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This week we take a close look at author (and Vampire poet) Dianna Hardy as she suffers the probing questions of the interview…

Dianna Hardy is a multi-genre author of paranormal things, dark things, poetic things, sexy things, taboo things, and sometimes funny things. Writes about witches, demons and angels. All info can be found on her website DiannaHardy.com

What is the earliest memory you have of writing? What did you write about?

I think the first “book” I ever wrote was Little Miss Rainbow, when I was around eight years old. I drew pictures in it and stapled it all together, but don’t ask me what the story was actually about because I have no idea – I can’t remember! Possibly something about how Little Miss Rainbow got her colours, or shares her colours to make people happy.

When did you decide to become a professional writer? Why did you take this step?

I thought I was going to be a professional writer at around sixteen and seventeen, when I was heavily into my poetry phase, and also writing a few short stories, some of which I managed to get published in small press magazines (before the days of eBooks!). Those ideas were quickly stifled by people that scoffed at the idea, and by a general disappointment in the education system at the time (I was doing my ‘A’ Levels). So I sort of brushed it aside for other stuff. More recently, it was giving birth – almost three years ago now – that had be going insane with boredom, and wondering what the hell I could do with myself. There’s something about being a mother that really asks you to tap into your creativity, and I refound my love of writing again. Only now, digital books exist and self-publishing is accessible. I never looked back.

What would you consider to be your greatest strength as a writer? What about your greatest weakness? How do you overcome this weakness?

Greatest strength: characterisation (that is, getting inside a character’s head).

Greatest weakness: procrastination. The solution? I have no idea I’ll let you know when I find it!

Tell us about the place where you live. Have you ever derived any inspiration from your home or from anywhere you have visited?

I am not inspired at all by where I live at the moment. I like countryside, or at least being within 20 minutes walking distance of a good country / woodland walk, and at the moment, I’m living in a town that’s sort of grey and a little urban, and … ugh … I’d love to move away. Countryside and natural things around me inspire me: rolling hills or mountains, trees, woodland, etc.

Which book, if any, would you consider to be your greatest influence and inspiration?

I do not even know where to begin with this question – there have been so many over the years. More recently, it was reading Heather Killough-Walden’s Big Bad Wolf series that inspired me to write paranormal romance, not least because that was a self-published series that hit the Kindle bestseller list (and has since then gone way beyond that). I loved her writing style and the story, and it motivated me to write my own paranormal romance series – The Witching Pen Novellas. (This one’s not about vampires.)

What drove you to write about Vampires?

Vampires have always been a huge love of mine. They’ve always represented a shadow to be embraced; monsters in which you can find beauty within ugliness. It was this concept that inspired me to write A Silver Kiss (Vampire Poetry). This is a gothic collection of dark, freestyle and rhyming poetry that studies the above idea of the shadows within human nature, using the vampire as a tool for that study.

I’m also a third way through a novel called Project Veil (working title), which is my own brand of vampire mythology. There’s no release date yet, but keep an eye out!

What do you think is the attraction for Vampire fiction? Why is it such a popular topic?

Everyone is looking to find beauty and acceptance within their darkness – that is what vampires represent, and that is why I feel they are popular.

In a fight between all the greatest Vampires of fiction, who do you think would come out on top?

Oh God, I don’t know! Probably Spike from Buffy, because he handles his torture with tongue-in-cheek humour and is forever the optimist. That smacks of ‘winner’ to me.

What about in some other contest such as sexiness or dress sense? Who would win that one?

Eric Northman for sexiness (when he’s being a bad boy, not when he’s being a drooling romantic).

How well do you think your character would fare against the winner(s) of the above?

Oh, my main guy in the upcoming Project Veil would win hands down. Even I’m drooling over him, and I wonder if that’s the real reason why I had to stop writing the novel for a bit 😉

Tell us the basic premise behind your latest novel.

 I can’t really talk about Project Veil yet, as it’s so new and still being written and plotted out. But I can talk a little about The Witching Pen Novellas and its spin-off novel The Last Angel. I touch – just touch – on vampires in the third book of the series, The Demon Bride, and they’ll be mentioned again in The Last Angel, although vampires will not play an active part. They are intertwined with my mythology involving ‘bloodthirsty angels’. From this mythology, comes the book Project Veil. So although there will be no direct link between my current series and Project Veil, there will be that mythological tie that is touched on in The Demon Bride and The Last Angel.

 Current info can be found here: http://www.thewitchingpen.co.uk and anything about Project Veil will be updated on my main website, or my Facebook Page.