Saturday, May 23, 2015

Blog Book Tour: Hohenstein by Didi Lawson

There is nothing like settling down to a good story with interesting characters and intriguing plot. It's like eating an amazing cherry cheesecake dessert after a long fast from food.  That's how I feel about Didi Lawson's new book Hohenstein. A dessert of a read and I had the chance to indulge myself last week and I was not disappointed. 

 I love the setting of the early 1900's in Europe and learning about the life of a Baroness. Nobility always fascinated me and with taking care of her family castle from generations ago, Baroness Marie-Louise Hohenstein had her hands full. There are marvelous historical descriptions of the quaint villages of the time, wonderful characterizations of the villagers and those in the castle and an intriguing story of which guy the Baroness will choose in the end.  A wonderful book to spend the day away from the hustle and bustle of life.

Anything but a typical aristocrat, young Baroness Marie-Louise is not afraid to roll up her sleeves and get to work, especially when it comes to saving her ancestral estate. Determined to shake loose the shackles of propriety and gain the warm family life her upbringing denied her, she has vowed to marry a man of lower rank. Blue-bloods need not apply.

But when she is forced to turn to a childhood friend for assistance, the handsome, debonair count may prove a temptation impossible to resist. Marie-Louise soon finds herself caught between the comfort of a middle-class doctor and the passion of a nobleman, with the future of her childhood home at stake.

Beautiful Cover:

You can Find the book here

Check out the video

I had the opportunity to interview Didi on her ideals about writing and being an author.

Me:  How long does it normally take you to write a novel? 
Didi: That depends. I could have a novel done in 6 months, rough draft that is.

Me: Wow! That is fast. What inspires you to write?  
Didi: Good question. It’s like a power that pushes me to write.

Me:  When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Didi:  I have been writing ever since I learned how to write, and I always wanted to get published, but most of the time didn’t take myself serious.

Me: What was the hardest part of writing your book, and how did you overcome it?
Didi:  The hardest part of writing for me is when I have writer’s block, when I don’t know exactly how to go on, to go from point A to point B. The best way to overcome that is to just sit down and write. You may have to delete everything you wrote, but at least you put words on paper and oftentimes, the ideas come.

Me: What is your writing drive?
Didi:  The power that keeps you going when your writing gets difficult? My sense of duty or sense of responsibility.
Me:  Sometimes finding the right title can be difficult after writing a story. How did you come up with the title?
Didi: I once worked for a man who had bought the title von Hohenstein.  And I named the castle Hohenstein for lack of a better title. I thought that I’d come up with something better eventually, but I didn’t. And I like the title.
Me: Name one entity that you feel supported your writing, outside of family members?
Didi: I had been a member of Romance Writers of America, and am now a member of American Night Writers Association. These two entities (actually the members) especially the last one, have helped support and encourage me.
Me:  What is your favorite snack while writing?
Didi:  Chocolate 

Me: That's not a surprise. Many writers turn to chocolate. What was the most surprising part of writing this book?
Didi: It surprised me that I could have written so much more, I had so many more ideas of sub-plots and I actually eliminated two sub-plots because a friend told me that nobody would buy such a long novel.
Me: Anything else you’d like to share with other writers about the process? 
Didi:Sometimes it’s good to walk away from your work, let it steam for a while, and then go back to it. You’d be amazed at the insight you gained.
Me. Anything else you’d like your readers to know about you or your books? 
Didi: I loved writing Hohenstein. The characters became like family to me, and when the story ended, I mourned. It was like losing family members, and I missed them.
Me: What are your top 3 bucket list items for the book. 
Didi: 1. Have Hohenstein become a success. 2. Have the sequel Wolfburg become a success also.
3. Have the series be made into a movie. (I have a prequel also in mind).
Me: That would be fantastic! Is there any book that really inspired you as a writer? (fiction, craft, etc.) 
Didi: I guess there would be too many to mention. I like good writing, and I like it when words and sentences work together to sound like music.

Me: Do you write on a schedule?
Didi: Not really, however, my New Year’s resolution was that I write one paragraph a day (5 days a week). I have to discipline myself, or I find too many other things to do.
Me: How do you handle the editing process? 
Didi: It’s not always easy to have to change something that you liked, or eliminate a scene that you felt particularly proud of, but upon objective reflection, I realize that the editor was right. Sometimes, I have to walk away from the editor’s note, do something constructive like pulling weeds (actually pulling weeds is destructive, to the weed anyway) or going for a walk with my dog, before I see the validity of the edit. Every time, though, I had to agree with the editor.

Me:  Thank you for your time in answering these questions.  Many who want to do what you have done are encouraged by your words to follow their dream and write great stories.
Didi: Thank you for the opportunity.

 Didi Lawson exchanged her town car for a pick-up truck and learned to operate a tractor when she and her husband moved from Arizona to a farm in Missouri where she now weaves her tales. Her love for writing started early in life when she entertained her friends with her stories, won prizes for her essays in high school, and wrote road shows and poems for the youth group in her church. She enjoys the outdoors, her children and ten grandchildren, and keeps an active social calendar.

Her facebook page

On Goodreads....

A few of my favorite things...

- Quote
I have actually two quotes that I like:
    1.      CHOICE by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Choose well; your choice is brief, and yet endless.
    2.      CREATIVITY. If one can imagine, he can create. If he can create, he can make the world a                                                            better place.

- TV show
I like documentaries, and especially the ones about foreign countries a history and animals.

- Comic book character
Don’t have any

- Movie
Pride and Prejudice, Ann of Green Gables, Harry Potter, The Proposal, Second-hand Lions

- Book
The Work and the Glory, Hunger Games

- Candy bar
My very favorites are the dark Lindt truffels, but I also like milk chocolate with whole toasted hazelnuts

- Junk food
BBQ potato chips once in a great while

- Place you visited
Germany, France, Spain, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Hungary, Romania, Denmark, Holland, Israel, Belgium, USA, Canada, Alaska

- Restaurant
I like GOOD Chinese food, but also like to eat at Olive Garden and try to find some Mom and Pop places to eat if the food is good.

- Island
Nieblum, Sylt and Amrum (Germany), The Outer Banks, Martha’s Vinyard (don’t know if this is an island)