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Diane Chamberlain's Blog

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If you had a chance to change something you created a decade ago, would you take it? I have that opportunity as some of my older books are being reissued, and since I’ve been asked if the reissued books are identical to the originals, I thought I’d talk about that here. The truth is, it varies from...
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I’m not talking about how hard it was to come up with the idea; that had been rolling around in my mind since I was twelve. I’m not talking about the challenge of structuring the story; I made it simple and told it in chronological order. I’m not talking about creating believable characters; I’d...
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Diane narrating
I know I should wait until The Lies We Told is available before sharing the video with the world, but I love it so much I can’t wait! I’ll tuck it away after this blog post and bring it back when the book is released, but I thought you might enjoy hearing how John and I created it, thus my excuse...
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Is your name Sam? Probably not. Neither is mine. Neither are six of the seven major characters in my work-in-progress, The Midwife’s Confession. But last night, my Word program suddenly decided that if the name Sam was good enough for the guy who really is named Sam in the story, well then, it’s...
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Six weeks from the deadline for The Midwife’s Confession, I’m doing some deep thinking about whose head I’m in. One of the most important things a writer must decide when starting a novel is point-of-view. Will the story be told from an ominiscient perspective in which the narrator knows everything...
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Summer's Child
I just did some minor updating on my website, adding pages for my reissued Summer’s Child and the upcoming, brand new The Lies We Told. That means you are now able to read excerpts of each of these books (along with excerpts from many of my previous books, if you haven’t already read them). Summer’...
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I’m a month and a half away from deadline on my twentieth book, The Midwife’s Confession, and I’ve had some requests to tell you a bit about it. Those of you who’ve read my blog for at least a couple of years might remember this picture. I love it and have it on my desktop to keep me focused as I...
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Plant. I’m nearly done with the first complete draft of my work-in-progress, currently titled The Midwife’s Confession, and if you were to check it for the most often used word (after “the” and “and” and character names), I bet it would be “plant.” Even though I’ve outlined ad nauseum, the...
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writers block
Writers spend hours and hours talking about writer’s block and in my opinion, there’s no greater waste of time.  Workshops at conferences are devoted to the topic, and writing magazines often run articles offering tips on coping with that paralytic state. For those of you who are readers instead of...
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Image by John Pagliuca
I’m a sucker for the Olympics. So much youth, energy, skill and heart . . .and too often, heartbreak.  Behind every athlete a story, and you know how much I love a good story. I should be working, but I’m watching.  We leave Topsail tomorrow. We’ve accomplished so much in the condo. The best part...
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About thirty years ago, I was published for the first time. Not a novel, but an op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times. I was working as a hospital social worker at the time, and after a particularly moving encounter with a family in the ER, I took a break and wrote this fictionalized account in my...
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As I get closer to the final form my novel will take, I like to use this Three-Act chart, based on my friend Alexandra Sokoloff’s book, Screenwriting Tips for Authors. The top picture was taken as I neared the end of writing my upcoming June book, The Lies We Told. Notice how neat and organized and...
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Messy desk
Even the dog bed is askew. Pictures of my characters. Manuscript pages everywhere. Almonds to snack on. Hand lotion for my weary fingers. My singing stuffed warbler, sent to me by a reader, sits in front of my printer. I can squeeze him whenever I need a bit of June in the midst of February. Thich...
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I was cleaning out a cupboard the other day and came across a stack of cover flats. Do you know what a cover flat is? Before a book is released the cover–a flat rectangle showing both front, spine and back of the book–is sent to the accounts that will ultimately decide to carry–or not carry–the...
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When writing fiction, I find it helpful to have pictures of my characters to inspire me.  I used to find pictures in magazines, but in magazines, you tend to find the pretty people”. The perfect, model-y people. My characters rarely look perfect; they look more like you and me. With the Internet,...
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