About Darlene Duncan

Author of three novels; Life Is Full Of Surprises, The Origin of Deanna Dorak and Aneesha's Prophecy, Darlene is currently working on her next book. Its working title is Freedom Abdicated Freedom Lost. Like most young people Darlene wanted to leave her hometown for greener, more exciting pastures. However, almost born on the beach, the desire to smell the salty aroma of sea air, to feel the warmth of the sun and sand between her toes always drew her back home. She and her partner of 20 plus years live with their two cats near Darlene’s hometown of Daytona Beach, FL. Darlene grew up painfully shy but realized to be successful as an author she had to ‘get over it’ and talk to people. So she joined Toastmasters and achieved her Competent Toastmaster Certificate.

Julie Eberhart Painter Interview

Thank you Darlene for inviting me to be interviewed on your website.

 What am I working on?

 Currently, a family story whose main character is, as the title implies, the Cinderella Sister. The Hoegs are a normal close-knit family, until the oldest daughter, Jane, unmarried, career oriented, decides rather than marry someone she doesn’t love, she’ll have children via in vitro procedures. From that comes SIMILA, who becomes ill with a brain tumor, and the redoubtable Sissie, who is her exact opposite.

The story opens when Sissie is attending the first of six bereavement classes among other teens.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

 My brand would be issue oriented fiction that doesn’t belabor the point.

Previously I’ve been comfortable with third person omniscient point of view. Most romantic suspense is written this way. BUT: Lately I’m using what I call the Jodi Picoult method. Her recent books, such as NY Times best seller, was The Storyteller, 2013.

The format technique names each chapter after the POV character. It’s liberating; I can get inside the character with no author intrusion. As the writer, I simply become each character. The conflict between characters is pre-established and shown in dialogue with the other characters, each of whom we know because we’ve been there inside their heads. They will argue their issues from already established Points of View. Very persuasive, even the whining is not mine. As in poetry and art, it’s a direct infusion without the IV: emotional osmosis.

I’m comfortable with this “world building” because I was an only child and had to create my own community.

Why do I write what I do?

For me, writing fiction is the best way I know to express my own emotions and explore them in the person of others. I’ve always loved to write and play with words.

I poised on the precipice of writing for fifty years before letting go of the Zip Line and slipping from writer into author. Before that, I was the one who took the minutes, wrote the newsletters, and composed the PSAs. Then with the encouragement of a dear friend, I “got writing.”

The journey between writer and author is a long cinder trail: two steps up, one slide back. Long stories materialized. Soon I was not only reading about the craft, but taking courses from mainstream writers and going to conferences.

While on that uncertain path, I wrote about writing. When I learned something important, I shared it. Later I branched out to favorite and familiar subjects such as nursing home abuse, hospice, and after a search for my birth mother, adoption. My issues of fraud, abuse, longing, humor, and card playing senior citizens combined to jell my Brand in my recent novels available on eBooks vendors and paperbacks on lulu.com.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Morning-After-Midnight-Eberhart-Painter-ebook/dp/B00HNEIZNU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1388786510&sr=1-1&keywords=Morning+After+Midnight

Or Barnes & Noble:


   Mortal Coil uses the nursing home setting because to murder a helpless old woman in her bed, cut off her hair and repeat that crime is the antipathy of what nursing homes are supposed to be about. The subplot is driven by a behind-the-scenes scandal of greed and neglect.

 Tangled Web includes my adoption search and speculation about my Welsh family. It’s told from my birth mother’s POV. The non-identifying information is a word-for-word replica of a part of my documented information.

 Kill Fee, Champagne Book of the Year, 2011, shows that even a friendly duplicate bridge game can lead to murder. (Although bridge players have been known to feel the urge.) Without my years as a director for the ACBL (American Contract Bridge League), I could not have shown the game unfolding in the room with map-like accuracy.

 Medium Rare takes our heroine from Kill Fee and turns her into the perfect sleuth. She vows to find the murderer who killed the psychic medium who “saw all” among the crazy office staff in a medical setting.

 Daughters of the Sea incorporates the legends of the South Pacific. It’s a romance driven by superstition. Legends make good blurbs describing visual scenes without disorienting potential readers.

 Morning After Midnight visits the family dynamics of a shattered white southern family and our hero’s relatively upwardly mobile black friend in the midst of social unrest.

 Our minds hold a lot of ideas and partial ideas.

Regardless of message, story and character development are key.

How does my writing process work?

My approach depends on the story. Always married to the POV character, I tell/show the story through the characters’ eyes, placing the camera on their shoulders. Sometimes I use a pre written synopsis, other times it’s flat-out making it up as I go along. In the case of the Jodi Picoult format, I can drop chapters back into the whole after my content edits.


A native of Bucks Co. PA, in the sixties my husband’s business sent us touring of the country, and eventually the world. We’ve lived in Texas, Illinois, Ohio, Georgia and Florida. Vacations included more than 80 countries: fodder for the fiction.


 http://bit.ly/17GtxDh for Bewildering Stories, my bio

Blog for The Writers Vineyard, every fourth Monday

Link: thewritersvineyard.com


In the next weeks meet…

Lois Gerber:


Lois Gerber, RN believes in the spirit of community health nursing – its focus on wellness, relationships, families, and communities. Her BSN, MPH in Nursing, and Specialist in Aging certificate opened many professional doors. She’s worked in home health agencies, public health departments, and an Area Agency on Aging. She’s taught nursing students on the university level and has counseled families dealing with elder care issues.  For forty some years, Lois has helped people of all ages, various religions and ethnicities, and different socio-economic levels. These stories reflect her experiences.

Veronica Helen Hart:


Dave Archard: Retired broadcaster and memoirist.



Yippee! I’m part of a Blog Tour!

I was tagged for this Blog Tour by A. R. Moler http://armoler.com/Blog.html

The writing process –

What am I working on?

Actually, at present I’m writing two books, one fiction and one non-fiction. The fiction story has a working title of Freedom Abdicated, Freedom Lost. The basic premise is what happens to a society when through the apathy of its citizens and the use of fear by government and media it goes from being a democracy to a radical theocracy. It follows one woman in particular whose lover dies in her arms from a ricochet bullet fired by a member of the enforcement arm of the theocracy.

The non-fiction book, is a step-by-step guide to using Power Point. Not nearly as exciting as the fiction work; however, I enjoy helping people learn new things. Colleagues and friends often come to me with simple questions about using PowerPoint, so I decided to write a book about it.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My fiction differs in that it’s mine. No one else in the world will have my specific take on an issue. I have a bit of a quirky view of the world and I believe it comes through in my writing.

The non-fiction book will be a bit different because it won’t have a lot of extraneous information. In addition, there will be a lot of visual guides in the book.

Why do I write what I do?

I write things that I would like to read. As a lesbian I want to read stories where the main protagonist is a lesbian. Growing up there were no such books for me to read, so I had to settle for books with strong female characters. I want to add to the selection of books available to the reading public by offering books by a lesbian about lesbians.

How does your writing process work?

For my fiction the idea that sparks the story could come from anywhere, an editorial, an overheard comment or the shape of a cloud. Life Is Full of Surprises started out as me feeling the need to write something totally different from the science fiction I was writing at that time. I decided a quick romantic beach scene would fit the bill and out of that was born Life Is Full of Surprises.

Once I have the idea, I play with it in my head for a while and then I decide on where in the story I want to start. Then I sit down and begin to write. I don’t do outlines or index cards or storyboards. I just write.

My non-fiction work has come about through seeing a need and trying to fill it. I watch people struggle with Power Point on a regular basis. In the end, do they get the results they want? Sometimes yes and sometimes no. Could they have gotten the results without quite so much work? Definitely. So I decided to see if I can alleviate some of the anxiety and frustration brought on by working with PowerPoint.

Moving forward with the Blog Tour

Next week check out these folks 

Mike Pyle  http://mikepylewriter.com

Michael Pyle, author of White Sugar, Brown Sugar, was an innocent, nerdy, un-athletic, angelic-looking white kid who was raised in the upper-middle class in the 1960s, in a segregated Daytona Beach, Florida. His teenage and early adult years became a blur from drug abuse and addiction. In his early twenties, he cleaned up, finished Daytona Beach Community College, and obtained his Bachelor’s in English.  He completed his Masters and Juris Doctor degrees and has been a practicing attorney for over thirty years. He studied creative writing and taught English to foreign students at the University of Florida. Pyle’s life is partially reflected in both characters of White Sugar, Brown Sugar, an inspiring tale that follows two friends who lose their innocence, suffer from cultural and personal challenges, submerge to the depths of substance abuse and eventually grow into admirable adults.

Caryn Day-Suarez (as soon as Caryn gives me the link to her post, I’ll post it here)

Julie Eberhart Painter (Julie will be guest blogging here on my blog next week. So you’ll find her post here at darleneduncan.wordpress.com )

Books and Wine

This past Thursday I attended a book signing by fellow author Julie Eberhart Painter. It was held at a local wine shop and was not only well attended, people were actually buying books. I’m always interested in unique ideas for book signings so if anyone has any ideas on that subject let me know. Maybe you’ve attended a book signing at an interesting location or maybe you’re an author who has held a signing at someplace unique, either way let’s hear from you.