We are so excited about your book release!
So tell me, what inspired you to write The Rare?
My love for hiking had a lot to do with it. I love to be out in the woods. It makes me feel relaxed and at peace when I’m hiking a trail. My husband actually came up with the idea when we were talking about what I could write next. He knows I love the woods, so he asked, “What if you wrote a story about a sickly girl who lives in the city but goes out into the woods and finds healing?” And that’s how The Rare got started!
Interesting! I know I’ve gotten a lot of inspiration for my work from what my husband says, as well. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one! Are there any themes, symbols, or motifs in your story?
A couple. I truly believe that living in a big city can be tough on your health: physically and psychologically. I think it’s important for people to get out of the city once in a while and find a natural place they enjoy. If you don’t like the woods or hiking, then find a beach, a field, a river; somewhere where there is fresh air and sunshine.
I also have a darker theme that I feel needs to be discussed. My main character, Olivia, struggles with depression and attempts suicide (three times, actually). She has a hard life and feels she would be better off dead. Depression and suicidal thoughts are very real and very painful. It’s not something you can just “snap out of” or “think positively, and it’ll go away”.
I struggled with it a few years back. My depression had me believing that there was no hope, and everyone would be better off without me. Now that I’m on this side of things, I feel it is a topic that needs to be talked about. People who struggle with it need to understand that there is hope. People do care.
Not very many people like to talk about things that make them feel uncomfortable and depression and suicide is one of them. If you’ve tried to talk to loved ones, and they seem to be shutting you out, it’s probably just because they don’t know how to respond. They still love you. They just don’t know how to help. If that’s the case, call: Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255 and talk to someone. You have a purpose on this Earth. Your life matters.
I agree, mental illness should be as thoroughly talked about as the common cold. I’m really glad to see you advocating for others! Who is your favorite character?
My favorite character is a side character named Joselyn/Cindy. Joselyn is a girl who has DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder). She has multiple personalities, and one of them was a lot of fun to write, Cindy. She is a crazy, mischievous woman who acts more childish than Joselyn.
She was definitely a fun character to read when I went through it. How did you craft your world?
The world is mostly the same except for the United States. I took inspiration from The Divergent Series and Hunger Games for how I wanted the U.S. to be like after a major war tore the country apart.
Those are some really great dystopians to inspire you. How did you decide on a setting? Is it based off of anywhere you’ve been in real life?
The city is based off New York. I’ve never been to New York, but I needed to have some of the amenities New York offers for my story, so it seemed like the right choice.
You should go sometime! It can be a little overwhelming at times, but it’s a city that should be on everyone’s bucket list. Who are some of your favorite authors?
I don’t have any favorite authors, per se. I have some favorite books: The Harry Potter series; Hunger Games; The Inheritance Cycle; and a book Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker co-wrote called House. That’s my favorite book to read around Halloween!
Thanks so much for chatting with me today, Diane! Before I let you go, what can we expect next from you?
I plan on continuing, The Rare, into a three-book series.
I have another story I’m itching to write, but I’m making myself finish what I started before moving on.
Thanks again for chatting with me today, Diane! Let's take a look at what you're book is about:
Olivia Sloane doesn’t want to live anymore. Her whole life is a struggle. Her health, her school, her social life, and even her relationship with her mother are all a mess. The world itself is a mess. With lethal acid rain and stifling, ever-present fog, nothing thrives in her home city, and it’s even worse outside—or so she’s been taught.
Her best friend, David, also has a hard life, but he has hope. He’s convinced that there’s something better hidden beyond the fence surrounding their city and has always suggested escaping together. Olivia has never taken it seriously. But after a failed suicide attempt, her stay in the mental ward leads to a series of suspicious encounters with her mother and a fight at school. Feeling like there is nothing left to lose, she decides to give David’s idea a shot.
Despite their poor health and reports of killer beasts, Olivia and David brave the wilderness. The truth they discover there—not just about their society but about themselves—is more astonishing than anything they ever imagined.
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