May 10, 2012

Author Spotlight: Diana Castilleja - Guest Post & Giveaway (18+)

Thank you to Damaris and all her readers for letting me blog today. It's a pleasure to share with all of you a little about what goes on in my head--scary, I know. Lots of cobwebs, a few broken door locks. Nothing to fret over. Just ignore the drag-thump over there in the corner. That's just an over abused idea on its last legs.

So for today, I thought I'd share a little (without over sharing I hope!) about series writing. I have series under both names, mainstream and erotica, which makes it doubly fun because there's obvious limits to what can be acceptable in mainstream writing even as they constantly push envelope. That right there is probably the largest challenge for me to writing any series. Keeping it on par for the intended audience.

I have two active series in paranormal under Diana Castilleja. So how do I keep two series in the same genre from overlapping? I can't speak for everyone, but it isn't that hard for me. I can categorize and segregate content and characters, worlds and rules. The challenge is keeping the rules linear for that series. It takes time to build a story, and even longer to build a solid multi-book story arc and it's the finite details that I constantly have to go back and make sure I'm not being lax about. And all kinds of things can happen between Chapter One and The End to cause me grief for future installments. That right there is the most challenging thing I face. I don't plot. I don't outline. I start at page 1 and let 'er rip until I hit the end, or if I'm lucky, stumble across that last period dangling somewhere out in the cosmos that has my story attached to it.

One thing I do like writing is trilogies, usually with secondary characters that, once introduced, more or less sit on my head and knock like a demented woodpecker until I get the hint and tell their tale. I think for writing series in general, there's an equal balance of good and bad and persistent characters can be in either category.

Another series that I'm in is Draven's Crossing. That one is multi-author, so I'm not responsible for the whole arc, but I do have to play off what others write, or intend if it affects a given story idea. I can also play with this by writing either MF or MM in it. It's an open board with a wider creative freedom and I really enjoy that to let the characters come to me who want to be in that world.

I also know that people like comfort in their reading. If they're familiar with a theme or setting, they like going back and revisiting, but with new adventures. I think that's why series are in so many ways popular. People watch shows like The Walking Dead, and The Big Bang Theory because they're comfortable in what those shows offer, and it's consistent to their characters and beyond. Written series are the same. There's a comfort in them that is known and can almost become addictive (Says the lady who owns all the Feehan Dark Series books, some with multiple covers just because they're cool).

So that being said, there are definite ups and downs to writing series. You want the familiarity without it getting old. You like seeing old characters and new interact without losing their humanness or individuality. But an author's responsibility to the readers and to the story is to keep it fresh and forward moving. And honestly, since I've begun writing and fallen in love with stories and characters, it's one of the things I really enjoy doing, finding that leaping point to create a whole new fresh story.

Writing The End just means I'm off to find my next new beginning.


Thank you Diana for stopping by today and sharing this post with us and our readers. <3


Diana is giving away a book off her backlist. To enter you have to be 18 or older, and you must leave a meaningful comment below for Diana. Please include a way for us to contact you. Whether it be your Twitter, e-mail, or Facebook, it doesn't matter.

Giveaway ends one week from today!


  1. I do agree, if you like a certain genre by a specific author you tend to own all that author's books;s Christine Feehan for me to; but it also opens your eyes to different authors in that same genre that you may never have dreamed of trying and find you like a whole lot more than you ever thought you would.

  2. I'm having a hard time writing one book, I don't know if I would even get to writing a series or a trilogy!
    email: cruz042 at
    twitter: @ariannecruz07

  3. Loved the post. Your books look like they would be really good to read, thank you for the chance to win one.
    Can't wait to read one

  4. Hi Diana! I'm no writer, but i feel the same way reading. There's a lot of stuff that could happen between prologue and the end, and that makes reading such a fun journey.

  5. Hi Diana! A very well said post! That comfort in reading a series can be very addicting. I find that there are definitely certain authors for me that are like going home whenever I pick up one of their stories... they are familiar and comfortable, but I also know that I want something new and fresh to keep things moving.

  6. Thank you ladies for stopping by. Sorry I didn't get here earlier.

    Diane, it was because of Feehan that I did branch out and try a few other vamp authors. Amanda Ashley, JR Ward... Now I can't even remember who I had read. My reading has really fallen off. LOL Feehan and Ashley were two of the largest influences on my early paranormal as I began to develop my style and voice. I do branch out, with dozens of authors in romance in my TBR bookcase. I just need a few more hours in every day. LOL

    Arianne, I don't usually start a book with a series in mind, some, but not always. They seem to happen in a velcro-cling until you write me kind of way. :D

    Loretta, thank you! I hope if you get the chance to read one of them that you enjoy it.

    Sienny, I love that about reading, the journey. A lot of authors plot or outline their work. I've tried it with one book only. I've really found the best way for me is to write it the way I would read it. What happens next? What is their reaction? That keeps me moving forward until I reach the end. It keeps me excited to finish it. If I'm excited to write it, to finish it, I hope that conveys to the reader as well. It's what I try for with any book, anyway. Not always a complete bullseye, but I haven't mucked it up beyond recognition yet. ;)

    Yadkny, Exactly! It's what I find the most appealing. Granted you don't want it to go on into infinity. Closure is good. LOL But yeah, getting there. Worth the rainy day on the couch, your favorite drink and pure escape.

    I do apologize for being so late in coming in. Between company and storms (One was expected, one wasn't, in that order), it set my schedule off. Thank you for stopping by. I'll check back in the AM or so and catch up again and draw a name! Suspense! LOL

  7. I really enjoyed reading your post. When I find an author I like, I generally tend to try and find their other books and read them as well. And when I'm looking for a specific genre to read, I also have my go to authors for that. But I do like to find new authors and give them a try. That's how I found all my favorites. Thanks for sharing.
    luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com

  8. Diana I've been checking out your books & I have to say they look wonderful.

    Series can be addictive. I love that.


  9. Hi Julianne. I do the same thing with authors, will try different styles of writing or genres if they write across genre lines.

    Marybelle, thank you for stopping by. I hope you enjoy any you get to read.

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  11. Sorry. I misread the deadline. I'll be back to draw in a week. Good luck to all of you!

  12. I enjoyed your post and thoughts on series books. Your books sound good.