Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Krystal Shannan Interviews - Diane Burton - Switched - Scifi Romance

Please help me welcome Diane Burton to the blog today!

Tell us a little about yourself.

I love mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance. If all four aspects are in the same book or movie, I’m thrilled. My Switched series, about twins exchanging places—from Earth to a starship and the reverse—are space adventures with romance and a mystery. (See how clever I am to write what I love to read? LOL) The first two books, Switched and Switched, Too, are available as e-books. The concluding book is a work in progress. I’m also a contributor to the anthology How I Met My Husband. I live in Michigan with my best friend and husband. We have two children and two grandchildren.

Did you always want to be an author? What made you choose to write romance?

Not really, although I always made up stories in my head. When I was a young, stay-at-home mom with two babies a year apart, I discovered Harlequin romances. What a sanity saver. I didn’t start writing my own stories until my last child was a senior in high school and I was facing an empty nest. I write romance because love brings hope for the future.

What is your favorite part of being a writer/author?

I love discovering how my characters are going to get themselves out of trouble. As writers, we’re told to get our characters up a tree (in danger) and then throw rocks at them (more danger). Does it sound sadistic to say I find it fun thinking up ways to get them in trouble? LOL Even more interesting is watching them discover they are stronger together than separately.

Tell us a little about your book. What inspired you to write it?

The premise of Switched is twins separated before birth. (Told you I like science fiction.) One twin was raised on Earth with bio parents, the other by aliens. What happens when they switch places? Treachery, violence and finding the perfect mate.

Let's take a peek at SWITCHED!

A tall man in a burgundy jumpsuit with a silver collar strode into the room. Oo-whee. What a hunk. Raven black hair and brows. A blade-straight nose and a strong jaw. No five o’clock shadow for this guy. He had soot-black lashes to die for and silver eyes. Hold on. Silver eyes? Jessie shivered at their intensity. Not in fear but in a purely feminine reaction. Yowza. Get me a fan.
“My name is Captain Marcus Aurelius Viator of the Alliance starship Freedom. This is Ensign Drakus, a member of our Security team.” The tall man indicated his considerably shorter companion.
Intent on the hunk, Jessie hadn’t even noticed the little guy who climbed on a step and peered into the pedestal monitor. She stretched out her hand. “Hi, I’m—”
“Captain. I checked the coordinates in the booth.” Drakus nodded to the upper right wall. “I just verified them here. This fem was transported from a residence outside Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. If she is the owner, her name is Jessica Marie Wyndom. Age: twenty-nine. Occupation: repairman.”
“Transported?” She snorted. “Ri-ight. Okay, I’ll play along. But, c’mon, guys, let’s be PC. I’m a repairperson. So, is there a secret salute I should know?” She dropped her hand and glanced at the little guy. “A troll. Nice costume, kid. Aren’t you a little young to be one of my nerdy brother’s friends?”
The man who called himself Captain Viator raised a finely-sculpted black eyebrow. “Ensign Drakus is not a child. He is a Trucanian.”
She snorted again. “From the planet Trucania, I suppose.”
“The planet Trucan,” the troll corrected with glee.
“Right. And I’ve been kidnapped by aliens.” She rolled her eyes. “Give me a break. I’m not going to fall for that gag. I recognize my brother’s handiwork here.”
“Captain, she does not believe—”
The tall man held up his hand. “It is better that she not.”
An uneasy feeling settled in the pit of her stomach. She shook it off. “I like your outfit, big guy. Pretty authentic looking.” Hobbling on one shoe, she circled the Captain, examining him. “You’re quite an improvement over the geeks my brother usually hangs with.” She stopped behind him. “Great buns.”

Do you plot and outline or do you just write?  Plotter or Pantser?

I’m more Pantser than Plotter. An idea comes to me, usually the first scene, then I just start writing. Eventually, I have to step back and figure out where the story is going. Plotting becomes a necessity.

Can you tell us about the process of getting your first book published?

Switched was my first published book. It went the rounds of NY publishers with basically the same response. Love the writing but we’re not buying futuristics. A small niche publisher, ImaJinn, published Switched in 2001. It went out of print in two years. Last fall, I released it as an e-book. In June, I published the sequel, Switched, Too. Both books are available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and other online retailers.

What advice would you give new authors?  What have you learned about the business?

Never give up. And finish the darn book. I’ve learned that you have to believe in yourself and you have to be willing to take constructive criticism.

Do you have another book in the works?

Two, actually. I’m writing the third book in the Switched series about the consequences of twins switching places. In November, I’m releasing The Pilot, the first book in the Outer Rim series about strong women on the frontier of space.

What do you like to do in your free time, besides read and write of course?

Play with my grandchildren who are still young enough to think I’m great. LOL I love to garden and quilt. Lately, though, I don’t make enough time for either.

Where do you dream of going on vacation?  an Alaskan cruise
Boxers or Briefs?  boxers on my hero
Cookies or cake?  white chocolate chip/macadamia nut cookies
Pizza or hamburger?  a supreme pizza minus green peppers
Beer, Wine, or mixed drink?  an icy-cold Margarita

(Hero/Heroine Character Questions)
What were your first impressions of each other? 
     Jessie: he’s a stuffed-shirt alien who needs to lighten up
     Marcus: she’s an exasperating Terran who needs to be serious

What’s your favorite characteristic of each other?
     Jessie: you mean besides being hot? his sense of responsibility
     Marcus: her freedom of spirit and her drive to be herself, not what others think she should be

What are your plans for the near future?  
    Jessie: help him understand he has choices—and marry him, of course
    Marcus: be with the woman I love

Thank you for sharing, Diane! I really enjoyed having you here today. 

Diane is giving away a free download of her book SWITCHED. Be sure to leave a comment and an email address to win!

Be sure to visit Diane @


  1. Thanks so much for having me, Krystal. This is a great way to spend my birthday. :)

  2. Have a fabulous birthday, Diane! A great interview! The Outer Rim series sounds awesome!

    I already have a copy of Switched, so no need to enter me. :)

    All the best!

  3. Thanks for stopping by, Jessica, and for the good wishes.

  4. What a great excerpt! Thanks for sharing, Diane.

  5. Nice excerpt and interview.