For 21 years, I’ve been “Head of Everything” for MarciDiehl.com as a multi-media writer, editor and producer/consultant for the web, print, video, and social media. Before that, I married during college and had four sons in 8 years. I was a (mostly) stay-at-home mom, writing freelance for national, regional and local magazines — Golf Digest, Golf Magazine, Success Magazine, SCORE (Canada), Jacksonville Today — on lifestyle, golf, travel, humor, and tourism attractions, when I wasn’t traveling the country and parts of the world while my then-husband played the PGA Tour. After two & a half decades of marriage, my marriage hit the ground like a smoking F-18 and I became a single mom, working in retail and staffing before “jumping off a cliff” and starting my own business.
But almost all my life, from childhood, I’ve written, written, written — stories, essays, poems, columns (school yearbook), plays, book-length letters. You name it. As a teen, I kept a “log” of my experiences as an 18 year old on an ill-fated bus tour of Europe. That trip became the basis for my first novel What You Don’t Know Now. Just in my normal, conversational life, I tell stories about whatever has happened, complete with subplots, tangents, descriptive details — one of my best friends says I draw whole verbal diagrams. I think in metaphors.
Now that my boys are grown, married, and have Lovebugs of their own, I spend an indecent amount of time watching every British series or comedy I can stream. I’ve been a reader all my life – novels – and I love to be outside in all sorts of weather, walking (yes, even in snow!). I could eat up my grandbabies with a spoon, they’re so scrumptious. I love hanging with my best buddies, especially going to movies. I’m lucky to live in one of the most beautiful places in the country — the Finger Lakes of western New York State.
The business side of writing is how I make a living. Magazine work is fun (sort of) and people recognize your byline, but unless you’re on staff of a major publication, it’s not going to pay the mortgage. I’m not someone who could work in a cubicle world, so being able to work remotely, or going on site for a project, is perfect for me. I joke that I trade poverty for freedom (or is that the other way around?). Being able to dictate my own time is the oxygen I need to write. If I have ideas or want to make notes for fiction, I can work on that, even if it means doing it between 9pm and 1am. I write because I’m fascinated by life and people. I love learning. I love the experiences I have, and using those experiences in my fiction. Going into a world of your own creation, having characters come alive and speak for themselves — it’s magical. And when you’ve written something — shot it into the air like an arrow, and it connects with some unknown reader within their mind, heart, and imagination, it’s the best.
Gosh. Well, first of all, on the business/non-fiction side, I’ve never worked in pajamas at home. I get up very early, get dressed, and get out the door for a morning walk with my dog. It’s kind of my “sacred time,” thinking, praying, meditating, maybe going over what I need to do on an assignment. Walking often helps me find that critical, elusive lede I need. Most of my work time is now spent working back and forth on email, and at my PC. I write in my office at home. I like the quiet. When I do interviews, typically they’re on the phone, and I take notes longhand in big spiral notebooks. Meetings for projects are growing fewer and far between — people shoot an email, or we have conference calls. I still love meeting face to face, though. I like to do experiential research — being on a site, or doing something I’ve never done. I hate deadlines yet I work under them all the time.
So for fiction, I used to write out everything in those big spiral notebooks. Once computers came along, I started writing right into the PC. I have about four different ideas or plots for new novels, and I’ve begun to keep notes on characters, plot, settings, as they come to me. After my novel came out, some readers asked if there would be a sequel. I have a title for it (titles come to me easily — often I’m not 100% sure what they’ll be about), but still am wrestling with who will be in it from the first book, when it will take place (multiple years??), what exactly will happen. I’m probably trying to have too much in place before I write. It could be part of procrastination. I kill myself with procrastination sometimes.
Marci Diehl has been a writer ever since she was the geek who got excited when her grammar school class had to write paragraphs for English. She kept a “log” of her experiences as an 18 year old on an ill-fated bus tour of Europe. That trip became the basis for her debut novel What You Don’t Know Now. She spent 10 years traversing the nation as a PGA Tour Wife, from the East Coast all the way to Hawaii, Jamaica and Japan. As a traveling mother of four, she wrote for national and regional magazines on lifestyle, golf, travel, humor, and business. Behind the scenes of writing non-fiction for a living, Diehl always has a short story or novel in progress. She’s been an avid reader her entire life. When she isn’t walking her dog or going to the movies for the popcorn, she is a writer, editor and producer for multi-media and marketing. She lives in the Finger Lakes area of New York State.
Linda K. Sienkiewicz is the author of In the Context of Love, contemporary fiction about one woman’s need to tell her story without shame.
2016 Sarton Women’s Fiction Finalist
2016 Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist
2016 Readers Favorite Book Finalist
2016 USA Book News “Best Book” Finalist
Angelica Schirrick had always suspected there was something deeply disturbing about her family, but the truth was more than she bargained for.
“With tenderness, but without blinking, Linda K. Sienkiewicz turns her eye on the predator-prey savannah of the young and still somehow hopeful.” ~ Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of the #1 NY Times Bestseller, Deep End of the Ocean