About Diely as an author
What inspired you to write your first book?
My first published book was Hope For Harmony: Baby-Makers vs. Peter Pans. What inspired me to write it was meeting my soulmate-husband, and seeing the world through his eyes. When we met, I was a divorced mother and he was a confirmed bachelor with no kids. I used to believe that people without children had an easy life and spent their days “drinking champagne and taking bubble baths.” He used to claim that people with kids had it easy because “they get all the privileges—like getting seated first at restaurants, and getting bosses to cut them slack at work.” It fascinated me that two people could see the world so differently. Finding love with someone so different from me inspired me to write about re-visiting the deal-breakers—while also taking a comical view of those two parallel words of parents and child-free people.
What genre do you consider your book(s)?
Mostly Contemporary Romance. Though my series Beyond Romance combines that with Mystery.
How long does it take you to write a book?
I joke saying I have a case of Writers-ADHD. I wrote six novels in the past two years simultaneously— moving back and forth from one story to another according to inspiration. I guess that’s an average of four months each. Though I’m still polishing some, and editing them before publication.
What is your favorite scene that you’ve written?
Too many to tell! In Beyond Physical. my favorite scene is Richard and Joy’s first kiss. In Hope For Harmony, it’s the humorous scene about “The Milestone Police” debate—about society’s obsession for keeping track of who’s accomplished what. That scene came to me all at once one morning, and I wrote it as if taking dictation.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Make sure to enjoy the process. Always remember why you started writing in the first place. Hopefully, it’s your passion, like it’s mine. Yes, book publishing and marketing are stressful, but don’t let them make you forget the thrill of creating.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I’m an author because it’s my passion and I’m hopeless to resist it. Since a very young age, characters jump in my head and beg me to give them life. I’ve had many amazing experiences in my life, and always include in my writings life messages I’ve learned, so the reader walks away with more than just entertainment. But I believe that even if all the reader got from a book was entertainment, it was worth it; because anything that awakens positive feelings in us as readers can help us cope better with the challenges of life. I’m convinced that well-written books can help the world be a better place.
People often ask me why does a physician write romance. I joke, answering. “Because the first naked man I saw in my life was a cadaver; and if I can laugh at that now, I must have stories to tell.” But the main reason is because my patients have taught me that life is too short not to follow dreams. Also, that in the end, the only thing that matters in life is the love we’ve shared. You can read more about the other reasons why I write in my website. http://www.pichardo-johansson-md.com/about/
How do you beat writer’s block?
By temporarily switching to a different project. I move to another of my novels in process, or shift to non-fiction writing for my blog. I also make sure to get a dose of nature. I live near the beach, and a beach walk in the early morning works miracles on my inspiration.
Are any of your characters based on you?
A friend who read Beyond Physical told me that she saw a little bit of me “in every character.” Others have told me that Dr. Joy Clayton (from the same book) is “obviously me.” I’d say she’s based on “an idealized version of the best parts of me.”
About Diely’s new release, BEYOND PHYSICAL
What is the book about?
FBI agent Richard Fields investigates a politician’s murder as part of a case of national security. The suspected killers seem to belong to a secret New Age Thought society. To learn about them, Richard must immerse himself in the teachings of their original leader. During his undercover work, his skepticism is challenged, and he finds himself falling in love with Dr. Joy Clayton—one of his suspects.
How did you come up with the title?
I wanted a title that conferred the metaphysical flavor of the teachings the main character studies, and also that hinted this is a romance that takes root in the soul—it goes beyond simple physical attraction. I brainstormed several titles with friends and newsletter readers until I got majority approval for that one.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
More than one, but the central message is “Open your mind. There’s more to the world than the eye sees and the hand touches.” And “Practice kindness. It comes back to you.”
About Diely as a reader
What book are you reading now?
What books have most influenced your life most?
Richard Bach’s The Bridge Across Forever really influenced my concept of a Soulmate right before meeting my husband. Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love did too. I’ve read (and was influenced by) more popular and dead-serious psychology books than you want to know. My favorite author in those genres is John Bradshaw.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I recently discovered Mary Frame and love the humor in her stories. She reminds me of Penny Reid, another of my favorites. I love a romance novel with substance (more than just eye-candy) with a relatively put-together, self-sufficient, mature heroine.
Because Karan is random
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Read, walk on the beach and spend time with my husband and children.
Which question are you most sick of answering in interviews?
It’s not that “I’m sick of the question” but I don’t like it when people ask, “What advice would you give other authors.” I’m a beginner myself; I wouldn’t trust my own advice. We poor authors get so much contradictory advice everywhere we go. We have to develop some healthy skepticism and pick and choose what we believe.