Death by Chocolate–Interview with Dianne Gray

Treat time! No…it isn’t chocolate (unless a planet on a collision course with Earth is made up of chocolate–please let it be dark, with toffee chunks. I would die happy!).But sorry, this post will not treat you to that kind of news. 

Today’s treat is an interview with an author who loves chocolate though (next best thing to eating your own Skor bar). 

Dianne Gray is here to answer a few questions I’ve whipped up for her. I’ve followed Dianne’s blog for a while now and read a couple of her books. This Aussie has talent (a list of awards a mile long)…and she’s funny too. Hope you enjoy getting to know her better.

Tell us a little about yourself, Dianne.

I hope you’ve got a few weeks 😉 In a nutshell – I’m addicted to chocolate and writing. I’m the second youngest child of six and I’m a Sagittarian. I’ve worked as a researcher, a communications strategist, a waitress, a barmaid, a freelance writer and an assistant in a crocodile farm. I’m now semi-retired and writing full time.

Wow! You’ve done a little of everything. How would your friends describe you?

Clumsy, friendly, honest, kind. I was once told I had a ‘happy disposition’ and I still don’t know if that was a compliment or an insult.

How could happy ever be an insult? But the “Clumsy” and “assistant on a crocodile farm” signal disaster to me. Did anything dangerous every happen to you on the crocodile farm?

Don’t let the baby Crocs pretty color tempt you to let down your guard. They’re vicious!

There was one time when I was pretty busy and my hubby dropped in to bring me coffee. I asked him to get the little croc out of its tank to show some Japanese tourists. I’d put some sticky-tape on its mouth so it couldn’t bite, but there was a little bit of water in the tank and the tape didn’t stick (oops). The next thing I heard a lot of squealing and laughing outside so I dashed out to see all the tourists standing in line taking photos of hubby. I ran to him and he said, ‘it bit me!’ I grabbed the croc off him and turned around to see the tourists all had blood spatter on their white t-shirts where hubby had quickly pulled his bloodied hand out of the croc’s mouth. It all happened so fast none of them noticed the blood hitting them – either that, or they thought it was part of the show and didn’t care about their shirts. That was the last time hubby ‘helped me out’ at the croc farm!

Yikes! I’m glad your hubby still has a hand. Now for a few oddball questions. What is your favorite book character?

Alice – from Alice in Wonderland. My life seems a bit like hers sometimes.

 Favorite Food? Most Despised Food?

My favorite is definitely seafood of any kind. I love it!

My most despised food is anything with wheat in it (because I’m allergic to it)

 What is your favorite Book?

Midnight’s Children by Salmon Rushdie – without a doubt.

 What is a silly quirk you have?       

I will NEVER put my shoes on a table. I consider it bad luck.

 What are some of your favorite things?

I love the ocean and fishing at the beach. I love the pictures I have of my ancestors and I love my dogs.

 I just finished The Everything Theory. You had those characters running all over the earth. Tell my readers a little about this book.

This book is a thriller based on ancient mythology, archaeology, world religions and indigenous cultures. Luke Canning is an amateur astronomer who discovers evidence that ancient civilizations have left intelligent messages for future generations. With the return of the 10th planet, Luke is caught up in a deadly race to seek out the secrets of the ancients and carry them safely into the next age. The Everything Theory was shortlisted in the 2009 Australian/ New Zealand IP Awards.

 That’s a great honor, Dianne. What was the inspiration behind this book?

The inspiration came from the Pyramids and other ancient structures and how they were actually built. I’m intrigued by ancient places and civilizations and the science that we seem to have ‘forgotten’. I’ve placed a character in a position where he discovers something and this reveal opens up an entire world that we never realize existed.

What got you started on your writing journey? 

I started writing when I heard about a particularly heinous murder and I needed to sort things out in my head. I wanted to know why people kill and I think I found the answer when I wrote my first novel (which I’ve never published).

Do you have a favorite character you have written so far? 

I’m sure Cayo from The Eleventh Question is my favorite (but don’t tell any of the others that!)

 I want to read that one next. Are you working on any other stories?

Dianne’s RUC

I’ve had a bit of a writing hiatus lately while I’m trying to get the Rugby Union Club (fondly known as the RUC) in a livable position so I can get back into writing again.

 I’ve got three novels waiting in the wings. In the Company of Beasts (which is a follow-on from The Eleventh Question). An unnamed novel about a serial killer who kidnaps a writer so she can write his life story (the only problem is – she’s a plagiarist and now needs to write to save her life). And the third is The UltraTerrestrials which delves into the world of mythological creatures.

These sound great! Good luck getting the RUC done (and I hope you don’t run across anymore snakes… EEEEK!). Thanks for stopping by to tell us a little more about yourself and your books. I’ve read Wolf Pear and The Everything Theory and love your writing style. Don’t take too long of a hiatus, Dianne. Those new books are calling to you to finish them (or is that me?).

Char Signature


75 thoughts on “Death by Chocolate–Interview with Dianne Gray

  1. Great interview, Char and Dianne. No shoes on tables. That’s me too, only mine is a variant, it’s no NEW shoes on the table. Once they’re worn for the first time, it’s okay. My family think I’m crazy, but superstitions do that to you. The Everything Theory is a book I hope to get to one day. Thanks for this.

    • That one and Wolf Pear were very good reads. Dianne is a sharp writer. I need to read the 11th Question next (without shoes on the table). I think you’re funny. I’d rather have new shoes on the table than old ones. But I’ll go with Dianne’s inkling and keep them all off. Shoes don’t belong where food sits.

    • Thanks you so much, Justin. Great to see you here 😉 Now NEW shoes on the table for me either. It’s probably got something to do with my grandmother telling me it means death (YIKES!) 😉

  2. I never knew Dianne and I had so much in common. We’re both addicted to chocolate and writing. We’re both Sagittarians (though I’ve always felt I fit a Scorpio more, not that I give any credence to astrology). And we’ve both been waitresses and barmaids. But unlike Dianne, I don’t eat seafood of any kind.

    Oh, and the premise of “In the Company of Beasts” is brilliant!

    Nice interview. 🙂

    • Don’t worry about the seafood. I’m sure Dianne and I eat enough to make up for your lack of it. Glad you liked the interview!

    • Thanks, Carrie. For some odd reason I’ve always felt I fit a Scorpio as well. Maybe it’s because I’m close to the ‘cusp’ (I think that’s what’s it’s called in astrology terms) 😉

      • I’ve never been called back for an emergency, John. My main job in the crocodile farm was working in the gift shop and keeping small crocs to show the tourists. There are specialists who can capture the crocs and if I saw one of the big ones in the wild I’d probably run very fast the other way 😉

  3. Great interview, I’m glad you got Dianne to spill more of her life and loves/hates. Oh man, I could never abide shoes on a table either. Bad luck or not it’s just bad manners! Ha! The croc story is hilarious, if not a little scary, glad things didn’t end up too tragic for your husband!

    Thanks for sharing, both of you, I had fun 🙂


  4. Great interview, Char! It’s nice to learn more about Dianne. I don’t put shoes on a table either, but not because it’s bad luck…too many germs! I’m happy to hear Dianne has a few more projects in the wings.

      • I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Dianne, Char, but feel so strongly that I know her well! Not only a gifted wordsmith but a warm and wonderful lady! It’s difficult for me to get in all the reading I should — going to check out “Secret Keepers” (lovely cover)…

  5. Another wonderful interview, Char and Dianne! I have to say, clumsy and crocodiles wouldn’t be a combination I’d expect to work! I’ll do my best to stay away from creatures with really sharp teeth, especially ones that reach the size of an adult crocodile! I enjoyed both The Everything Theory and The Eleventh Question, so I hope you’ll be back to writing soon, Dianne!

    Now, where’s that chocolate….

  6. Great interview, always good to hear new info and anecdotes about Dianne. I’m reading my way through her novels but not too quickly… a bit like chocolate, I’m making sure I don’t run out before the supply is replenished 🙂

    • Yes, I like to savor a book when it’s super good too (but like chocolate, I end up devouring instead and then am sad the book is done too soon. Wah!)

  7. What a story, Dianne (the croc one and hubby–the rest is pretty appealing, too!). If your book is half as exciting, I’m going to have to purchase it.

  8. Great interview, Char, but I confess… you and Dianne had me at chocolate.

    I love the concept of serial killer kidnapping an author book idea. Very creative and spooky!

    • Yes, I would like to die in my sleep…or die by chocolate. Both sound very happy. And I agree with you–that book idea could be so thrilling. I hope she writes it.

  9. Really nice interview, Char. I’m secretly in love with Dianne Gray and her happy disposition. Like Carrie, I, too, think the premise for In the Company of Beasts is great, and I can’t wait for that one. But I’ll be reading some of her other books first!

    Great crocodile story, Dianne! Your husband sure went the extra mile to entertain the visitors. 😉

  10. Great interview, Char. I always love the questions you come up with, and now I know to expect my stomach to growl whenever I read your author interviews. 😉

    I have a couple of Dianne’s books waiting in the wings for me. I can’t wait to read them. But I have to say, if she ever publishes the novel about the serial killer and the “fake” writer before I start reading her other books, that may be the first one I read–that premise hooked me immediately!

    • That does sound so terrifying, doesn’t it. I want to read that one too! And sorry about the stomach growling. My blog will act like the bell for Pavlov’s dog and cause all my readers to salivate when they click on JoyintheMoments.

  11. I love your interviews, even if they do make me crave chocolate! I’m glad Dianne got out of that crocodile farm with all her body parts intact (especially her fingers because they help with writing, after all). I’m going to have to read The Everything Theory first but In the Company of Beasts sounds like a lot of fun too.

  12. Awesome interview, you two. Great questions, great answers. Your poor hubby, Dianne! Yikes. I’m clumsy, too, and I don’t think you would catch me working with crocs! 🙂 Good for you. This was fun to learn some more about you! 🙂 Thanks for sharing it! 🙂

    • Glad you enjoyed getting to know Dianne better. I agree, you wouldn’t catch me working with crocs either–except the ugly shoe kind.

      • Agreed! I have an old aligator purse of my mom’s from the 1950s and that’s as close as I get to either crocs or gators! 🙂 So who else have you interviewed that is as fun as Dianne? I need to spend more time on your blog. Where should I start?

        • Gina Barlean is a hoot–I think that post was called Delving into Dead Blow. I interviewed her last year as well. Carrie Rubin in Death, Chocolate and Plagues (or something like that) is hilarious too. I also liked interviewing Taylor Dean in the post “A Line between Crazy” and Anya Wylde’s books mentioned in A Valentine Treat are good too.

  13. Great interview Char, I love the questions, and thanks for introducing me to Diane. I haven’t read any of her books (yet), but I’m adding the Everything Theory to my To Read list (wow that list is getting long!)

    The writer/plagiarist getting kidnapped? What an awesome idea!!!

    • I’d go for duct tape to make sure those baby crocs couldn’t nip me (puppies are bad enough with their sharp teeth)

  14. Shoes on a table! no, NO NO!!

    Enjoyed this a lot. How wonderful to read of others 🙂

    • Glad you enjoyed learning more about Dianne! And yes, I think shoes OFF the table is an unwritten law (or should be)

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