Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’m a blogger, author and independent publisher living in Adelaide, South Australia. I work part-time in corporate learning and development, but have previously worked in marketing communications and PR. I live with my 22 year old daughter and am chief of staff to my much loved cat, Bella. I have always written, and I love that the traditional publishing business model has been well and truly disrupted, which makes it possible for me to self publish.
Since February 2015, I have published six books in the (non-fiction) Love & Other Stuff series, three short stories and am working on a travel tales series. A full length novel is in the works, as is my memoir.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
I have so many “latest” books… my non-fiction series is drawn from my blog, The Diane Lee Project; my travel tales are based on my other blog, The Travelling Homebody and my short stories are inspired by interactions and conversations that I have with the people who salt and pepper my life.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I think I am rather ordinary in the way I approach my writing. No crazy midnight-inspired ramblings or drunken creative binges! Just butt in chair, fingers on keyboard… and write!
What authors, or books have influenced you?
In the non-fiction space, I am a HUGE fan of Cheryl Strayed and Anne Lamott. I love that their writing is so brave, honest and raw. Fiction writers I admire include Anita Shreve, Barbara Kingsolver, Yann Martel and Markus Zusak to name a few. I love simple stories about great characters and these writers are fabulous at writing the kinds of stories I like to read. At the other end of the scale is George R R Martin and I admire the breadth, depth and complexity of his work. And for laugh out loud hilarity, you can’t go past the Adrian Mole series by Sue Townsend.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on my memoir and a full length novel. I started my memoir this year as a legacy item for my daughter. My novel is based on a screenplay I wrote 15 years ago! I thought it was time to dust it off and put it to work.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I don’t think there is any one method when it comes to promoting books. It’s about writing the best book you can, publishing the best book you can and building your author brand. Of course, advertising comes into the mix as well.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Research, research, research! And by that I mean, if you are mainly publishing e-books, learn all you can about e-commerce before you start.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
That book won’t write itself!
What are you reading now?
I’m finishing off Book 5 of A Song of Fire and Ice. It’s a commitment that only George R R Martin could get me to make.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I’d love to be able to quit my day job and just write and publish for a living. That’s a little way off yet.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
I would take “The Last Time They Met” by Anita Shreve; “The Poisonwood Bible” by Barbara Kingsolver; and “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak.