2013 NJRW Conference Wrap-up Continues: An Interview with Keynote Speaker, Diana Cosby

As you know, the Femmes were present in force at the 2013 New Jersey Romance Writers Put Your Heart in a Book Conference. During the weekend, I got to spend a significant amount of time talking to the “Big Four” speakers, who all impressed me for different reasons. Historical romance author Diana Cosby was a personal favorite. Here, I hope to share with you just why I am in awe of this generous, talented writer.

Hugs,

Jaye

Diana Cosby with male model

Diana and her cover model

 A retired Navy Chief, AGC(AW), Diana Cosby is an international bestselling author of Scottish medieval romantic suspense.  Her award-winning MacGruder Brother books are available in five languages, with the 6th book in the series released in December 2013.  Diana has spoken at the Library of Congress, Lady Jane’s Salon, in NYC, and appeared in Woman’s Day, on USA Today’s romance blog, “Happily Ever After,” MSN.com, and in Texoma Living Magazine.

After her career in the Navy, Diana dove into her passion – writing romance novels. With 34 moves behind her, she was anxious to create characters who reflected the amazing cultures and people she’s met throughout the world.   In August 2012, Diana released her story in the anthology, “Born To Bite,” with Hannah Howell and Erica Ridley.  Diana looks forward to the years of writing ahead and meeting the amazing people who will share this journey. Visit Diana at her webpage, http://www.dianacosby.com.  

JMR: Diana, thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed for the Violet Femmes blog. 

DC: My sincere thanks for the interview.

JMR: I was so happy to get to know you better at the New Jersey Romance Writers Conference in October.

DC: I enjoyed talking with you again.  Always fun.  I also had the pleasure to speak with several members of the Violet Femmes, what an amazing  group of women!

JMR: Thank you! You delivered an awesome keynote address, full of little gems. I loved the story of how you celebrated with your mail lady when you received “The Call”. What from your speech did you hope the attendees took away with them?

 DC: Thank you so much.  It was an honor to give the keynote address at the New Jersey Romance Writers Put Your Heart in a Book Conference.  My mail lady – Nancy – has been an amazing friend throughout.  From the start when she began delivering my rejections, we’d talk about my goals, which are huge, but she always believed in my dreams.  My goal for the keynote speech was to inspire others to believe in themselves and dare to go after their dreams.  Too often our doubts about our abilities keep us from trying something new.

JMR:  You’ve lived all over the world. What was your favorite place to live? (You don’t have to say New Jersey!) Why?

DC: LOL!  That is really tough as New Jersey has so many nice people, amazing scenery and incredible food, but my #1 choice is Spain.  I loved the culture, the depth of family, the food, and the history.  I experienced so much while living there, and during my stay, I had the pleasure of travelling around Western Europe.

JMR:  When did you fall in love with Medieval times?

DC: I’ve loved medieval romance novels since I first began to read.  My living in and visiting the fascinating countries of Western Europe deepened my love for their history.

JMR:  What gave you the idea to write romantic suspense in that era? And why Scotland?

DC: I’d written a Viking trilogy, then I watched the movie Braveheart and decided to write in this era .  When I began researching Scotland’s fight for independence, I was intrigued by the people, politics, and became passionate about sharing the ‘true’ history of the timeframe, which I weave throughout the MacGruder Brothers series.

JMR:  You’ve served in the Navy, and mentioned at the conference that you were once a meteorologist. Have these experiences found their way into your books? 

DC: Yes, I retired as a Navy Chief, AGC(AW).  My experiences in the Navy have definitely influence my stories.   I use the emotional tension of various situations I’ve had to deal with in my career, and I incorporate them into my characters’ emotions and decisions.  As for my meteorology/oceanography  background, I’m very detail oriented when I address these elements in my stories.  An example, if I have ground fog in a story, I allow my characters to hear a bit farther as sound travels a greater distance in the moisture droplets.  When prefrontal clouds roll in, I have my characters see them in the correct levels and progression, and then allow them to use that to estimate how long until the storm arrives.

JMR: You have a new book, His Enchantment, releasing in December. Can you give us a hint about the plot? 

DC: Yes, I’m sooooo excited about the upcoming release of His Enchantment on the 19th of December!  His Enchantment is the much awaited grandmother’s story of the MacGruder brothers series [Book #6].  It’s a prequel, like they did in Star Wars.   The MacGruder brothers stories came in the 1290’s, and the grandmother’s story is set in 1257.

Throughout the MacGruder brothers series, the grandmother’s room as the legend of the halved gemstones invites mayhem for each of the MacGruder brothers in their respective book.  His Enchantment is an entertaining and suspenseful tale of how the MacGruder brother’s grandmother met their grandfather and fell in love.  In addition, it answers the questions about how the grandmother’s room became touched with magic, the origin of the halved gemstones, and several intriguing items within Lochshire Castle.

*His Enchantment teaser:His Enchantment cover

As guard to King Alexander, Lord Trálin MacGruder will stop at nothing to defend the Scottish crown against the Comyns. And he finds a sympathetic, and gorgeous, ally in the enigmatic Princess Catarine. As they plot to rescue the kidnapped king and queen, Trálin and Catarine will discover a love made all but impossible by her obligations to the Otherworld. But a passion this extraordinary may be worth the irreversible sacrifices it demands…

 JMR: I’ve met you on several occasions now, and what strikes me is your generosity of spirit in sharing your experiences and your encouragement with fellow authors. 

DC: The romance community is incredible.  Romance writers work in an industry that is ultra-competitive, yet you meet the nicest and most giving individuals.  Over the years I’ve been blessed by so many romance writers who have taken time out of their busy lives to make a positive difference in mine.  It’s truly humbling.  If I can give back and help other writers, I feel truly blessed.

JMR:  There are also several charities that are close to your heart, including Habitat for Humanity and the Food Bank. Can you share a bit about your current initiatives? 

DC: Thank you so much for asking.  In addition to my writing, my passion is my charity work.  There are several charities that are close to my heart, which are listed on my website:  http://www.dianacosby.com/biography.html

At this moment, I’m working on two fundraisers:

Diana Cosby’s 4th International Food Bank Food Drive Challenge (Ends December 5th 2013): http://www.dianacosby.com/authorevents.html

Diana Cosby's 4th International Food Bank Food Drive Challenge winner's prize (1)

Food Bank Challenge Winner’s Prize

Diana Cosby’s – Romance Reader’s Build A Habitat For Humanity Home Challenge:

Goal – raise $55,000 to build a Habitat For Humanity Home.

Raised to date:  $2365!

Thank YOU for making an amazing difference in a deserving family’s life.

http://graysonhabitat.org/

JMR: Thank you so much for everything you do, both to touch those close to you in the writing community, and those who have no connection to it at all. I can’t wait to read His Enchantment, and am looking forward to following your continued success.

DC: My humble thanks for your kind words and the interview to help raise awareness for these charities.   At times in each of our lives we all come up against challenges.  If anything I do helps those in need, I feel blessed.   Take care and God bless.

As if to prove my point, Diana has generously offered a signed copy of her bestselling novel, His Captive, to a person who comments on this blog post today. Winner will be drawn on Tuesday, November 12.  Good luck!  

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29 Comments

  1. Happy Veterans Day! My sincere thanks for the fabulous interview. What a HUGE honor to be asked to be the Keynote Speaker at NJRW. I’m still blown away. And, I’m so excited about the upcoming release of His Enchantment. Last but not least, my humble thanks for sharing about the Readers Build A Habitat For Humanity Home project. I’ve helped on several Habitat For Humanity Home builds where you work alongside a deserving family to what will be their home. Each build is truly an amazing experience. Take care and God bless!
    Sincerely,

    Diana Cosby, AGC(AW), USN, Ret.

    Reply
  2. I loved meeting Diana at the NJ Conference. Congratulations on your upcoming release. I agree, Spain is a very good choice of places to live!! Tweeted and shared on FB.

    Reply
  3. Jenna Blue

     /  November 11, 2013

    I also got to chat with Diana conference weekend as well, and was impressed not only by her generous nature, but also her enthusiasm for all she undertakes, whether that be her writing or research, her unique approach to marketing (I LOVE this picture with your cover model!!), or the charities that she serves. Many thanks, Diana, for visiting us, and Jaye for the great interview!

    Reply
    • Jenna,
      Thank you for your kind comments. It was wonderful talking with you as well. The mode was super sweet and so funny. He made me laugh the entire shoot. I agree, Jaye did an amazing job on this interview. Have a fabulous Veterans Day! *Hugs*
      Sincerely,

      Diana Cosby, AGC(AW), USN, Ret.

      Reply
  4. LOL . . . that was supposed to be the model was super sweet and so funny. 🙂

    Reply
  5. Thanks again for dropping by, Diana! What a perfect day to host you on the Femmes. Happy Veteran’s Day!

    It was lovely to meet you at the conference. I am in awe of everything you do while still keeping the writing career going strong. Are you sure you have the same number of hours in the day the rest of us do? 🙂

    Reply
    • Joanna, it’s my sincere pleasure to be here. I enjoyed meeting you as well. LOL, yes, we have the same number of hours in the day, but I’m sure you do circles around me. Take care and I hope the rest of your Veterans Day is tremendous!

      Reply
  6. It’s great to see you here on the blog Diana! I also enjoyed meeting you at NJRW! I envy you for having lived in Spain. I think it would be amazing to spend time living abroad, especially in Europe. And thank you for sharing your charity initiatives here on the blog today 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Diana. I appreciate you’re having me here. My humble thanks to Jaye for the fabulous interview and everything involved with me being here today. Diana, I hope you get a chance to go to Europe. It’s truly amazing on so many levels. My next stop in the future is a trip to Scotland and Ireland. I can’t wait. Yes, I have my passport! 🙂 Another huge thanks for sharing my charities on The Violet Femmes blog. I firmly believe each of us can make a positive difference in others lives. Again, my thanks.

      “To have made even one person’s life a little better, that is to succeed.” — Thoreau

      Reply
    • Good evening. I’m shutting down for the night, but if anyone else posts, I’ll reply in the morning. Also, tomorrow I’ll draw a winner for the signed copy of His Captive. My humble thanks again for everything Jaye. A huge wave and shout out to The Violet Femme. May your holiday be filled with laughter and blessings.
      Sincerely,

      Diana Cosby, AGC(AW), USN, Ret.

      Reply
  7. Hi Diana. We’re glad to have you on the blog this week. I, too, found all of your accomplishments very inspiring. I enjoyed your keynote at the NJRW conference. Your message to not give up on our dreams was heartfelt and very touching. Best of luck with your volunteer efforts and new release!

    Reply
    • Hi Maria,
      It’s my sincere pleasure to be at The Violet Femmes blog. I’m so glad you enjoyed my keynote speech. I’m honored that they asked me to give it at the NJRW Conference. One of my life goals is to encourage others to believe in themselves and go after their dreams. If anything inspired you, I’m humbled. Thank you for your good wishes on the upcoming release of His Enchantment. I love, love, love writing this series, and His Enchantment is the prequel to the series. Like they did in Star Wars. 🙂 I sincerely hope my readers enjoy the grandmother’s story as well. Thank you for everything, and I wish you the very best!
      Sincerely,

      Diana Cosby, AGC(AW), USN, Ret.

      Reply
  8. RoseAnn DeFranco

     /  November 11, 2013

    Hi Diana,

    So glad you were able to stop by on Veteran’s Day. Thank you for your service to our country! Sorry to chime in late. It was wonderful for see you at the conference. I love the message of your keynote to continue to chase your dreams. Thank you for sharing your many talents with NJRW and introducing your charitable initiative to us as well.

    Reply
    • Hi RoseAnn,
      Thank you, it was thrilled to celebrate Veteran’s Day with The Violet Femmes. My sincere thanks to you for supporting our troops! Great seeing you at the conference as well. So many amazing people and workshops to attend. And, I met my editor in person for the first time. 🙂 She’s a sweetheart! I hope you have a fabulous holiday season, and I wish you the best!
      Sincerely,

      Diana Cosby, AGC(AW), USN, Ret.

      Reply
      • RoseAnn DeFranco

         /  November 12, 2013

        How exciting. I didn’t realize you met your editor in person at the NJRW conference!

  9. Diana, you are indeed generous of spirit. We miss you here in North Central Texas, but I’m so pleased you are happy where you now live. Take care and don’t forget us.

    Reply
    • *Hugs* Caroline,
      Thanks for stopping by. I miss Texas as well! I loved living there. So many incredible people. With each move, I find myself missing aspects of life at each place. Texas will always have a special place in my heart. And, no doubt I’ll be back to visit. 🙂 Holy cow, how could I forget y’all!!! NEVER!!!!!!!! Keep on writing your wonderful stories, and I wish you the very best! *Hugs*
      God bless,

      Diana Cosby, AGC(AW), USN, Ret.

      Reply
  10. RoseAnn DeFranco,
    Congratulations! I used http://www.random.org to choose the winner from posts yesterday, and your name was drawn! You’ve won a signed copy of His Captive. Please e me at diana@dianacosby.com with the address you want me to mail it to. Did you want me to sign it or sign it to you?
    Sincerely,

    Diana Cosby, AGC(AW), USN, Ret.

    Reply
    • RoseAnn DeFranco

       /  November 12, 2013

      How exciting! Thank you, Diana. I’l send you an email.

      RoseAnn

      Reply
      • Hi RoseAnn,
        🙂 I’ll be looking for your e. Yes, it was wonderful meeting me editor after I gave the Keynote. She’s a total sweetheart. Have a fabulous day!
        Sincerely,

        Diana Cosby, AGC(AW), USN, Ret.

  11. So Sorry I missed the party, but what a wonderful interview of one of my favorite authors, Diana Cosby! I’m inspired by her journey to publication, and by all the hard work she does on each of her books. God bless!

    Reply
    • Maggie,
      Always fabulous to see you, and my sincere thanks for stopping by when you’re working crazy mad with your current early release of, “Dime If I Know!” You’re an amazing person who inspires me daily, and I wish you every success! *Hugs*
      Love,

      Diana Cosby, AGC(AW), USN, Ret.

      Reply
    • So glad you could stop by, Maggie! Thanks for visiting!

      Jaye

      Reply
  12. allan milven

     /  November 24, 2013

    hi Diana great success on the interview as you know sorry I douldnt be thare in nj I wish you every success in the future your spirit grows from strength to strength you bring my country alive again this is what William Wallace fought for our freedom and independence thanks again ps you know ware I am allan

    Reply
    • Hi Allan,
      Always wonderful to see you. Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind words. You’ve been a champion of my writing over the years, and I sincerely appreciate your believing in me. I love researching and sharing Scotland’s rich, proud history in my stories. An honor. Take care, and may your holiday filled with friendship and laughter!
      Slaìnte,

      Diana Cosby, AGC(AW), USN, Ret.

      Reply

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