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October 8, 2009 / theoldsilly

Spunky L. Diane Wolfe Takes Her Circle of Friends on Tour

L Diane WolfeBig treat for y’all today! Fellow author, blogger, photographer and motivational speaker, L. Diane Wolfe, is on virtual tour with her new release in her Circle of Friends YA lit series. Diane, who goes by the apt A.K.A of “Spunky,” agreed to this following interview that gives a great deal of insight into the series, the author, and Diane the “Spunky” woman she is.

But first, here’s the short synopsis for and info on Circle of Friends Book IV … Mike (A prisoner of guilt for so long…)

Mike Taylor is the epitome of stability. His family is proud of his academic and athletic achievements at Georgia Tech, and despite the temptations of college life, he has maintained his moral standards.Yet beneath the peaceful surface, Mike is consumed with guilt, fearing condemnation and rejection. A former girlfriend’s abortion and the intense love he feels for his roommate’s wife constantly remind Mike of his failures.

Unable to forget and full of shame, he refuses to forgive himself.When Danielle enters his life, he realizes he can no longer hide the past. Will she be able to reach him or is Mike past the point of redemption?

Release Date: October 6, 2009

  • Reading level: Ages 14 and above
  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Dancing Lemur Press (October 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098162104X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981621043
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches

Check out these laudatory remarks!

“Book IV… Mike is such a powerful, engrossing, incredible, beautiful novel. But it still manages to be lighthearted, funny and heart felt. There is real emotion and real people in these pages…”
– The Book Pedler

“Book IV will grab you where you live, and will not leave you disappointed.”
-Michael Douglas

“MIKE is an engaging story of friendship, love and overcoming guilt caused by past mistakes. A well-written work, Ms. Wolfe has a storytelling style that captivates.”
– Susan Eileen Walker, author of ‘The Secret of the Dance’

“I highly recommend your books to both young and old-‘er’. It’s inspiring how these young adults support one another, but that’s what friendship is about at any age!”
– Darlene Wofford, author of ‘Edgewise’


And now – on with the interview!

Marvin: Diane, how did you come up with the idea for the Circle of Friends book series?

Diane: Believe it or not, a dream inspired the series! It was just a wisp of a dream, but I clearly saw the main two characters in high school and envisioned Lori as a swimmer. I quickly outlined the first book, and halfway through its creation, I began outlining four more books. The challenges and triumphs of the secondary characters were just too strong to ignore and I felt someone would relate to their struggles and benefit from their victories.

Marvin: Lori Anders and Sarah Martin – two of your main characters – how did you come about creating them? Were they literally, as you say, “dreamed up?” Surely there was more work to it than that.

Diane: Well yes, as I stated above, Lori did come from a dream I had. However, in fleshing out her character, I decided someone with a goal of Olympic Gold would need to be disciplined and mentally stable to pursue such a dream. I also imagined the Amount of training involved would mean Lori was a little shy and lonely. Her strengths, which included a positive attitude, far outweighed her weaknesses.

As Lori’s best friend, Sarah was even more fun to create, as she was the opposite in terms of personality. I wanted a contrasting character, and along came Sarah! She’s bold, assertive, and sometimes quite lacking in attitude. (At least of the positive nature!) She possesses many hang-ups, which made resolving those issues a lot of fun.

Book III’s James was my angsty character, and once I determined he came from a past of abuse, it was easy to flesh out his character in detail.

Circle of Friends book 4Book IV, which comes out this week, features Mike, and he was actually the last main character I created. (I saved my tough cookie, Heather, for Book V.) Mike was interesting to create, as I had to get inside the mind of someone consumed with guilt. How would one react if he or she compromised deep-rooted morals and principles?

Marvin: Lori is a gifted swimmer with Olympic potential. Is swimming one of your loves? And further, do you base the creation of your characters on people or composites of people you’ve known in life (even perhaps yourself), or are they complete mental fabrications – or some combination of the two?

Diane: I love to swim! However, I’m certainly not Lori’s competition, as I am slow when it comes to actual swimming strokes. I prefer to spend my time underwater…

None of my characters are based on real people. Rather, I formed them from personality types and the assortment of real life events that people experience. Depending on each character’s personality, I always know just how they will respond to a situation. I created a mix of individuals, too! From the introverted only child to the dominant first-born, I covered the spectrum.

Is there a little bit of me in my characters? Perhaps a trait or two in each one, and I think Sarah received more than her fair share!

Marvin: Your book series trailer is very well done. Let’s let our readers have a look-

Excellent! Did you have professional help with it or do it on your own?

Diane: I lay no claim to that book trailer! A professional graphic designer put it together for Dancing Lemur Press. However, I am really happy with the result, especially as it features all five books in the series.

Marvin: On your blog, Spunk on a Stick’s Tip, you often post marvelous photographs youDiane pic 2’ve taken. Here – let me share a couple of them with our readers today-

Diane pic 3

Actually I want to show three – a personal favorite of mine is an amazing black and white shot-

Diane pic 5

So. When did you first discover your considerable talent for this art form?

Diane: My mother gave me a 110 mm camera (remember those?) for Christmas when I was twelve. My father was an excellent photographer, so I’d developed the desire from him. I took photo classes in high school and after working in the photo department of a contracting company in Arkansas, I purchased a Nikon 8008 and set up my own darkroom. Pretty soon I was selling stock photos to magazines such as Cat Fancy and I eventually branched out to do weddings, portraits, and even an album cover.

Marvin: You are a motivational speaker. Who were/are your most influential people in that arena? Did you have a personal mentor, or several?

Diane: I was involved with a motivational training program for ten years and had many great examples. One was team leader with whom I dealt frequently. Larry Etheridge was a Type A sanguine and just so full of energy and enthusiasm. (He passed away this last December and I dedicated my book “Overcoming Obstacles with SPUNK!” to Larry.) I’ve heard other speakers in person, such as Shad Helmstetter, Dick Vitale, and Rudy Ruttiger, and listened to many others on tape. From these incredible speakers, I’ve learned to focus on my own strengths.

Marvin: Tell us a little about L. Diane Wolfe the person. Married? Kids? Other hobbies and interests besides writing, speaking and photography?

Diane: Tell you about the Spunky?

Well, I married my best friend over 18 years ago. We’d started dating about the time the movie “When Harry Met Sally” and claimed it was about us! We have no children, although we were foster parents for  many years. We love animals, especially cats – we started with Calvin & Hobbes and now have Rocko & Spunky.

I love sports (especially football), enjoy jogging, movies, and music. (I love progressive rock and new age – odd mix, huh?) My biggest thrill is roller coasters! I am a total junkie. I think riding a looping coaster realigns my equilibrium.

Marvin: What is your writing schedule/regimen like? And while on that subject, let’s throw in blogging too. You post every day, what is that regimen like for you?

Diane: I’m a sporadic writer, although I will set aside large blocks of time to write. I tend to write in spurts of 15-20 minutes several times a day. And I hand write everything first; in part because I am more creative that way and also because I write faster than I type.

Blogging was a bit of a challenge at first. Really, what the heck was I going to say every single day? A regular schedule really made a difference for me. Each day has a topic, which focuses my creativity. And I host guests once or twice a week, which adds variety. Blogging is just like any other social site – it takes effort to network. But I thoroughly enjoy it now!

Marvin: Getting back to the “Circle” series. I see there are five books in the series now. Is each book a “stand alone” story, or does one need to start at the beginning with book one for the following books to make total sense?

Diane: I purposely wrote each one so it would stand alone. Nothing drives me nuttier than picking up a book and upon arriving home, discover it’s the third in a series and I’m totally lost without the first two. I didn’t want to do that to my fans. The stories do follow one group of friends and overlap as they move forward in time, but readers won’t be lost starting somewhere other than Book I.

Marvin: Any plans in the works for books outside the series? Tell us what kind of WIP’s you have going.

Diane: I’ve got a few ideas I’m kicking around, mostly in the genres of fantasy and sci-fi. My next book after this series will be a follow-up to my “Overcoming Obstacles” as I want to do a version for children.

Marvin: Are you a structured writer, with a rigid detailed outline, or more of a wing it and see where it takes you kind of a writer – or maybe something in between or different altogether?

Diane: I’m very organized. I always do a detailed outline before I begin writing. I also create detailed character sheets, complete with background information, personality traits, and other details. As I write, though, I make adjustments as I see fit. Sometimes a scene or trait doesn’t pan out as planned and I’m not afraid to make changes to help the story flow.

Marvin: Diane, thanks so much for being with us today and sharing like you have. Please take as long as you like with any parting words you have, and, as a motivational speaker, please leave some words of encouragement and, well … motivation, for aspiring authors.

Diane: Oh, Marvin! You dare give a woman speaker free reign? LOL!

If your dream is a burning desire, if you know it will change lives, pursue it with all your heart. Be prepared to make adjustments – just don’t focus on the obstacles. Focusing on a challenge only empowers the problem. Focus on your dream. Focus on what you want.

And remember, true success is measured by how many lives we affect in a positive manner!

Thank you, Marvin!


Well, Spunkster, you’re most welcome. So peeps, let’s show Diane some love in the comments, and ask away any questions you’d like, as Spunky herself will be dropping in off and on today to chat with you all. For a list of all the tour stops click on this post, and to follow the tour on its stop tomorrow, make a note to go over to Sya McKye’s Thoughts Over Coffee Blog.

Oh, and here is Diane’s websites and book buying info-

The Circle of Friends Website –
Primary Blog –
Spunk on A Stick Website –

All four books in the series are available on, and also at Barnes & Noble, as well as on the publisher’s site.

Okay peeps – blog dismissed, and the comments gallery is now open!

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Leave a Comment
  1. unwriter1 / Oct 8 2009 5:26 am

    Very good interview. I can see the muse flowing as the books are written. I also write my short stories longhand first. This is a most interesting series. The photographs are also quite lovely and add a nice touch.

  2. Elizabeth Spann Craig / Oct 8 2009 5:36 am

    Great interview, Marvin and Diane! I wish I had dreams like that, Diane. My dreams are usually completely corny. I love the way you focused on your characters’ goals and interests and found corresponding personality traits. Very ingenious. I usually approach it from the other way around, but will have to try to flip it.

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  3. Crystal Clear Proofing / Oct 8 2009 6:06 am

    It STILL amazes me that, having followed the blog tour for Book III – James, and now this one for Book IV – Mike, I STILL continue to learn more about Diane – the person, the writer, speaker, photographer…(DOES the list end?) LOL!

    I began reading the books out of order; however, that book got me hooked and I HAD to get the others, as I wanted to start from the beginning. They definitely stand alone, but it is SO much fun to revisit characters from one or more of the other books! The stories are so awesome in a number of ways. They look at real-life issues, they are fast-paced and keep moving! No lagging content within the pages of these books! They’re hard to put down!

    You become friends with the characters – that’s what makes it so fun to see or hear about them again in another of the books in the series. And of course they all offer wonderful and positive messages for the reader.

    Great interview, Marvin! And it was fun and insightful, as usual, to learn more about “Spunky” Diane!

  4. Cactus Annie / Oct 8 2009 6:17 am

    Wow – I can see why you’re called Spunky – busy, talented gal! These books sound like they’d be great for my nieces. I’ll definitely check them out. Great interview, both of you, Marv – you really laid this feature out nice! And best wishes to your tour, Diane! 🙂

  5. Barbra Kelser / Oct 8 2009 6:51 am

    Wonderful photos! Great sounding YA books, Diane, and woa – you “realign your equalibrium” on loop de loop roller coasters? Scared of YOU, girlfriend! lol 🙂

  6. L. Diane Wolfe / Oct 8 2009 7:44 am

    Thank you Marvin!

    BTW – Amazon has it listed wrong – reading level is 14 and up! (My publisher is still trying to fix this, as these books are definitely NOT for those under 12.)

    • theoldsilly / Oct 8 2009 9:51 am

      Diane, you’re welcome. I wondered about the amazon age group listing. Just edited the post to correct it.

  7. Morgan Mandel / Oct 8 2009 7:58 am

    Diane, It looks like you’re tackling some heavy subjects in your new book. You are the spunky one!
    While on vacation, I’ve been reading my prize from your prior virtual book tour, Overcoming Obstacles with Spunk. There’s some great advice in there which I’ve started to implement. One problem, though. The optimism part didn’t help me at the casino on the slot machines the other night. I was hoping the positive energy would transfer over somehow, but I guess there are limits. (g)

    Morgan Mandel

  8. yvonne lewis / Oct 8 2009 8:31 am

    Excellent interview, I enjoyed it very much Diane seems a very prolific writer and I wish her well on her tour.


  9. Donna McDine / Oct 8 2009 8:56 am

    Hi Marvin and Diane:

    Terrific interview. I know I say this every time I visit Diane in cyberspace, but it is true. Each and every time Diane’s interviews share something new with her readers. I enjoy learning more each time. I too write my first drafts in long hand. My mental flow works so much better. I’m the opposite though…I type much faster than I write…LOL.

    Fantastic trailer.

    Keep up the great work.

    Best wishes to you both for your continued successes!

    Children’s Author
    Write What Inspires You Blog
    The Golden Pathway Story book Blog
    Donna M. McDine’s Website

  10. Jean Henry Mead / Oct 8 2009 9:00 am

    Very nice inteview and book trailer. Thanks for letting us get to know Diane better.

  11. quirkyloon / Oct 8 2009 9:55 am

    Another great interview that teases us wanting more.

    In other words: go buy the book!

    Good luck to Spunky, although it sounds like she doesn’t need it! She’s making her own luck! Working hard!

    Very nice.

  12. Stanley Berber / Oct 8 2009 10:44 am

    Enjoyed the interview. Such talent! And Diane – any woman YA writer who loves football is MY kind of gal! lol – so what – college or pro? Both? Who’s your favorite team(s)?

  13. L. Diane Wolfe / Oct 8 2009 12:02 pm

    Unwriter, thank you!

    Elizabeth, here’s hoping you dream something awesome soon!

    Crystal, thanks so much!

    Thank you, Cactus! I think you nieces would enjoy them. And the spunk helps me maintain my pace.

    Barbra, thanks, and yeah, I’m a little off kilter with my roller coaster passion.

    Morgan, glad you’re enjoying the book and sorry the slots just won’t cooperate!

    Thanks, Yvonne!

    Thank you, Donna – nice to hear others write longhand, too. I’m just not that coordinated with a keyboard. 35wpm with mistakes – if I’m lucky!

    Thanks, Jean!

    Quirkyloon, thanks, and I’ll take book purchases, too. *wink*

    Stanley, I’ve always loved football! Both, too. Love Tim Tebow right now. For pros, our house is Steeler territory, but I have a soft spot for Denver and the Saints as well.

  14. CC Chronicles / Oct 8 2009 12:05 pm

    Great interview! I learned one more thing Diane and I have in common. My dad was an amateur photographer as well and picked up his picture snapping hobby. Never took it to the level Diane has but I always have a camera around. I think I own about 6 right now.

  15. Jane Kennedy Sutton / Oct 8 2009 3:01 pm

    One thing I can say about your interviews, Diane, is that they are never boring! I’m amazed that you write your manuscripts in longhand. Though I usually have fairly good penmanship, I lose it when I try to write fast. so if I wrote out a manuscript I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to read what I wrote.

  16. Nicole O'Dell / Oct 8 2009 8:09 pm

    Awesome interview! I love the book trailer!

    Thanks for pointing me to the post, M.

    Nicole O’Dell

  17. Helen Ginger / Oct 8 2009 10:06 pm

    Quite interesting interview. Fascinating that you outline other books while you’re writing a different book. I don’t think I could do that. Also interesting that you hand write. If I did that my handwriting would still be half-way readable. I work constantly on the computer and my handwriting has turned to scribbles.

    Straight From Hel

  18. Enid Wilson / Oct 9 2009 1:06 am

    Excellent interview! I can see your books very popular in Australia too Diane, because we love swimming so much and our country is so sport oriented. Some of the issues will be very relevant to the young men and women here.

    Bargain with the Devil

  19. L. Diane Wolfe / Oct 9 2009 6:52 am

    CC, it’s almost scary how much we have in common!

    Jane and Helen – my creativity is stiffled if I try typing first. I just can’t do it. My penmanship isn’t great, but it’s sometimes more legible than my typing, as I am prone to typos. You’d think that after thirty years of typing, I’d be better at it, but I’m not!

    Nicole – so pleased you like the trailer!

    Enid – thanks and that’s good to know!

  20. Amy / Dec 18 2009 4:32 pm

    Hi … I found this page by mistake. I was looking in Google for Georgia vacations for my family trip when I found your site, I must say your site is pretty cool I just love the theme, its amazing!. I don’t have the time today to totally read your site but I bookmarked it and also signed up for your RSS feeds. I will be back in a day or two. thanks for a awesome site.

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