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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Skinny Dip with Diana Star Helmer

What animal are you most like?

My answer to this question could unwind like an endless ball of yarn! But I shall try to be brief.

For as long as I can remember, I have loved cats. Looking back at my life, I can see how I am cat-like. I watch; I always have. When I first went to school, I was an “elective mute” for some time, just watching and figuring things out. (A cat may look at a king, you know.) Like certain cats I have known, I can do things that absolutely must be done, even things I’d rather not do. But I am happiest to simply be, with the sun and the rain and the grass and the trees, and all the mysterious creatures.

bk_Dog'sBestFriendWhich book of yours was the most difficult to write?

My Kindle novel, A Dog’s Best Friend, is by far the most difficult writing I’ve undertaken to date. There are a few reasons:

First, the story’s hero is a dog, and I have lived only with cats. Yet, I felt this character needed to be a dog: dogs seem, to me, to be Everyman.

Secondly, A Dog’s Best Friend is my first long work. I had been writing for newspapers and magazines for many years when I began the novel. I’d become quite sure of my ability to tell an entire story in 600-800 words. I thought such skills would translate easily to novel-writing.

Ha!

Which of your books would make a good movie and who would be the star?

bk_threescroogesI cross my fingers and hope that all of my stories would make good movies, because good storytelling is cinematic: visual and concise.

Because most of my novels are about non-human animals, this means animation would be marvelous, and I love animation! The voices could then be any fantastic performers—no famous names required.

A Dog’s Best Friend would be nice as a film because it’s a buddy/road trip, a classic film situation.

Elsie’s Afghan would be amazing because of the magical transformation required.

The Three Scrooges would be a great candidate because half of its inspiration—the Stooges, of course—began as film characters!

What’s your favorite line from a book?

Good heavens, that’s like asking what is my favorite shell on the beach!

I’ll try to narrow it down:

Favorite line from another writer: 

Thoreau:

“My life is the poem I would have writ / but I could not both live and utter it.”

My favorite line from the book I’m working on:

“Oh, do not seek wisdom, my dear. If you find it, you’ll never be fit for mixed company.”  

What book do you tell everyone to read?

I seldom recommend books. It seems so personal! But I have mentioned to a few people The Book, by Alan Watts. I have gone back to it many times over the years.

6 Responses to Skinny Dip with Diana Star Helmer

  1. David LaRochelle October 22, 2015 at 5:39 pm #

    I think you should consider writing “A Cat’s Best Friend,” Diana!

    • Diana Star Helmer October 24, 2015 at 10:09 am #

      What a wonderful idea. Thank you! A cat’s best friend would surely be a mysterious creature, one I’d love to know better!

  2. Cheryl Holmes October 22, 2015 at 10:18 pm #

    love your quote- reminds me of the people who are always taking pictures of their moments and missing the moment…… LOVE YOU!

    • Diana Star Helmer October 24, 2015 at 10:12 am #

      Yes, yes! I have noticed this, too! And noticed how very up-to-date Thoreau remains, all this time and technology later. Love you, too!

  3. Judy B. October 23, 2015 at 12:13 am #

    That was an excellent interview! Elective mute…a noteworthy topic…

    • Diana Star Helmer October 24, 2015 at 10:15 am #

      Thank you. I enjoyed the provocative questions! Sometimes I wonder what other animals people I’ve met are most like . . . what kind of an animal are YOU?

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