From Fan Fiction to Profiles of Murder

Several years ago I met an interesting writer online. There seemed to be an instant connection since we both liked cats—particularly black cats. More importantly, we were both struggling to find our niche in the ocean of new writers waiting to get noticed and realized we had a common fascination—Murder.

Let me introduce you to my friend and fellow author Diane Kratz.Diane Kratz Bio Picture

Diane Kratz is crime fiction writer. She has been married to her wonderful husband Tom for 30 years, lives on a small farm in Kansas and has worked as a social worker in domestic violence shelters, hospice, and in county mental health.

She graduated from Emporia State University with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, and from Washburn University with a Masters in Social Work. She is accredited as a Licensed Master Social Worker from the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board in Kansas. She is also a member of NASW (National Association of Social Workers). Incidentally, she has a spoiled orange tabby cat named Zeak.

She is an active member of Kiss of Death, Midwest Romance Writers, Romance Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime.Her favorite authors include Karin Slaughter, Steven King, Tess Gerritsen and CJ Lyons.

She is currently working on a five book series called Victims of Love. The first, called Genesis, is the prequel to The Dear John Letters with Resurrection, Contrition, and Retribution to follow.


Unforseeable_Consequences_SMASHWORDSRecently Diane contributed one of her short stories—called Flicker—to an anthology of suspense-filled short stories that I edited and published. The anthology is called Unforeseeable Consequences and I thank Diane for her contribution of Flicker. This wonderful short story and others in the collection are memorable reads in that the characters in each experience unforeseeable consequences. The anthology is available on Amazon by clicking here. For non-Kindle devices and apps, please click here.


Diane is such an interesting person that I thought you’d like to learn a little more about her and her writing, so I sent her a series of interview questions and these are her replies.

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself, Diane. I write crime fiction and I have three degrees: associates of science, bachelor’s in sociology and masters in social work. I’m quite proud of those degrees because I dropped out of high school in the eleventh grade and later earned my GED. Although everyone in my family also dropped out and earned a GED, I was the first in my family to go to college and graduate with a Masters degree.As a social worker, I’ve worked in domestic violence shelters, hospice, and in mental health. I love working in mental health. Human behavior has always fascinated me.You can take two people who have gone through similar traumatic life experiences and come out with two very different views of the world. This is what my book series, “Victims of Love” is about—two sisters who came from the same environment and come out seeing the world differently and have two very different outcomes.I also served on the publicity committee of the on-line writing group Kiss of Death. And I belong to a local writing group, Midwest Writers of America where I write a column called, “Writing is Murder”.

2) When did you first start writing and what inspired you? I actually started writing Fan Fiction about eight years ago. I fell in love with the character Robert Goren on Law and Order Criminal Intent. His character and the actor (Vincent D’Onofrio) who played him were going through some rough times on the show. There was talk he would be replaced. They cut his time in half on the show. I’d never been so addicted to a character on a show before. The writers on that show wrote the Robert Goren character so beautifully. I was hooked. When his show time was cut in half, I (Me and a million other of his fans) started to write Fan Fiction about his character hoping to save the show. Well, that didn’t work. The show was cancelled and I still wrote. I ended up writing five books! My husband thought they were great and encouraged me to get them published. Of course I had to change everything in it because I didn’t know anything about writing.

3) Have you taken writing classes? Oh dear, too many to count. So my answer is… yes. I was a novice who didn’t know the first thing about POV, grammar and that all books have a formula to follow. So basically my five novels are all rewrites. Never heard of a synopsis, a tagline and didn’t know I had to promote myself. I’m still a work in progress, as I think all writers are.

4) What sparked the idea for your short story (or your other writing)? What sparked the idea for “Flicker” was Bobbie Cole. We’d just returned from a writer’s retreat and she knew I was in dire need of a mentor. She saw an Edgar Allen Poe contest and wanted us to write a story together and enter it into a contest (her way of giving me confidence in myself). I began to re-read some of Poe’s writings and “The Tell-Tale Heart” had always stuck out in my mind. It’s a story about murderer’s guilt. “The Fall of the House of Usher” another favorite was about an old house and its secrets. And thus, “Flicker” was born.

5) How did you come up with the title? Working in mental health, people often have flickers of events (good and bad) that happen in their life. Then there was the fire. “Flicker” was a no- brainer!

6) How long did it take? I had the title before I finished the story. About ten minutes. Titles are easy for me. The story took about two weeks.

7) What is your writing routine? I wish I could say I have a good one, but I don’t. I kind of got side-tracked when I became a board member for one of my groups. It took up all my writing time. I’ve since resigned and I’m back to writing a chapter every day. I’m a much happier person since I did. I try to write (re-write) at least a chapter a day. That’s my goal and I’m sticking to it.

8) Do you have the idea for the short story first and the character’s story develops or vice versa. Bobbie gave me the idea to write a short story for the contest. The idea came after re-reading Poe’s stories. I always come back from our retreats ready to write.

9) Do you use an outline or just begin writing? I’m a panster. Meaning I write from the seat of my pants. I wish I could outline, but I find that stifles my creativity.

10) What are your favorite authors/books? Ann Rule (Small Sacrifices) and pretty much every book she ever wrote. Real life stories of people who are monsters. I read all her books growing up. Steven King (It) scared me to death. I loved being scared (in fiction only). I don’t know why, but I do. If a book makes me think, laugh, cry or scream, that’s a good read! Karin Slaughter is another favorite of mine. I’m addicted to her books. I’ve read all of her Grant Country series and “Blindsighted” got me hooked. By the way, she won the Edgar Award for best novel and short story.

11) Did any of these influence your writing? I’ve read Karin’s books over and over to see how she spins her tales. She brilliant, in my humble opinion.

12) Do you identify with any of the characters? Sure I do. In my “Victims of Love” series my heroine is Abigail Gallagher, she works as a social worker lobbyist for victim rights and she’s a gifted pianist. I’d love to be her! I’ve also seen human suffering in my line of work. There are some real scary people out there. But there are also good people out there too!

13) If you could go back, is there anything you would change about the book? I pretty much have changed everything in my books! I wish I would have taken the classes and joined my writing groups before I wrote anything. I wouldn’t have to scrap it all and start over. Which is what I had to do.

14) What was the hardest thing about writing this book? Learning how to write. Grammar is also not my friend.

15) Have you experienced writer’s block and how do you get over it? YES! I think getting a routine to write x amount for x days helps. Writing doesn’t even have to be your book. It can also be a blog, a short story. Like Steven King said, “Writers write.” So write.

16) Have there been any challenges with getting your book (or other works) published? I haven’t tried to get my work published yet. It’s still a work in progress. I want to make sure it’s perfect. “Genesis” is what I’m working on now. It’s the prequel to my “Victims of Love” series. It by far has been the hardest to write. It is the backstory on how my hero, Johnny Gaston, and my villain, Jillian Black, meet. It’s set in 1986 before DNA, forensics and databases. I just had to rewrite a character named Elizabeth who originally started out as Johnny’s partner. The FBI doesn’t have partners. So, back to the drawing board again!

17) What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer? Research your book thoroughly so you can write a book with realism. Study your favorite authors and how they write. Learn from them. Join a writing group and learn the craft. There’s a lot to writing a book. But I think READING is a must, too.

18) Is there anything you would like to say to your readers and fans? Hi family and friends! LOL! I love you all! I’d also like to thank my writing sisters—Sunny, Sally and Alfie. Sunny, who gave me confidence; Sally, who sets me on the right track in a story; and Alfie, whose patience as a teacher and friend has taught me more than she will ever know. These ladies have taught me so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you…I’d also like to thank Jim Murray for letting me contribute to this wonderful book and giving me my first publication.

19) Will there be a sequel? Oh, hell ya!


Please take a moment to click into Diane Kratz’s social media sites to learn more about her publishing progress and her latest blogs on murder.




Fan Page:

About James J. Murray, Fiction Writer

With experience in both pharmaceutical manufacturing and clinical patient management, medications and their impact on one’s quality of life have been my expertise. My secret passion of murder and mayhem, however, is a whole other matter. I’ve always loved reading murder mysteries and thrillers, and longed to weave such tales of my own. Drawing on my clinical expertise as a pharmacist and my infatuation with the lethal effects of drugs, my tales of murder, mayhem and medicine will have you looking over your shoulder and suspicious of anything in your medicine cabinet.
This entry was posted in A Diane Kratz Interview, A Guest Blog, A New Anthology of Short Stories, A New Short Story Collection, A New Short Story Release, About Diane Kratz, About James J. Murray, About Murder, All About Writing, Blog Interviews, Blog Writers, Blogging, Designing Murder Plots, Developing Better Life Skills, Developing Better Writing Skills, Developing Storyline Ideas, Developing Writing Skills, Diane Kratz-An Author Interview, Fiction Based on Facts, Flicker by Diane Kratz, Flicker-A New Short Story, Growing As A Writer, Guest Blogging, James J. Murray Blog, Learning the Art of Writing, Mastering Your Craft, Murder Mayhem and Medicine, New Blog, New Book Is Published, New Book Release, New Short Story Anthology, New Short Story Collection, Plot Ideas and Where They Come From, Plotting Short Stories, Prescription For Murder Blog, Profiles of Murder -Diane Kratz, Profiles of Murder Blog, Short Story Development, The Art of Storytelling, The Art of Writing, Tools of Fiction Writing, Writing is Murder Blog, Writing Skills, Writing Techniques and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to From Fan Fiction to Profiles of Murder

  1. Terrific profile, James. There is much that writers can learn from other writers. And this is a great example. Many thanks!

  2. marilynm says:

    Hi, Diane, yes I did find out new things about you. But, your forgot to say you belonged to PSWA and after all, that how I know you.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Marilyn. All the best. Can you tell us what PSWA is? We’d all like to know. 🙂

    • dianekratz says:

      Oh Marilyn, I’m so sorry I completely forgot. I wrote my bio quite a long time ago. It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged. I looked it over and I took out some of the groups I no longer belong to (because I got nothing out of them). Just forgot to include I joined after I wrote it. PSWA stands for Public Safety Writers Association. It’s a terrific writing group for writers who write about public safety. It has police officers, FBI agents, 911 dispatchers (I was a dispatcher for a very short time, way to stressful of a job), mystery writers, CIA agents. You don’t have to be a public safety writer to join, just include one in your story. All these experts with tons of knowledge to help the writer, write realistic LEO’s. You can visit their blog at: to find out more about them. They put on a terrific conference in Las Vegas every year. It one of the best conferences I’ve attended. It also priced right. I highly recommend them. Marilyn Meredith is the program chair for the PSWA annual conference and the editor of the quarterly newsletter.She is the author of over thirty published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest Bears With Us and Raging Water from Mundania Press. Writing as F. M. Meredith, her latest Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novels are No Bells and Angel Lost, the third and forth from Oak Tree Press. Marilyn is a member of EPIC, three chapters of Sisters in Crime, including the Central Coast chapter, and the Mystery Writers of America. She is often a speaker at writers events and conferences. She is one classy lady! Thanks so much for stopping by.

    • marilynm says:

      Hey, Diane, first, I’d love to visit your blog. Will contact your for my Rocky Bluff P.D. series blog tour. Mike Black is now the program chair for PSWA. I handed over the job when I turned 80 and he’s doing great. My latest books are: Not as it Seems (Tempe Crabtree) and Violent Departures, RBPD. Again, loved learning more about you.

      • dianekratz says:

        Another slip up! I got this info from the PSWA blog. Guess I’m not the only one who needs to update bio information. 🙂 I’d love to have you on my blog. Many thanks for stopping by!

  3. Sunny says:

    What a GREAT profile, Jim. And Diane, you know I love ya, girl. Can’t wait to see your novels in print. Your writing is amazing. You DO know how to spin a story.

  4. Diane, you’re a fantastic writer, and you really have a “voice” for scary stories. And you seem like such a normal person in real life….

  5. Great interview Diane, best of luck with the new books!

  6. redljameson says:

    Ha! I thought grammar wasn’t my friend! 🙂 After years of studying grammar, I’ve actually come to love it. Now when a grammar snob tries to confront me, I fight back. I know what I’m talking about now. And by the way, I’ve come to find that most grammar snobs don’t know grammar as well as they think they do. Hee-hee!

    • dianekratz says:

      Good to know, Red! I’m getting better but I still a work in progress! Thanks for making my day commenting on grammar snobs! To funny! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s