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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

In the Moonlight with Dianne Castell

Pump Up Your Book

How I got there and so much fun along the way
by USA Today Bestselling Author Dianne Castell

An old friend will help you move.
A good friend will help you move a dead body.

Okay, Lori Foster and I haven’t moved any dead bodies around but I think we’ve done just about everything else. We met at a Romance Writers of America meeting here in Cincinnati almost twenty years ago--Lordy, has it really been that long! And that was before either of us were published and we’ve been best friends ever since.

Lori and I both started out writing a Harlequin, Lori with the Temptation line and me for Harlequin American. Lori then moved to Kensington and wrote for Brava. She introduced me to her editor, Kate Duffy, and suddenly I started writing for Kate too. And the best part was Kate put us in anthologies together.

The first one was Star Quality. That was a blast to write because the stories all happened in the same small Ohio town and had the same theme of magic under a blue moon. Lucy Monroe was the third author in the book and we had so fun plotting out the town, where everyone lived and where the stores and houses and landmarks were located. This is how I met Lucy and we have been life-long friends too. (I’ve always said the best part of writing is the people I’ve met along the way.)

Luck struck again—actually Kate Duffy did—and put Lori and me together in I’m Your Santa along with Karen Kelly. This IYS was first released in trade-size then reissued in mass-market. It was this mass-market reissue that made USA Today and got me on “the list.”

Being a USA Today Bestseller is terrific, no doubt about it but my friendship with Lori goes way beyond making lists. When my husband died she was there for me every step of the way. When her mother died I was there for her. We’ve been through kids getting married and divorced and moving away from home then back again. Where would I be without Lori Foster, probably in a padded room somewhere. She’s my rock.

I think this is because we share so many ideals. This all came together six years ago when Lori suggested we do a Reader/Writer Get-together here in Cincy where we get authors and readers together for a fun weekend of talking books. Lori said to me, “So, how many people do you think will come?” And I said, “I think about thirty-five.” And Lori said, “That’s what I think too.”

So we did it and that first year we had over a hundred-and-fifty readers and authors and a NY editor and two agents and a huge bookfair and raffle baskets and we gave the proceeds of three-thousand dollars to very thankful Cincinnati YWCA Battered Women’s Shelter.

The next year we had over two-hundred attendees and this last year we had over three-hundred and donated over seven-thousand dollars to One-Way Farm, a home for abandoned and abused kids here in Cincinnati.

My friendship with Lori Foster is beyond words and beyond worlds. It truly is everlasting. When you find a friend like Lori she’s in your life forever. I am so lucky to have Lori Foster as my friend.

USA Today best selling author Dianne Castell writes for Kensington Books. She also writes a monthly editor interview column for Romance Writers Report. Her books have won Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, been on the cover of Romantic Times Magazine and included in Rhapsody Book Club, Doubleday Book Club and have made the Waldenbooks Bestseller list.
The second book in her Savannah Sizzles series for the BRAVA line, Hot and Irresistible, hits the shelves Nov‘09.
Dianne lives in Cincinnati with her two cats and will do just about anything to get out of housework. You can visit her website at or email her at

3 Moonbeams (comments):

Molly Daniels said...

Let's hope 2010 is the year I finally get over for that Reader's and Writer's Get Together! I've been trying for two years, but so far something's come up and I've not been able to make it.

Carrie said...

I plan on getting to Lori's get together too!

Great blog topic Diane!

Margay Leah Justice said...

Thanks for being our guest today, Diane! I really enjoyed hosting you.