Diane Billas is a person of many talents. Not only does she play the French horn and the piano, on top of having a husband and child (which some would class as a full-time job in and of itself), she writes wonderful young adult books. Does Love Always Win? was released last June, and her next novel Superficial is out this September. Mark it on your calendars, because the book sounds great!
Diane, tell us a little more about yourself! Who are you and what do you do?
I’m a pansexual young adult author who lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia with my one-year-old son and husband. I also am an avid reader, love traveling, and play the French horn and piano. I am the author of the young adult sapphic contemporary romance novel Does Love Always Win? and the young adult superhero LGBTQ+ novel Superficial.
Who’s your favourite character that you’ve ever written?
My favorite character so far is Kristy Davis from my debut sapphic novel, Does Love Always Win? Kristy is pansexual, snarky, and doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her. I also wrote a short story featuring her, a prequel to Does Love Always Win? called Broken Dreams, that delves into Kristy’s heartbreaking background.
Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so, how do you overcome it?
If I am experiencing writer’s block, I put away the project that is causing me issues and work on something else. Or I do something else creative, like play the piano. Sometimes that helps a new idea form.
What do you consider to be the hardest part of writing?
For me the hardest part of writing is editing. It’s so tedious and time consuming, but a necessary evil.
And how about the most rewarding?
When you hear from a reader that your book really affected them. One time someone told me that a part of my book touched them so much it made them cry and that’s when I really realized the power my words can have on an individual.
What is one piece of advice you wish you had listened to, either in life or with regards to being an author?
Don’t look at your reviews. It’s so hard not to, but I wish I started not looking at them right from the very beginning.
You’re putting together a party. Which characters from the Sapphic Fiction genre would you invite?
Perrie from Dial One for Revenge by Emma Brand would be a great first addition to the party. She’s a psychic so she'd be handy to have around, plus she's a lot of fun. I’d also invite Latavia from Monstrous by Jessica Lewis, because she would know how to keep everyone safe in case anything goes awry at the party and I’d also invite Phoebe Matthews from Cleat Cute by Meryl Wilsner because she’d be the life of the party.
Is there anyone you’d like to highlight, while you’re here?
Mariah Stillbrook’s debut witchy book, In the Pines, has a great sapphic storyline. Mariah and I are with the same publisher and it’s been a joy to have someone going through a similar experience, and with an LGBTQ+ book!
How can people connect with you?
My linktree has everywhere you can find me.
Finally a light-hearted one. What ice cream flavours and toppings would you put together in your ultimate sundae?
I would put in cookie monster, peanut butter, and bubblegum. Not the best flavors together but it includes all my favorite flavors in one shot!
If you enjoyed this interview, then make sure you’re following my social media accounts (@kblakemanwriter on Twitter and @katherineblakemanwriter on Instagram) to get all the latest updates! And if you want to support my own Sapphic Fiction journey while you’re here, The Summer We’ve Had is available now, and Love You However is coming on March 22nd!