Diane Hester, author of Run To Me
Tell us about your latest creation…
RUN TO ME is a chase thriller with a twist. Shyler O’Neil is still struggling to come to terms with the death of her son two years earlier. Believing she did not do enough to protect him, she retreats to her family’s old cabin in the forests of Northern Maine. Ten-year-old Zack, in foster care for the last three years, has forgotten what a mother’s love is like. When he stumbles on information that could put a powerful crime boss in prison, he goes on the run, ending up at Shyler’s cabin. In protecting Zack from the men pursuing him, Shyler comes to believe he’s the son she lost. Zack, finally getting the love he has craved, is happy to play along with her delusion. When the killers find them, ‘mother’ and ‘son’ are forced to flee into the New England wilds. But no-one knows these woods better than Shyler.
Where are you from / where do you call home?
Born in New York, I came to Australia in 1978 as a violinist with the Adelaide Symphony. When I married I moved to Port Lincoln SA where my husband was teaching and we have lived there every since.
My parents were both musicians so as a child I was drawn to music. I started violin at the age of 10 and attended the Eastman School of music to become a professional violinist. It was only when that career ended that I discovered writing.
What do you consider to be your best work? Why?
I wrote six other novels before Run To Me but none of them has been published. I feel Run To Me is my best work because in writing it I created the story I myself would most love to read.
Describe your writing environment to us – your writing room, desk, etc.; is it ordered or chaotic?
I’ve taken over a large spare bedroom as my study. Despite it having two desks and two tables, I often find my notes and materials spilling out into other rooms! I have a huge fish tank next to my ‘plotting chair’ and love to watch the fish as I write.
When you’re not writing, who/what do you like to read?
I love Tess Gerritsen, James Rollins and Simon Beckett. Aside from these and other suspense authors, I read a lot of non-fiction, mostly on the creative process, learning, talent, motivation and goal achievement.
What was the defining book(s) of your childhood/schooling?
I had ADHD as a child and didn’t really get into reading until I was in high school. Stephen King’s The Stand and Dean Koontz’s Watchers are the two books I remember most vividly.
If you were a literary character, who would you be?
Ayla from Jean Auel’s Clan of the Cave Bear. I love her strength, resilience, compassion and curiosity.
Apart from books, what do you do in your spare time (surprise us!)?
For many years I ran a donkey sanctuary and trained my charges to saddle and harness. These days my hobbies include juggling, mushrooms, and shell, rock and fossil collecting.
What is your favourite food and favourite drink?
My favourite drink is without doubt coffee. Don’t really have a favourite food, although I am quite partial to ice cream.
Who is your hero? Why?
My dad – the kindest person I’ve ever known, who treated everyone the same.
Crystal ball time – what is the biggest challenge for the future of books and reading?
Tearing kids away from texting and computer games long enough to get them hooked on reading.
Website URL: dianehester.com