Friday, August 31, 2012

Signed Copies of One Thread Pulled

Signed copies right now are scarce, due to the reality that I have to pace my book orders.  I simply don't have thousands of dollars laying around to order a large inventory of books.  My first order of 15 books (the miracle of POD, or "Publish on Demand") is nearly spent, so I have another 15 on the way. 

I hope you aren't disillusioned now.  My house is not a book warehouse like my grandfather's was when he self-published his book back in 1968.  I thought it was about the coolest thing ever back then.  I wonder now, what my grandmother thought about all her closet space being commandeered by stacks of books.

The reality is that I won't be placing many books out in the world on consignment until I can fund them - which will come in time I think, for Christmas, but for now, if you want my siggie in the book, you'll have to get them from me in person, or order this blog using that handy-dandy "Buy Now" button you see in the right-side panel.  I'll even throw in that nifty sticker!

I'll eventually do some book signings in Utah, but I don't have dates yet.  I'll post them when they're scheduled.

In the meantime, any bookstore can order a copy in as long as you have this number:
            ISBN-13: 978-1475149616.    

Thanks everyone, for your support.


P.S.  I am not doing "digitally signed" e-books.  This offer is for the soft-cover only.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ruminations on a One Week Anniversary

As an author, something I do is expose the inner thoughts and feelings of characters, which gives them depth and substance.  They are animated by the words I give them, by the lives they live in the fictional world they exist in.  It can be pretty heady stuff to make someones heart race with the stroke of a pen. (okay, I don't actually use a pen, but the imagery is lovely, don't you think?)

So here I am, a real breathing, living person who is terrified of exposing the inner thoughts and feelings I have experienced this past week, from the moment I pressed the "submit" button on the Kindle file (and realized I had pressed the wrong button so I wouldn't have a chance to review it before it was OUT THERE) to the elation I felt holding that proof copy of the book in my hands and loving it so much I was giddy and silly with excitement.  I even took a picture of myself with it, no makeup, hair in stringy strands - just happy me and the book.  The book was gorgeous.  Me? not so much.

I wrote about that class act we all love, Elizabeth Bennet in my story, but this week, as I was "exposing myself to the world", I felt much more like Lydia! Were Mr. Bennet to have to defend me to my friends and family, he would have said something like this:

Do not make yourself uneasy, you will not appear to less advantage for having a very silly friend. We shall have no peace if Diana does not attempt to publish. Let her do it then. The readers of the world are generally sensible, and will keep her out of any real mischief; and she is luckily too unknown to be an object of much interest to any body. At Amazon, she will be of less importance, as a common self-published novelist, than she has even been here on her blog. The readers will undoubtedly find authors better worth their notice. Let us hope, therefore, that her being there may teach her her own insignificance. At any rate, she cannot grow many degrees worse without authorizing us to lock her up for the rest of her life.''

And yet - like Lydia headed to Brighton, I was determined to do it, and enabled by several wonderful and talented friends, I took the plunge, honestly not expecting much, but happy to make it available to anyone who wanted a copy.  I had been encouraged by so many people that I confess to having secretly harbored a degree of HOPE for some marginal success, but having read literally dozens of articles about how friends and strangers alike will lie to you and tell you what you write is great, but once you get into the real world, the sharks will eat you alive and then pick what remains of your ego from their teeth with no thought for whether your health insurance covers psychiatric trauma, that I was pretty much braced for the worst.  Something along the lines of 5 sales, comprising my mother and a couple of my siblings making mercy purchases while the others expected a free copy sounded about right.  Seriously.

The first six days, however, were actually fairly pleasant.  I made a few sales, got a couple of nice reviews. I had friends tell me they saw mention of One Thread Pulled here or there.  I held the drawing for a few free autographed copies of the book.  I was having fun!  My numbers were, I thought, respectable, though I had nothing to really compare to. 

This morning, on the one-week anniversary of "going live", things got interesting.  I inexplicably woke up at 5:45 AM.  Yeah.  For reals.  I know!  Then, instead of going straight back to bed, I decided to see if I had made any sales overnight.  I pulled up the browser and refreshed the pages, and was surprised to notice something new.  The Amazon page said that I was ranked #99 in the Regency Romance genre.  Cool!  I showed my husband and went back to bed for a bit.  When i got back up, the rank had disappeared, and I told my husband that I was glad I'd seen it when I did since it  was surely an anomaly and I didn't expect to see it again for a long time.  By 11:00 AM I had been proven wrong - I was ranked at #87 in my genre.  A few hours later, it was at 74, then 63, then 60, and right now, I am ranked at #54 in the genre.  Here is a screen capture I took when it was at 63.  I like this one because of the title at the top of the page - who ever thought I'd see the words "Best Sellers" on the same page as my name?  You can see the navigation links showing the genre too:

So back to the topic of this post - being afraid to admit to the feelings I'm having right now.  I'm incredibly gratified, and thankful, but I'm also in shock and absolutely terrified.  I had equipped myself to deal with potential failure, and given no significant thought to coping with potential success.  I didn't know really what to expect, but THIS was not it!

Here's what I do know.  I love to write, and I love making a connection with the people who are reading what I have written.  I'm going to keep writing.  I hope you'll all keep reading, because I think I'm here to stay.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

One Thread Pulled On Sale Now

We're a week or so away from being for sale at Amazon, but you can get order a copy today from

Would you like to see this on YOUR coffee table?

Go to the FaceBook page for One Thread Pulled and "like" it to get the discount code for $2.00 off from now through the end of August 2012.  This book is 6 x 9 and over an inch thick - well worth the price even without the discount. There is also a drawing for some autographed copies.  Names will be drawn on Sunday, 8/19.  

Monday, August 6, 2012

New JAFF Forum: Beyond Austen

It is rare in this world to have the opportunity to be a part of something truly special at the ground floor.  I remember when I was growing up, there was a recreational center built in the area I lived in and my parents purchased a family membership early.  That gave us the bragging rights of being "Charter Members", and I recall the pride I felt in knowing that we were.  I don't recall if there were any true perks to being charter members, but the pool at the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center was my playground for many years.

I have only been aware of the JAFF world for a few years.  JAFF, or "Jane Austen Fan Fiction" is a thriving literary community that explores the themes, characters and life lessons that Jane herself wrote about. Once I discovered it, it didn't take me long to get hooked.  We don't just TALK about her stories, endlessly dissecting our interpretation of Jane's novels, but do so through stories centered in one or more aspects of that world. Some are period pieces while others are contemporary, paranormal, science fiction etc.  The book I'm preparing to launch this month, One Thread Pulled is an example of the Regency period JAFF genre. 

The Internet is host to quite a few websites dedicated to Jane Austen and her works, with a subset of these devoted to JAFF.  I have spent many pleasurable hours on several of these sites, notably and but other than directing people to my own story, One Thread Pulled, I have hesitated to recommend these sites wholesale since there are often stories posted on them that I wouldn't be comfortable having my mother see.  Yes.  That is the ultimate standard.

I am now thrilled to be not only a Charter Member of, but also a Forum Moderator on a new JAFF website, Beyond Austen

The initial launch of this site occurred one week ago, and the response has been fantastic.  The content includes stories, poetry, blogs, games etc., and we are just getting started.  The best part is that I can confidently recommend this site not only to my mother, but to people from church, to my young nieces and other youth as well.  The writers agree to the keep what they post within the G to PG-13 rating and the founders of the site, Stephanie Hamm, Gayle Mills and Robin Helm are committed to maintaining that ideal.   

Since stories post a chapter at a time, they are fun to follow as they unfold.  I'm an anticipation-aholic, so I love digesting a chapter of a story at a time, thinking about it, discussing it, and jumping to read when the next chapter comes up.  Anticipation nirvana!

It isn't too late for you to be a Charter Member too!  I have found my new playground and I'm splashing around in the pool! Join us today!  Find out more, and stay abreast of new postings and events on the Beyond Austen Facebook Page.  Be a part of something special on the ground floor.  Opportunities like this don't come along every day!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

July Short Story Contest - Third Place

I entered the July Short Story contest in the "Writers" group on LinkedIn.  The results were announced today.  I tied for third place, which was gratifying but not truly satisfying for some reason ... I think I'm going to have to try again in the August contest!

I thought some of you might enjoy the change of pace from the JAFF Regency Romance I've been writing lately.  If not, well, there's more JAFF coming.

The Korne Field
by Diana Oaks

The tires on the ancient Ford Falcon crunched the gravel as they passed the sign that read “Danny’s Korne Maize.”

“That’s lame.” Yvonne giggled from the back seat.  “They spelled corn wrong.”

“Shut up.” Isabelle glanced over her shoulder.  “It’s their name, idiot.  Isn’t that right, Bradley?”

Bradley Korne smiled.  “Uncle Danny thinks it’s funny.  He likes the puns, ya know?  Maize for maze was his idea too.  Just tell him you think it’s corny and he’ll love you forever.”

“It is corny,” Yvonne rolled her eyes and turned to look out the window at the golden stalks that lined the road.

“Corny is his specialty.  He’ll probably make some crack about seeing double when he spots you two.  Just laugh.”  Bradley laughed and swung the car under the shade of a lone tree in the parking area.  “That cornfield is his pride and joy, and his maze is a goodun too.  It’s gonna be fun.”

They approached the entrance, which was marked by some stacked bales of hay and pumpkins.   Isabelle hung onto Bradley’s arm possessively as they stepped across the threshold.

“I dunno about this.” Yvonne peered into the labyrinth of corn plants as she instinctively grabbed his free arm.  “It’s kinda creepy.”

“Nah,” He flexed slightly.  “It’s just a corn maze.  I’ve been through it a thousand times.”
“Yikes!” Yvonne jumped and squealed, clinging tighter to his arm while her feet danced in place.  “That was a snake!”

“Crap Vonn, grow up whydoncha. It was just a garter snake.” 

“Turn left,” Bradley instructed.  “I said left!” He repeated when Isabelle veered to the right. 

“Keep your eyes open girls.  I lost my dad’s ring out here last year.  It would be freaking awesome if we found it.”

“You should get one of those metal detectors.”  Yvonne suggested.  “I think my dad has one you could borrow.”

“Get a clue, Vonny,”  Isabelle snorted a little. “They plow these fields under before they plant ‘em.  Ain’t no way some silly ring’s gonna turn up like magic.  It’s gone.”  She looked sympathetically at Bradley and squeezed his arm.  “Sorry.”

They pressed deeper into the maze, their conversation continuing much the same.  Yvonne released her hold on Bradley’s arm, and she fell back, watching silently as her twin flirted and teased the tall, athletic farm-boy who’d brought them here.  He looked over his shoulder once, to make sure she was still there, and smiled and winked at her as though he could read her jealous thoughts.

She allowed the distance to grow, daydreaming in the warmth of the October sun, grateful that they had not come at night.  Then she realized that Isabelle and Bradley were gone.  She listened for their voices, but only heard the sound of rustling around her.  In a panic, she started to run, calling their names, turning blindly down corridors of cornstalks in a desperate attempt to find her way.  She was forced to stop abruptly when she turned a corner and faced a dead-end.  She spun and fell, a board in the ground shaking beneath her in a puff of dust when she landed.

Brushing some dirt aside, she found an old, hinged, plywood door.  A handle formed of a metal ring was centered along the edge, and hesitantly, Yvonne lifted it, shifting her weight to gain leverage until the door crashed open.  Stairs led downward, and with a hesitant look over her shoulder, she descended into the dank, dark room beneath the corn maze, battling a cobweb and flinging the spider who lived in it from off her arm.

A lone beam of sunlight pierced the room from the hatch, providing enough illumination for her to see that the walls were lined with thick shelves laden down with mason jars, all of which contained a clear liquid.

“Yikes!” She whispered in astonishment, and with a shiver, turned to go back up the stairs. In her haste, she stumbled, and as she caught herself, her fingers wrapped around a tiny artifact embedded in the dirt on the step.  She groped for the cold, hard thing, and found herself in possession of a man’s gold ring, which quickly found its way to her pocket.

Thirty minutes later, she emerged from the maze to find Isabelle and Bradley waiting by the car with mutually reddened lips.

“Where you been?” Isabelle demanded.

“I’ve been to the dark side of the cornfield,” she grinned at Bradley as she fished in her pocket, “where the moon shines. I found this.” She handed him the ring. “And I think I understand now, why your uncle loves his corn.”