And Now, We Wait (or the musings of a mad person) ~ Outside the Margins with Diana Copland

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Diana Copland OtM


Or the musings of a mad person

There are several realities associated with being a writer. Number one, we’re mad. (I probably shouldn’t speak for everyone; I’M mad. No, on second thought…. we’re all a little mad. It goes with the territory.) We have people living in our heads who won’t shut up until we get their lives down on paper. They’re a pushy bunch, jockeying for position, arguing about who’s next up for the dubious honor of being immortalized in fiction. I can’t speak for all writers in this particular instance, but my characters are pushy.

To me they’re real. So much so that when I’m writing a book I can’t leave the characters in danger, or in the middle of a love scene to finish up later. I have to get them to at least a comfortable place before I stop for the day. I just think it’s rude, leaving them hanging like that. See? Utterly mad. I don’t mind seeing them in danger, or in unrequited love for a while, but a happily ever after is essential. Not only do I see them and hear them, I like them. My guys may be quirky or cranky. They might see ghosts or arrest bad guys. In the book I just finished, one of them is an interior designer and the other is a guy who fixes things, a handyman. And in my head, they’re really good guys. Hopefully, others will find them as likable as I do.

Their names are David and Jackson, and they’ve both seen their share of heartache. David has some self-esteem issues but is bold enough to wear a purple hoodie with a picture of Dolly Parton wearing a rhinestone crown on the front. (Only when he’s not at work, though. And Thank you, Paul Richmond for being part of my inspiration for David!) Jackson, who is tall, dark, handsome and someone David can’t imagine being interested in him, returned home to take care of his mom who was recently diagnosed with MS. He’s gorgeous, and professional, but he’s also quiet and withdrawn.  He has good reasons.

At the beginning of the book, David has walked in on his lover of five years having sex with another man. As a means of escape from the condo he shared with his unfaithful boyfriend, he buys an old house. It’s a charming place but like most old houses, it has a metric ton of things wrong with it. Electrical, plumbing and ugly wall paper included. The ugly wall paper David can handle. The other stuff? Not so much. A friend suggests hiring a handyman instead of a contractor, David is attracted to Jackson’s add in the yellow pages, and so they meet.

Seventy five thousand words and three hundred pages later, Jackson and David earn their happily ever after. They had to work for it, but they’re on their way. So, now I wait. You see, I’ve done the second scariest thing I do as a writer; I’ve submitted the manuscript. I’ve done some requested changes and edits, and now the decision about how their story turns out is in someone else’s hands. While they’re deciding, I wait. The longer the silence on the other side stretches out, the more insecure I get. Is David and Jackson’s story compelling enough, did I write them the way I see them? There’s a mystery that extends beyond this book. Did I set up the next book well enough? I gotta tell ya, this is agonizing. And terrifying.

While I’m waiting, I’m outlining the next book, hearing a new set of voices, seeing new faces, and deciding how to weave the over-arching tension of an unsolved mystery through this story and into the next. This is my first series. If I ever see J.K. Rowling, I may just kneel and do the whole ‘I’m not worthy’ thing. Eh, probably not. No one wants to see me try to get back up and that would just be embarrassing. But tying books together is hard. I won’t whine, but damn. I cannot even tell you the new respect I have for writers of series books. Charlie Cochet, Rhys Ford, K.J. Charles, I sit here in awe. So add a healthy dose of fear to the waiting, and I’m a distracted mess.

To reference my friend B.G. Thomas, I know things are going to go the way they’re supposed to, that it’s going to work out okay. On most days, I really do believe that. It’s harder when I’m waiting. A whole lot harder.

Now I’m off to do the first hardest thing this writer does; I’m going to face a blank page. And that is terrifying. Why do I do this again?

Oh, yeah. Because if I don’t, those characters in my head get cranky. And pushy. They want their stories told, and I’m just the narrator.

See? Told ya. I’m completely mad.


~Diana Copland

About Diana Copland

Diana Copland began writing in the seventh grade, when she shamelessly combined elements of Jane Eyre and Dark Shadowsto produce an overwrought Gothic tale that earned her an A- in creative writing, thanks entirely to the generosity of her teacher. She wrote for pure enjoyment for the next three decades before discovering LiveJournal and a wonderful group of supportive fanfiction writers, who after gifting her with a “”Best New Author”” Award encouraged her to try her hand at original gay fiction.

Born and raised in southern California, Diana moved to the Pacific Northwest after losing a beloved spouse to AIDS in 1995. She lives in eastern Washington with four obnoxious cats, near her two wonderful adult children.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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4 thoughts on “And Now, We Wait (or the musings of a mad person) ~ Outside the Margins with Diana Copland

  1. You may be mad, but the pushy guys in your head sound like people *I* want to read about so I think that makes you a great person to have around! Spread so more crazy around, please & thank you!

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