I have a special guest for the spookiest holiday of the year...
Please welcome Dianne Salerni!
Dianne, when did you begin writing?
I’ve been writing since before I could write. I illustrated my first book, THE GIRL AND THE DRAGON, and my father took dictation for the text. I think I was about 4 years old. But if you want to know when I started my quest for publication, I’ll have to cite my unsuccessful submissions to Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine in high school and my husband’s attempts to get two (really awful) children’s books published when I first got married.
Do you have an agent? If so, who?
My agent is Sara Crowe of Harvey Klinger, and she is amazing.
Can you tell us the journey WE HEAR THE DEAD (Which is totally awesome!) took until it reached publication?
Originally, I had an idea about writing a MG book about séance frauds. But when I started researching séances, trying to learn more about them, I kept coming across the story of the Fox sisters, who are credited with the invention of spiritualism. When I learned that one of the teenaged sisters became embroiled in an ill-fated celebrity romance, I decided I had to write this story. So, ultimately I switched from a MG humorous tale to a YA historical romance. Originally, I self-published the book (back in 2007 when this was still taboo), and the good reviews attracted the attention of Sourcebooks, who offered a traditional publishing contract. In 2010, the book was published with a fresh edit and a new title.
(Here's a link to the book trailer....cool stuff)
Is there anything special you would like to share about WE HEAR THE DEAD???
Yes! Around the same time Sourcebooks contacted me about publishing rights, an independent Hollywood producer emailed me after stumbling across my indie book on Amazon. I ended up selling her a film option in a separate deal – which may now be coming to fruition. The producer, Amy Green, has acquired funding through her company ARC49 Entertainment, to produce a film short, tentatively titled THE SPIRIT GAME. Hopefully I will have more information to share about the film and casting later this fall!
When does your next book, THE CAGED GRAVE, come out?
THE CAGED GRAVES comes out in May 2013 from Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and it is my first agented deal. THE CAGED GRAVES is about 17-year old Verity Boone, who returns to her hometown in 1867 to take part in an arranged marriage, only to discover her mother’s grave confined in a cage outside the cemetery walls and the secret behind her death likely to put Verity in a grave right beside it.
What one thing would you say to prepublished (I love that term. It sounds so much better than unpublished.) authors?
Do not EVER give up – and do not stop writing! Persevere with your projects, but not to the point of excluding new projects and even new genres. If I were to make a list of the manuscripts I’ve written, you would find that the first ones written were not necessarily the first ones sold, and my biggest deal is not in the genre/audience I started with.
Do you have any special news you’d like to share???
HarperCollins has just bought my MG fantasy THE EIGHTH DAY in a 3 book deal, proving the point I made above. THE EIGHTH DAY is about a mysteriously orphaned boy who discovers a secret day hidden between Wednesday and Thursday and a reclusive girl living next door who exists only on that eighth day, hiding from people who’d use her to destroy the regular seven.
What is your favorite holiday?
Summer vacation. That counts as a pretty important holiday when you’re a teacher trying to become an author.
One last question and it’s an important one: What is your favorite kind of cheese?
Sharon, how can I possibly choose? It depends on what I’m eating it with, or if I’m eating it alone, and what kind of mood I’m in. There’s extra sharp Vermont cheddar, baby Swiss, mozzarella, shaved Parmesan, feta and port wine cheddar – and goat cheese with honey is a local specialty in southeastern Pennsylvania.
Thanks so much for having me here today, Sharon!
I so appreciate Dianne for being here with us. If you haven't checked out her blog, please hop over...If you would like to check out her author website here it is.
If you don't win my copy of Dianne's book and the signed bookmark on November 8th, here is a link where you can purchase it... (It's really good...but you guys know I'm a sucker for historical fiction...)