen romance novels until after college.
“I wrote essays and won a scholarship from the Xerox Corporation and the Daughters of the American Revolution, but I stopped writing fiction once I started college and didn’t write fiction again until I got the idea I wanted to write romance in 2009.”
After completingThe Arrangement, Diamond submitted it to three publishers at the same time. “Amira Press got back to me right away. The book was released in November of 2010, and since then I released Fight for Love with Amira in May (part of the Hot Latin Men series) and I’m working on my next WIP in the series, which will hopefully be released later this year (if I can get it completed in time!).
As far as her writing style, Diamond’s a pantser, with a bit of plotting. “Once I get an idea for a story, I log it into an Excel sheet. Each story idea has its own sheet. As details come to me (characters descriptions and personalities, dialogue, setting, etc.), I make note of them. This goes on over a period of months. Only when I feel I have enough ideas to write a story do I start writing.
“As I’m writing, more scene ideas develop in my head, and I note them by chapter in the sheet. I write in chapters, and often out of sequence, so each chapter has a name to keep me on track. For instance, in Fight for Love, Chapter 1 was His Arrival. Chapters 5 and 6 were Dinner at Parents’ House. I also use Excel to keep a running total of my word count.
Wondering how well this worked for her, I asked her how long it took to write a complete manuscript considering she’s already released three in a matter of six months.
“I can’t tell you from concept to completed book because I could have the concept months before I start writing. I even have manuscripts that are finished, but I won’t let them see the light of day without touching them up first. Then there are ideas that I know I won’t get to for a long time.”
“What I can tell you is once I start a book, it takes about 4-6 weeks for me to complete it. If I wrote every day it would go a lot faster.”
Since she doesn’t write everyday, I wondered what an average day in Ms. Diamond’s life was like considering sometimes I feel like a chicken running around with my head cut off.
“In between her 9 to 5 duties, I sneak in writing time, sends out promotions, reads blogs or magazines to keep up with the writing industry through blogs or magazines. Although Delaney is passionate about her craft, she doesn’t follow a strict writing schedule. “I don’t subscribe to the idea that you have to write every day. I enjoy writing, but when I don’t feel like doing it, I don’t. I set small daily goals for myself which I usually surpass. If I don’t accomplish my writing goal for a particular day, I make it up over the course of the next day or whenever. I never want it to feel like a “job.”
From what I gathered from our interview, writing hasn’t become job and it seems as if her expereinces so far as a published author have been great. “You know you’re right, I’m amazed at how supportive authors are of each other. Sharing information, marketing tips, etc. It’s made the experience a pleasant one, and I try to pay it forward whenever I can.”
If you’re a fan of Diamond’s books or if you ever get a chance to visit her website, you’ll notice she has a fondness for Latin heroes, which is refreshing since most multicultural/interracial romances are dominated by black woman/white man pairings. When asked why she decided to deviate from the norm, Diamond responded simply, “I think they’re (latin men) so hot! Plus, it was a personal choice since that’s been my only interracial dating experience.”
“I also enjoy Latin culture—the food, music, etc., which bears some similarity to Caribbean culture. My ideas come mostly from my imagination, but I do incorporate a little bit of what I experience in the world around me. Not just people I cross paths with, but characters I read in books, movies I’ve watched, television shows, and even articles I’ve read. Inspiration can come from almost anywhere. So far, readers have enjoyed my heroes and have been positive in their comments.”
Well I’m giving her my thumbs up because her hero’s are muy, muy hot and to-curling alpha– just like I like ’em! So you know I asked her what secret was and she said, “If I knew, I would definitely tell you. I just write what I like. I looooove alpha males. I like men who are very masculine and take charge. I like it so much I wrote a blog post once called “Tall, Dark, and Alpha, Heavy on the Alpha.” That’s another reason why I like Latin men. Their machismo is so sexy to me.”
“The reason I think my heroes work is that even though they’re strong and alpha, I write enough from their perspective to give the reader an understanding of why they behave the way they do and give them one weakness—the heroines. Those women are kryptonite to these alpha males! They can’t live without them, and that’s why they go to such extremes.”
All of Diamond’s heroine’s are memomable as well. They seem to really come full circle. They’re incomplete within the relationship, one of the reasons they leave, but then they blossom into these fully actualized characters that are so totally relatable.
“I tried to write the females as complete, but unhappy in their relationships. Alexa ran her own business and Rebekah put herself through school. The 180 degree change you see is when they allow themselves to trust the hero and allow him back into their lives as a partner and lover.”
“There are different lessons in each book. In The Arrangement, communication was a big issue between Alexa and Leonardo. They loved each other, but because of the parental relationships they’d seen as kids, it affected their approach to their marriage. Also, instead of actually speaking to each other, each time they had a problem they just fell into bed. Of course that never solved their problems.”
“Rafael and Rebekah had a number of complications that created problems in their marriage. They were young, he never felt he was good enough for her, and she hated the violence of wrestling and the lifestyle. When the scandal broke, to her young mind, her parents had been right all along—Rafael wasn’t right for her. When he came back into her life, they had to work through all their issues, plus the fact that she’d kept their son a secret. In that story, I wanted to show the endurance of their love, despite being separated for years, and that love could conquer any problem.”
“One thing I try not to do is write bitchy women. Strong and independent does not equal bitchy. I feel as if being feminine and vulnerable gets a bad rap sometimes—as if to be strong we have to morph into men. We’re different, and we should celebrate the differences.”
Speaking of characters, I like the fact that we see quite a bit of the hero’s culture whether it’s his motivations, language, etc., and it’s so authentic that I want to go out and reel in my own Leonardo de Silva! So I asked Diamond how she develops her characters and whether or not she’d done a ton of research or was she just simply fabulous and winging it.
“I’m just fabulous! Ha-ha. No, for the first two books in the series, I didn’t do a lot of research. Leonardo is Brazilian, so I looked up a few Portuguese words. The setting is in Atlanta, Georgia, where I live. In Rafael’s case, it was easier because I speak a little Spanish so I sprinkled in some Spanish words. I’ve been to Los Angeles several times, so I felt comfortable writing that as a secondary setting.”
“My best friend is Puerto Rican, so I had her double check my Spanish in Fight for Love and she did the same for my upcoming release, Worth Waiting For. I wanted to make sure I used the words in the correct sense so that nothing was lost in translation.”
“I don’t write too much Spanish—just enough to give the reader a taste of the language. My goal is to write interesting, romantic stories, and the cultural aspects are secondary. I’m not Latina, so I don’t delve too far into the culture to where I feel I risk misrepresenting it our offending anyone, but there’s enough there for the reader to get a good sense of the difference.”
I definitely got a sense of all her hot Latin heroes, especially former wrestler Rafael Lopez aka La Sombra! Hands down Rafael has to be the most memorable hero I can remember to date. The concept was so original and sexy! So I how did she come up with the hero’s profession? Was it a coincidence? Was she a closet wrestling fan or did she just love Jack Black’s Nacho Libre as much as I did.
“Nacho Libre was cool, wasn’t it? I’m not in the closet about my love of wrestling. I grew up watching wrestling with my father, and when I decided I wanted to write a romance novel with an athlete as a hero, I made him a wrestler. It was different, plus I think those guys don’t get enough credit. I admire the athleticism and skill of wrestlers, and even though I don’t watch it like I used to, I still get a kick out of their showmanship. I chose a Mexican hero because I know how big wrestling is in Mexico. There it’s called lucha libre, and I planned to include this whole thing about the history, etc. in the book, but then I decided not to. I felt it wasn’t necessary and didn’t want to bog down the story.”
If you’re wondering when Ms. Diamond’s next offering will be, you don’t have long to wait! “WorthWaiting For will be released this fall. The story is a sweet interracial romance that I wrote last year and couldn’t find a home for. Finally, it will be published by Astraea Press this fall, a publisher that offers sweet romance and fiction. This book kicks off my Bailar series. Julia Newman and Frederico “Freddie” Mendoza meet when she hires him to work on her basement. She drives a silver Mercedes, just purchased a four bedroom house in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, and she’s on her way to becoming the youngest female partner in the history of the venture capitalist firm where she works. Life couldn’t be better. Or so she thought. Freddie sees Julia as the kind of woman he’s decided he’ll avoid from now on. He needs to work on expanding his business. Besides, she’s not his type. Or so he thought.”
“I also have The Temptation of a Good Man, my first African-American romance, and the first book in my Hawthorne Family series coming out soon. It will be available this fall. Dr. Roarke Hawthorne is an astrophysicist and professor. He despises cheating because it tore apart his family years ago. He’s shocked to see the woman he spent a passionate night with show up at his sister’s wedding on the arm of his brother. Celeste Burton attends the wedding as a favor to her friend, but she had no idea Roarke is her friend’s brother. She never forgot him, but now the passion he had in his eyes has been replaced by disdain because he thinks she used him to cheat on his own brother.”
“Samirah Jamison, Rebekah’s (from Fight for Love) sister, will also have her own story. I’m working on it now, and it’s tentatively titled Private Acts. Samirah gladly accepts a position in Ecuador as a cook/housekeeper after her last relationship blows up in her face. She’s an outgoing extrovert who charms everyone she meets. Miguel Delgado is the reclusive artist who lives next door. They begin a steamy affair, but as Samirah’s assignment nears its end, they have to decide if what they feel is enough to build a lasting relationship despite their differences.”
The Fast Five. Five fun questions that delve a little deeper into who Delaney Diamond really is…
Weekend at a vineyard in France or Surfing in Costa Rica? Vineyard in France. J’adore la France!
Out on the town with your girlfriends or a quiet dinner party at home? Dinner party at home
Enrique Iglesias or Rodrigo Santoro? Rodrigo Santoro. He was so cute in Love Actually.
Flowers or Chocolate? Can I have both?
Rebekah or Alexa? Rebekah. She’s a lot like me. Low-key, emotional, and fiercely protective of those we love.
Want to learn more about author Delanney Diamond and her books, visit her website at www.delanneydiamond.com.
FIGHT FOR LOVE
Science teacher Rebekah Jamison lives a quiet life in the suburbs of Atlanta. Devastated by a tabloid scandal nine years ago, she ended her marriage to the man her parents never approved of.
Rafael Lopez, former professional wrestler and “Sexiest Athlete Alive,” regrets the lapse in judgment that caused him to lose his wife. He shows up unannounced one day with some startling news, but he gets a surprise of his own. He finds out he’s a father. To get to know his son, he whisks him and Rebekah off to his home in the Hollywood Hills for the summer.
This novel contains material of a mature and adult nature that may not be suitable for younger readers. You must be at least 18 to read the excerpt.
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