Thursday, May 28, 2015

An interview with L.L. Diamond, author of An Unwavering Trust

L. L. Diamond is visiting us today and I am happy to have her here. She graciously agreed to an interview and answered my questions with candor. She has allowed us some insight into her love of Austen and her methods of writing. Ms. Diamond's newest release is An Unwavering Trust. Although I have not had a chance to read the book yet, I have been hooked ever since I read the book blurb.  One lucky reader will get their own chance to read this novel as there is a giveaway, too.  Please join me in welcoming Leslie L. Diamond.

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How and when did your interest in Jane Austen and Pride & Prejudice take root?


I was a student in college when Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson was released. When it came out on video (I’m trying not to date myself here!), my mother and I rented it. I can still hear her giggle behind me at the beginning as Fanny Dashwood wheedles her husband into giving his sisters nothing. I adored the movie, and she bought me the book, which ended up on a shelf for some time.
It was several years later that I found the 1995 Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth and was hooked. I read Pride and Prejudice quickly, and found myself dreaming up the future of Darcy and Elizabeth in my head. For some reason, that story pulled me into Jane Austen further. Since then, I have read Sense and Sensibility, Emma, and Persuasion. I do hope to finish her writings one day, but while Persuasion runs a close second to Pride and Prejudice, none of them has captured my interest in the same way as Darcy and Elizabeth.

Persuasion runs a close second to Pride and Prejudice for me too. Darcy and Elizabeth captured my heart and I have to have my 'fix' every so often. I am so thrilled there are authors like you that help me with that 'fix'. What drove you to start writing your own books? Did you write other things before writing PnP variations?

I did not write prior to writing JAFF. My road to JAFF is similar to many stories I have heard. I devoured just about any story put before me, and eventually found myself in one of the forum chat rooms. I found a sisterhood of sorts and enjoyed spending my free time with these ladies and the occasional gent. Several authors were a part of the group and kept on me to try writing. I would laugh them off and tell them I was a reader, not a writer. I even tried to give away a plot idea, but one author wouldn’t have it. She told me to write it myself. Instead of writing that bunny, I wrote Rain and Retribution. Everything just sort of cascaded from there.

Since you did not write that bunny and wrote another book instead, do you have a muse that causes your story to lead you at times or do you use an outline and follow it religiously? What is your writing routine?

I rarely have a full outline that I use religiously. I usually start with a partial outline, but fill things in as they come to me. For some reason, I can never envision past a certain point. I have to begin writing and get a feel for the characters and where they’re going to continue the story. I do have one plot bunny that is very outlined, but even then, the outline is static and can always change. I’m playing with a story now that I have been writing by the seat of my pants. It all depends on what the muse latches on to honestly.

I am always fascinated when an author has a muse. Is there any setting that is more inspirational to you or your muse when writing?

I think it depends upon the story. I become enamored of something and I research and write it. Then, I become enamored of something else. With A Matter of Chance, I think a part of me missed home, so setting it in the south and revisiting antebellum homes and familiar themes was inspirational. With An Unwavering Trust, I became fascinated with Jane Austen and Bath. I am currently living in England and eager to go to Bath. I researched Jane Austen’s time there to include some of her opinions or activities into the story. I also ran across an article on an old estate in Oxfordshire called Aberlash house, and fell in love with it. I never knew that months later it would be bought by George Clooney. I suppose I was not the only one who became inspired by the setting!

Sounds like you and George Clooney have like tastes. That is neat. After researching Jane Austen's time, what about the Regency era became appealing to you?

My rational side knows that people probably smelled to high heaven and candle wax dripped on people during balls, but I don’t care. There’s something about the manners and propriety and falling in love that intrigues me. They wore gloves and so it was unusual for two people to touch skin to skin, so a touch that was skin to skin probably meant a lot more to someone from that time than now. I know I’m rambling, but there’s something that stirs my imagination in it.
Tell us something about your newest book that you love most. (if you can without giving anything away)
That is hard without giving anything away! I will say that I altered the story a lot from the beginning since it pre-dates canon, but I love that part of the catalyst for the ending was something from canon. That’s the best I can do without ruining it. Sorry!

No apology needed. We do not want you to ruin the story! What have you learned from writing that has helped you in your daily life?

Wow, that’s a tricky question. My children would probably say that now I equate any life lesson to Jane Austen or Pride and Prejudice. ;)  But, I would have to say patience. Writing and editing takes patience that I have not always possessed. Now, I am more willing to wait to see how something turns out rather than to rush.

Patience would be a good life lesson. I have found the same with my drawings. I cannot rush them. If I do, I ruin them. Is there anything special about yourself or your writing that you would be willing to share with us?

I had to think about this one for a while! One thing that has become a thing with my writing is to use a pet of mine somehow in the story. It began with A Matter of Chance and the dog Bear. My parents were divorced and I had a real Australian Shepherd named Bear at my father’s house. He had the same backstory as Lizzy’s Bear, but I will say that he lived a long and happy life until he died of old age.
In An Unwavering Trust, I used my horse Page. He was a huge sweetheart, and I miss riding him!

Animals are a special part of my life and I like that you put one of yours in your stories. That adds a personal touch. Now to other authors, do you have a modern day author that has inspired you? If yes, what was it about their writing that was an inspiration?

I love J.K. Rowling. She has a way of setting a scene and weaving a complex story that awes me. I cannot tell you how many times I have read the Harry Potter series and I don’t tire of it. I could read it again and still enjoy it as much as the first time I read it.

She is an amazing author. Her books and the movies made about them how captured the world. Now for a different but very important question, we all have our special reasons for loving Mr. Darcy, what are your reasons?


There are so many! I adore that he fell in love with Elizabeth Bennet despite the fact that she was not necessarily socially acceptable for him. I love that he abandoned society’s expectations by proposing to her at Hunsford (Even though the proposal was dreadful. Is it bad that I laugh when I read it?). I love that he took her censure of his behavior to heart—that he made a point to be a better person for her. He demonstrated how much he loved her with that simple action. I love that he saved her sister and wanted none of the credit. He intended to be a silent hero, not wanting recognition but wanting to be loved for himself. Mr. Darcy isn’t perfect, he definitely has flaws, but he is human and a good person who attempts to be better for love. Who wouldn’t want that?!

I cannot imagine any woman that wouldn't want that kind of man! :) You have given us a thoughtful and thorough answer...a good response with depth. Thank you for your reflections. 

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An Unwavering Trust may be found 
on Amazon in both eBook and paperback.

blog: L.L. Diamond Writes
twitter: @lldiamond2

facebook: L.L. Diamond Author

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Thank you, L.L. Diamond, for visiting today and for cordially answering my questions. It is nice to get to know you a bit and learn of your writing process. The process for each author is something that always intrigues me...the muse, the setting and what makes the story come alive on the page. 

I hope you have much success with An Unwavering Trust and appreciate you offering one for my readers. Ms. Diamond is giving away one eBook internationally to one lucky person. Please leave a comment below and include your email address to be entered in the giveaway. The giveaway ends at 11:59 P.M. on Wednesday, June 3, 2015. Good luck to all.

41 comments:

  1. How to mess up writing a comment when someone is taking to you and I seem to have done it twice!. Anyway - Having enjoyed Rain and Retribution I am sure that I will like a book that pre-dates P&P

    meiklebog at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks for keeping on trying! I finished taking off the first two. Good luck with the giveaway.

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  2. A great interview, Janet and Leslie. Thanks for the opportunity to win the book.

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    1. Sorry, I forgot to include my email.

      evangelineace2020(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    2. Thank you, Sylvia. Glad you stopped by.

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  3. Very interesting interview. I really appreciate the chance to win the book! tgruy at netscape dot net

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  4. I love that version of S&S movie adaption too. That scene with Fanny Dashwood and John cracked me up too as does Mrs. Jennings. I love that gal.

    I haven't read any of her books yet, but I enjoyed the interview as an introduction to the author and her books. Thanks!

    Appreciate the giveaway opportunity.
    sophiarose1816 at gmail dot com

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    1. Mrs. Jennings is funny! Hugh Laurie was priceless in his role as well. I know that movie took some flack for the ages of the actors compared to the characters, but I never cared because the acting was so good! Thanks, Sophia Rose! Good luck!

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  5. Thank you for the interview. How interesting that you use one of your beloved animals in your writing. I agree with why one loves Darcy, and I also must have my Elizabeth and Darcy fix! I just reread Rain and Retribution in anticipation of reading your new book. Thank you for the giveaway and keep your muse working.
    evamedmonds(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I love incorporating my pets into my work. It fits better in some stories than in others. I'm so glad you enjoyed Rain and Retribution enough to re-read it! Thanks so much!

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  6. Despite the fact that Emma Thompson was FAR too old for the part, I also love that adaptation of S&S and have watched it several times. Your new book sounds very interesting Leslie and I can't wait to read it! I love all your stories. And I am looking forward to meeting you in October!
    gailwarner at verizon dot net

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    1. Emma Thompson was too old for the part, but she played it well. I didn't mind it so much due to her performance. She's one of my favourite actresses.

      Wow! I didn't know you were reading my books. Thanks so much, Gail!

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    2. I love that version too. I read or heard somewhere that Emma Thompson thought she was too old for the part, herself.

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  7. Love to read about two of my favourite artists together for an interview! I can say one part of the new book that I love the most is an original character, a relative of Darcy's! Funny that last time, it was a relative of Elizabeth's!

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    1. LOL! Grandmamma is fun! I loved writing her. Thanks for dropping by, Suzan!

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    2. Thank you, Suzan. I'm so glad to have you stop by! I too love 'that' original character. She is a hoot!

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  8. I love reading about authors' writing experiences. Thanks to you both for such an interesting interview. I saw that version of S&S at the cinema, then bought the videotape (yes I am that old, too!) and have since replaced it with the DVD. I can't make my mind up as to which version I prefer as they both have their good points. I think I prefer Dan Stevens as Edward but have trouble deciding between Alan Rickman and David Morrissey as Colonel Brandon. Hugh Laurie is a hoot as Mr. Palmer!

    angmardee ( at ) hotmail ( dot ) com

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    1. I haven't seen the version with Dan Stevens. I'll have to see if I can get it from the library. I do love Hugh Laurie as Mr. Palmer! He made me laugh so hard! Thanks, Anji!

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    2. Anji, I prefer Dan Stevens too. I felt Hugh Grant looked too uptight and stuffy. He is usually such a good actor but not so much in this one. Dan Steven made a good Edward. I think my preference is Alan Rickman for Colonel Brandon and Hugh Laurie is priceless as Mr. Palmer. :) We are pretty much in agreement here.

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  9. I am a fan of your work. Great interview. My favorite thing about Mr. Darcy was his willingness to take on the burden of Lydia and Wickham just so Elizabeth would not be hurt. He wanted no credit and was willing to endure the pain of dealing with Wickham. How could you not love him.
    saganchilds (a) gmail.com

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    1. Oh yes, Sagan, how could you not love him! Thanks for popping in and have a great weekend.

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    2. His rescue of Lydia was extremely endearing! I was discussing with another mother last night at one of my children's after school activities about why we love Darcy. That act is up there on my list! Thanks so much, and good luck!

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  10. I loved Rain and Retribution. It is one of my all time favorites. I have Unwavering Trust as an eBook which I preordered as soon as it was available. The cover is beautiful. I can picture Darcy walking around the bend. I enjoyed learning more about you. Janet asked thought provoking questions. I am very grateful that you were encouraged to write and followed up on that advice. Due to that we have some wonderful stories. skamper25 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Please do not enter me as I already have the eBook.

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    2. I'm so glad you loved the cover! It was a difficult choice. I've taken a lot of photos since we moved here and that was the last photo I tried. It's actually the gardens behind the Ely Cathedral, but since I described the outer garden at Sagemore as being a bit wilder and not quite as polished, I thought it fit. I just put a filter on it to soften it up a bit. Thanks, Deborah Ann for stopping by and for commenting even though you already have the book! :)

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  11. Your cover is beautiful, Leslie. The fact that it is a picture you took is really special. I, too, am challenged when it comes to patience. And I love Jane Austen as well. Look at how much we all have in common. Awesome!

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    1. Thanks so much, Joy! It's become a thing for me to do my own covers. The cover of Rain and Retribution was one I set up and shot in my dining room using one of my grandfather's books, a fake rose from when my mom died, and the background is a black mini-portfolio. A Matter of Chance's cover is one of my watercolors of the Mississippi Gulf Coast on a drawing board with my palette and paintbrushes. I do hope to continue the trend, but we'll see how it goes in the future!

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  12. I loved Rain and Retribution and look forward to reading An Unwavering Trust. How great that you are living in England! Where are you originally from? I haven't read a Matter of Chance, but have just put it on my wish list. I believe you will have a long and successful writing career.
    Catherine Commons
    catcommons(at)comcast.net

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    1. Hi Catherine! I'm originally from Louisiana and grew up between southern Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. If you read A Matter of Chance, it's a modern that I couldn't resist writing. I had an idea to put Darcy in a setting similar to Natchez, MS with the gorgeous Antebellum homes and southern style of living. It was a lot of fun to write and I hope you enjoy it! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  13. Loved the interview, ladies! Thanks so much! :) I'd love to visit Bath someday, too. And if I could live there, I think I'd be more than happy! Good luck with your new book!

    newyorkgirl82(at)gmail(dot)com

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  14. Leslie, I've read two of your books so far and really enjoyed them. It's always so nice to get to know an author better and learn how you got into writing JAFF. I've tried to read other Jane Austen novels, but can never seem to finish it. There's just something about P&P that I can't get enough of.

    Looking forward to reading your newest novel! Thank you for the giveaway. My email is tdungnvu (at) yahoo (dot) com

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    1. Thanks so much, Dung! I agree that there is just something about P&P! Good luck with the giveaway!

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  15. Thank you for sharing. I love learning about the authors that I enjoy! robmwmj at gmail dot com

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    1. I'm so glad you stopped by and good luck with the giveaway! Thanks, Wendy!

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  16. Forgot my email address
    chatty1082@gmail.com

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  17. I guess my initial comment didn't post. So I just want to say thanks for a lovely interview Janet and Leslie.

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    1. Thanks so much, Charlene! Good luck with the giveaway!

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