Book Lovers Info, Interviews, Writers & Authors Advice

Author Interview: Diane Chamberlain

Today we are joined by the exceptionally talented Author, Diane Chamberlain, who has so graciously given me the opportunity to interview her.

Diane Chamberlain is an American author of adult fiction. She is also the New York Times, USA Today and Sunday Times bestselling author of over 25 novels published in more than twenty languages!

So I’m sure you can understand my absolute excitement to be doing this interview today!! Thank you so much Diane for allowing me this honour.

Q: I’ve just read The Stolen Marriage, and was absolutely blown away! What inspired you to write this book?

A: When I moved to North Carolina thirteen years ago, I heard about “the miracle of Hickory”—the building and outfitting of a polio hospital in 54 hours. I loved what that said about a community pulling together and wanted to write about it. Then I had to come up with who would tell the story. Once I created Tess, her saga of marrying a mysterious man she really didn’t know nearly took over the book!

Q: Is there any truth in the storyline that relates to your own life?

A: Only that I had a dear friend who suffered from polio as a child and who spent nearly a year in an iron lung. Also, I was raised Catholic and was of Italian heritage, like Tess, and it was interesting to me to learn about 1944 in North Carolina and how poorly a young woman like that would fit in.

Q: What have been your favourite moments of being a published author?

A: My first novel, Private Relations, (now re-released as Secrets at the Beach House) won the RITA award from Romance Writers of America in 1989. That was an incredible thrill for a firstime novelist even though my aspirations had never been to write romance. I think having The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes (The Lost Daughter in the UK) selected as a Target bookclub pick was also a wonderful moment. And meeting some of my wildly passionate United Kingdom readers in London a couple of years ago has to rank right up there as a favourite moment.

Q: What motivates you to keep writing?

A: Besides the mortgage? I love creating a novel. It’s overwhelming and exhausting but when I think of not doing it . . . well, I can’t imagine it. I don’t think I could stop.

Q: How do you come up with the plots of your books?

A: In many different ways. When I’m getting ready to begin a new book, I open my mind to whatever the universe throws my way. It might be a news story or an overheard conversation or a bit of history, as with The Stolen Marriage and Necessary Lies. My upcoming The Dream Daughter came straight out of my imagination.

Q: You have written an incredible number of books, all extremely successful. Which would you say is the most special to you or your favourite and why?

A: I think my third, Secret Lives, which was published long ago (1991). It’s my favourite because it’s the first book I wrote where I felt as though I’d truly found my voice as a novelist. Plus, it’s an intriguing story that I loved writing.

Q: Are there any characters that have felt so real to you that you feel you could keep writing about them?

A: Yes, Kate in Secret Lives. Her chapters are presented as journal entries which made me feel very close to her. Plus she dealt with some psychological issues I’d also dealt with (agoraphobia). She dies during the story (this is not a spoiler), and it was extremely painful for me to have to kill her off.

Q: If you could choose to have an exclusive book club with three authors, dead or alive, who would you choose and what would be your ideal discussion to have with them?

A: Oh wow, that’s tough. I think I would pick three writers I greatly admire who are no longer with us: Victoria Holt, Pat Conroy and Anita Shreve. Victoria Holt was an early influence and I’d love to know what the actual business of writing was like way back when, before computers. Pat Conroy would be a joy to talk with. I love Southern Fiction and he’d regale us with tales of his low country childhood. I’m still not over the death of Anita Shreve, whose books I’ve read from the very beginning and whose early writing strongly influenced my own. I’d love to talk process with her—how she created her novels from idea to finished book.

Q: What books do you currently have on your bedside table?

A: I’ve just begun Barbara Davis’s latest, When Never Comes and I recently finished Chris Bohjalian’s The Flight Attendant. Super, as usual. I also recently read Elaine Neil Orr’s beautiful Swimming Between Worlds, since I was needed to prepare myself to interview her at a bookstore event. These are three very different books: women’s fiction, thriller and literary novel. I like to mix it up.

Q: Lastly, something fun that our readers might not know about you?

A: Let’s see: I played the accordian as a kid, I now play guitar weekly with a song circle, and I sang with an interfaith gospel choir when I lived in Virginia. I’m not a good musician by any stretch of the imagination, but music is a wonderful release from work for me.

London bookclub
Diane meeting with one of the Bookclubs in London

Connect with Diane Chamberlain on her website and on Social Media



You can read my review on The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain here

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Taryn Leigh

Taryn Leigh is the Author of Perfect Imperfections, which is currently available from Amazon, Waterstones, Barnes&Noble, Exclusive Books and where all good books are sold.

Book Lovers Info, Interviews, Writers & Authors Advice

Interview: Tracy Fenton – The Founder of the Largest Secret Book Club on Facebook

I am honoured to be chatting to the amazing Tracy Fenton, who started a secret book club on Facebook some years ago, which now is the biggest thing to hit social media!

Who knew a secret could become the most popular phenomenon in the world of authors and readers alike?

Thank you so much Tracy for being my guest and for sharing with us your journey in creating THE Book Club. It’s an absolute treat to have you as my guest today!

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You currently manage and own the largest Secret Book Club on Facebook. How did the journey begin to start THE Book Club – TBC?

I was a very active member of several online book clubs and was always recommending books and compiling lists and getting busy, but some of the larger groups weren’t being monitored enough and therefore lots of spammers and trolls were posting and causing lots of unpleasantness.  In October 2014 I decided that I should set up a small secret group of 20-40 avid readers, word spread overnight and 20 became 450 and now we have 8400 members.  Not the best kept secret now!


What has been your most memorable moment to date, in running TBC?

So many to mention, the charity book auctions I run – raising £11k for Cancer Research in 2015, raised £12k for The National Autistic Society and £2,500 for Secondary First Cancer last year.  Being mentioned in the acknowledgements of over 50 books and having my name as a cameo character in several books too.  Helping authors get publishing deals, getting authors to #1 in the Amazon charts, encouraging people to read out of their comfort zone, seeing online friendships develop into real-life friendships, getting private messages from the members telling me that TBC is their life-line – the list goes on.


You have established TBC as an amazing brand that is recognisable anywhere. What do you think sets TBC Apart from all other groups on Facebook?

The members!  They all have the best sense of humour, unbelievable compassion and the biggest hearts when it comes to supporting other members, readers and authors.  TBC has become like an international family and the members feel involved and included and more importantly nobody is judged or made to feel unimportant.  TBC is a positive group and we really won’t allow any nastiness or bullying.


You have an amazing blog of your own where you review books. Tell us more about your blog, and give us details of where to find it.

Compulsive Readers was created because I decided to take a month off from THE Book Club in December 2016.  THE Book Club on Facebook is an incredible group but being a group it’s fast moving and easy to miss posts and recommendations and also I was getting a little bit bored of constantly recommending the same books so I decided to set up a blog that only features my favourite 4 or 5 star books and put them into categories that were easy to find – so if you wanted to see what my favourite Crime books or Books in a Series or Historical Fiction books were it’s easy to navigate around.  Also, I have a special feature where I interview some brilliant authors including Peter James, Chris Carter, Cath Staincliffe and over 100 other authors.  There’s the Mean Reviews section where several authors read out their worst 1 star book review to camera, my Top Ten’s including my favourite psychological thrillers, the best books of the year and even the 10 fictional characters I would like to slap really hard with a brick!  There’s loads going on every day from my reviews to competitions.  Check it out on


You are known for your passion and commitment to supporting Authors and have even managed to rid Amazon of Author imposters who were trying to deceive readers into thinking they are well known Authors. What makes you so passionate about supporting both Indie and Traditionally Published Authors?

I just love books and sharing my recommendations.  The feeling when you read a book that turns your world upside down or makes you cry or gasp out loud and then recommending it to someone and they feel the same is magical.


Is there a chance you will write your own book anytime soon?

Nope, never.


What are your Top 5 Books and Authors of all time?

As my Top 5 books are different to my Top 5 Authors I am going to cheat and give you 10:

 Top 5 books – Into The Darkest Corner – Elizabeth Haynes, The Lost Wife –   Alyson Richman, Perfect People – Peter James, Shtum – Jem Lester and The Language of Flowers – Vanessa Diffenbaugh.

Top 5 authors – John Marrs, Tammy Cohen, Craig Lancaster, Chris Whitaker and Chris Carter.


What’s next for you and TBC?

For TBC I’ve chosen this year’s official charity to sponsor The National Literacy Trust and therefore I will be busy co-ordinating the month-long auction in May and hopefully raising lots of money.  I don’t have any plans for me except to keep reading and recommending and encouraging more people to read books.


If you could choose any location in the world to sit and read and chat books, where would that be?

Anywhere hot with a beach and cocktails.


About Tracy Fenton


Tracy is a self confessed bookaholic with over 450 books on her kindle and over 200 books on her bookshelf. She is also the founder of an international book club – THE Book Club (TBC) and she has one of the coolest book blogs around, called Compulsive Readers. She has been instrumental in assisting many Authors establish their careers, and she has connected many reading fans with their favourite Authors.

If you would like to connect with Tracy on Social media, you can:

Find her on Twitter here

Connect on Instagram here

Read her blog here

How to join THE Book Club (TBC)

If you want to join the group you need to send Charlie Fenton a friend request – and he’ll sort out the rest. He is the only person who can let you in!


Charlie Fenton – CEO of TBC


or find their facebook page and send them a message.

14247631_10205237105247494_1817814012_oTBC THE Book Club Facebook Page



Remember Sharing is caring so please feel free to share this article with friends and family

Like my Page on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter

Connect with me on my Website


Taryn Leigh

Taryn Leigh is the Author of Perfect Imperfections, which is currently available from AmazonWaterstonesBarnes&Noble, Exclusive Books and where all good books are sold.