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387 | Diane Bator is INDEED an Amazing Woman!

January 02, 2023

387 | Diane Bator is INDEED an Amazing Woman!
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I have always loved to write. I started writing as soon as I could hold a crayon, but didn't write mysteries until I entered a contest through a small publisher and won.

Finally, my love of jigsaw puzzles, crosswords, and Hardy Boys mysteries clicked!

I love to read. Mysteries, thrillers, autobiographies, you name it! I also love to help other writers, which is why I started Escape With a Writer in September 2018.

Since then, I have featured hundreds of great authors.

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Welcome to positive talk radio. Our goal is simple to explore evolving ideas, one conversation at a time. So stay with us. And right now we present. Ever wanted to be a writer? Have you ever thought about being a writer? Have you ever picked up a pen? And then put it back down? Because you couldn't think of anything to say? Well, you know, I, we've got a guest today that not only is she a prolific writer, she's also a coach. And she helps people learn how to put it all together, and also to get the word out about what they do. And her name is Diane Baylor. And how are you young lady, you were on the other day, it was great fun to have you here.

I was it was so much fun. The last time we chatted, it really was.

Now we had the we invited Matt Shea that did you have a chance to talk to him later?

You know what? Because of the timing, it's been during the holidays? So I haven't caught up with him since then. But I definitely will. I know he did message me. So

it's a fun, it was a fun episode to do. And it was I thought the the two of you exchange things really quite well. And it's, you know, you guys that are in the writing world, you have a specific way of kind of communicating with each other that the rest of us don't quite understand. Does that make sense? Absolutely. Because you guys have all been there. You know, like, like Matt written nine out of 10 books you've written what 16?

But pretty much 15? Yeah,

oh, it's double digits anyway,

it's double digits.

And so you've been you've been doing this for a while. And you also have a podcast, which is dead took a little break for the for the winter, but it's coming back really soon. And the name of that podcast is escape with a writer. So you get to talk to writers of all kinds of genres and how they got to be where they are must be fascinating.

Well, right now, it's just a blog. It's not a full podcast. But that's the next face, I guess is what's going to happen. So I'm just not sure of timing just yet. But I would love to be able to do what you do. Because it's just so much fun talking to other writers. So

well, you know, I can help you with that. I do know how

I will pick your brain for sure. Don't worry.

So we can we can do that. And because it's you, I gotta tell you, this is so much fun for me because I get to talk to all kinds of different people doing all kinds of different things. And it really is, it really is fun. So back to talking about you. You've been you've been a writer, and four. And I think you told me last time that you've been seriously writing for about six or seven years,

probably closer to 10. So yeah, it's been Yeah, it's been several years. And I've got 14 novels plus one novella and learning a lot and meeting a lot of people and learning what progress or what journey they've been through, right and what their processes are. It's just it's so fascinating. Because no two craters are the same. It's really kind of neat.

It really is fun to talk to you guys. Because they are Everybody's got their own story. And it's all completely different. And, you know, the one thing that I saw in your bio that I had totally forgotten about is and I think you have to be of a certain age to remember the Nancy Drew mysteries. Nancy Drew

and the Hardy Boys The Hardy Boys actually were my favorite. And when I was done them that I didn't see true. So and then my mom somehow along the way I found out about Trixie Belden who was way before my time, but I've read a few of those too, and they were a lot of fun.

So not only are you and a author and a coach and have a terrific blog that you're working on, but you also like to read

Oh, I you should see my house I have so many bookshelves I my to be read pile beside the bed is toppled over a couple of times. So I've been working my way through that. But But yeah, I love any kind of books like you know, any genre really. And I really love reading books by new authors that I've never read before.

Yeah, well, you know, it's interesting. I had the opportunity to talk to a young lady. I'm not sure if I mentioned this to you last time. She's 14 years old. Her name is Shanti. And Henry Hendrickson, I think or Henderson. Hendrickson, and she is 14 and she can write this she was telling me that on any given day, she can write 1000 words in an hour. That's a lot isn't it?

That's amazing. That's how you know when you're in the flow. You've got a story to tell.

Yeah. And I decide I tried to understand how it works for her. But it's like, it doesn't work for you this way as well. It was like a movie is unfolding in her head. And she's just taking dictation

absolute like,

really? How does that work?

I really I wish I could explain it, I really do. Like, sometimes they'll just see or hear something and something in my head just goes, Okay, we get to put this on paper. And next thing, you know, like you say, you've got like, 1000 words or 1500 words, and you're sitting there going, Okay, what do I do with this now. So that's how a lot of people get these ideas going, I have this great book idea. But I don't know how to put it on paper.

That's, that is that has been, that is my problem, because and also, I don't have any idea. And I will need a coach to do this, how to structure it. So that it, you know, where it's going, what you're going to do with it. But then to do it, you know, page by page without, you know, skipping around and jumping ahead and doing and really letting it unfold. That's an art form all by itself is

not absolutely that. And it takes time. Like, I think Matt and I were saying the last time it you know, your first book, it's always your baby. But your next book is always the better one, because you've learned more skills along the way. And going from my very first book, to now my 1415. I write different than I did at the beginning as well. So it, it's really fascinating, like, especially, like you said, talking to other authors and finding out their processes and what works for them. And sometimes what you do, maybe you tweak it just a tiny bit and something of clicking your head and go okay, well, if I do this, this works so much nicer.

Well, even the structure of your sentences I've been I've been told that, that the more that you write, your sentences tend to get shorter, and more to the point or is that or does it not work quite like that.

You become more aware of all the extra words like the all the adjectives that, you know, there's a lot of words you really don't need in a sentence because it just kind of drags the sentence down. But when you start off, you think that's how you need to write. And as you learn to tighten your sentences and tighten your skills, that's when the sentences become shorter, because you take out all those words that really don't matter.

Describe some of those words. I know what to avoid.

Um, something like it's cold out here, he said, Frosta Li. And you don't need that L by word at the end, your sentence should tell the story, you shouldn't need us to hear that he said that properly. You know, adding that extra word at the end is just an extra word. And it really doesn't add to your sentence. So those are kind of examples of things that you can take out, that won't affect your story.

So you're kind of assuming then that the audience when they're reading is actually paying attention. And when he says it's cold outside, that's really all you need to say.

That's all you need to say. And your reader will already get that before you get to that final word.

And, and actually, it can slow down the story of what they want to read. So that because there's at this point, you figure that if somebody is reading at any point in your novel, that they are into the story, and want to get more to the meat of it rather than the flowery language kind of thing.

Absolutely. I I don't personally for me, the more flowery the language, the less I'm going to read the book. Really, honestly, I have read some that I just kind of went, you know what, I can't even you have to work to find the story because the words are so flowery. But there are other authors that can use that and make that really work. So you just have to be mindful of how you use those flowery words.

Wow. That's, it's a it's really is a science.

It's a lot to learn. Anybody can write a book, but you need somebody to add it, who will help you to get rid of those extra words and to make sure that your book flows like it should flow. So you're not telling the ending part of the book at the beginning of the book. or some some writers do. So

they defeat the purpose of the end of the book.

Well, it it's like watching those trying to remember which shows like a CSI or something and you watch the mystery, you watch the person be killed. And sometimes you even know who done it. It says you have to figure out how and why. So you can do a book that way. And you can make it work. But for the most part, people want to know, there's, for example, in mystery, there's a mystery, and how, and why somebody has to solve that mystery.

Now, when because I know you do a lot of mysteries in your work. And when you're putting together a book like that, you've got an antagonist, you've got either the murderer or you got in the different characters that are involved, how do you put them together and mash them into the story? So it makes some kind of sense?

I wish I could answer that. Honestly, there's a lot of times that I will have an idea, I will have a couple of characters. And as the story goes along, all of a sudden, there'll be a new character comes in and I don't consciously create them, they just kind of walk on into the set. They're part of the movie, right? So it's really kind of neat. I mean, sometimes yes, you'll see a person or you'll mesh a couple of people that you know, to make a new character. But sometimes it's just the characters will take over. And it just drives me crazy some days. But, but it does make for a pretty good story, when you have this character who, you know, came out of thin air or that at the back of your head or somewhere. And they walk in and they change the story completely.

Where do you think all of that comes from?

I just like to say, I'm lucky. And I have these. I don't know if it's like a download from the universe, or if it's just my brain is like continuously working characters and stories and all kinds of weird things. But I just think it's very cool. And for me, that process goes much better if I'm using plain old pen and paper.

Really? Yeah. Can Can Can you write what you wrote?

Can I read what I wrote? No,

I'm sorry. That would be my problem is that I could write it, but I couldn't necessarily read what I wrote.

Sometimes they need good lights played around a little bit. Yeah, it depends how fast I write, sometimes I get on a roll, and I write really fast, and then I have to really work at translating.

So when you're putting together the characters, and do you know, I've heard lots of different ways to do it, but to you put together like a, I've heard, one writer was telling me that he takes a character, and he'll build the character into a three dimensional being. With he'll come up with a background story and, and what the character did and how the character grew up and where and then that seems like a hell of a lot of work to me get

what I was thinking.

And there are others that don't really begin, don't do that process at all.

There are basic, very, basically two different types of writers. So you've got plotters, and you've got Pantsers. So plotters are those people who they go in and they structure their story, they've got chapter one, this is going to happen, chapter two, that's going to happen and so on until the end. It doesn't mean they can't go in and tweak things later. It just means that they have like a blueprint to follow Pantsers we tend to sit down with a pen and a paper and just kind of write down whatever pops into our heads. And sometimes the story will just keep going in this nice little straight line. And then suddenly, you'll have a couple of zigs and zags. And then you have to go back later. This is where editing comes in. You go back to the beginning. And you add in those little things that make the rest of the story work. So sometimes it's a little bit more work that way, but you don't feel as constrained by the ideas as well.

Now, in your blog, I escape with a writer, which is going to be a podcast, and I'm going to help you with that. All right. But because I think you would do a beautiful job. Thank you. What are some of the most unique things that you've been told by writers about their style or what they do or how they get it done?

It's funny, a lot of good ones. A lot of the authors that I used to work with I used to send like interview questions and stuff. And the one part heard, I always found interesting was, why people started to write, and how they started, some of them just had a story of like, a life story to tell. So they wrote their memoir. Some of them would tell stories to their kids or their grandkids. So they'd be like, Oh, well, I can do this, you know, put it on paper and make it into a book. And, and it's just very cool. And, you know, we all have those roles, that they've always told their writers. Right, which, you know, is a biggie. And I always twist that around, because we all know so much, we just don't realize it. You know, you can take anything, you can see touch taste, smell, you can put it in a book, you can put it in a science fiction book, even though you've never been to space, you know. So, just because you don't know what it's actually like in a rocket, doesn't mean you can't write about an astronaut. So. But yeah, it's really kind of neat that so many people have their own journeys and their own stories and their own techniques. And even some will sit and write every single day for so many hours a day. And some of us just kind of write when we can because our days are pretty hot. So you know, it's not unheard of, for me to sit down with a napkin or a paper receipt and just write for five minutes, because that's what I have.

That's, that would be amazing to me, that you can then take that piece of paper and put it with the other pieces of paper, have it all work in the same chronological timeframe. And, and you know, what your where you left off and where you're picking up and all that kind of

stuff? That would be a challenge. Definitely.

Now, I got a question for you. Because, um, I've been thinking about writing my story, if you will. And I have like, so far, I have like 60 different stories. Is that too many?

Well, it just depends, you know, if you're making your Are you making like your memoirs, or is it like an anthology kind of thing.

It's more like how I got from where I started to here, which is didn t my childhood and the things that went on there. And then being in drama and then being in the restaurant business and then being you know, the Scoutmaster and then do then this, this whole thing, which has gone on for 20 years. And and each each story has got a reason why it happened, I'm a big believer in this is that the sum we are the sum total of our experiences. And the experiences that we have over life form who we are in the at a basic level. And in so if you have an experience of, of acts as an example that that later on plays into who you really are at a fundamental level, I think, what do you think?

Absolutely, absolutely. I mean, even as a writer, I can't write what I write, if I hadn't lived the life I've lived, or had the experiences I've had, which is why every writers, books and writing are so different. You know, everybody's had different experiences. We're not cookie cutters. I want to say we're snowflakes, but that doesn't really sound that good.

Well, you know, is that old saying that every snowflake is different?

Absolutely, absolutely. So yeah, all of those experiences, like, realistically you're going to have, you know, who knows how many pages worth of writing. But as you go through it, and you organize it, and you edit it and just tidy it up and make it more readable, you know, not to say you're a bad writer or anything. But as you go through and you edit and you tighten things up, it's going to become a manageable documents.

Well, one of the one of the things that I like to believe about myself is that I'm a decent storyteller on the radio that I would believe. And and so I would when I'm toying with the idea of doing a, you know, taking a voice to text and doing that, and then sending it to an editor for them to make sense of what I just said. Gotcha. Well, Ken, as an example, I don't know anybody in the I've ever met, who was hung by his brother. When when I was when I was 10 years old, and there's a whole story about how you know about the Clint Eastwood movie which is hanging them Hi, that was in The theater and at the time, and my mom and sister went to see other graduate. But they thought this goes back aways. So the graduate was too racy, they thought for us. So they sent us to see Planet of the Apes with Charlton Heston in the theater, and, and it during that movie was our note in the previews was the brand new movie that was just coming out by Clint Eastwood called hanging them hi. And so we had a great big apricot tree in our backyard. And my brother, at one point, he had taken a rope, and he tied it to a limb. And there was a loop on the other end of it with a ladder next to it. And so me because I was 10 thinking I would pretend that I was in hang them high and that they were, you know, about to hang me and stuff. So I climbed the ladder and put my head through the news. And then my brother pulled the ladder away. Oh, geez. Why he did that he never said he never explained that as to as to what was in the longest he lived, he never explained the whole thing. But the funny part was that I had ropers from year to year. And he took you know, those little band aids, not the big band, the band aids, but the little ones that are designed for like little little finger woods. Yes. He took those and he put band aids so that nobody would notice. Band aids from one year to the other year. Because he didn't want anybody to know that. Because the guy cuz he was a, he was a good roadburn

Oh my gosh, I don't know many people that have that story.

That's, that's cheesy expression. That's the kind of shit that happens to me all the time. So I thought that would be you know, as a kid growing up, I thought that would be reasonably good story and, you know, stuff and stuff like that. And, and I've had a lot of those so, but then I would I would want to do is to take each story. And to put a at the end of the story put a what it means to me kind of kind of thing as far as, you know, how it affected my life and things like that. So well, that when somebody read that, do you think

oh, I want to read it?

It's, I mean, it's really is interesting when you when you think about the the different, and we all have them, we all experience as we grow up in life and, and things change. But I got to ask you gonna ask don't ask a lot of people this, but I'm gonna ask you because I think you'd be aware there's a was there a point in time in your life, when you made a particular decision that changed the course of your life?

Probably several.

And that's then that's and that's very viable, because what can happen is, you have a moment in time when you have like a two choices. If you make this choice, this is what's going to happen if you make this choice, this is what's going to happen. And depending upon what you chose, that is the path is as common, like a tree it's in. It's like the branches of a tree, that if you make this choice, you're gonna go down this part of the tree, rather than the other part of the tree. And sometimes they'll bring you back to revisit that choice in a different manner or way. Does that make sense? Absolutely.

Why didn't you know?

That's that's not nuts. After all, I

know. You're creative person, you can't be

key things. Because it because that's how I felt about you know, and I've got story after story about a particular moment in time, that I remember where I made a particular decision. And it changed the course of my life, and led me to where I wanted to go. If that makes sense.

Absolutely. And that's why, you know, so many books you read, kind of convey that same idea of RAID, like, in particular, you look at the Hallmark Christmas movies, and you get these characters that go well, I wonder what would have happened if I chose this path instead of this path. And then Santa grants them the wish they get to see but you know A lot of writers will go back to that point in their own lives and say, Well, let me imagine what would happen if I chose this path and create a book or series based on that. So

Oh, exactly. It's like, what is it? Jimmy? Jimmy shower, that wonderful life? Absolutely. That that is follows that formula virtually, you know, and you know, the other thing that just got me the other day, I went and saw avatar, the new movie. Oh,

how was it? Well,

I it was good that the we saw in 3d and there was some 3d effects were Oh, I felt really silly wearing the glasses in the in the, in the theater. But the 3d effect was very nice and stuff. But I was I was really interested in the story. Because I the story reminded me of bits and pieces of a dozen different stories that I've that I saw wasn't, it wasn't like, new from the standpoint of this is this is really interesting. I've never heard of this perspective before. It was like, oh, yeah, this came from that movie came from that movie. And it was like a combination of things that he kind of put all together to make it. That movie, as it flowed. That makes sense.

Yep. That's kind of what we found with the first movie, too. It was one movie in one. But while movie, one movie that my kids and I used to watch all the time, and we just sat there and went, That's exactly the same movie we used to watch when they were kids. It was just a grownup version.

Exactly. And here's the this is James Cameron that we're talking about? Who's the director and the writer. And the one movie that I thought he did very, very well was Titanic. Because that wasn't anything that we had seen before. Yeah, because because Jack was not supposed to be there. And and, and that's one of those things in life, where had he not won? That poker hand, sitting on the dock and won those tickets? He would have lived a long life.

Yep. There you go. That's the choice.

Yeah. So that it becomes it becomes a great conundrum. Yeah, the conundrum of our lives is that the choices we make profoundly impact what happens to us, and you, as a writer get to explore that on paper, and pen and paper a lot.

Absolutely. And I mean, I had a point in my life where, basically, I was told to stop writing by someone who was not going to support me and in anything but time, I decided to keep going. And I remember I was 45. And I told myself, if I did not have a book published, by the time I was 50, I would quit. And here we are, you know, 14 books later.

Yeah, but you're not 50 yet.

12 and a half.

That, that, that, that NC that is, that's the other thing that I find very interesting is that, for whatever reason, I don't know why this is, but somebody will come up to you. And I suppose they have it in their, in their mind that this is for your benefit, to tell you that you can't do something, or that you need to you need to get your head out of the clouds or, or whatever it is, I don't know what the motivation there deep down is. Do you have any idea?

Well, for me, I was told it was not a career choice. So I knew that person in particular, the, it was all about money. So it didn't matter how happy it made me or whatever it was just well, you're not making money with that. So

you know what, what really gets me is that that? People, some people, not everybody, but some people think that money is the do all and end all but I gotta tell you, when you when you get some money, it ceases to matter. Because that's not what makes you happy. And although I think a lot of rich people find that out way too late, because they spend their whole life chasing the almighty dollar bill. And then when they finally catch the dollar bill, and then they look around their life and there's nothing there.

It's a pretty empty place sometimes.

And do they, by the way, that would be a really good book.

Like that. There we go.

Well, and then then they go through a period of depression and they don't they don't understand why because they have achieved everything that they set out to do. But that's not why we're here. Yeah. In the end, so for someone like you, that is following your path. motion, and doing and has been successful, you've written a bunch of books. And if you don't have the 60 foot or the 80 foot or the 120 foot yacht to go sailing around the Caribbean, and I don't think that matters to you,

you'd be happy with a kayak.

But he doesn't, I mean, at the end of the day, does that make a big deal of difference to you, because you

probably know, as long as there's a roof over my head and food on the table, like that's, and, you know, I've got my three kids that I don't see them as much anymore as I would love to. But, you know, I've got people close to me that make my life worth living. So

exactly. And you know, what happens is the people who are doubters, and this is for everybody, by the way, the people that are doubters and naysayers in Oh, Diane, Diane, Diane, you can't, you can't do that, and you and you need to go out and get it, you know, like a real job and, and become like, I don't know, a secretary or to make a living, you know, in the that doesn't that's not going to those people in your life tend to fall away. Because you're not vibrating at the same level that they are because you're vibrating at a higher level because you want to do something in life that that may be your hell, you're only here for 7580 89 Oh, here I am getting on my soapbox. Anyway, for that long, you know. A good example is now where I live in Seattle. There's a broadcaster that has been on Cairo radio for like 30 years when I was doing my show. 20 years ago, he has had a well established three hours a day show. Well, at 61 years old on Thursday, he had a heart attack on Saturday died.

Oh, gosh, I'm so sorry.

And he lived the life that he wanted to live had he had he not? I mean, that's what that's what his passion was was broadcasting but I don't many of us don't do that. And don't follow our dream. And then they still you know, end up just passing away and then then there's that regret thing? Yeah. I hit that regret thing, because that's another book I want you to write. But an 85 year old guy that that doesn't. That is on his, like, three months to live. I'm just deathbed and he's reviewing his life to see what he could have done better what he did, right. And then and and then he can maybe go back in time. I got it as science fiction. He can go back and redo it. That sounds fun.

I like that idea. Yeah, that reminds me of the movie, the bucket list. Amazing movie. Really was

my favorite. My favorite line from that entire movie is after 60 Never trust a fart

that's awesome.

One of those lines it was I think Jack Nicholson said it. It was a throwaway line. But it was just one of those lines that just Why do you say and? Lord, everybody. But But that's exactly right. Because you don't know. Yeah. And so you you need to live your life the way that you choose to. And the naysayers be damned. Now that person that said no. And now that you're into, you know, double digit books. Have they ever? Did they ever come out? Are they gone? Are they still in your life?

No, we're divorced.

Oh, I didn't know it was that was one of those decisions. Well, and it turned out to be a fine decision on your part.

So So that's I'm sorry about that. I hate to make people feel. But just you see, you seem to be perfectly okay with it. But oh, yeah. And I had the same thing. I haven't talked to my ex. We were married for 24 years. I haven't talked to her in 10 years. Because she's, you know, a different human being. And I'm pursuing a completely different path. But I'll tell you what the people I have in my life I'm much happier having them around. Exactly. Much happier having them around them. The people that were there that were that were difficult or saying no or that's a bad thing. You know what stuff like that so, so it's good. By the way, we're talking with Diane Bader, you need to go to her website, which is Diane and, almost, but it's cause us in Canada,

I'm here in Canada, and it's actually been kind of warm and nice. So rainy.

Oh, that's, that's really cool. Hey, you know,

it is a no snow. Well, we had snow over Christmas. So now

the caricature of a Canadian talking you we use a lot but you guys really don't use that all that much.

You know sometimes you do and you don't realize it until later and you're like, why they say that?

Well it's it's like I can always tell because somebody said well you know from A to Zed it's like what the hell is that? What is? You know, we use the so. And we're right next to each other. That's kind of weird, I thought, right? Yes. So So what book have you got working on now? Oh, you have three of them, don't you?

Um, right now the one I'm working on. I'm editing a new book in my glitter Bay mysteries. So that will be coming out in June. And I've been puttering with a kind of a Christmas one kind of a hallmark concept. If I can do it without murdering anyone. So

but does seem to be now. It does seem to be the driving force behind the audiobooks. Yeah. Why is that?

I you know, I wish I could answer that. I've always grown up loving puzzles, loving mysteries. I when I was a kid, I read everything in the school library, I swear, everything except romance. But if there was any mystery, anything that said mystery on the shelf, I gobbled it up. And when I was seriously starting to write again, I just didn't even think to go in that direction until I actually entered a murder mystery contest. And they gave you it was one of those old mystery party games. So they gave you all the characters, they gave you all the clues, they gave you all everything. And you had to write the little novella to solve the mystery. And each chapter was in the point of view of a different character, which is very difficult. Trying to have a different voice. For I think it was eight different chapters, or nine different nine different chapters, you had to have a different voice.

No, did you write that by yourself? Or did you do it with a team?

It started off, they were trying to get people to do one chapter. And then they would pick a chapter, send it out. And everybody would work on the next chapter. And then they the publisher that was doing it decided that was going to be way too much work for them. So they just said just write the novella, send it in. So I, I did mine and I had a blast with it. I love doing it. And then I won the contest, and I went, why am I not writing mystery? So here we are, like 14 books later.

Wow. It's like you you one of your favorite things was in the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries. Yeah. And that was that's what they were about.

Absolutely. They were all mysteries. Some of them were murder mysteries. Some of them were thefts. And you know, that just was the area that I was most interested in.

Now No, I haven't read the your books yet but I'm assuming that they are more murder mystery, not murder Gore mystery.

They're classified as cozy mystery which they take place in small towns. They're not gory. The detective is usually a little amateur or somebody who runs the general store or in my case one runs a fashion boutique one runs a craft store. One runs a bakery. So it just the they are murder mysteries and in that somebody dies and but the person who solves the mystery has a reason for wanting to find out who done it.

You know, it's interesting, because when you're talking about murder mysteries and solving things like that, there's a reason why CSI is like like they've got I don't know how many offshoots they have now, but they have like New York and they have Las Vegas and they've got just a bunch of them because

same with NCIS. Yeah,

I guess it's really is a i For me, it's it's a little, you know, on the grotesque side when they start talking about

stuff like that, but other labs stuff and all that. Yeah,

yes. Well, you know, I I'm just really not interested in any of that and, and stuff because it's you know, and that's another story I have to write is that I witnessed a suicide. And, and when I witnessed the suicide that I, I, I failed to think about that that person that was lying there in front of me while I was waiting for the the medics to arrive and stuff, but nope, not for me. I'm afraid that's so, you know, but at the same time, you know, it's a huge genre.

It is. Absolutely. I think that's why I don't write the gore and stuff as well. Because, you know, my background, there was a lot of gore. I grew up with hunters and all of that stuff. So for me, that stuff was kind of, you know, for me, it was normalized, but for other people reading about that stuff, they'd be like, No, you don't want to.

So there were days when you would go into the garage, and there would be a deer hanging there. Oh, yeah. That was kind of normal. Yeah. My neighbor did that when I was five, having forgot it. You know, and, and he would hang it there. So to bleed it out. And then and then he would, he would scan it and all that kind of stuff. And it was like, Yeah, I don't think so.

Yeah. So that's a whole different way of growing up where I was so definitely, well, you

know, when you think about it, in the in the olden days, that's, that's what they I mean, if you weren't even parts

of parts of North America, that's still part of life.

Yeah, yeah. Well, you know, when you're when you have to depend upon wildlife, for your survival, and, and you, you have to go and, and hunt them and shoot them and stuff like that. See, we are so fortunate, I am so fortunate to where I live that that for me going and getting a steak is going to get something in cellophane. I don't have to make the connection at

Cisco. A lot of work. It's good.

And, uh, you know, I, I, I was at the restaurant business for a long time, and restaurant sales and stuff. And so I asked my son, what part of the cow steak he bought was from, and he said, What do you mean? And it's, you know, it's like, no, they're different, different cuts of meat for different parts of the cow and all that kind of stuff. And he's like, Oh, that's kind of gross. I know, you know, but I was also chicken salesman, so I watched a bunch of chickens get murdered.

Yep. Did that too.

Did you grow up with chickens when you were young?

Um, my uncle, my aunt and uncle's farm. They did. So every now and then there'd be a big party to get rid of a bunch of chickens. So

and the truth of the matter is they do run around without their heads. Yes, they do. People think that that's just a saying someone's a noob? Nope, nope, that's real. No, no, it's not. And then did you have to then pluck the chickens and then and then put it in a pot? And

at that time, I was young enough. I could get away with not doing any of that. But, you know, we definitely cuz we were kids. We watched a lot of it. Oh, yeah. A little bit. And then it's like, no, we're good. Now we're gonna go play.

The one thing that I've never understood is when somebody will like as an example, they'll have a cow that they raised from a calf, and middle name it. And I had a guy tell me I said, you named the cow that you slaughtered? And they said, Yep. Bob is in the freezer. Now, though. We had pigs.

Oh, we named them but yeah, we didn't miss them later. So

did you have the big the big pigs that

one of them was pretty big. Oh my gosh. I was probably about five. My brother would have been about three and we had this pig. She was probably a good four or five feet long. Oh, wow. And she jumped the fence on her cage on her pen. And got out. Of course, she was like three times bigger than both of us. We ran branch of the house. My mom Mom Rosie gotta steal my mom's like, Okay, go to the shed get some chop. I'll go get her back in her pen and we're like, under the bed. So yeah, we weren't much help. But

those are the interesting stories of life that we tend to forget. And they're fun. They're fun to talk about especially now when people are going What do you mean you're talking about killing things and stuff and and all I've got is this little Computer my hand right now. Yeah. So it's it's a pleasure talking to you. By the way, I'm having a really good time.

Oh, me too. I always have fun chatting with you. This is awesome.

Well, I'm so glad. Well, you come back and we do it again. Absolutely. I may hoodwink Matt, come on in, because I thought that was a really good, really good, oh, it'd

be a lot of fun. Yeah.

And you're, you're very gifted at what you do. And, by the way, so let's, if somebody wants to, if somebody needs it, and quite frankly, if you haven't, if you are of any age, and you haven't started writing, you don't write naturally, you need a coach, quite frankly. And so if you want to talk to somebody that can help you, that would be Diane, Diane, they can reach you at Diane And, and you and then you can set up a schedule and work with them, right?

Absolutely. Where we can, I actually I have somebody I have put off for the last week, but I've got a couple of chapters to read for him. So and that's what I'll do is I'll offer I'll read a couple of your chapters and see where you're going and what you're doing. And then we can do a zoom chat, and just figure out what it is you want to do.

You never tell anybody, I would hope that well, I don't know. Let me ask you. Have you ever said, you know, I think maybe you should go do something else? Because writing is not your forte.

You know what I to date? No. Oh, good. I mean, I've had a couple of people that their stuff. I I've told them that they need to do more reading, and then go back to their book, and kind of compare it because basically, their book was like a description of what they want to write, but not actually what they're writing. Oh, that makes sense is and one person I actually told them his read more like a textbook, so he needed to kind of dial it in. But those were the two that really stand out that I was like, you know, you need to do a little more reading. And if you want to write reading books, similar to what you want to write is a really great idea. Just because you get a feel for language, you get a feel for flow, you get a feel for what should and shouldn't, shouldn't be in the book. I mean, I'm the first one to always say write the book you want to read.

Yep, makes sense. But if you're reading

other books, you can see where their strengths are, where their weaknesses are, and what you would like to have in your own book.

So as you're sitting there talking about that, it's it strikes me that it's like, if you are want to be I don't know you want to be, you want to be a pro athlete, and you're a kid, and you want to be a basketball player, it would make sense to practice basketball, while you're still a kid in order to get good at what you're doing, learning how to dribble learning how to shoot and all that. So it would make sense then that if you want to be a writer, that you follow the art form, to learn how to write by by following and reading other writers.

Absolutely. I mean, and you don't have to be a kid to get started. It doesn't matter how old you are. It's one of those things if you can type if you can pick up a pen, even if you are unable to do either. Computers can record everything for you. You know, there are so many great programs. And I can't think of the one offhand. But there are programs out there where you can dictate to the computer if you don't know how to type or spell. Even even Microsoft Word does that. No, absolutely. And it's just so user friendly. And you can dictate everything in and then go from there, get someone to help you to make it to clean it up and turn it into a good book. See, that's

the problem that I have always had is that I don't write, like I started like I talk. And it would make more sense. And I think it would be better if I could write like a talk. You know, but it doesn't work that way for me. I don't know why.

A lot of us don't, because that's not how we were taught, right? We were taught to have very formal kind of English when we write.

Yes. And I you know, even even when I see when I hear commercial, and I know you can probably do this too. When you hear a commercial you know whether or not it's being talked without a script or whether it's scripted. Yeah. Because like most like in my world, most people would say, let's see what would be a good one. Like I don't need that or I don't need you Give them something like that. But they they pronunciate the word in its total when we by nature, whatever it is, we by nature, condense it a little bit.

Yeah, we use contractions. Can't don't? Yes, but yeah, definitely like you, you would say things differently than you would write them up, you know, a lot of the times and sometimes it just makes it look more formal on the page than how you would actually say it.

Exactly. And no, no, I am trying to do a little bit of, of writing, can I can I present something to you? Absolutely. And then you can critique and tell me what's nice? Well, now you don't have to. But I do. I do commercials and stuff. For and I write things. So when I'm going to do if I can find it, if I can, let me see if I can do this. Um

wherever I go,

Oh, nevermind, I should have set it up at a time. The next next time, we'll do that. And I'll say, I haven't time and stuff. So is there anything else? Before we run away? I have to have to leave here. And I mean, is there anything, anything that you would like to tell our audience about anything that you would like? You knew I was gonna ask this because I did the last time anything that you would like, for them to know.

Yeah, buy my books.

That's, that's the condensed version?

Absolutely. No, honestly, um, if you're seriously interested in writing a book, I'm always available, just, you know, send me a message, say, hey, you know, can you give me some suggestions or some feedback or whatever the case, one of the other things that book coaches are set up to do is to help you find a publisher or to even help you through the whole self publishing realm, which I have not done yet. But that's in the books. So, Boy,

I tell you what that is a minefield, all by itself is finally the right editor. Once you've written the thing, and it's you think that it's gone with the wind, and you think is perfect, and finding the right editor to rip it apart and rebuild it for you, and then a publisher that wants to take it on, with without, and there's a whole thing about publishers, you have to be aware of as well. Because sometimes they'll say, Well, we'll give you an advance. If they give you an advance, correct me if I'm wrong, but in like in the music industry, if they give you an advance, and they don't recover that in the sales of the book, it comes out of the advance and the advance is gone, then you owe them. I mean, is that how it works?

That's how it works out. Can't say I've ever had an advance, which is probably good. But I have a really great publisher that I've worked with for quite a few years now. And I'm just perfectly happy with that arrangement. But who knows when they'll try sending something off to a different publisher and see what happens?

Yeah, I think if you're happy with the person you've got to use because the the one you know is much better than the one you don't know. Absolutely. That's it. So then Boehner has been our guest. And I want to thank you again. And whenever you decide that you want to do a podcast and you and I'll

chat. Absolut, I got your email address. We'll talk Yes, we

will. And I happier. Awesome. It would be because I think you I think that it would be a lot of fun for you to do. I think it would be a blast. So Diane got by the way again, last time, go to your website again. I hadn't I hadn't go to Diane You got it. And thank you so much for being here.

It's always so much fun chatting with you. Oh, good.

I'm glad I'm glad we got together again. And next time. I'm gonna hudway Matt, and we'll get together and do it again.

That sounds terrific. We will have to do that for sure. Yes, ma'am.

Way right there and I will be right back. Awesome. Hey, thanks for enjoying this episode all the way to the end. Please give us a like and subscribe to this channel. This has been a production of positive talk radio dotnet please visit our website oddly named positive talk For more details about us and our mission, which is to provide great positive programming designed to inspire us all. I'm Kevin MacDonald and I'm proud of these shows, and I truly hope that you'll like them and share them with friends and family. So on behalf of our entire team, remember, be kind to one another because


Diane BatorProfile Photo

Diane Bator


Diane Bator is a mom of three, a book coach, and the author of well over a dozen mystery novels and many works-in-progress. She has also hosted the Escape With a Writer blog to promote fellow authors and is a member of Sisters in Crime Toronto and a board member of Crime Writers of Canada. When she’s not writing and coaching authors, she works for a professional theatre. No surprise she’s written her first play.

Kevin McDonaldProfile Photo

Kevin McDonald


Creator and Host of Positive Talk Radio and its Parent Company