Diane Hoover was born in New York City across from Yankee Stadium, which might explain her great love for the Yankees. She grew up in the Washington DC metropolitan area, which certainly explains her great interest in politics. Diane has spent the last, almost 40 years living near the foot of Pikes Peak, which definitely has helped inspire her writing.
Diane has published several short stories and an occasional nonfiction piece, as well as placed in a number of contests. Most recently, one of her short stories placed in the Saturday Writer’s contest and was included in the Cuivre Anthology. At the age of 67, after undergoing a complete hip replacement, she decided to learn karate. She now wears a blue belt, which puts her right in the middle. Her four grandchildren think this is the coolest thing. You can read Diane's winning story, "Coffee Break," here.
Interview by Marcia Peterson
WOW: Congratulations on placing as one of the Runners Up in our Spring 2009 Flash Fiction contest! What inspired you to enter the contest?
Diane: The challenge of writing a story within a prescribed word limit, plus I like writing stories about women in trouble and how they solve, or hopefully solve, their problems.
WOW: Can you tell us what encouraged the idea behind your story? It was suspenseful—I was on the edge of my seat reading it!
Diane: I like to put myself in the positions I put my characters. What would I do? At least what would I think I would do? Maybe it’s my Walter Mitty alter ego asserting itself.
WOW: Your main character was certainly resourceful! Have you written other flash fiction? What type of writing do you most prefer?
Diane: I have written several flash fiction stories, two for your WOW! contest, one received an honorable mention. And this may sound really strange, but I feel that different stories and different characters call for their own format. In "Coffee Break," I think I said all there was to be said for both my main character and her situation. On the other hand, I have a story about a runaway young girl who is called home by her mother, decides to take the opposite road and is saved by an angel. That story is much longer. My novel is generational, much longer.
WOW: According to your bio, you decided to learn karate the age of 67. What prompted that decision, and what was it like to take lessons?
Diane: I had had a total hip replacement at the end of 2005. Though I’d gotten rid of any limp afterward, I still felt pretty unstable so when the opportunity arose to take lessons that would not only help any stability and balance problems but teach me a new (for me very new) discipline I thought, hey, why not? So I did. I’ve made some great new friends in the process and now I’m learning to use weapons.
WOW: You are a force to be reckoned with, Diane! I always like to ask about a writer’s routines. Could you tell us when and where you usually write? Do you have favorite tools or habits that get you going?
Diane: I am a member of a couple of critique groups and also work with a critique partner. Often I will work on someone’s manuscript and then work on mine. Sometimes though I'll just sit in front of my computer and a story unfolds under my fingers. It is the most surprising and often wonderful experience. Other writers experience the same kind of thing.
WOW: What a great phenomenon what that happens. Do you have any writing goals in mind for the rest of the year?
Diane: I have this book that I’ve been working on for years. It’s an historical novel, from which I’ve taken several stories and turned them into short stories. Some of these have placed in contests. I would love to finish this book before I die. I would hate to have my kids or spouse put on my tombstone WIP instead of RIP.
WOW: That’s a good one! Many writers can relate. Finally, is there if there was one bit of advice you could pass on to other aspiring writers, what would it be?
Diane: Don’t talk about writing, do it! It’s as simple as that. And stick to it. One should have a routine, I feel, to get the best results. Oh, and read a lot. I know that’s two bits of advice but I think it all goes together.
We'll continue getting to know the Top 10 contest winners every week on Tuesdays. Be sure to check back for more interviews!