Q&A with Diane Gaston

Q&A with Diane Gaston

The fabulous Diane Gaston visited the office recently and we were lucky enough to catch a few minutes with her to talk writing, inspiration and her latest book, Bound by a Scandalous Secret!


Hi Diane! One of the first things we associate with our Regency Authors, besides the Romance, is research. With your trip to London will you be doing any location scouting for inspiration?

I never go searching for inspiration with a specific book in mind but I am always on the lookout for ideas. Some of the locations I love visiting most are historic houses, especially where you can get up to the bedrooms. The floor plans in particular are very useful. I always keep in mind the furniture and decorations when writing my books.


You’ve also talked about getting inspiration for new novels from your previous books. Can you go into further detail?

I’m fascinated by characters. There’s often a character in a book that intrigues me so much, I have to write their story next. I didn’t plan to with my first book, The Mysterious Miss M, but I felt the sister in that story needed her own. In the next story there was a semi-villain that I wanted to explore. Now it’s much more planned out with the series, but inspiration still strikes. In The Masquerade club, I had planned originally for two books, but a character in the second novel, a lady of notoriety needed her own story, and so I told it.


What can you tell us about your latest book, Bound by a Scandalous Secret?

Genna is the youngest sister. She doesn’t believe in happily ever after or in marriage. Her dream is to become an artist, a very unrealistic dream. She accidentally meets the son of a Duke and they become great friends who fall in love. More blurb


As a Regency Author, how do you balance writing versus research?

I have a lot of regency books but don’t do as much research as I should! For this book, the Genna is an artist. I knew there was great art in Carlton House so went to give a tour. The man who curated Carlton House is married to an artists, and she became a minor character in the book. That’s the fun of it.

I should write every day. My goal is 9-4 Monday to Friday. But now that my husband is retired it makes it more problematic. Because he’s always around!


Do you read in the same genre you write?

My favourite genre is Regency Historical Romance but I don’t read a lot of it as gets in the way of my own writing. I do make a point of reading my friends, Mary Blayney, for example. I probably read more romance judging the RITA awards. I have found I’ve become a huge history buff, and I wasn’t always. It’s definitely the writing that got me interested in history. You spend so much time in the world and it’s endlessly fascinating.


What advice would you give to someone who wants to write but is too scared to start?

Don’t worry about finishing, don’t worry about getting it right. You can always go back to fix it, always. Just focus on writing and getting it out. With the ease of self-publishing I worry that as soon as writers think their book is good enough as soon as they finish it. They need to remember that writing is a learning process and editing can be even more important.

Nothing teaches you more about writing a book than finishing one.


With that in mind, what is your own editing process like?

I tend to fix things as I go along. I have wonderful critique partners who I meet every other work to critique each other’s work. I then go back and work on their comments.

Lately, the manuscripts I’ve been turning in need more polishing! Working with my editor, Carly, is all part of the process as well. I like to wait for her comments, there’s no point in polishing something that she feels needs changing.


Finally, do you have a favourite one of the books you’ve written?

I have a great fondness for my first book, The Mysterious Miss M. Because it was my first.

Also for The Reputable Rake, because it won me the RNA

But the book that I really loved writing was The Lady of Notoriety. I found it much easier to write than other books because I knew what I wanted to say. The book is about a beautiful woman who needed redemption, and that really resonated with me.


Thank you so much to Diane for taking the time to chat with us! Her latest book, Bound by a Scandalous Secret, is out now!