Dianne Emley is not a book. You can probably tell from the picture.
Emley writes books, though, and I was honored when she agreed to be my theme day photo. Despite her decidedly ungritty appearance, she's the author of "gritty, intense and hard-edged" detective novels: the best-selling The First Cut, first published in 2006 and due out in paperback December 30th; Cut to the Quick, a paperback original on sale January 27th, and The Deepest Cut, the hardcover conclusion to "the Nan Vining trilogy," in stores February 24th. Together they're a thrillogy centered on detective Nan Vining of the Pasadena Police Department.
Like her heroine, Emley lives in Pasadena. I wanted to meet her because of that and because it's inspiring to meet a fellow writer who's achieved success. Plus I read the first chapter of The First Cut on Dianne's website, and it wowed me. Without a single wasted syllable, she makes every word move the story forward. The ability to do that is something many writers envy. Warning: this is not namby-pamby stuff. (Can we still say "namby-pamby" in the 21st Century?)
As Dianne and I walked in the Arroyo she told me she likens the work of a writer to that of an Olympic athlete. You have good days and bad, but you have to work every day. When you're defeated you get back to it. When you win, you know it's the work you've put in that gives you your power. "Writing is an obsession," she says, "and you have to bring a level of obsession to it to make the stories come alive."
Dianne gave me a copy of The First Cut (yay!). I'm not finished with it yet but I will be soon - I can't put it down, and I won't have to wait long for the next two. I've already marked my calendar for the launch of The Deepest Cut at Vroman's on February 25th.
Pasadena boasts many published authors. Nonfiction writer Weston Dewalt recently made headlines when he helped LAPD detectives crack a child serial murder case. Kathleen Thorne-Thomsen creates wonderful books for kids. Katherine Shirek Doughtie writes about men, midlife and motherhood in her essay collection Aphrodite in Jeans. There are more. I hope to meet them all.
Click here to view thumbnails for all participants in the City Daily Photo Blogs theme day!