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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

GUEST BLOGGER: Diane Whiteside




Gardens of Flowers and Ideas


Hello there! Thanks for inviting me to join you at The Romance Readers’ Connection.


I’m currently huddled indoors by the fire, indulging in my favorite wintertime pastime: choosing plants for my garden. Okay, I’m thumbing through tiny pictures in catalogues and on websites, and the little darlings will be thinner than my thumb when they arrive around Easter. But one day, they’ll be big and strong and glorious, standing tall in my yard.


It’s rather similar to what I go through when I start a book. I usually know roughly who my hero and heroine are, plus when they live. (Think of that as being close to the dimension of my yard and what kind of sunshine it has.) After that, I start trying out different ideas to see which ones will work best into a plot – for the big overall conflict (like a tree in a garden), a smaller detail such as the treasure they’re hunting for (like a beautiful rose bush), and so on. If I’m very lucky, a bloom sprouts unexpectedly and thrills me to death.



Gardens are so special to me that I like to sneak them into my books whenever possible. In KISSES LIKE A DEVIL, my latest historical novel, my heroine is a university student who’s turned into a radical by how the steelworkers’ children are mistreated. She lives in a world of beautiful gardens overlooking a pristine mountain lake. But the children play on cobblestone back alleys amid overhanging stone buildings. And then there’s my hero, who’s William Donovan’s son. . . But you’ll have to read the book to find out more!



Today, my garden sleeps under a blanket of snow and ice. My catalogues offers plants that’ll be maybe six inches tall by a quarter of an inch wide when they show up in another two months – or about the size of a good idea. But my creativity is humming along and I’m sure I will be a very happy author and gardener in August, if I take care of my garden well.



What about you? Anybody else like to garden? Does it help you with any other part of your life? Or do you find that creativity in one area strengthens another?



Diane Whiteside
www.dianewhiteside.com

7 comments:

Diana Cosby said...

Hi Diane,
I've dabbled in gardening over the years, but this year, now that we're in our new home in Texas, I'm going to give it a serious shot. At the moment I'm horse-trading with a neighbor to plow a small patch of and with me. Then, I'll horse-trade with the retired farmer neighbor for tips. *G* Hey, I bake really well and horse-trading usually works.
I definitely want herbs, my first, rosemary as it makes soups yummy, and I spice up a lot of stuff with it.
Also, something about working in the soil. Great stuff. And, a Texas tip another neighbor gave me, to keep snakes away, sprinkle mothball crystals around your garden, house, or, wherever you don't want the critters. :) I enjoyed your blog. Thanks, and my sincere best to you!

Diana Cosby
www.dianacosby.com
His Captive/Alexander MacGruder
His Woman/Duncan MacGruder - 4 star Romantic Times review
Title TBA/Seathan MacGruder - Date TBA
Title TBA/Patrik [Cleary] MacGruder - Date TBA

Genella deGrey said...

First let me SQUEEEE!! Another Devil to love!! I'm so excited - Diane was my very first erotic romance read!! So YAY!

I dream of having a garden - at the moment I don't have a plot of dirt to call my own - but someday . . . I want a few great-smelling rose bushes, I'd also like to have a lemon tree and flowers that attract butterflies.

If I can keep all that alive, I'd like to try my hand at growing my own vegetables.

Thanks Diane! I look forward to your next Devil!

:)
Genella deGrey

Lori said...

Hey and welcome! I enjoy working in my little flower garden as well-and I do mean little. It is mostly roses, but I love to play with them especially in spring-a great way to relax and unwind.
I am looking forward to your latest novel and the hunky hero!
Lori

Diane Whiteside said...

Congrats on your new home, Diana! Your new neighbors sound wonderful and I'm sure your garden will be fabulous. Moth crystals are great for getting rid of critters. They sure stopped squirrels from digging up and munching on my "gourmet gopher grub" (aka tulip bulbs). LOL

Ooh, squeee right backatcha, Genella! I do hope you like Brian. You can grow almost anything in a little tiny space, BTW. Heck, I grew watermelons on my apartment's balcony.

Hi, Lori! Aren't gardens just the best way to chill out? Roses were the first thing I tried my hand at and I still love them. I love my new garden so much that I'm even willing to overlook the local humidity so I can enjoy the flowers while I write.

geri said...

Hi Diane: I've been re-reading your books in prep for this new one. I adore your writing! I have to plan for a long night when I begin a book! This is usually best begun on a Friday or Saturday night!!

In terms of gardens, my husband has the green thumb for veggies here in CT. I do the flowers and between the two of us we manage to look fairly green! Please keep writing those awesome books! geri

Glo said...

Hello Diane,

I love plants, but we just don't get along. No matter how much care I give them. When I go to buy a plant, my husband says, ahhh that's not fair. That plant did nothing to you.

On the average, how long does it take you to write a complete story?

What is your favorite flower or plant?

I'm looking forward to reading your book. Thank you for the great blog.

Gloria

Thia said...

I am a lover of gardens. Unfortunately, I am not much of a green thumb. That does not stop me from thumbing through the catalogs planning the garden I will never have. In my dreams, I have wildflower beds, butterfly gardens, shade gardens with huge hostas and ferns, kitchen gardens, and beautiful mazes. Sigh! If only!!

I do have creative thoughts and such, they just do not translate outside. I like to write, scrapbook, and just be crafty. In my dream world, I have a studio with every crafty thing imaginable. One day, one day!

Thanks for joining us, Diane! I would love to be bold and inquire about where I DEVILs make take us next. Any hints???