Happy Tuesday!! Today's author spotlight is Fashionista Diane Vallere. Diane is the author of The Material Witness Series, Mad for Mod mystery series and the Style and Error Fashion Mystery series.
Diane's Full Story:
When 20-year retail fashion veteran Diane Vallere left life in the corporate offices of a high status luxury retailer and moved to sunny California, it was with the intention to trade fashion accessories for accessories to murder. That was 2007. Armed with a series concept that she belived in--former fashion buyer turns amateur sleuth--she polished and revised her ideas, got involved in her local chapter of Sisters in Crime, and actively sought her big break. That break came in 2009, when her first manuscript, JUST KIDDING, won the RWA Get Your Stiletto in the Door contest. This later became DESIGNER DIRTY LAUNDRY, the first Style & Error Mystery.
Taking this as a sign that she was on the right track, Diane continued her search for an agent and submitted a short story to FISH TALES: The Guppy Anthology. It was accepted, and the collection was published in 2011. This became Diane's first publication credit.
Writing that short story taught her that she could write more than one character and opened up a world of possible stories. Diane continued to write new material while submitting her work to agents, dabbling in Women's Fiction, Middle Grade, and non-fiction/biography. In addition to the Style & Error series that she was already querying, she started another series featuring an interior decorator with a not-small interest in Doris Day movies, which became the Madison Night Mysteries, currently published by Henery Press.
Diane started Polyester Press, her own publishing imprint, in 2011, with the intent to create a niche publisher focused on fashionable fiction. Unbeknownst to her, a pre-press copy of DESIGNER DIRTY LAUNDRY was forwarded to a senior editor at Penguin Publishing, who expressed interest in seeing the book rewritten to fit their catalog. Diane declined but offered to submit a different idea written specifically for them. This became the Material Witness Mystery series, launched in 2014. She also signed with agent Jessica Faust of Bookends Literary Agency. Soon after signing as a client, Jessica proposed and sold the Costume Shop Mystery Series to Penguin Random House, making it a fourth series. The first, A DISGUISE TO DIE FOR, came out February 2, 2016.
Diane has taken big risks in life: first in moving from her hometown in eastern Pennsylvania to Dallas, Texas for her fashion career, taking a step backward on the corporate ladder in order to enter the most reputable buyer training program in the country. Three years after that move, she received the Chairman's Risk Taker Award for her savvy business performance as Couture Foundations and Hosiery Buyer. Five years later, she took another risk, moving from Texas to California to reprioritize her life and focus on her writing career.
Diane is the Vice President of Sisters in Crime and believes that her involvement in this organization played a significant role in her publication journey. She is also a firm believer in not just following your dreams, but in creating a roadmap of goals, tasks, and benchmarks to keep on track. She claims that being a textbook Capricorn accounts for her drive, though she's never been a big fan of being told there's something she can't do.
Head on over and check out Diane's website, it is awesome!