Wednesday 16 May 2012

Online Friends and Writers – Dionne Lister

Hey readers and friends, today I'd like to introduce Dionne Lister to you, writer, editor, and fellow Aussie. I met Dionne on twitter and my xman-psychic senses started to tingle, this woman's freakin' awesome! This is what you'll find on her bio: Hi, I'm a writer from Sydney. I love writing and reading and entertaining people with my stories. I write web copy, articles, suspenseful short stories and my blog posts try to be funny. I've also released an action packed fantasy/adventure novel. As my tag on twitter says, “I love sharing my stories but I wish they wouldn’t keep me awake at night.”

Mmmm … I believe we can add time traveller, shapeshifter, talented artist, community builder, generous supporter of writers and friends, and dragon wrangler. Enough from me. ;)

Please tell us why you love writing, and sell your book/yourself to us.
I’ve always loved reading and writing. I love it as an escape. When I write I am totally living within the world I have created in my mind, to the point that, when I read it back I wonder where it actually came from. My perception of time changes and writing for 2 hours can feel like 30 minutes.

The writing process is actually the easiest in producing a book. The editing is hard work and the promotion even harder. I think without writing, even though I dabble in art, I would lose a very big piece of myself, one that would leave me feeling very empty.

My first book, Shadows of the Realm, is fantasy but deals with issues such as coming of age and building confidence in yourself, as well as the familiar good v’s evil. There are dragons, and animals are some of the main characters. There’s also a bit of horror thrown in for good measure (only a chapter or so)—I think that was my Stephen King influence coming out. It’s fast paced with lots of stuff going on to keep people reading. It’s been edited to death (in a good way) and the cover is so awesome—I am in awe of Robert Baird, the Sydney artist who did it for me.

If you could travel back in time and talk to yourself, what age would you be and what would you say?
I would go back to when I was 8 or 9. I had a really hard time at school and only 2 friends. I would tell myself that the kids who teased me had no idea what they were talking about and that I was just as good as everyone else. I would say, “Just wait till you grow up, you’ll find people who get you and appreciate you for who you are and the rest aren’t worth thinking about.”

If you had the opportunity to talk to high school students, what would you talk about and why?
Hmm, that’s hard because they don’t listen much to advice, so I don’t know if any of what I’d say would sink in—I remember being a teenager lol. I think I’d say, I know some of you think it’s boring to study but having no money and staying in a crap job because you’re desperate isn’t fun either, and it lasts a lot longer than school ever will.

Can you share a defining moment in your life?
The day I saw the online course for the creative writing degree I’m doing. Within 6 months of starting it, I had changed jobs and have never looked back. It has been a real turning point in my life.

What's on your bucket list that would surprise your family and friends?
I don’t have a bucket list, how boring is that? I have goals but they’re things that wouldn’t surprise anyone—like becoming a best-selling author with people actually asking me to sign a book for them (preferably one I’d written lol).

And, because we love them, do you have a ghost/supernatural story to share? Sort of. When I was 4 months pregnant with my second child, my first was only 12 months old. My 58 year old auntie had been very sick. It had happened suddenly. Anyway, my parents came over to tell me she had died that morning and I was devastated. After they left, my 12 month old son went to his room and came back with a small plush Snoopy toy. This Snoopy had originally been given to my grandfather by my deceased aunt, and when my grandparents died she gave it to me for my kids. My son had never shown an interest in this toy before. I have always wondered if it was my aunt saying goodbye.

Do you believe dragons are real?
Hmm, in my mind they are ;).
Simon says: I asked because I see dragons the same way that I see angels, and I was hoping for some company in the padded room :).

Where's Dionne?
I’m a Sydneysider who has a lot going on right now. I have two children, 4 and 5 years old, I work 3 days a week doing copy (writing) jobs, I do uni, play Oztag, touch football and do life drawing once a week. I think I’m going insane because I’ve taken too much on (or maybe I was already crazy), but I like to be busy. Promoting the book is also taking a lot of my time and I’ve convinced four book stores in Sydney to have a look, I’m even thinking of getting posters done so I’m very excited.

I’m hoping to start my second book in the Circle of Talia series after the next Session of uni finishes, in about October, as I’ve already had some inspiring feedback from the first book, Shadows of the Realm. It’s hard to be motivated when you’re not sure if you’re on the right track, but the awesome readers who have given it a go, have had wonderful things to say, so I’m keen to get on with the next one. Oh, and I also edit other people’s work for a living, I’ve recently finished Tonya Cannariato’s Dust to Blood (Red Slaves) so if you’re an indie author, check out my website for info.

I’d just like to thank you, Simon (a fellow Awesome Aussie), for inviting me to your space, I’ve really enjoyed my visit, and thanks to everyone who has taken the time to get to know me a little here.

Dionne, thanks for being a great guest. Readers and friends, please visit Dionne's website, follow her on twitter , friend her on Facebook, and say hi :). The dragon will bring you luck ;). You can also listen to Dionne on her Tweep Nation podcast, it's loosely based on twitter, a little crazy, a lot of fun, and for adults. I listened to an interview today and it's a great platform to connect with authors. Outstanding! 

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  1. I'll hang ouit in the padded room with you Simon, even if Dionne doesn't care to join us!

    Great interview

  2. I'm so there! I've even brought the chocolate muffins ;)

  3. Great interview, Dionne and Simon. It was great finding out more about you, Dionne :) I am looking forward to reading your book, it's waiting patiently on my Kindle!

    1. Hi Maria. Just when you thought you knew everything about me lol ;). I hope you enjoy it and what a coincidence - I have one of your books waiting on mine!

  4. The padded room! I have friends & chocolate!

    Maria, thanks for visiting. Tweet you sometime :).