Episode 113A – Diane Bator – The Conned Lady

Overview

Diane writes cozy mysteries, and has found writing to be fun and can lead to success. She has written over 13 books, including a newer one with Jesse James.

She started writing as a kid and hasn’t stopped. Diane lives in Ontario with her family and cat.


A prolific Canadian mystery writer, I am the mom of three kids, two cats and a step-dog as well as
author of Wild Blue Mysteries, Gilda Wright Mysteries, Glitter Bay Mysteries, and the Audra
Clemmings Mysteries from Books We Love Ltd. with many more books and plays to come!

Website

https://dianebator.ca

Book

Favorites

The local Indie bookstore is called BookLore https://booklore.ca/ It was part of the setting for The Bookstore Lady, Book 1 in my Wild Blue Mystery series. Publisher is BWL Publishing.

YouTube

Transcript

So Diane, welcome to discovered wordsmith. How are you doing today?

[00:02:14] Diane: I’m great. The weather’s gorgeous here so far. So

[00:02:17] Stephen: is here?

[00:02:19] Diane: I am in Southern Ontario, Canada.

[00:02:21] Stephen: So nice. Yeah.

Not too far away. I’m in Ohio, down below the great lakes yep.

[00:02:27] Diane: Very simple. I love those great lake. Yeah.

[00:02:29] Stephen: Yeah. I weather can change like that. yes. I just had a friend complaining. They’re like what? I woke up this morning with snow on the on the lawn and now I’m mowing it in my shirt and t-shirt and shorts and t-shirt at the same day.

Oh, great. Yeah. I went to Michigan last year and we were like standing and it’s Hey, I could probably throw a baseball and hit Canada over there. There’s a few spots like that. Tell us before we get started talking about your book, tell us a little bit about you and your life, what you like to do thing outside of writing.

[00:03:04] Diane: Oh, is there anything outside of writing? No, I actually, I work full time for a theater, a live stage theater, which is. A total blast. And I actually wrote my first play. So I’m waiting to see if they’ll actually do a workshop with it or whatever. Besides writing I was telling you earlier, I’ve got two cats and a dog here, which definitely keep you on your toes.

Yeah. I have an old cat who loves to howl. So if you hear howling, it’s not children, it’s

[00:03:33] Stephen: just the cat. It could be Bigfoot up in Ontario could be. great. So why did you wanna start writing?

[00:03:41] Diane: I don’t. I don’t know that I ever really just started. I think I’ve always just done it. And it was where I grew up in El.

I grew up in Alberta, so it’s like Montana, it’s big and wide and there’s not a lot to do. So you keep busy, you pick up a pen and create stories, which I really loved. So I just, I started writing when I was a kid and I just haven’t really stopped.

[00:04:09] Stephen: Nice. Okay. And your first book, this is your first book, correct?

[00:04:14] Diane: This is actually my 13th. Oh man. Okay. I missed that. wonderful. Okay. But your newest book is the condo lady, right? Yeah. Why did you tell us a little bit about the book and why you wanted to write this particular.

This book is actually the fifth in my wild blue mystery series. And it kinda wraps up the entire series.

The whole series is based on a character named Katie who is on the run from some very bad guys and comes to a small town and decides if I don’t know where I am, then these bad guys aren’t gonna know either, right? So she kinda stays and runs a bookstore and the whole series goes on about her friendships, relationships, everything that happens in the town and the con lady is actually.

The summation of her past coming back to haunt her and how she has to face it and deal with it. And some not so great things happen, but it’s a relatively cozy series in that. There’s not a lot of blood and guts and gore, and it’s a little more suspense than anything else and a lot of mysteries. I, I found it to be a lot of fun. When I first started to write this series, I had just moved to this small town in Ontario. So everything was new and I’m like what, if I was on the run from somebody, how would I feel? And I incorporated a lot of the town I live in into the series, which was fun to, I did the book launch for the bookstore lady, which is the very first book in this series actually did it in the bookstore that inspir.

The bookstore lady. nice. That was really cool.

[00:05:58] Stephen: Nice. Okay. So it, it has that little bit of a Jessica Fletcher type of feel to it from what it sounds like.

[00:06:06] Diane: Yeah, absolutely. I just a little bit younger. I think they’re all around 30 something characters. Okay. But I have a couple of characters in there that yeah.

Jessica Fletcher would have a blast hanging out

[00:06:18] Stephen: with there’s my Jessica Fletcher muse.

[00:06:21] Diane: Oh,

[00:06:22] Stephen: that’s awesome. So what other writers or books out there would you say are similar to yours?

[00:06:31] Diane: I don’t know. I try to keep them just slightly different, but I know my biggest inspiration was Janet Ivanovich who writes the Stephanie plum series.

And that was the book series that I started reading. Then I went, yeah, I can do this. this is fun. It’s fun. It’s quirky. It tells a great story. and my only complaint was she dragged out these relationships for 25 books or something, and I gave up after 19. But I really, I admired her writing.

It’s very clean and not really wordy. Okay. You know what I mean? There’s description, but not

[00:07:15] Stephen: over. Okay. So it, it’s not like Stephen King and a few others

[00:07:19] Diane: like that. Actually the one I’m reading right now is Alexander Smith McCall, who is very wordy but a great story. Yeah.

[00:07:29] Stephen: That’s people like different things, which is what makes it great that not everybody has to write the same type of thing.

[00:07:37] Diane: Exactly. That’s what makes it fun. Like I get to. I work with other writers as well, so I get to read their stuff and go, wow. I would never write that way, but I really like this.

It’s fun.

[00:07:50] Stephen: So you said you have some other books out, are those similar cozy type mysteries, different characters or are they related.

[00:07:58] Diane: No, they’re totally separate locations, separate characters. So I’ve got the wild blue mysteries, which this setting is . I said it in the us mostly on the advice of writer, friends who said you’re never gonna sell in the us if you don’t set it in the us.

So I’m like, okay. So it’s set along lake Erie, Detroit area. Okay. Um, Gilda rate mysteries is definitely set in a similar area because they travel between Buffalo and Detroit, a lot for different reasons. And that one is, she is actually the receptionist of a small karate school, which I used to do for years.

And nice. I’m like this is fun. I’ll make it a thing. Sugar with mysteries is when I’m just working on a new book for this fall and the main character and her sidekick actually own a little craft shop. So it’s a little more cozy than the other two. But it’s fun.

[00:08:54] Stephen: I enjoy it. So why did you choose writing this type of book, cozy mysteries as opposed to something else?

it Chose me. okay. I love that. I’ve always been big into puzzles and mysteries. I’ve grew up reading the Hardy boys. I it’s funny. Nancy drew wasn’t really a thing for me. It was always the Hardy boys. Nice. Cause I wanted to be one of them, yeah. I just always, I was thought it was great fun.

[00:09:23] Diane: And I actually ended up, I was writing different things and just not quite finding my niche. And I ended up entering a contest to write a cozy mystery or a mystery novella and they based it on one of those old mystery party games. Okay. And they gave you all the characters, all the scenarios they gave you, everything you didn’t have to think.

You just had to write. And it’s 10 chapters. Each chapter was in the point of view of a different character, which if you ever wanna stretch your brain, try writing 10 different chapters. With 10 different character point of views, cuz it was just like, whoa,

[00:10:07] Stephen: was it the same situation in scene from 10 different viewpoints?

Or did the story progress? The

[00:10:13] Diane: story progressed. So basically you had the murder at the beginning of the story, you had the dead person laying there and what happened? There’s in those mystery party games, there’s always a detective or a police officer who’s solving the. and he starts off the whole mystery and then each chapter he’s questioning the different characters.

And I just, I thought it was a lot of fun. I had a great time with it and I ended winning the contest, which was really cool. Nice. Congrats. And I went, Ooh, maybe this is a thing wow. Yeah. It, it sounds a little bit like knives out or one of those type of, yeah, exactly. Yeah. Okay. And these are independently published or have you gone traditional.

I . That’s great. Big, long story there. I started off trying to get like a big traditional like everybody, you wanna be big traditional publisher and all of that. And I ended up with a smaller publisher. Who has been really gracious and they’ve taken all of my books to date and they’re more than happy to say, what date would you like to publish the next one?

so it’s on the borderline of indie publishing, but I have a traditional publisher who helps and does a lot of stuff for me, okay. And you’ve. Ha do you feel that’s been helping you in your career and everything’s been going well with it or have you thought it going different?

Bit of both, like it’s really helped me to grow as a writer and to learn just tons of stuff.

From where I first started 13 books ago to what I write now is similar, but different, like stronger, cleaner I find I can, my brain just wanders off and I can write just whatever. We’re actually doing. The publisher themselves has asked writers to write part of a Canadian historical mystery series.

Cool. So I’m going to be writing one based on Ontario, which actually features a character coming up from the. And I think you might have heard of Jesse James . Oh yeah. There is a rumor that Jesse James buried gold in the area where I live. So I’m like it’s just a rumor. Nobody can prove anything, but I can take off with it and have fun.

[00:12:35] Stephen: So yeah, that sounds cool. I write middle grade. Fantasy type. So that would be a cool thing to do, like kids reading about history and learning this, and then going on treasure hunt it’s a similar setting, but altering the story. And I think that’s one of the great things about writing.

[00:12:53] Diane: And that’s the great part.

Like I said, I live like, not far from where this supposedly happens, so I’m like, I’m gonna do a drop by a couple of times and go, okay, I’ve got the map. I can figure out where this is. So

[00:13:04] Stephen: You need to get some pictures to put on your website and your email list and stuff. Yeah. That’d be cool.

Exactly.

[00:13:11] Diane: So I think that would be very

[00:13:12] Stephen: cool. Yeah, I like that. So is this newest book out already?

[00:13:17] Diane: The con lady came out in March. Okay. Beginning of March. And I haven’t found out yet how well it’s doing, but we’ve been doing a lot of great been doing a lot of podcasts, a lot of interview things, which has been a lot of fun, so

[00:13:32] Stephen: nice.

And where can we find the book?

[00:13:36] Diane: Pretty much anywhere. Okay. My website is Diane bader.ca and you can link to it from anywhere on there. It’s smash words, Barnes and noble, Amazon, you name it. It’s all over the place. Okay,

[00:13:51] Stephen: great. So what type of feedback are you getting from readers now? I’m assuming that a lot of the readers on this book have read the other books in the series.

So what’s the type of feedback you were getting and what are you getting now on the newest books? Has that changed? That type of thing?

[00:14:06] Diane: I. Most of the feedback I’ve had so far have been people that have not read the rest of the series. And a couple of them are like you have to go back and find out a little bit more detail, but I’ve had really great reviews, which has.

It’s always really cool when somebody gives your review and you don’t know who they are. It’s different when somebody gives you a review and you see them every second day or something and it’s totally different, right? Yeah. When it’s someone you’ve never met before, it’s Oh, cool.

[00:14:38] Stephen: Did you take any of the feedback, whether from beta readers, friends, family, or reviews on your earlier books and ch did that change anything you’re doing with your writing now? Sometimes yes. And sometimes you just, sometimes you have to take those things with a bit of a grain of salt, cuz I’ve had people tell me particularly one of the books in the series.

[00:15:01] Diane: Someone said that I don’t like the characters. I don’t like this, I don’t like this. I don’t like this, but I can relate to the mean character and I just went, how does that work? that’s good. Not sure what to take away from that one. okay. So yeah, definitely. Sometimes people will bring up things like, oh my gosh, there’s typos and whatever which has happened.

Sometimes you just have to go, oh, okay. There was a typo story

[00:15:29] Stephen: I just had a short story in an anthology and actually someone else that was in the anthology, they’re reading all the stories for audiobook. And I was like, dang. And they found two errors and I’m like, man, I went over it. My editor went over it and I went over it again.

And there was still two errors in there. So it happened. It’s not always because. Authors suck or editors suck or that we didn’t do it. It just sometimes happens. So we’re human. Yeah. The good news is I wrote the story so I could put it in my universe of stories. So after I let that go for a while and go alter it just a little bit and put it in my.

Universe so nice using it a little more. So Diane, if you had the choice for either this book or the series would you rather see it turned into a movie or a TV show?

[00:16:19] Diane: Oh goodness. I’d get hooked on the TV show.

[00:16:23] Stephen: and that’s interesting too, because that definitely has changed over the last four or five years.

[00:16:29] Diane: Even just the last two years. Yeah. With COVID and everything. And look, how many new series have popped up. Right now I made a bad decision this weekend and I started watching better call Sal, which

[00:16:42] Stephen: my son loves those.

[00:16:44] Diane: I love the show and yeah, it’s an addiction right now because I’m off for the weeks. like every chance I’m like, oh, I’ve got a couple hours to kill him and go watch.

[00:16:55] Stephen: Yeah, I’ll go do it. Watch just one four shows later. You

[00:17:01] Diane: can’t right. I tried that last night and like all of a sudden, I think we were six shows in and it’s I didn’t go to bed.

[00:17:07] Stephen: right okay. So what are your plans for your next book? Is it in this series, a new series, your old series? What’s your plans? Nope.

[00:17:16] Diane: This series for now. The con lady was the last. Book in this series, but there is that nice little wiggle room that you can always go back later and go, oh, okay.

Characters, aren’t all dead. They’re all good. But the next book I’m working on right now is actually the second book in my Sugarwood mysteries, which Sugarwood is a fictional town here in Ontario. So I can incorporate a lot of local things and traditions and stuff. Would not be in the other series.

And the second book is going to the first book was called drop dead cowboy. And this one is going to be called the dead man stall.

[00:17:59] Stephen: You like the ideas,

[00:18:01] Diane: there a little bit of voodoo and nice. It’s just, it’s a fun series I’m enjoying it.

[00:18:07] Stephen: But still cozy MIS so not hardcores supernatural stuff cause okay,

[00:18:13] Diane: nice.

Okay. Yeah this one is just more fun. With murder in mayhem. How much fun can you have? But it is a fun series and I’m really enjoying it. And I’ve got some characters that I’m having a blast with. So

[00:18:27] Stephen: great. And so Diane what are some of your favorite books and favorite authors?

[00:18:34] Diane: Oh boy.

that’s the sometimes that’s the thing about being a writer is sometimes you have to really force yourself to go sit and read. Somebody else’s stuff, cuz you’re busy doing your own edits and right.

[00:18:44] Stephen: And then there’s other times you get hooked on a book and you’re like, I should go. But really I wanna just one more chapter

[00:18:50] Diane: I just finished reading.

I, I dunno how familiar you are with Murdoch mysteries. Oh yeah. Marine Jennings is actually a local nice. And I get to actually see her tonight on a I’m part of what is it? Maple leaf mysteries writing conference. And she’s actually one of the keynote speakers and stuff. So I’ll be watching her tonight.

Nice. But I just finished reading her book, heat wave, which I’m I was hooked. It was just such a fun light. One of those books you can take to the beach or out in the backyard and just read and you don’t have to think. You don’t have to work for this story. It’s just this wonderful little story.

[00:19:32] Stephen: Great.

Great. Do you have any that you like grew up reading that are your all time favorites? You’ve read several times.

[00:19:39] Diane: You know what, not really okay. I used to be really hooked on Steven King and I can’t think of the other one. Koons Anne rice was another one. Ann Rice. Yeah. Dean Koons. Yeah. Like I said, all the Hardy boys, I have read all the Hardy boys. I swear. And I was trying to collect them for my kids and none of them were interested.

So

[00:20:01] Stephen: yeah.

[00:20:02] Diane: That, yeah. But I’m trying to read different things as well. Like some of the books my kids had when they were teenagers, I’m going back and looking at some of those. I belong to a couple different writing groups and somebody was talking about them and I’m like, I have those books. I wanna check this out.

So that’s mixed on

[00:20:22] Stephen: the list the whole Y a genre or whatever. Really, it’s a demographic cuz within ye you’ve got a wide range of genres, but it’s crazy how that is exploded and adults read it and it’s not oh my God, you’re reading kids books. It’s totally not the stigma at

[00:20:40] Diane: all.

Especially when Harry Potter started. Yep. Harry Potter kind of led the explosion and I still have those books. Argon was another one. Yes. I have those as well. and those are ones I will probably go back to read again, so

[00:20:56] Stephen: nice. Okay. Where you live, do you have a bookstore you like to go to, now that we can start to go back to some of this stuff?

[00:21:04] Diane: We have, we used to have one of the big chain bookstores in town and then that closed out. Oh my gosh. Like five years ago. But we have one really great used bookstore right on the main street. And we’ve got our own indie bookstore, which is just down the hill from where I live, which I hunt and my books are all there.

nice. And it was, as I said, it was actually the bookstore that was. The bookstore lady book was based on okay. What’s the name of that place? I’ll look it up and put a link in the show notes. Yeah,

it’s called

[00:21:38] Stephen: Book lore. Okay. Yeah, I’ll look that up. Make sure and put a link to them.

[00:21:42] Diane: Yeah, I can send you the information

[00:21:44] Stephen: so perfect.

That’d be good. And so tell us one last time the name of your book and where they can find it and yeah. Your website again.

[00:21:53] Diane: Absolutely. My newest book is called the con lady. It is book five in my well blue mystery series and it is available pretty much anywhere you can find books online, especially smash words, Barnes and noble, Amazon.

And my website is Diane bader.ca

[00:22:13] Stephen: nice and smash words for now cuz who knows what’s gonna happen now that draft a digital bottom. So that’s interesting, right? Yeah.

[00:22:21] Diane: Yeah. It’s constantly changing.

[00:22:23] Stephen: Absolutely. All right. So before we go and move on to some author stuff tell everybody like the elevator pitch, why they should read your book if somebody said I don’t know why should I get this and read it?

[00:22:35] Diane: It’s just a lot of fun. , it’s a great adventure. There’s it’s just. I had a blast writing it. It’s a great story. And it’s just a great

beat

[00:22:47] Stephen: treat. Great. Okay. That’s perfect for the summertime. Great. I’m hoping yeah. Yeah. It’s just right. All right. So thank you for sharing your book with us.

Diana, I appreciate it.

[00:22:59] Diane: No problem. Thank

[00:22:59] Stephen: you. All right.

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