Dive into the kaleidoscopic world of Diane Billas, a pansexual young adult author with a pen dipped in the hues of LGBTQ+ love and acceptance. Get ready to embark on a literary journey as we unravel the enchanting tales behind Diane’s novels, “Does Love Always Win?” and the upcoming “Superficial.”
From dreams of crafting stories at six to breathing life into characters that resonate with the soul, Diane shares the magic behind her creative process. 🌟 Discover the inspiration that led to her debut novel and the courage to create narratives that echo her own high school experience.
Join us in a heart-to-heart with Diane as she discusses the ebbs and flows of creativity, overcoming rejection, and the boundless possibilities of the LGBTQ+ literary landscape.
Curious about Diane’s favorite creators, handling creative slumps, and the forthcoming “Superficial”? This interview is your backstage pass into the vibrant mind of an author making waves in YA literature.
Step into the enchanting universe of Diane Billas—where love always wins and storytelling transcends boundaries.
TW: What are your hobbies?
DB: Besides reading, I enjoy traveling, running, playing the french horn and piano, and watching all things Marvel.
TW: Do you prefer tea or coffee?
DB: It depends on the season. In the summer I love iced coffee but in the fall and winter, a cup of hot tea really warms me up.
TW: What is your favorite movie?
DB: The Count of Monte Cristo. I fell in love with it as soon as it came out many years ago and watched it in theaters countless times.
TW: What is your favorite genre to read?
DB: I’m a sucker for a good young adult romance, which is why I wrote my own YA sapphic romance novel.
TW: Hoodie or sweater?
DB: Neither, I’m more of a fleece kind of girl.
TW: What inspired your craft, and how did you get started?
DB: I’ve been writing books ever since I was six years old. I loved reading so much that I decided I wanted to try my hand at writing my own book and I haven’t looked back. I can even remember looking in the mirror when I was in sixth grade, promising myself I would publish a book someday.
TW: What advice would you give to aspiring creators in your field who are just starting out?
DB: I was told to just keep writing, even when you are getting rejection after rejection or if you are getting the dreaded imposter syndrome. Does Love Always Win? isn’t the first novel I’ve ever written. My first novel, a women’s fiction novel, received zero interest from any agents and publishers, so I made the difficult decision to shelf it and start something new. If I hadn’t acted on the advice I was given, Does Love Always Win? never would have existed.
TW: How do you handle creative slumps?
DB: Funny you should ask this, I just emerged from a creative slump. They are hard for me because I’m so much happier when I’m writing. This time I was just so burnt out from my debut book coming out and editing my second book that all my new ideas were falling flat. I decided to take the month off from writing to try and find my footing again and that did the trick. I suddenly came back with a brand new idea and have been trying to work on it as much as I can. I finally feel like myself again.
TW: Who are your favorite creators in your craft and why?
DB: I have so many to list, but I have to say I really am inspired by Becky Albertalli. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda was the first YA LGBTQ+ book that I’ve seen receive mainstream attention in the publishing world, and it was even adapted into a theatrical release. I feel Becky’s work paved the way for expanding the LGBTQ+ market and showed its relevance even to individuals that do not personally identify as LGBTQ+. There is clearly an interest in this type of content and subject matter beyond the immediate LGBTQ+ community. I also admire that even though Becky has received a lot of push back about her own identity, she continually sticks up for herself, publishing the content she wants to write, even in light of potential criticism.
TW: How do you come up with ideas?
DB: My ideas just come to me out of nowhere. Sometimes it’s from a dream or sometimes I am just doing a task and an idea comes to me. Once an idea hits me, I usually try and drop everything to write it down before it flies out of my brain.
TW: What is your favorite piece of work and why?
DB: My favorite book that I wrote has to be my debut novel young adult sapphic novel Does Love Always Win? because I poured a lot of myself into the story. It really took me back to my own high school experience. When I was growing up there were no LGBTQ+ YA books available to me. I feel like if I had more books with characters dealing with issues that I was struggling with it could have helped me understand myself better at an earlier age. That is how Does Love Always Win? was born. I created the book I wished I could have read in high school.
TW: How do you handle rejection?
DB: All writers have a close relationship with rejection. There was one time where I was on vacation in Vermont when I received two rejections in my email, and they were both from reading a full copy of my manuscript. I was devastated. I bought some cupcakes and took a long walk to help clear my mind. After I got back from that vacation, I was ready to get back to it. I used those rejections to fuel me and prove that I really could publish a book.
TW: What does the future hold for you?
DB: I’m currently in the process of editing my LGBTQ+ YA superhero book called Superficial. I was inspired to write this book because I’m a lover of all things Marvel, and it gave me a chance to write something completely out of my wheelhouse and comfort zone. It’s being published by Creative James Media September 2024.
TW: Where can my readers find you? (Social media, website, tours, business address, etc. links)
DB: All my social media and book links can be found on my linktree. https://linktr.ee/dianebillas
TW: Anything else you would like to say?
DB: Thank you so much for speaking with me!