November 25, 2009

Guest Post: Author Dianne Castell

Today I am pleased to welcome Dianne Castell, author of the newly published Hot and Irresistible to Psychotic State.  Welcome, Dianne!

Favorite...and not so favorite...Themes

I love books set in the South! Movies too. So to get to spend as much time there as possible, I decided to write a series set in the South - - Hot and Bothered (4/08) and Hot and Irresistible (11/09). 

Are there some book themes that are auto-buys for you? A topic that no matter who writes it or how crappy the cover, you think ah-ha, it’s one of those and I have to have it now! And you start reading it while you’re still in the store.

I’m a sucker for love and laughter, especially mixed with suspense. I’m okay with love and laughter on its own as long as it doesn’t drift into characters being stupid to get a laugh. Hate, hate, hate stupid characters. They’re supposed to be heroes and heroines for Pete’s sake! Stupid doesn’t work.

And suspense by itself doesn’t work for me. So often it drifts into the gruesome or morbid or dark and I hate all those things. But I love a good mystery. So, if you put the two together it’s an auto buy for me.

And I love, love, love cowboy themes and Southern themes. Not always an auto buy but sure makes me look twice. ‘Course if there’s humor involved then it’s an auto-buy and if there’s humor and suspense and in the South, well dang, girl!

And that brings us to what themes you won’t read no matter how many of your friends insist this is the best read ever! I cannot read horror no matter who writes it. Scares me to death, can’t sleep, double lock all the doors. After reading In Cold Blood I put heavy furniture in front of the back door for weeks! My husband and kids thought I was nuts...that’s because they didn’t read In Cold Blood!

And I can’t do vampires. I know, I know...there are lots of vamps out there that are humorous and have mystery but the neck biting thing just grosses me out no matter how gorgeous the neck-biter is.

So, chickies, the question is... What is your fave theme that you auto buy and what is the one theme that makes you squirm when you just think about it?

Thanks for playing!

About author Dianne Castell:

USA Today best selling author Dianne Castell writes for Kensington BRAVA. She also writes a monthly editor interview column for Romance Writers Report. Her books have won Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Awards, been on the cover of Romantic Times Magazine and included in Rhapsody Book Club, Doubleday Book Club and have made the Waldenbooks Bestseller list.

The second book in her "Savannah Sizzles" series for the BRAVA line, Hot and Irresistible, hits the shelves in November 2009.  Hot Summer Nights will be out in May 2010.

Dianne lives in Cincinnati with her two cats and will do just about anything to get out of housework.

You can visit her website at

So, faithful readers . . . let's talk themes! 
I absolutely, positively will read anything that is considered a Jane Austen sequel, particularly a Pride and Prejudice sequel.  I truly think it's a borderline obsession or illness.  If I see it, I will read it (or attempt to). 

What won't I read?  I have been known to be game about trying almost any genre once and I don't know that this is considered a theme, per se, but I absolutely refuse to read anything written by Danielle Steel.  In my opinion, her stories are cookie cutter, fill in the blanks and therefore offer nothing new or exciting.  I dislike the message I feel many of her stories send out, about women and their lives being somehow incomplete without a partner in them.  I like strong characters, not weak and whining characters who cry about how miserable their lives are.  Speaking of which, I also really dislike books like The Rules, that instruct people how to find a partner in life by playing games and using deception.  It's insulting. 

Okay, I'm off my soapbox now!  Drop me a reply and let's answer Dianne's question about themes - - what must you positively, absolutely read and what will you not touch, no matter what?

Happy reading!


Tales of Whimsy said...

I go through theme phases. Right now I am kinda diggin' time travel.

Good question!

Happy Thanksgiving :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

A science-fiction love story gets my attention anytime.
Not hip on mysteries - murders just aren't my thing.

Happy Thanksgiving!