Monday, March 9, 2015

Diane Munier aka Counselor interview on - ADF

Interview with Diane Munier aka Counselor

on ADF

posted 3-5-15

Organized by tinie432

Many here know fellow camper JediGirl. She's here to help introduce Counselor's newest book news.
Come on by and chit chat with JediGirl and Counselor. :)

Hello ladies welcome. We try to spin these Author Chit Chats with serious vs. silly. Let’s start off with the silly with these questions. :p

What are two things you think your readers would be surprised to learn about you?

Counselor: Probably my occupation and definitely my occupation.

JediGirl: I listen to fanfiction/ebooks like audiobooks. I listen to them when I’m driving or working out.

Counselor: Moved from LW to PandP as I aged

JediGirl: Little Women

Counselor: Historically a talker who's turned into a listener

JediGirl: Listener

Counselor: Moved from dancing to singing

JediGirl: Sing in the rain

Counselor: Hb books

JediGirl: E-book but I like to collect Hardback books

Counselor: The coffee! Then the new fiction

JediGirl: Fandom merchandising

The voice is just a listening thing. I'm listening to the character, reading aloud, hearing it in my head. Asking myself would they say it that way? Getting the voice and the cadence or rhythm. How do they finish sentences, or how do their thoughts run. There is a unique pattern in most of us when we speak. Do they overspeak or underspeak or ramble or are they stingy with description. It just flows eventually. They won't shut-up after a while.
piece two - Get your butt in college.
piece three - I know Mom said you're only here because the condom broke, but you're meant to be here!
piece four - Keep loving. It turns out great.

Counselor’s Stories Blog

I have my Twilight collectibles in their own room I call “the game room” and my son calls it the “Twilight shrine.”

JG, that made me smile and it reminds me of my son that I bribed to hold a spot in line during Twi premieres. :D.

Lightning Round:

Pride and the Prejudice or Little Women?

Listener or talker?

Sing in the rain or dance in the streets?

E-book reader or Hardback book?

When you walk into a book store, where do you head to first?

Sexiest super hero?
 Counselor: The kid in Kick A**
 JediGirl: Sawyer from LOST TV series

If you could sit down with Stephenie Meyer and ask her anything what would it be?

JediGirl: I would ask if we can get the other Twilight graphic novels printed soon. Also I would ask her to continue stories in the Twilight saga the way she is with the Facebook movie shorts that are coming out soon? There are more canon stories that can be told.

Counselor: What do you think of the Twific world?
What SM achieved in my opinion was the ability to make women feel first love. She went into the ache. She succeeded. Like the writing, don't, this, that or the other. That woman took us into the ache.

How did you discover Twilight and the Twi fanfic community?

JediGirl: At our neighborhood pool party, a girl was reading Breaking Dawn. I checked out the audiobooks from our local library and was hooked. My daughter sent me links to Cleolinda’s Twilight book parodies and then I joined the fandom communities on livejournal.

Counselor, what was the first fanfic you read and what invoked you to write your own stories?

Counselor: First story? One of them was Volition by Rochelle Allison. Wide Awake. I was just blown away by how good the stories were. I jumped in and jumped right back out. I didn't know if I had the guts. Then I tried again and just committed.
I had struggled for so many years with the middle men. To get to jump right into the hands of readers, it was worth the risk. The middlemen had taught me all I needed to know about rejection. And weathering rejection is the only way to get better. So I just dug in.

JediGirl have you met with any fellow ADF campers?
jedigirl, lizzied1951, dovelove1097, megz0317, ohthecuteness , LeslieAnn1107, allthingsHHH; Front: keytattoo2, musicdaydreams, niko0921, janewithay

JediGirl: We have Carolina meetups in Greenville SC and Charlotte NC. These wonderful online Twifans are now real life friends: the people in the picture along with Southern Charm, Sunflower Fran, TracySurething, Legna989, VickiMolnar, and others I haven’t mentioned (sorry!). I’ve also met PawsPeaches and Spanglemaker9!
We talk about Twific and random things and laugh until we’re hoarse.

Many are familiar with your green light saber and it’s awesome that you have actively supported authors by recognizing their works- whether fics or their OF. What is your most fulfilling aspect of your involvement?

 JediGirl: There are certain stories that just “grab me”. I want to participate in getting the writers recognized and in spreading the word about their stories. If these writers can put hours into writing quality, moving stories for us, the least I can do is spread the good news about them.

Your website is a valuable & informational resource for Counselor’s stories. Can you share for new readers how you would define her writing style and why you think her stories have resonated for so many people?

JediGirl: Counselor’s stories are often written in a style that resembles someone keeping their journal. The reader can jump in and become part of the characters’ adventures. When most people would see people and objects as ordinary and mundane, Counselor describes people, objects, and places in a way that is captivating and endearing.

For fun, If you could be a character in any of her fanfics who would you want to be and why?

JediGirl: It’s hard to say because most characters lived through some great times and difficult tragedies, but Bella from “Love Like a Hurricane” had a life that seemed like a non-stop adventure, so I would pick her.

What impresses me about you is your responsiveness and how tech savvy you are with the social media. How did you acquire those skills? Do you have a working background with all that? ;p

JediGirl: I’ve worked in computer companies in sales. I would make up my own website that was more user-friendly to help sales.

Thanks for sharing JG. And just these questions for Counselor next. :)

Counselor, who is the one person you look up to in the literary world as your source of inspiration for your writing?

Counselor: The ultimate Savior. He teaches me about love. I mean this. Put even a few of those qualities in a man and you've got a real hero.

You have captivated readers with your unique writing style. How much was learned through education at school?

Counselor: I am able to write in spite of my education. They tried to suck the creativity out of me by making me write reports and research and thesisssssses precious. But I managed to hang onto some little spark of the writing bug and fan it to life. Actually I had some fantastic teachers who did their part and I'm forever grateful. I still don't know why they made me do math though. Wrote my first novel length manuscript in study hall, geometry and religion class. It was about a girl, and a boy, and the ocean (which I hadn't seen at that point) and a surf board, and she loved him, and he took her to the dance. And he was cute.
I had to write a continuation of To Kill a Mockingbird in freshman year of high school and the teacher thought it could be right out of the book. (there's a possibility she was lying) I still have that paper with a big red A. I had been working all through grade school to be a writer, writing lots of depressing poems I would force my friends to listen to or at least my mom. That teacher freshman year was the first one to tell me I was a good writer.
Of course many people after her told me why my writing was not good, and sometimes they were right, and sometimes they weren't. I have frustrated a good number of readers, editors, agents and contest judges and fellow writers. "You can't do that. That wouldn't happen. I don't like you. I don't get you."
I just kept going.

During our prior interview you shared that the character’s voice is a “listening thing” and you used that device to learn more about your character’s motivations. Have you ever been in a point where you didn't agree with your character’s choices?

Counselor: Many times. Mom, Marie, in my new book, Me and Mom Fall For Spencer. She starts out seeming pretty great but she's made some terrible mistakes toward her daughter. Yeah every story I've written is pretty loaded with terrible choices. That's one of the things I try to stay true to. I realize what a character is going to do and having the courage to let them do it and not fix it right away is hard. I try to succeed at that, but probably don't always.

Your uses of metaphors are so affecting and successful in providing readers a life-like quality to the imagery and the character’s POV. Does it just creatively flow?

Counselor: It just flows but I still have to check it out and that has led to the murder of several ones I really liked.
If I'm writing historical I have to think of how the character would see it. I think of the metaphors they might use. What are their familiar everyday objects that they might 'see' in other ways?
I think it's lively inside of most people. None of us tell everything. We're full of secrets, opinions we never express, fears, prejudice. I'm skimming that stuff in my mind.
I've had interests in so many things, I guess I've been researching for years just for the love of it and also for many attempts at writing about it. History, I've read and visit and try to get a feel for a place or time. Imagery, I think we talk that way in my family, but I've always had an ear for it, for metaphor. My father speaks in the most hilarious metaphors. I just learned to look at things making comparisons.

Have you used any of your father’s metaphors or quoted him in any of your stores? :)

Counselor: I made someone say, If you play you pay, as far as a direct quote. He said that to me constantly when I was a teenager and of course it's not original, but he put his own spin on it. I have to admit though, when I got pregnant he didn't say it, he just sat at the kitchen table with his head down.
Dad shows up in my stories. He's given me lots of material. I used some of his darkness in Finding My Thunder. I magnified it (a tiny bit) but I was so glad to know his anger enough that I could comfortably dwell in it for that story.
He shows up in reality or he shows up as I write who he would have been in a perfect world. I use his life a lot in my stories. Hard Hearted, which I will probably release as Running With Monkeys, he's all over that book. Of course I've imagined him there, but much of it is real.

Do you ever giggle or laugh when you write? I reread MWS and Edward’s inner thoughts are still so funny to me. It just doesn’t get old. ;D

Counselor: All the time I'm laughing. In the book you mentioned My Wounded Soldier I loved the tension between Edward and Bella. He's suffered but he's in such a level of self pity he's outraged by what she makes him feel. It just pulls the rug out from under him. I love his angry side. Weird, I know, but his anger is my favorite thing about him.
In LHYTO I love where Edward says he'd like to give it a shot after Bella describes her inability to have sex due to a spastic condition. It makes me laugh just thinking about it.

You are such a brilliant author, is there anything that you just aren’t that great at writing?

Counselor: I suck at academic writing. I want to imagine things and you have to prove everything. Darn.

Let’s discuss that you’re published now- congratulations! What was your biggest challenge moving from fanfic to original fiction?

Counselor: Still having those challenges. My daughter is doing all of the technical stuff and she's burned out at the moment. I can talk this stuff endlessly and she's just found out I even write FF, and now going to books, she's catching up to all of it.
The work of publishing on top of all the work I already do, and she does. We're adjusting. It is a small business in every sense of the word. I have now started a small business on top of a very busy life. And all I want to do is write.

What were the factors in choosing Me and Mom Fall for Spencer as your first published Book?

Counselor: I went middle of the road in terms of what was popular in my FF library. I was on the cusp of getting bigger with that book. The next book would push me over a million hits-- LHYTO. And it went up from there (Ex-Con). So, I wanted to learn the process (or draft my daughter to learn it!) and see what the response was, how it felt to do it.

For new readers, can you introduce the characters and share a little about Me and Mom Fall for Spencer?
 Counselor: Yes, thanks. My heroine is a twenty-seven year old young woman, Sarah, who has never left home. She is possibly on the high functioning side of Autism. Or she is possibly a little different from the trauma suffered in childhood. That trauma brings out a hyper-protectiveness of her neighborhood. So when the house next door finally sells and this guy moves in, she is immediately shocked as that house was the scene of the trauma. A scene she has been protecting externally and internally.
She is immediately intrigued by thirty-seven-year-old Spencer. He's not exactly conventional either. He's left not only home, but his entire life behind. So why is he here, invading her neighborhood and living in a house no one else wants with its history?
Her mom, forty-five year old Marie, is also intrigued by Spencer. He is a new available man practically in her own backyard. And he's damn attractive. Bring it on.
So there's the conflict.

What are your ambitions for your writing career? Do you have plans on publishing all your fanfics and will readers be able to look forward to original fiction from you?

Counselor: I hope to publish most of my FF's. Darnay Road is probably next, then My Wounded Soldier which in the publishing world where it was slated to be published but it fell through, they wanted it in two books because of length. A book that is too long can actually hurt sales in certain genres and it really is two stories. I think I'll be writing a sequel to my current FF Deep in the Heart of Me. If I'm alive and coherent I'll continue to write. I hope to put more work out.

And just this last question for you both, if you could give your twenty-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be?

JediGirl: Travel as much as you can while you can!
Tinie, thank you for asking me to participate, and thank you to for hosting.
I am happy to be on the sidelines and applaud the real star: Counselor / Diane Munier ! <3 <3 <3

Counselor: Here's piece one - Stop being so afraid.
Thanks for these great questions and your work Miss Tinie and your interest dear readers.

Oh you’re welcome! Thanks for coming by JediGirl & Counselor for this week’s chit chat. :D
Diane Munier Website

Jedigirl - 
Thanks everyone!  Thanks to Tinie for organizing this and to Counselor who gives us these great stories we get excited about.
I have Pinterest story boards that help illustrate the stories a little bit.  They have pictures of imagined characters, and there are many out of canon characters and their "actors."  I also include songs and pictures from the time period that are mentioned in the story.

Deep in the Heart of Me

Darnay Road         

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