Tag Archives: Dianne Hartsock

Guest post by Dianne Hartsock

Happy 10 year anniversary to JMS Books! Thanks for stopping by today. Nicolas is my first story with JMS Books, and I’m really excited to be part of this amazing group of writers. Today, I’d like to tell you a little about my writing process.

Did you know that for my day job I work as a floral designer? I do! And I’ve recently realized that I approach a new design much the way I tackle a new story. I look over the selection of flowers I have available, deciding on colors and textures, which flower will be my focal point, which will be the accent flowers. In much the same way I choose my characters. Who is my main character? Who are the supporting characters? Best friend? Antagonist? Love interest?

Then I pick the vase and start my base of greens, usually Oregonia, myrtle, leather fern. This is my first chapter that I build the rest of my story on, a sound foundation of prominent characters and a hint at the storyline.

Next, I make my structure using curly willow or red huck and add laterals: gladiolas, liatris, bells of Ireland, any tall straight flowers that give the design height and depth. A lot like plotting a story! After I have my first chapter in, I take a little time to jot down a loose outline, where I want the story to go, a mid-point, the ending I’m aiming for, when I want certain characters to be introduced, what happens when, so to speak. But like my flower arrangement, I can pick up and move these flowers/characters/scenes, anywhere I want them.

Here is when I add the color, the heart of the design, the essence of the story. I set my focal flowers where they look best, adding another two or three colors/textures to bring the structure and flowers together into a beautiful, unique design for others to enjoy. Same with my stories. I start writing, building one scene onto another, adding my colorful LGBTQ+ characters like bright splashes of color, plot twists, heartache, happiness, as needed, until the story winds to its ending, leaving me something I can be proud of and share with my readers.

I used this technique while writing my story Nicolas, pulling in elements from all over, weaving them together. I’ve combined the legends of St. Nicolas and Krampus, having the Krampus chase Nico through the centuries, bent on revenge and punishment for a crime Nico committed against him ages ago. Nico travels the world spreading the word of tolerance and love and peace, with Krampus coming after him undoing all his good work. This is a story of how Nico stops running and confronts his nemesis. With the help of his lover, Jamie, he finds the courage to at last bring his conflict with the Krampus to an end. But first Nico must learn to forgive himself, the hardest task of all.

Thanks for stopping in! You’ll find an excerpt from Nicolas below, and also be sure to grab a copy of my FREE story, Off Sides. Happy Reading!

Continue reading Guest post by Dianne Hartsock

Nicolas by Dianne Hartsock

OUT NOW! Nicolas by Dianne Hartsock

Betrayed by a lover, Jamie rents an isolated cabin on Lake Huron, wanting only to be left alone. Instead, he is pulled from his solitary existence as an artist and tumbles headlong into the legend of Saint Nicolas.

As a young man, Nicolas accidentally killed a man intent on murdering three children, only to have the man’s malicious spirit rise up against him. Fleeing through the centuries from the Krampus, the evil troll-like creature that dogs his steps, Nico finds refuge with the young artist who takes him into his home and bed. But Jamie has questions. Who is Nicolas, and why does the Krampus want to destroy him?

When the Krampus begins to torment and torture anyone Nico comes in contact with to punish him, Jamie’s life is put in danger. And Jamie isn’t sure whether he can help Nico defeat his nemesis or if he’s merely a pawn in the Krampus’s game.

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Off Sides by Dianne Hartsock

OUT NOW! Off Sides by Dianne Hartsock

This is the story of how one perfect couple becomes three.

Austin and Riley have been together since high school. They’ve always loved each other and know they’ll spend the rest of their lives together. But when they start playing soccer in college, they meet a sexy blond named Luke who, as far as they know, is the stereotypical conservative rich kid with the perfect GPA, who might also be their answer to a question they never asked.

For Luke, college life means keeping his head down and working hard, denying his own needs until he graduates and can get out from under his father’s thumb. It works, until he meets Austin and Riley, smart, gorgeous, and in desperate need of someone to look after them. Luke longs to be that someone, but is he willing to give up his future to have an amazing now?

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Download the ebook today!