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Sarah at Christmas

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Are You Twisted?

Howdy Folks!

Today I'm talking to my good friend, DiAne Gates. She writes books for teens, but guess what? I like 'em too. They make a grown woman laugh and remember,  no matter your age, YOU can read 'em!

DiAne, Why did you choose to write YA. (Young Adult).

Years ago, I spent an epic time in what my mother called “my gypsy lifestyle.” I toured Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas doing weekend art shows. Every smart artist knew they had to have a sure item to sell, and at that time I was concerned with the color books being offered our children—I didn’t like them! So, I drew and marketed a color book of my own characters and Christian principles that became an overwhelming success.

The color book morphed into a four book devotional series for young families, which led to a rodeo adventure series about two Texas families and their teen daughters. I felt there were many issues teens face today that parents either refuse or are in the dark about and fail to discuss with their young adults. The rest is history. Book Two of this series—TWISTED—will be released Friday, July 14th, and Book Three—UNTIED—is my WIP.

What's a WIP?

Hahahaha.  I guess I should say my Work in Progress. We writers abbreviate things.

Did you participate in a rodeo as a kid? Rope an animal? Ever date a rodeo guy?

I’m giggling again as I attempt to answer this question, Gay. This ole Florida, citified, beach-bum, gal, didn’t know squat about rodeo until we were transferred to Texas and I had two pre-teen kiddos. But God had a plan, when I didn’t. Coming from an art background, I found a small art gallery in Old Town Spring, Texas, and became a gallery artist in residence. But I needed to contribute some real bucks to the family income. The thought of leaving my children and going to the big city of Houston for more lucrative employment wasn’t on my radar.

One Monday afternoon, after crying out to God about our need, that voice in my soul—you all know the one—I heard go to the gallery. “But nobody’s there today, God,” I whispered. And again, heard go to the gallery. I obeyed.

Upon arriving at our big ole house gallery, in the deserted town, I said, “Okay, Lord. I’m here. Now what?” Seconds later there was a loud banging on the door downstairs. Scared the snot outta me! I lifted the upstairs window to find a young woman who’d been a customer. “Thank goodness you’re here,” she replied. Short of the story, she needed a painting for a gift, and I silently thanked the Lord for the extra funds. I told her my plight that I would be leaving the gallery to look for a real job and her face lit up like Christmas lights. “Why don’t you come to work for me? I’m a wallpaper sub-contractor for a home builder and I need help.”
Having no knowledge of what I was getting into, I said yes—sure seemed like a better deal than leaving my children. She had children too. We put our kids on the school bus, went to work, and quit in time to be home before they were. And I thanked God for His provision.

Fast forward a year or two. Friend decided to go back to nursing and I was asked to hang paper for another home builder and had to hire a helper. God provided another young mother—this one a 
bone fide cowgirl and barrel racer and I learned all about rodeo. She and her family invited us to attend one in which she was performing, and again, the rest is history—I fell in love with the sport of rodeo and the cowboy and cowgirl athletes. God orchestrates each and every relationship in our lives—He knew one day this experience would evolve into a story I pray glorifies Him.

Wow! Now that's a story for sore ears. I'm needing answers from God right now. I'm hoping for one as fast as He gave you!

How many children, grandchildren do you have? Do they rodeo?

We have two children—a grown, Air Force fighter pilot, son who would rather pull “G’s” and punch holes in the clouds than ride an earth-bound beast. The other a daughter who loved animals and my partner-in-paste taught her to ride. She loved rodeo, but her mama and daddy couldn’t afford a horse, nor did we have a place to put one.

As for our daughter’s children, again a girl and boy—the girl loves horses but preferred English riding and show-jumping. Her younger brother, now driving age, prefers a sleek, clean car. And would probably throw-up if he had to step over or shovel a pile of horse poop!

So would I! And shoveling the stuff would be worse, at least as far as I'm concerned.

How about giving us an overview of the book?

TWISTED picks up where ROPED leaves off, and UNTIED will be a continuation of these two families’ stories, so how about I give you a cliff-note version of what the characters have told me so far?

While the series zeroes on the two, teen girls, their families play an important role in this tale that began with competition between the grandfathers and fathers. Jodie Lea Fairgate and her family knew nothing of the love of God, for generations, and could care less—as long as they won, regardless of the cost. Crissy Crosby comes from a Christian family and she has a papa who shares the wisdom of God with his only granddaughter as she struggles to understand why the Fairgates seem to be determined to ruin her family as she must learn to control her renegade temper.

ROPED begins and ends in the rodeo arena. But not before dark secrets from the Fairgates ooze into the dim shadows of the barn on rodeo night. We all know there are always consequences to actions and TWISTED rips the lid off past and ongoing choices of Fairgates past and present that plunge everyone involved into life-threatening danger. And Jodie Lea finds herself no longer victorious, but a victim. UNTIED? I’ll only tell you, you never saw this twist coming!

Would you provide a scene from Twisted?

“Any reason the kids can’t hear this, Jim?” Daddy nodded toward Chun and me.

“No, as a matter of fact I’d like them to hear. Maybe they’ll remember something we’ve missed.” The sheriff pushed his hat back, looked at me, and smiled.

Chun’s eyes met mine. “Any idea what this is all about,” he whispered.

A squishy feeling swirled in my stomach. He knows what we did, flashed through my mind. Nah. He couldn’t, my confident-self answered.

Chun leaned close as we sat down and insisted, “Now. We have got to tell them. Tonight.”

I shook my head. “No. Not tonight.” I might puke.

Chun poked an elbow into my side. “What’s going on, you two?” Papa stared at me like I’d been tried and convicted before I’d even been charged.

“Nothing, Papa.” I brushed Chun’s arm away. “Kid stuff.”
Chun snorted and turned away.
We settled around the kitchen table and waited for Sheriff Jim to speak.

He took his time, like he was trying out words in his head before he let them loose on the rest of us. “The rangers will be here first thing in the morning to sift through this mess for evidence. I know you’re anxious to clear the mess and rebuild, but don’t touch a thing ’til they’re finished. You kids hear me? Not one thing.” Sheriff Jim glanced at me and Chun again.

A finger of guilt poked my conscience. What was he trying to say? I glanced at Chun and he tipped his head toward the stairs and mouthed, now.”

Whoa! You roped me in and I'm tied down to this story. I can hardly wait to read all of it.  Thanks for visiting with me. I enjoyed it, especially your art gallery story. God leads us in paths we don't expect, doesn't He?

DiAne is giving away her beautiful photographs. Aren't these lovely? 

Ta Da! Here's the book. It's a must read! It's officially releasing tomorrow, but you can preorder it NOW!

Thanks DiAne for dropping by. I always enjoy our visits.
You can see DiAne and how lovely she is and read more about her on her Amazon page. 

You can also get in touch with DiAne at these links.