Nerves and New Projects ~ Outside the Margins with Diana Copland

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Diana Copland OtM


New book releases, no matter how excited you might be about them, are always, always nerve wracking. You might like what you wrote, and your beta’s and editors might like it. Your agent might tell you it’s the best thing you’ve ever written. And you want to believe all of it, you do. But you don’t. It’s one of those little known ‘gifts’ that come with being a writer; you never believe you’re as good as people tell you you are.

One of my very best friends, who has been betaing for me for…ever, told me she loved David, Renewed and that other people were going to too. When the first few reviews came in, and they were really flattering, she gave me the yahoo imogi side eye and a big old ‘told ya so’. And when Michael’s book is done, and she tells me she loves it, I’ll do my usual routine; tell her thank you and be convinced it’s crap.

Rick R. Reed, who I admire more than I can even say, read it and he really liked it. In fact, I think he said ‘if this goes to Dreamspinner, they’re going to love it’. Ultimately, it ended up with Dreamspinner. After another publisher asked me to do an R and R (Write and resubmit). It took three months to turn it into a book that doesn’t resemble where it is now at all. You see, they wanted me to concentrate more on the main characters, which I could understand, except they wanted me to basically remove the mom’s and cut way back on the friends, and after I did it? It was not a book I was happy with. I resubmitted it, but my heart wasn’t in it. Still, I was devastated when after all of that they passed on it.

Then my agent, who is not only a really good friend but as smart a woman as I’ve ever met, said ‘let’s submit it to Dreamspinner, only let’s go back to the original book’. I said YESSSSS!!! Because even if they passed, at least they would pass on a book I believed in.  To my everlasting delight, they didn’t pass; Elizabeth North contracted for my boys and gave them a wonderful home. The editing process was arduous but I never thought for a moment we’d end up with a less than complete novel, clean. (Someone did notice that we apparently missed palette when I meant palate. Or was it the other way ‘round? I don’t remember) It was my mistake. The editing staff at Dreamspinner was amazing, and encouraging and asked all of the right questions. All you hope for in the beginning is a partnership with the editing staff, and that’s what I had. Then Anne Cain designed the perfect cover and well, the book is out there now and to my delight and relief, it’s being received really well.

Now, Michael’s story is up and I’m five chapters in and deciding I like Michael more than I realized I did. There’s more to Michael than trendy clothes, a faux hawk and snark. There’s his mother, the socialite who had more time for her charities than she did for him. He also, like his best friend David, has ex issues. Such serious ex issues that they’ve left him basically emotionally paralyzed and unable to see himself in another relationship, ever. Then there’s large, bald, jolly Gilbert Chandler. His affable nature hides recent personal losses, and his gentle teasing masks a surprising passion he holds for one man and one man only; Michael. Between Michael’s inability to commit and Gil’s inability to simply walk away, they seem both inevitable and impossible. Then there’s a threat hanging over all of the men of Delta Restoration, Renovation and Design, something that’s been stalking them for a while but which they never saw coming. It blows up in Michael’s story, threatening the company but something Michael finally realizes is even more important to him; Gil.

I’m hoping Michael, Reinvented will be out sometime in 2017, and I’m loving getting to know all of these interesting men better!! David and Jackson are back, along with their mom’s Shirley and Beverley, and their friends Vernon, Gil and Manny.  But the star of the piece really is Michael. Well, along with Boots and Scooter. And introducing Gizmo the cat, an even bigger diva than Michael!


~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.

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