Intrigued despite himself, he begins to unravel the mystery caught up in pages. He finds himself tangled up in the life of a girl he’s never met... a girl who is in desperate trouble.
As Jason sounds like our kind of guy, Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome the author who created him, Dianne J. Wilson, and Rebecca, the woman who intrigues him in Shackles. As usual, we'll begin with Rebecca.
Where are you from? A few different places in South Africa. I moved a lot!
Please tell us a bit about Shackles. My life was quiet, some would say boring. I’m an orphan, never knew my parents or anything about them. When I was old enough to leave the orphanage, I was employed as a cook on a farm, I liked it there. But one morning the farmer’s son came into my bedroom. He’d been threatening me and when I heard him at the door, I ran. I guess you could say from that moment on, my life was no longer boring! Shackles tells my story.
What did you think the first time you saw Jason? He saved me from drowning, I don’t remember much other than his face and then I blacked out again. I thought he might be an angel! Ha ha! Don’t tell him that.
What was your second thought? I was in hospital and he came in and knew all about me, it was scary yet he seemed kind.
Did you feel it was love at first sight? No, not at all. I was lost and confused. Love means being vulnerable and I was a tightly wound ball of suspicion. Love wasn’t even possible for me at that point.
What do you like most about Jason? That boy is tenacious. He doesn’t give up.
How would you describe him? He pretends to be all tough and hard, but he’s actually a big softy.
How would Jason describe you? Probably frustrating! He was trying to find me and I kept running.
What made you choose catering for a career? I don’t think of myself as a chef, just someone who can throw together a meal for a bunch of people. In the orphanage, I’d hang around the kitchen because it was warm there. The cook taught me all she knew to get me out of under her feet. It seemed like the only thing I knew how to do when I left.
Rebecca, what is your biggest fear? It used to be drowning. Not anymore though!
How do you relax? Strangely, for someone who had an intense fear of water – I like swimming.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Jason taught me that God is bigger than I could ever imagine and that the smartest thing for to do is trust Him with every small detail of my life.
This has been terrific, Rebecca. Thank you for giving us a brief glimpse into your life. Now, we'd like to chat with Dianne. What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer? Every movie I watch has grown me as a writer. I’m always watching for foreshadowing, character arcs, ways that the script writer ramps up the tension. Even those that aren’t so great are valuable as you can see clearly what doesn’t work.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? There’s a scene which involves ballroom dancing. I grew up dancing and I drew from what I’d discovered. One of the reviews that Shackles has received mentions this as the reader’s favorite part.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? Shackles was the first novel I wrote and I never managed to find a publishing home for it. I had many ‘we love your writing, but this Shackles just doesn’t fit’. Shackles is the novel that opened the door for me with my current publisher Pelican Book Group / Harbourlight. The editor loved my work even though it didn’t fit with what they were publishing. She gave me clear guidelines as to what they were looking for. I wrote my second novel, Finding Mia, to their specifications and they published it.
I still love the story of Shackles and I’ve made it available as a free download on Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/396420, Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shackles-dianne-j-wilson/1118141410?ean=2940045573511 and other ebook distributors.
What project[s] are you working on now? I’m working on a humorous woman’s novel, The Cake List, so much fun. If you want to track progress on this one, sign up on my website www.diannejwilson.com
What's up next for you? Finish The Cake List then get back to book 2 of my YA Spirit Walker series.
Thanks for taking the time to visit with us, Dianne. We wish you much luck with this book and others which are sure to come.
Kat and Veronica