Diana Rubino is here to answer 3 basic questions about creativity for my series titled What, Why, How!
The one-word description of me is ‘curious.’ I hesitate to say ‘nosy’ but ‘curious’ implies the burning desire to learn, and ask ‘why?’ as often as ‘why not?’ So ‘why not’ dedicate at least half my life to a passion that gives me a chance to make a living at it, writing? Coupled with my passion for history, I decided to follow my dream.
As my tagline says, I write historical and paranormal fiction with a twist or a quirk—I once heard that surprise endings are ‘a cheap trick’ so I prefer to call them ‘twists at the end.’ A few years ago I decided to start writing biographical novels with no fictional characters, but still can’t resist that twist or quirk, so I stay as close to the historical record as it allows, while enjoying every historical novelist’s indulgence: ‘taking license’ or stretching the truth, just a bit.Sometimes the historical record leaves holes that novelists must fill, and as my agent says, ‘never let the truth get in the way of a great story.’ As a huge history nut, I love history and meeting people from the past and how they fit into major events in the past. Writing novels about real people puts me into the past, but keeps me grounded in reality.
In my other lives, I run CostPro, Inc., an engineering business with my husband, devour books of any genre, play golf and racquetball, work out with my trainer, play my piano, and go dancing whenever we can.
Because there’s nothing like entering an alternate universe, whether it’s completely made up or the real past, getting into people’s heads to see how and why they do what they do, learning about how folks lived in the past, and flavoring these tales with bits of ourselves—our personalities, our outlooks, our attitudes, our beliefs, and our sense of humor—generally referred to as our voice.
And because I don’t have the least capacity for songwriting, a form of self-expression I’d love to be able to do.
I use Donald Maass’s THE BREAKOUT NOVEL WORKBOOK, which has many probing questions about characters and the story. I then write a detailed outline, which I don’t always follow when writing. My daily goal is 2500 words a day.
I do everything in Word (and if you want to know WHERE, it’s on my desktop computer in my office facing a northwest-facing window) but sometimes I write in longhand sitting on my couch; it helps me connect to the characters more closely.
Diana Rubino’s passion for history and travel has taken her to every locale of her stories, set in Medieval and Renaissance England, Egypt, the Mediterranean, colonial Virginia, New England, and New York. Her urban fantasy romance, Fakin’ It, won a Top Pick award from Romantic Times. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America, the Richard III Society and the Aaron Burr Association. She lives on Cape Cod with her husband Chris. In her spare time, she bicycles, golfs, plays her piano and devours books of any genre.