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8 June 2011


Leave a comment for a chance to win a 'Quintspinner' t-shirt and a $10 Amazon Gift Card

I'm so pleased to have Dianne Greenlay, author of Quintspinner on my Blog today, as part of her Goddess Fish Blog Tour.  

First of all, I asked her if she had a favourite character in 'Quintspinner'.

Well I almost hate to admit this, but I started writing QUINTSPINNER with only my protagonist, Tess Willoughby in mind. I wanted a female protagonist as I knew it was going to be an adventure novel, and it seemed to me that there were far more stories/movies out there with male leads than female. This choice delighted my two daughters. Of course, almost immediately I realized that there also had to be a suitable male character to play against/with Tess, so William Taylor entered the story, much to the relief of my four sons (not that we are a competitive family!). Each of these two characters ended up having a significant family member along for the ride ( literally) and that may have been a subconscious desire of my own. As I wrote each scene, I was totally enamoured with whichever character I was involved in creating at the time.

Mrs. Hanley is loosely fashioned after my own grandmother, who had a talking pet crow in the house. Gram was a folksy sort of person, and "Joe" (the crow) mumbled and grumbled to himself as he rode around perched on her shoulder, commentating on everything. (I grew up thinking that this was absolutely normal...) Mrs. Hanley's fondness for "special numbers" is a trait that my grandmother also shared. In her house, there had to be a certain number of chairs at the dining room table, used or not (this ensured that guests for a meal would have a good evening, she said), and she had an endless repetoire of  explanations for the number of sneezes a person had in a row (you'll be going on a holiday, you'll be getting a visitor), the number of birds flying overhead (17 days till the next rain), and so on. Mrs. Hanley was initially a barely mentioned character but quickly grew to be a  beloved constant throughout the story.

Your readers may be surprised to learn that another one of my favourite "characters" is "Gerta", a mischievious little black goat. In historical times, goats were the preferred choice of livestock to have on a ship - they took up less room than cattle or horses, survived on smaller food rations, and possibly most important reason of all, produced less waste product than the larger animals, while still providing milk and meat. 

At my house, we have had a wide variety of pets - a Great Dane dog, koi fish, a pot-bellied pig, a white rat, guinea pigs, a rabbit, a pride of cats, and a 200 pound Irish Wolfhound. My husband, fed up with having to share space with a constant stream of animals, one day threatened, "Well, I'm going to get a goat!", in a "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" attitude. So for Father's Day, I borrowed a kid (the baby goat kind - with a family of 6 teenagers, we already had enough of the human kind..) and presented her to him, complete with collar and leash. He was flabbergasted. The little goat was a darling, full of energy and curiosity (mostly she wanted to sit in his lap!) and like a boisterous grandchild, she was fun to have during the day, but it was nice to give her back that evening. :-) "Gerta", in my novel, plays an important, if brief, part in the action, based on a blend of historical fact, and that first hand experience.

I then asked her what she most enjoyed about writing the story.

I loved getting the goosebump feeling when an unexpected twist in the plot revealed itself to me as I was writing. My research had unearthed a huge folder of interesting/almost unbelievable/factual tidbits that I was weaving into the story to give it the flavour of the 18th century, but when an "AHA!" moment arrived, that idea or moment would often seem to provide justification for the inclusion of the factual stuff. It was eery and most often happened late in the night when the house was dark and quiet, but my mind was full of the smells of rotting timbers, the smoke from gunpowder, the shrieks of the wounded, the burn of salt-scalded eyes, and the warmth of a lover's arms (what the heck do all of  these have in common? Well, there was this AHA! ...)
I had a lot of fun with a piece of advice offered by Donald Maass, literary agent, New York, at a presentation that he gave at the Surrey's International Writers' Conference. He told his audience to take a situation - as bad as you, the author, can imagine it to be - and then Make. It. Worse. Good advice, that. It really kickstarts one's imagination and furthers the twists and turns, but on occasion it was kind of like painting oneself into a corner and then hoping a ladder will drop from the ceiling. Sometimes I found myself rescued, but once in awhile I was just stalled in the corner, waiting for the paint to dry ...

All in all, I enjoyed the entire process - the research, the writing, the plotting, the revisions ( hmmm, mebbe not so much), the publishing process, and now the publicity avenues, which is the really fun part - meeting the incredible bloggers out there. What a wonderful way to make friends around the world! I love to hear from readers and bloggers and can be contacted at diannelk@gmail.com or comments can be left on my web page at http://www.diannegreenlay.com/ . Here's wishing for good books, good friends, and good luck to you all!

Thank you so much Dianne, and I couldn't agree more about the making of friends around the world!
Now let's find out more about your book!


In the year 1717, 16 year old Tess Willoughby witnesses a murder near a London marketplace and becomes the keeper of a legendary Spinner ring. Even so, she never imagines that she will find herself an unwilling passenger on a merchant ship bound for the pirate-infested waters of the West Indies and forcibly betrothed to the murderer. Longing to be with William, a young press-ganged sailor, but unable to escape her dangerous fiance's clutches, Tess struggles to survive in her new set of circumstances. During a pirate attack, she unravels the legacy of her strange Spinner ring and its power, realizing that her own life and those of everyone she loves, are in jeopardy. As a powerful hurricane overtakes the ship, a slim opportunity for her own escape presents itself, and she is forced to make the most chilling decision of her life.  

Having won multiple Book Awards, (ReaderViews, ForeWord Connections, Creative Arts Council, Sask Book Award, Eric Hoffer Award) Quintspinner is a tale of pirates, secrets, betrayal, and romance on the seas of the West Indies, all bound together by a dash of ancient magic.


Tess stepped forward out of the shadow of the ship's timber, and drew herself up as tall as she could. The nearness of her once again made William's breath harsh. He stared into her eyes. Even by the ship's lantern light, they were as deeply green as the ocean that they sailed upon. For a few powerful hearbeats they stood, their faces mere inches apart. Impetuously, he reached out, his fingertips resting lightly on the swell of her hip. Tess reached up and trailed her own fingertips along the stubble of his jaw. 

   Her touch was electrifying.
   "What was it that you wanted to ask me?" William whispered softly, hopefully, as he lowered his lips to nuzzle her neck.

   "Hmmm?" Tess exhaled. "I - I wanted to ask you ... to teach me to throw ... as you do. With a weapon of my own."


Saving lives by day (physiotherapist, EMT) and spinning lies by night (writer/author and playwright/director of Community Theatre), I live on the Canadian prairies with my husband in a lovely historical home that we share with a consortium of cats. Having raised a family of 6 kids ( and, amazingly, everyone lived through it!) , I have plenty of their escapades still fresh in my mind, to weave into my fiction. Whenever possible, I travel to exotic locales to research my novels and to seek out new adventures to fuel my already overactive imagination.

Dianne's Links: 
Web page www.diannegreenlay.com ;
Facebook Group http://on.fb.me/kFmjca ;
available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Chapters/Indigo

Thanks again Dianne and Good luck with   Quintspinner, it sounds like a wonderful and exciting read, and I hope your Virtual Tour is a fantastic success and brings you even more sales! 
Thanks also to everyone who stops by and comments today.

Dianne will be giving away  to one randomly drawn commentator, a  Quintspinner Tshirt and $10 Amazon gift  card; and to the host with the  most comments, a Spinner ring and $10 Amazon gift  card.(Hey I'd love  that Spinner ring, please comment on her post here so I have a chance of winning it, as  well as giving yourself a chance to win that fantastic Teeshirt and gift  card. :) )

 Tomorrow Dianne will be visiting

stop by and give her some love - the more comments you make the more chances you have of winning a prize!
Contest ends 10th June and is open to all.