DC Diamondopolous is an award-winning short story and flash fiction writer published in numerous online magazines and print anthologies. In the latest installment of our Author of the MonthÂ series, she talks toÂ Quinn Korreck about her writing process, the power of meditation, and how her writing has to come from her passions.
How did the idea for â€˜Bootsâ€™Â come about? Do you have any personal experience with what the protagonist went through?
For me, itâ€™s always about passion. â€˜Bootsâ€™Â has several topics I care about: the endless stupidity and devastation of war, homeless vets, sexual assault of women in the military, and the criminality of the Iraq war. From those injustices, I arrived at a story.
I donâ€™t share the experiences of what Sam went through, although I did grow up in Los Angeles and I come from a military family.
Do you only write short stories or have you worked on or published other types of pieces?
I have one completed novel, and I have written and published flash fiction. Iâ€™m also writing a screenplay of â€˜Bootsâ€™.Â I write in all genres, including sci/fi, horror, and fantasy.
What is the writing process like for you? Are there any necessary rituals or things that you need to do before you write or while you are writing?
I come from a theatrical background and my stories are character driven. I go to the places Iâ€™m writing about. For â€˜Boots‘ I spent the day in skid row and downtown L.A.
I read books on women vets that had served in Iraq and Afghanistan. I immerse myself like an actor in the characters and visualize the story.
I get up every morning and write. After that I go for a long walk and come back and write until late afternoon. I like structure. It helps me with being creative.
What are your writing aspirations? What sort of goals do you have in mind for your writing?
Iâ€™d like for my stories to reach a wide audience and there are many ways to do this. Iâ€™m recording all of my stories and flash fiction for podcasts and iTunes. Also, Iâ€™m working on a collection of short stories as well asÂ the screenplay of â€˜Bootsâ€™.Â My main goal is to keep writing, submit my stories, and have a lot of fun doing it.
Do you have any tips or tricks for when a writer feels out of ideas or uninspired?
Yes. Meditate. There is so much chatter out in the world that itâ€™s important to still the mind and go within. I meditate twice a day and it helps to calm me and keep me centered. Itâ€™s also important to write no matter how dull you feel. Write through it and donâ€™t get into judging your work, at least for the first draft of a story. Just get it down, let it flow, donâ€™t critique. We all have to start somewhere, and the good thing is that nobody has to see it. Itâ€™s also helpful to join a writerâ€™s group and go to writerâ€™s conferences. Be around people who are supportive. Keep positive. There are a zillion stories out there just waiting to be written.