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Diane Shute on Craft, Marketing and Not Fearing Mistakes
Written by
She Writes
June 2018
Written by
She Writes
June 2018

Diane Shute recently released her novel Midnight Crossing, the second in her Midgnight trilogy. She joined us to talk about her morning routine, when she started to feel like a writer and what she does to market her work.

SW: Share your writing routine. 

DS: I write early, when it’s quiet before the day starts. My playlist includes a mix of baroque, classical, Celtic harp, and Indie folk music in no particular order. I edit at times later in the day, when there’s more likely to be interruptions. When I’m busy with other things, I write in my head. I don’t worry too much about outlines…if I do, they’re not fussy. My writing is more or less a fluid process, and subject to change on the whim of my characters.

SW: Describe your writing style in three words.

DS: I'm a pantser.

SW: What is the first thing you can remember writing?

DS: My name. Seriously! There's something magical about making lines and shapes to create words on a paper for others to read! So, I began writing in school with the book reports due on Fridays. Since I’ve always been a little horse-crazy, my earliest stories always had something to do with horses. 

SW: When did you start to feel like a writer?

DS: I don’t think I considered myself a writer until my first book, After Midnight, was published. I finally owned up to the label by adding it to my social media pages.

SW: Was there something about the publishing experience that surprised you?

DS: Without a doubt, the marketing of a book was something I knew nothing about, so was completely unprepared for.  

SW: What advice would you give to aspiring authors? 

DS: Don't be afraid of mistakes. Just start writing. It doesn’t have to be pretty—and worry about editing later. Read everything you can find…you can’t write without reading. Read authors in your favorite genre for inspiration and read different genres to feed your imagination. There are also a ton of resources online with writing games and word prompts. Writing is a craft.Seek out a mentor and build support by joining writing groups.

SW: What do you do to help develop your craft?

DS: I read and write daily. Reviewing books is a great way to support my fellow authors and helps me focus on my own work. I belong to multiple online writing groups, and subscribe to craft periodicals. She Writes University has offered some very nice webinars—but probably the most important aspect of developing my skill, is to write.

SW: What methods are you using to market your book?

DS: I split my time on social media between Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. I linked my accounts so I can post one time on all three sites. I have my own website and a channel on youtube where my book trailers are posted, which I also share on social media. I run occasional banner ads or spotlights on various Indie websites, and sought the expertise of a publicist for the launch of my latest book, Midnight Crossing.

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