A few months ago, I posed a book trailer question in a Facebook group. Diane Windsor of Motina Books (and another Texan!) answered my question and then some, providing me with sample book trailers for comparison and mockups of my own book to use for marketing purposes. That support, freely given, is what sets Diane Windsor apart from the rest. She’s supportive, positive, and nurturing to authors, and runs her company the same way. She’s also an author herself, with her novel, Stuck , having released last fall. More recently, she wrote an article on Scary Mommy, where she talks about the relapse of her son’s cancer and how one can help families going through the same experience. Diane is a busy business owner, author, mother, and grandmother, so I’m thrilled she had the time to answer a few of my questions.
Christina: Stuck was released in October 2020 and centers around a teenager living with leukemia. What prompted you to tell this particular story from the point of view of a teenager?
Diane: My son was 20 years old when he was diagnosed with leukemia, and he was treated at a children’s hospital. He was living independently, and with the diagnosis he was forced to come back home. A nurse at the hospital told me once that teens and young adults have the hardest time with a serious diagnosis. They’re just beginning their adult lives, and beginning to plan their futures, and then this hits them like a truck.
I’m also hoping to reach young people regarding vaccines – that they are safe and effective. I was inspired by Ethan Lindenberger, who went to a doctor and became vaccinated when he turned eighteen, against the wishes of his anti-vaxx mother.
Christina: What perceptions do people have of those with leukemia? Of their parents? What misconceptions do people have about leukemia?
Diane: I think for most people, when the hear the word “cancer,” they don’t know how to act. They don’t know what to do or say. They’re afraid of saying the wrong thing. This isn’t specific to leukemia – it’s all cancers, and especially childhood cancer. Cancer happens to the old guy who’s been smoking for 40 years. But a child, or teenager? There’s no reason for a young person to get cancer. But they do.
I encourage your readers to check in with anyone they know who has a family member fighting cancer. Just ask how they are. We want to talk about it.
Christina: Do you write in any other genres than YA? If not, what draws you to the YA genre. If so, do you find similarities in the stories you want to tell?
Diane: Honestly, I am a better publisher than a writer! I love the technicalities of editing, formatting, distributing, and marketing a book. I wrote STUCK because it is so close to my heart, and I had a need to tell this story. We need to raise awareness for childhood cancer, and the fact that vaccines prevent a lot of diseases.
Christina: Motina Books wants “to give mothers a voice.” What’s the history behind the company? Have you always wanted to be involved in the publishing process?
Diane: I started meeting and talking to a lot of people who wanted to tell their stories, and who had really good stories to tell. “We focus on providing quality fiction and non-fiction just for mothers. There is a special place in our hearts for single mothers. It’s our goal to bring to light the topics that are most important to all moms.”
Christina: Does your mother’s voice differ from other voices you might have? Do you have more than one mother voice?
Diane: This is a great question! When I think of my “mother voice” I think about how I talk to my children, even though they’re adults. I was never a “cool mom” or a friend to my kids. They had enough friends, but only one mother. I will fight for them, and I’ll fight them when they need it.
Christina: What does literary success look like to you?
Diane: Regarding my own book, Stuck, I really want to help people understand more about childhood cancer, and about how vaccines are safe and effective. As a publisher, my goal is to work closely with my authors, and help them achieve their goals for literary success. That could mean selling many books, turning their book series into a film, or helping one person cope with a difficult situation.
Thanks to Diane for agreeing to this interview! If you know of an author who’d like to be featured in an interview (or you are an author who would like to be featured), feel free to leave a comment or email me via my contact page.