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Monday, July 7, 2008

Interview with Diana Zimmerman

I was lucky enough to get a chance to interview the author of Kandide and the Secret of the Mists, the first book in the Calabiyau Chronicles, Ms. Diana Zimmerman! Kandide and the Secret of the Mists is a fantastic book for young fantasty lovers that will leave readers excited for more of Kandide's adventures! A magical adventure that will appeal to many young readers and even some YA readers as well! Check out my review for Kandide here, and stay tuned for a chance to win your own copy of Kandide and the Secret of the Mists and related goodies in August!

1) Which faery clan would you like to be part of if you lived in Kandide’s world?
The Forest Clan. I love nothing more that walking in the woods and enjoying the closeness to nature it enables.

2) If you had to be one character from your novel, who would it be?
That is a really tough question, as I have a little of each of the characters in me. I adore Selena’s passion and empathy for all creatures, and yet I also love Teren’s zest for everything magical and adventuresome. Jake is another interesting character, with his intrinsic leadership qualities. Certainly, Egan, with his innocent sense of fairness is a part of my feelings about life. Who would not want to be Tara with her tomboy nature and ability to heal forest animals? Then there is Kandide, who is a strong powerful individual and yet she is vulnerable. I guess it would be easier to tell you that I really would not want to be the vicious and cruel Lady Aron, even though she is quite magical. All of the artwork is on

3) Can you tell us anything about the second book in the Calabiyau Chronicles, The Lady’s Revenge? (a little summary? returning character? a new hero/heroine?)
“Kandide and The Lady’s Revenge” pits the all-powerful magic and cunning of Lady Aron against Kandide, her family, and the Imperfects who live in the Vail. Lady Aron is determined to eliminate Kandide and gain control of the Gift, by kidnapping Tara so she can assume control of Calabiyau. A great new and powerful character named Cyndara is also introduced. She is a half-breed Banshee who must save her own kingdom from her nasty brothers. Throughout Book 2, we don’t know if Cyndara is a friend of Lady Aron or Kandide. It is full of magic, mystery, and cunning. There is an excerpt of the book at

4) Who was your favorite character to write about?
Lady Aron—villains are always sooooo much fun—especially if they are as multi-facetted and magically powerful as this one. She is evil yet vulnerable, powerful and yet there is a certain pathos about her.

5) What were your favorite fairytales as a child?
I loved the Wizard of Oz series of books. I also loved the story of the “Twelve Dancing Princesses.” Like Kandide, it has a nice moral.

6) Do you like listening to music while writing?
I actually prefer to listen to the news or talk radio. I know that may seem a bit strange, but it keeps my mind alert.

7) If you could visit any place, fictional or real, where would you like to go most?
Great question. I have been very lucky in my life to have traveled all over the world. So, I would have to say that I would like to visit another dimension—certainly Avalon, then probably Calabiyau. Since I created Calabiyau, it holds a very special place in my heart. The Meadows, with its pomegranates trees and waterfalls, seems like such a great place to relax.

8) Do you have a favorite place to write? To read?
I have a small laptop and so do a lot of writing on planes—since I am always on one going somewhere. My normal writing is at my computer in my home office.
I like to read on planes as well.

9) Any favorite authors or illustrators?
Maxine Gadd, who did the illustrations for “Kandide and the Secret of the Mists,” is my all-time favorite contemporary fairy artist. That is why I commissioned her to do the artwork for Kandide. It is also why I refused to let my publisher print the nine full-color illustrations that are contained within Book One in black and white.

Of the contemporary fantasy artists, I also love Kiniko Craft, Brian Froud, and the amazing art of Shelia Wok. My favorite vintage fairy artists are Harold Gage, John Anster Fitzgerald, and a sculpture named August Moreau. I have over 2,000 pieces in my faery art collection, some of which date back to the 1700s, so my favorites, often change with which one I am admiring at the time.

Marion Zimmer Bradly’s “Mists of Avalon” and “The Da Vinchy Code” by Dan Brown are my favorite novels, and J. J. Tolkien (“The Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings”) is my favorite author.

10) Any advice for aspiring writers?
Never, ever give up. No matter what anyone—especially the “experts” tell you—do not give up. Believe in yourself. Donny Duetch says, “Why not me?” Why not you? Why not any of us? If J. K. Rowlings had given up—and she got plenty of rejections—we would not have Harry Potter. If Alex Haley had given up, we would not have “Roots.” If Edison had given up, we would not have the light bulb. Remember, “No” simply means “Not Yet.” Be disciplined. Write EVERY day. “Round to its” don’t get results. Only results get results. Then, when you think your book is as good as it can be, hire a professional copy editor to help you make it even better.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

where is the pretty feather cover??? i like that one 10x better the feather cover is bright and intriguing unlike this cover up top get back with the other covers they are preetier and i absolutley LOVE THE BOOK!!!!!!!! best book i ever read thankyou from the biggest fan ever!!!

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Series I Like

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis Divergent by Veronica Roth Firelight by Sophie Jordon Halo by Alexandra Adornetto Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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