blackbeard's daughter diana strenka

An interview with Diana Strenka, author of Blackbeard’s Daughter

Hello everyone and this week I’d like us to welcome Diana Strenka to the Thursday Throng. Diana is the author Blackbeard’s Daughter, an historical fiction novel about the daughter of Edward Teach, more commonly known as the pirate Blackbeard. Margaret tells of her father, his love of the sea and the troubled life he led.

Diana has a degree in Psychology, and a Master’s Degree in Education.  In addition to Blackbeard’s Daughter, she has authored and self-published several short stories on Smashwords and Amazon. One such title is Rescuing the Titanic, an account of the Californian’s arrival prior to the sinking of the Titanic. In the nonfiction realm, she has published several articles for HubPages on medieval and renaissance historical figures. She enjoys spending time with her cat, Moe, and drinking tea.

What is one thing that no-one would usually know about you?

I love theater!  I’ve seen CATS, Phantom of the Opera, Stomp, and Beauty and the Beast live on Broadway!  I’ve also acted in several plays (Our Town, Don’t Drink the Water) and musicals (Grease, Hello Dolly, South Pacific, Fiorello, Damn Yankees).

Are the names of your characters important to you?

Yes!  It’s so important that my characters have names that are historically accurate to the era.  It’s also important that the names can match their personalities!  For instance, someone who is more reserved would have a more traditional name.

How did you choose a title for your book?

It jumped out at me, even before I started writing.  I wanted to do a book that taught us a new perspective on a caricature (such as Blackbeard), a man we know so little about.  What kind of experience would humanize a character much aligned by history?  Parenthood.  Through Margaret’s perspective, we can see Blackbeard for the man he could have been.

Have you ever wished that you could be or do anything else instead of writing, and if so what?

When I was very young, I wanted to be a singer. There’s movie footage of me as a child (yes, the VHS tapes from the 90s!)  where I am doing my best lip-synching into the mirror! As I aged, I wanted to be an actress, a model, and Felicity of the American Girl collection!

Do you have any hints or tips for aspiring writers?

Be true to yourself; you are never going to please everyone.  Just keep your held up high!  You are talented, and so, so brave!

What was the most important thing you learned at school?

The most important thing I learned at school was humility.  The more you get to know other people, the more you see yourself in them.  It’s a very humbling experience.  We are all humans, exploring this adventure we call life.   It’s not always easy, so we need to be kind to one another. 🙂 Kindness matters.

What is the book that you wished you had written?

To Kill a Mockingbird!  That is one stunning piece of literature.  The characters are so compelling (especially Atticus Finch – one of my favorite book heroes of all time), and so is the plot!  It’s one of those books that reaches out, and pulls at your heart.  The movie adaptation is equally as moving, and that is equally impressive!

Do you have any favourite resources you would like to share with our readers?

My favorite resources are Facebook writing groups, where I can get to know so many talented authors.  Writers Unite, Elements of Genre Writing, Rhetoric Askew, and Our Write Side are just a small sampling of the wonderful Facebook group outs there.  Writers, remember: you are not alone!  Reach out, and get to know as many people as you can!

What is your favourite TV moment of all time?

My favorite TV moment of all time happens when Meredith Grey (Grey’s Anatomy) realizes that her “John Doe” victim [who had been dragged by a truck] was George!  It gives me goosebumps EVERY time I see that scene!

Tea, Coffee, Water, Juice, Wine or Beer … which do you prefer when writing?

I prefer tea as it keeps me grounded and centered while I write!  It also tastes so good!

If you could commit the perfect murder, where would you hide the body?

I would drop it into the center of the ocean, wrapped in an anchor or some other heavy thing.

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blackbeard's daughterWHERE CAN I FIND OUT MORE ABOUT Diana and her BOOK?

You can find Blackbeard’s Daughter in Kindle format here:

You can also catch up with Diana on Twitter @booksaregifts

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