Friday, 6 January 2012

In conversation with... Diane Fordham

Ever thought about being imprisoned in your dreams? Well I hadn’t until I read Dream Keeper by Diane Fordham.

Diane is a successful short story writer, novelist and fellow blogger and I am thrilled that she has agreed to pop in to talk to us about her supernatural novel Dream Keeper and about writing in general. As you will see, Diane is passionate about writing and whether you are a published or unpublished author, I think you will find her answers inspiring.

How did you feel when your first short story was accepted and who heard about it first?

I persisted for a long time before that first short story acceptance arrived and when it did the rewards I felt within myself was a celebration in itself. At the time I lived with my husband, Ray and my children Amy and Jared were very young. I remember the kids jumping up and down and excitedly shouting, 'Good on ya Mum!'

Like me, I know you’re a fan of Stephen King and Dean Koontz. Do you have a favourite book?

There are so many I can't put my finger on one particular book, but Duma Key by Stephen King is a favourite of mine.

And what is it about those particular authors that you like?

I admire the way these authors keep you entertained right from the first page to the very last - that's got to say something.

Where do you write?

I write everywhere. My favourite place is the beach. I'm a notepad and pen girl which doesn't limit me to where I can write. I find writing in different places, especially outdoors inspires me in different ways; characters, scenery, dialogue and ideas. I type my notes on my laptop in my lounge room at a huge desk which I am quite fond of.

You write a great deal. Do you ever suffer with the dreaded Writer’s Block and if so, have you any tips on how to deal with it?

Writer's Block is easily solved - I go outside. Whether I'm walking along the beach or around the block someone or something inspires me. Even reading a batch of short stories or a novel will trigger something inside of me that will jog an idea to work with. I think the key to overcoming Writer's Block is not believing in it, or if you can't manage that put yourself somewhere different so you can experience different things.

I mean this in the nicest possible way, but the night I started to read Dream Keeper, I awoke from a nightmare (perhaps not surprisingly about an unsavoury character stalking my dreams) to find Indy staring at me, asking to be let out. I’m not kidding, I was scared to get out of bed for a while and when I finally went downstairs I was constantly looking over my shoulder. Did you have nightmares when you were writing the book and if so, were you tempted to give up?

I had already met Dream Keeper in my own nightmares and to be honest many of the scenes were from my own dreams, especially those tunnels. I was never tempted to give up because there were fears that I needed to work through and the novel helped me to do that.

The nightmares sound frightening, but writing about them was clearly cathartic. Have you ever had a dream which has then become a short story?

I certainly have. There have been a few. One in particular was quite bizarre. The dream was the beginning of a short story (in my mind I had no doubt of that) and the dream made me ask a lot of questions about this character and why she was where she was and where she was going. I typed that story out the next day and submitted it that afternoon. In the evening I checked my emails and the story was accepted. I have never had a story written, submitted and accepted so quickly... never! So bizarre.

That’s fantastic, Diane. Sometimes a short story can be a gift from your dreams. It’s happened to me too, but it has never resulted in so swift an acceptance. I have to ask as you are a short story writer and a novelist, which do you prefer writing?

Can I pick both? I like novels because of the intimacy you achieve with your characters. In a novel the characters become a part of you, the good and the bad. You are able to explore stories within stories which entwine with the main story. Basically for me, I get to keep my fictional world for longer. I like the challenge of writing short stories. To create a piece of fiction with a beginning, middle and end in a limited number of words is quite exciting for me. Also I enjoy the flexibility of short stories; one day I might be writing a ghost story and the next a twist story. Actually, I just love writing!

Your love of writing is obvious, but finally what is the one thing you wish someone had told you when you first started to write?

'Keep your note books Diane.'

That made me smile. I’d never thought about it before, but looking back I wish I’d kept my notebooks too. Thank you for visiting my blog, Diane. Those were great answers and your love of writing really shines through.

About the book:

Dream Keeper the king of eternal sleep is building his kingdom in the dream tunnels of human minds and he wants novelist, Tiana, to be his queen. People all over the world, including Tiana’s family are falling into comas and the only way Tiana can save her family from eternal sleep is to join Dream Keeper in his world.

Enter Senior Investigator Macarthur T Egan, but how can he stop someone who exists in dreams? Well you’ll have to read the book to find out!

About the Author:

Diane Fordham lives where the rainforests meet the sea on the mid-north coast of NSW in Australia doing what makes her happy – writing.

It is her dream to one day write something that changes the lives of people in an uplifting and positive way.

Writing is Diane’s passion, what brings out the best in her and she has had more than 50 short stories published and of course her novel, Dream Keeper.

You can read more about Diane over at Reading and Writing where she is Rosemary’s first Author Spotlight of the year.

Visit Diane at her blog here.

Dream Keeper is available through Diane’s website and at Amazon UK.


  1. Great interview! Dream Keeper sounds a GREAT read.

    I have a confession. Up until 2 weeks ago I've never read a Stephen King novel. Watched many of his films but never read his books!

    However, I've just read Stephen King's "On Writing" and was blown away by his writing ethic. It's a great book for writers and it's enthuses you no end. Since I finished it I've download his books and actually read some now. What a story teller- pure story - nothing else which sound a silly thing to say -isn't it always about the story? Well it should be, but in actual fact quite often it isn't. Anyway enough rambling. Thanks again - and Happy New Year! Caroline x

  2. Loved reading more about the dreams and Dream Keeper, Diane - great interview, Teresa!

  3. Thank you so much Teresa for this wonderful interview you have posted on your blog. I very much appreciate it. Thank you very much Caroline and Rosemary for your kind comments x

  4. I envy you that you still have so many King books to discover, Caroline, although I must say I enjoy reading them more than once.
    On Writing is one of if not the best book ever written on writing!
    Happy New Year x

    Thanks Rosemary x

    Thank you, Diane for being interviewed. It was lovely learning more about you x

  5. Wow! What a fantastic interview with Diane, Teresa, and how inspiring. Thank you so much to both of you.

    How helpful too. I shall now get Stephen King's On Writing, and definitely Dream Keeper. I adore anything like that although it does sound more scary than anything I've read before!!

    Diane's love of writing absolutely shone through. Fabulous. :o) xx

  6. It's lovely to hear more about you and your your writing, Diane. I can definitely relate to the inspiration you find in the great outdoors. Hope Dream Keeper does really well for you.

  7. Thank you so much Sue. Was thrilled to read that you will be ordering a copy of Dream Keeper.:-)

    Thank you so much too Joanne for your comment.

    And ofcourse a big THANK YOU again to you Teresa for taking some time out for me. x

  8. Great to learn more about you and your writing Diane. Thanks Teresa for the interview. I shall be looking at this genre with new eyes now. Oh, and I have lots of old notes which I do keep, and am presently going through to find new stories.

  9. Diane, you wrote a story inspired by a dream and had it accepted before you went to sleep again? Wow, that IS impressive.

  10. Thanks Maggie May. Patsy - I wish that happened more often.

  11. Good luck to Diane, her book sounds fascinating.

  12. Great post, Teresa and Diane. I love a good spooky read.