Adelaide blogger Diane Lee is about to launch the first in her series of self-published novels and it couldn’t be more timely.
Love and Other Stuff Book 1 – Broken Heart is the first in the series of six books, and tells the story of Diane’s break-up with the love of her life and her attempts to mend her damaged heart.
Using writing as an outlet for her experiences, Diane created her series in response to positive feedback from women who read her regular blog.
“I’ve always been enamoured with the power of story-telling as a salve for pain, and that includes fiction, and non-fiction, my genre. For me, writing—in particular blogging—is a useful process to think through and examine ideas and concepts, including pain. It helps me clarify my thinking. I’ve always been a wear-my-heart-on-my-sleeve kind of gal, so I’m working through my thoughts in writing rather than airing them verbally,” she says.
“When I started blogging about my relationship break-up (way back in 2006) the feedback from other women was overwhelmingly positive and kind. Many had experienced what I had gone through, or were experiencing it themselves. I knew I was on the right track with my particular narrative because of what women were telling me. And then last year, I read Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed, which is a compilation of her advice columns from The Rumpus, and I knew that my blog would make a good story, hence the birth of Love & Other Stuff.”
Diane’s blog has been valuable to her writing goals and motivation, and she recommends this kind of publishing to serious writers who are wanting to build a profile.
“For me, blogging at The Diane Lee Project has been an excellent way to build both a public profile and a niche audience. I like the regularity of blogging. I blog once a week, on Thursdays. Knowing that I have an audience who expect something from me forces me to be accountable as a writer and produce. And I’ve found the more honest I am with my writing about what I’m thinking and feeling, the more it resonates with my readers,” she says.
“Blogging forces you to be brave. You put your work out there—and it’s out there—for all to see. You get instant feedback on what you have written, particularly if you send your posts out to social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. You are naked, exposed, vulnerable. I think anyone who is serious about writing and publishing should be blogging.”
Inspired by self-confessed book ninja Kristen Eckstein, Diane decided to turn her musings into a six part series.
“I decided in the middle of 2014 that I had more than enough blog content for a book and I spent the rest of that year sorting through my posts and categorising them. I was originally going to publish one book, but I did Kristen Eckstein’s awesome Kindlein30 Boot Camp over January and that forced me to rethink my approach,” she says.
“What was one book—Love & Other Stuff—has now become six parts. The categories are still the same; I’ve just split it up. I had a release date of the first part—Broken Heart Stuff— on 14 February as a bit of a dig at St Valentine’s Day, or as I like to call it—Single Awareness Day. My readers would expect nothing less of me!”
Although Diane will be on a brief sojourn in India on Single Awareness Day, she is still keen to hear what people think of her published creation.
“I’m looking forward to people reading my book who might not have had heard of my blog. In other words, I’m looking forward to reaching a new audience. I’m itching to hear what people think of my story whether it’s good, bad or indifferent. A story isn’t a story until it’s been read,” she says.
And keen readers won’t have to wait long for the next one; Book Two is set for release as early as next month.
“The series has the “& Stuff” as the common denominator. The next book in the series is Love Stuff, which will be released late March, and Family Stuff in April. Thereafter, one will be released each month until all six are out. There’s a kind of organic flow from one book in the series to the next,” Diane says.
Once the & Stuff series have all been released, Diane intends to continue in much the same vein, blogging, publishing and even offering her services to others.
“I plan to keep blogging and building my audience on that platform; as well as my own regular musings, I have a number of guest bloggers lined up for a new series about writers and writing. I’ve scoped out a number of non-fiction business books, and I have started my memoir which is more semi-autobiographical in nature. I have a book of short stories in the pipeline. And I want to turn a screenplay I wrote in my thirties into a novel, and finish off a novella that has been gathering digital dust, as well as other bits and pieces,” she says.
“I started Delicious Publishing last year with the idea of offering digital publishing (part or full) services to other writers wanting to self-publish. I’ll be devoting energy to this as well as my own writing and publishing adventures.”
Love and Other Stuff Book 1 – Broken Heart is available for purchase from Diane’s Amazon author page.
Keep an eye on this exciting Adelaide author as she releases her funny, enlightening and genuine writing for your reading pleasure.
By Libby Parker
Photo courtesy of Diane Lee