Thank you, Dianne, for being here today to talk about your latest release, Wee Willie Winkie, and how you came to write it.
Elin: Hello, Dianne
Dianne: Thank you so much, Elin, for having me back on your wonderful blog!
Elin: What was it about the nursery rhyme “Wee Willie Winkie” that sparked your interest?
Dianne: When I was little, maybe five or six years old, I remember we had a huge illustrated book of Mother Goose Rhymes. Oh gosh, you’d have to sit on the couch with it in your lap to hold it! My favorite story was Wee Willie Winkie.
Or should I say, my favorite picture was the one that went with the rhyme. It was of a young boy wearing a flowing white nightgown and carrying a tiny lantern. He was running somewhere, blond curls flying behind him. He had such a mischievous grin on his face!
When Breathless Press put out the submissions call for Naughty Nursery Rhymes, I thought instantly of Willie’s smile. That little imp probably got into all kinds of trouble growing up! I began to think of the wild escapades he might have lead his friends into, and so began my story.
Elin: I know that you have previously written fantasy and horror. Is this your first foray into historical?
Dianne: Yes it is, and the funny thing, is that when I was writing the story, I never thought of it as an historical piece. It was a straight up m/m erotic love story that just happened to take place in the 1880’s, in keeping with the white nightgown I remembered in the picture. When men still wore nightgowns. Or at least I think they did. Not that I spend my time picturing men in or out of nightgowns…never mind.
Elin: Was it a very different writing process?
Dianne: It was a little different, but also a lot of fun. Since I mostly write contemporary stories, there was more research involved with Wee Willie Winkie. Also, I had to make a reference to the nursery rhyme somewhere along the way, when with my other stories I usually just start writing and see where we end up. I’ll have a pretty good idea of the beginning, the middle scenes, and how I want the story to end, but things always seem to get a little complicated along the way. In Wee Willie Winkie, some of the things that happened to Fredrick in the course of the story, I hadn’t thought to put in until a bit of research sparked the scene. I love when that happens.
Elin: Did you find the inevitable research onerous or fascinating?
Dianne: I enjoy research for its own sake, and with Wee Willie Winkie I had the chance to delve into the politics of Boston and Newport in the late 1800’s. I had the fun of researching the merchant vessels of that time. Many merchant lines had already converted to the steam engine, but that is so unromantic! I had to have the Wilkerson’s still use sailing vessels.
While researching I also stumbled upon the fact that shanghaies were still being carried out. Scary stuff. Some poor guy would get knocked out in an alley or somewhere when they were alone, then would wake up on a ship far out at sea and made to work or starve. They may not see their home again for a good year, if ever. I also got to dig through old photos of Boston Harbor at that time. A bit different than modern days!
Okay, I could go on like this ad nauseam. Like I said, I enjoy research for its own sake. The fact that it helps with my writing is a plus.
Elin: Without Aiden is a very different atmosphere to Wee Willie. Did you find it a big adjustment to go from one to the other?
Dianne: I was actually in the middle of writing WITHOUT AIDEN when I set it aside to write WEE WILLIE before the deadline for submissions came and went. While I did have to get into a different mindset for WEE WILLIE, it wasn’t extremely hard. I’m a big fan of romance novels written between the 1880’s-1920’s and have an extensive collection of them. When I sat down to write WEE WILLIE, I was able to take the feel of these love stories and capture it in my own romance. At least, that’s what I attempted.
Elin: Do you prefer writing contemporaries to your other genres?
Dianne: I wouldn’t say that I prefer it, but it is the easiest! To me, writing a contemporary story is like telling of something that happened to a friend just the other day. Or retelling a story a friend told me about a friend of theirs who had such and such a thing happen. The story lines seem to flow naturally and easily without too much effort on my part. I don’t have to try to imagine what their world would be like. I’m living it.
On the other hand, writing in other genres is a challenge, and I do like to push my limits as a writer, see if I can make a certain scenario work. Is it plausible? Can I make the magic believable? Or, in the case of the historical, are my facts straight and are my characters acting in the fashion of that time? I have a short sci-fi story on my list of things to write this year, but it’s the science that’s holding me back. Definitely a challenge! *rubs hands together* Time for more research!
Elin: What’s next? What are you working on or would you sooner keep it a big secret?
Dianne: Oh gosh, let’s see… It seems that at the moment I have four different projects I’m juggling. I have edits due on another short story for an anthology with Breathless Press, this time based around the nursery rhyme ‘Old McDonald’s Farm’. I’m 7k into a new contemporary romance that I’ve had to put aside—again—to work on the anthology. I’m 9k into a novel I’m writing as the sequel to my psychological thriller ALEX. And I’ve also started writing a Free Read on a friend’s blog, adding between 700-1000wds a week. Which you can find here! *wink* http://leatherandlacereads.blogspot.ca/search/label/Stuck%20on%20Rewind
Elin: Can we have an excerpt of one of your new releases?
WEE WILLIE WINKIE
Willie has met an old flame, but is he willing to give up the decadence of Boston society for the man he loves?
For the past three years William Wilkerson has led the life of the privileged rich. Head of his father’s shipping business, Willie indulges in the pleasures of Boston’s fine young men to his heart’s content. That is, until he meets Fredrick, the one man who has captured his heart, again.
As his former tutor, Fredrick has been declared off limits by William’s father. Fredrick also believes he’s beneath the attention of Wilkerson’s heir. Willie disagrees, but is he willing to throw away rank and privilege for the man he loves?
Fredrick held up his glass and stared at the candle’s flame through the amber liquid. He took a sip, savored the rich, biting taste on his tongue. He welcomed the burn down his throat. This was the very last drink he could afford, and he had to make it last.
A giggle erupted from the booth in the corner, the one whose curtains were drawn against curious eyes. A smile tugged at Fredrick’s lips despite the dire state of his wallet. The laugh had been carefree, joyous, naughty. Fredrick shifted on the cushioned bench. Only a few straggling customers remained in the dining room. He wondered if any of them would notice if he shifted his cramped cock as it throbbed in sympathy with the bright laughter.
Rather than risk it, he watched the fruit vender outside the window beguile a customer. Another giggle and stifled moan swiveled his attention back to the corner. A silk-clad foot and slim calf peeked beneath the curtain. He grinned even as the delectable sight emphasized his own loneliness. It had been far too long since he’d had someone in his bed.
“Excuse me. Sir?”
Fredrick looked up, distracted from his memory of lush lips and white skin and wide, hazel eyes, and blinked at the stout innkeeper at his elbow. “Yes?”
A frown fleeted across the man’s homely face at another bout of laughter from the corner. “If they’re disturbing you, I can have Wee Willie take his guest upstairs. Excuse me, I mean Mister Wilkerson.” The man broke off, flustered by the slip of the tongue.
Fredrick’s heart leaped on hearing the name mentioned. Is William really here? How could that be? The innkeeper coughed, and Fredrick frowned at the intrusion into his thoughts. The man was so damned serious about such a minor indiscretion. “They’re no bother. In fact, I’m almost done anyway.” He lifted his nearly empty glass. Hearing a shout, they looked over in time to see a young man tumble through the curtains onto the floor. Fredrick caught a glimpse of red hair and an embarrassed cheek before the gentleman crammed a hat on his head and strode passed them, face averted. The innkeeper shrugged and followed, likely to be sure he paid for his drinks.
Fredrick stared at the silk-clad foot still protruding from the parted curtains. He loosened his hold on his glass but had no way to stop the wild hammering of his heart. Before he lost his courage, he stood and swallowed the last of his brandy, then walked the short distance to the booth.
A grin tugged the corner of his mouth at his eagerness. It had been three years, after all, and they’d parted in anger. Would William acknowledge him? His hand trembled as he drew aside the heavy curtain and allowed his gaze to travel up the silky hose to bright blue trousers. Blood heated his face when he found the laces undone at the waist and the silk shirt open to expose white skin and rosebud nipples.
A sigh brought his gaze up to the pretty face that stirred his dreams. Rich brown curls surrounded lovely hazel eyes and full, pouting lips. He groaned when a delighted smile revealed the even, white teeth that had nipped his collarbone on more than one glorious occasion. “Freddie, is it you?”
Thank you, Dianne, for being such a good sport.