Good Morning My Fellow Bookworms and Page Turners,
Today we have the pleasure of sitting down and having a chat with Dianna Gunn about her novel Moonshadow’s Guardian, and the work that she has done in assisting those whom are newer to the writing profession with the Author Marketing Club.
For those of you who didn’t already know, Dianna Gunn is a freelance writer by day and a weaver of fantasy tales by night. Her sword and sorcery novel, Moonshadow’s Guardian, was released in 2018. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found on Twitter @DiannaLGunn.
“Hello Dianna, thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to talk to us, could you please introduce yourself to our readers, and tell us a little about yourself and your work?”
Hello! I’m glad to be here. I wear about 18 different hats throughout the week, including freelance writer, fantasy author, podcast producer, virtual event host, and cat staff.
My novel, Moonshadow’s Guardian, is a sword and sorcery tale about a demon summoned to destroy the source of a magical plague. She is promised her freedom in exchange. When she discovers that her quest will destroy the final remnants of a queendom she once called home, she must decide how much freedom is worth.
The second novel in the Moonshadow Rising duology, Moonshadow’s Champion, is set to release in October 2021. I like to describe my stories as “fantasy with a strong dose of body horror”, so a release during spooky month is quite fitting.
“Being a fantasy writer, you are used to getting your characters in and out of tight scrapes, so how would you deal with 20,000 Roaring Orcs?”
Dragons, duh. If I don’t have dragons, things get a bit more complicated, but “set them all on fire” is still a good bet. A flamethrower with lots and lots of fuel will do.
“Tell us a little about your inspiration behind Moonshadows Guardian“
The kingdom of Moonshadow has lived in my head for almost as long as I can remember. My parents created it together for a tabletop role-playing game. I was always fascinated by it, a kingdom where necromancy, usually so reviled, wasn’t considered inherently evil.
As for the book itself, Moonshadow’s Guardian was originally the second half of a wholly different book. That kind of thing happens when you’re doing NaNoWriMo and your book fizzles out way earlier than you expected. But I quickly realized the second half, this story about the magical plague, was the part worth keeping.
“I myself have attempted to do NaNoWriMo twice now, but I can never keep myself motivated to work each day, what do you do to stay motivated?
My secret is that I don’t write every day. I treat fiction writing like a job, and everyone agrees that it’s important to take days off from a job. So I take at least one full day off a week. Usually, I spend my day off immersed in other stories, playing video games or reading, to refill the creative well.
“As you said the story started off as a sort of campaign build, is that something that you would like to branch into at a later date? and if so what would be the overarching plot of your campaign?
I would love to do a campaign book! I’ve done some tabletop RPG work, making settings for Tiny Frontiers and Tiny Dungeons, and it was a blast. As for the campaign itself, I would love to build out the story of a side character in Moonshadow’s Guardian, Fiona. Her backstory is the one I think gamers would have the most fun exploring.
“Can you tell us what a typical writing day looks like for yourself? is it regimented and organized, or chaotic and sudden?”
I feel stifled by any kind of strict routine, and my collection of health problems makes it kind of difficult to have one anyway. Technically I write for three or four hours a day most weekdays, but it’s mostly nonfiction for my “day job” as an SEO writer. I aim to get in at least half an hour of fiction work six days a week, with one enforced day off to refill the creative well. Right now I’m doing copy edits for Moonshadow’s Champion, so I’m doing an hour a day because the work doesn’t require as much mental energy. When that hour happens, however, varies greatly from one day to the next.
“You are clearly passionate about sharing what you have learned with other authors, that being said, could you tell us a little more about ‘Branding for fiction Authors: A Workbook for Authors with no Business Experience‘ and why you created it”
There are a lot of great resources out there on self-publishing, but they all seem to have one thing in common: the people who created them had two, three, five different businesses before they became authors. They have an instinctive understanding of basic entrepreneurship and marketing principles. They see these things as basic, common knowledge, so they don’t bother talking about it. But a lot of authors aren’t businesspeople. They’re artists. Marketing doesn’t come easy to them. They don’t understand the basic principles of business. So the majority of advice on publishing, while good, isn’t actually useful to them. There’s a gap in their knowledge. Branding for Fiction Authors, and my recently launched Author Marketing Club, are designed to bridge that gap.
“What can we expect to see from you next?”
Moonshadow’s Champion, the sequel to Moonshadow’s Guardian, will be out on October 29th of this year. I’m also building a workbook on digital marketing strategy for authors, but I’m working on that more casually and don’t have a release date yet.
Thank you for joining us today Dianna, and I am looking forward to the release of Moonshadow’s Champion. For those of you looking to get your hands on a copy of the first Moonshadow installment, you can get it here, and if you want a little more information on it you can see my review of the novel here.