Interview with Diane Rinella
Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to chat with us!
Thank you for having me here. It is indeed an honor.
1.) Your book is titled Love’s Forbidden Flower, what gave you the idea for the title?
I listed a bunch of words that fit the book, then kept smashing them together until something felt right. Since a second and final book is coming, I needed something that I could manipulate for that as well. After going through a bunch of titles that sounded like cheesy 1970’s made-for-TV movies, Love’s Forbidden Flower stuck.
2.) Love’s Forbidden Flower touches on a sensitive subject; some might say it is taboo. What is something you would tell readers that may make them more willing to read this book?
Love’s Forbidden Flower is not an incestuous work of erotica. It is a New Adult Romance novel about soul mates and the unfairness that society makes love laws. We tell people we will never meet that they can’t get married because we think their relationship is icky. 10-15% of all college age adults have practiced consanguinamory (the term preferred by those in these consensual relationships) in some form. Because of what we are told, people tend to associate consanguinamory with abuse, or that they are in some way dysfunctional. While that is occasionally true, most often it isn’t. In fact, those I know who are in consanguinamorous relationships are very outspoken against abuse. They are also some of the most well-adjusted people I have ever met. They are certainly stronger than me, and I admire them greatly.
3.) How did those closest react to your writing this particular book?
I get a variety of reactions. Of course, many squirm or sneer and ask why, while some think addressing the subject is the coolest thing ever. However, once people realize the book is a NA Romance novel that takes a stand regarding human rights, they become intrigued.
The important reaction comes after they read it. While some people are indeed uncomfortable, the majority say the book is not creepy at all, and that they find themselves rooting for Lily and Donovan. A lot of readers contact me or write in their reviews that their eyes have been opened to acceptance and that their worldviews are permanently changed. Seriously, a book changed a person’s life-long worldview. How powerful is that?
4.) Your novel touches on incest, but I think people might be surprised to learn that it goes much deeper than that. It resonates with others who are faced with not being able to freely express the love they have for someone, because of what society deems as unnatural, would you like to elaborate on this?
If you think of it in terms of homosexuality, the struggles are very similar. Not long ago, homosexuality was a huge taboo while now the bias is rapidly dwindling. Think about what homosexuals go through in terms of being shunned by friends and family, being ejected by society, being told they are deviants, or having to hide their emotions—all because of who they fell in love with. Have you ever had control over whom you have fallen in love with? I've never met anyone who has.
Your question about the relationship being deemed as unnatural also brings up “the birth defect” argument. The birth defect rate among products of siblings is about the same as those of a woman over forty, yet there are no laws discouraging those births. Plus, society forgets two very key things. First, you don’t have to be married to reproduce. Second, people involved in consanguinamorous relationships are no less intelligent than anyone else and are perfectly capable of making good decisions.
5.) What is the title of your current WIP, (work in progress) what would you like to share about it?
I am almost finished with the sequel to Love’s Forbidden Flower, called Time’s Forbidden Flower. You can’t have two soul mates and end the story when they are twenty. After that, I’m toying with three vastly different stories. They are all romance based, and all contain transgressive relationships, though none are as controversial as the one in Love’s Forbidden Flower.
6.) Who inspires you the most and why?
I have had a lot of acting training. Through that, I learned how to really watch people and develop characters. A good actor can easily give me several character ideas at the drop of a hat—so can a bad one. Someone can say or do something to shoot my mind off into another dimension. Before I know it, a story is born.
7.) Who are some of your favorite bands/musicians?
I have a huge thing for vintage rock. Steve Marriott of The Small Faces is influencing the heck out of me right now. Him and Tony Hicks of The Hollies gave me one of my favorite characters, Christopher, from Love’s Forbidden Flower.
8.) Tell us something most don’t know about you that might surprise them.
A lot of people only see me dressed in black rocker and goth clothes. However, I have a slowly expanding collection of 1960’s Mod and Go-Go dresses.
Enjoying San Francisco as a backdrop, the ghosts in Diane’s 150-year old Victorian home augment the chorus in her head. With insomnia as their catalyst, these voices have become multifarious characters that haunt her well into the sun’s crowning hours, refusing to let go until they have manipulated her into succumbing to their whims. Her experiences as an actress, business owner, artisan cake designer, software project manager, Internet radio disc jockey, vintage rock n’ roll journalist/fan girl, and lover of dark and quirky personalities influence her idiosyncratic writing.
For more on Diane Rinella and where to buy Love's Forbidden Flower, please follow these links: