*Today we have a special guest with us- D. Denise Dianaty!
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you write.
Well, when I think of ME, I think, “I am an artist.” It isn’t just something I do… it’s who I am, bone deep. I’ve always enjoyed singing. I have a nice little church voice. My mother thought it was more and saw in me a chance to realize her dream of a Country Gospel star. So, I began college at a Christian college studying music, specializing in Voice. I was miserable. The only class I passed was Drawing and Painting.
The elective… LOL
As a visual artist, writing always seemed sort of second nature to me. It was a kind of companion to my art. Many of my drawings and paintings inspired or were inspired by poetry. I’d sit down, for example, writing out notes about a painting I was planning, and poetry would be result.
How long have you been writing?
Once upon a time, I kept scads of journals and sketch diaries under my mattress. When we moved, my mother found them and was deeply offended by them. She destroyed them with fire in the BBQ grill. I didn’t share my writing for over thirty years. I convinced myself it was all just very bad, rather pathetic poetry. As my mother called, “wallowing in self-pitying drama.” But, I didn’t stop writing. I just hid that part of me away for a very long time. I didn’t share my art much either. It did see more light of day than my poetry. Art classes in school kept that part of my creative expression alive.
Why do you prefer to write short stories/plays/scripts over other forms? What are you currently working on?
Every year in junior and senior high school (middle school and high school for you millennial readers), it was an agreement, I’d take chorus or voice for mother, and she’d let me take Art for my second elective. Oooo! TWO electives in school? Generous, eh? I had drama club in high school too! And Home Ec as well as Vocational Office Education. School used to actually teach you stuff to get a job with and included entire classes of art and music. WOW! Radical thinking, right? LOL Anyway, a couple of years ago, a writer friend of mine who’d occasionally tried to convince me that I was a poet, introduced me to the idea of writers’ forums to test the waters to see if there was anything to the idea.
I went to look for them online and found http://WritersCafe.org .
After around a year there, I’d gained enough confidence to start composing a partly autobiographical book of my poetry to self-publish. I also tested my mettle writing fiction. I published the book of poetry on Amazon. Then, the first short novella I wrote was very well received on the Cafe. It seemed everyone who read it was telling me I should publish it. So, I did.
I’m glad I published both books. And, even though I’ve had little sales, I’m working on a couple more.
It’s like…it’s like I had been gagged for nearly forty years. When the gag was finally ripped off…well, it’s like that verse in “Fight Song”:
And all those things I didn’t say
Wrecking balls inside my brain
I will scream them loud tonight
Can you hear my voice this time!
No one is ever going to silence me again while I breathe.
Do you have any advice for writers trying to get published for the first time?
My best advice for writers is to remember that “Writers write always. Great writers read… then write.” And don’t ever let anyone silence your voice.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
My favorite writer is and always will be my brilliant friend who helped me take back my voice. She is the sister of my heart. I do have other favorites, primarily Georgette Heyer, Lois MacMaster-Bujold, Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, Emily Brontë, Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allen Poe, Charlotte Browning, Omar Khayyam, Arthur Guiterman, and more.
You moderate/run various groups like We PAW Bloggers and Pandora’s Box of Horrors; what inspired you to start them?
WE PAW Bloggers was begun by Pryde Foltz. She made me admin and turned her primary focus to WE PAW on YouTube. WE PAW Bloggers is a group focused on driving readers to our larger bodies of work. That, and the protections of date stamping and/or copyrighting that are automatic parts of blog sites and writers’ forum sites, is the reason the group requires sharing external links our writers’ accounts.
Pandora’s Box of Horrors began on the Women Writers, Women Bloggers (WWWB) group. There was this post, around Halloween. Someone started a list of horror words. I think it was me who had the idea to turn those horror words into the basis of a horror short story contest. I created the Pandora community page for that contest. This year, I ran the Challenge 2016 and found that a community page wasn’t meeting the group need for a place to interact as I’d hoped. So I created the Pandora’s Box of Horrors group page. After this year’s challenge is wrapped up, I’m going to shut down the community page run with the group page.
You’re also passionate about various issues. Tell us about them.
Most of the issues I’m most passionate about are social issues and this current election cycle. I got started engaging on social media after reading an article about self-promotion as an author. See, I have a problem with naked self-promotion. I just can’t get past feeling like a braggart.
The article – I can’t recall the name or source now – suggested authors “create a relevant presence” by engaging intelligently in social media. “Activism in writing” was advised in another, very similar article – again, I can’t recall the source now.
Most of my blogging lately has been issue related, rather than pure writing for the sake of the creative art of writing.
*Want more? Here are her various sites: