Author Interview: Meet Dionne Lister

I’m delighted to welcome back one of my oldest Tweep friends, Dionne Lister, who has just released her debut, ‘Shadows of the Realm’. I was very fortunate to read a sample of this novel a few months ago and it looks like a seriously good read. If you haven’t grabbed a copy yet, get down to Amazon now. You won’t be disappointed. Mine is in the post, and I can’t wait to get my mitts on it!

 Hey Dionne! Without giving too much away, tell us about your new book?

It’s old school fantasy/adventure with dragons.

Bronwyn and Blayke are two young realmists that have to get their act together before their world, Talia, is invaded and destroyed by the Gormons from the Third Realm. They have never met, but are both travelling to Vellonia, city of the dragons.  There is death, horror and a bit of humour along the way, and lots of action.

Where do your ideas come from?

I get ideas when I’m exercising or about to go to bed, but when I sit down to write I’m not sure where it comes from. It just flows and when I read it back later, I’m thinking, “That wasn’t me, who did that?”

Who is your most fascinating character, and why?

That’s tricky because I find them all interesting – of course I would because I created them, they are all my children.  Probably Sinjenasta – a panther – is the most mysterious and there’s things about him that will surprise the other characters in books to come.

Are any of your characters based on people you know or have met? 

Yes, especially the evil or annoying ones.  

Which is your favourite chapter/scene, and why?

Hmm, tough choice. One of the chapters was so scary when I wrote it I couldn’t go to bed until I’d watched some tv. I would say, though, it’s a scene near the end of the book when Bronwyn bonds with her creatura – but I don’t want to give anymore away.

How do you plan to promote your novel?

Well, the obvious ones – hopefully a couple of my Twitter friends will write a review. I’ve approached some bookshops in Sydney and they are all happy to look at my book, and if they deem it professional enough, will stock it. I’ve even had one bookshop agree to put up posters, which I’ll get done. I’ll blog about it of course and advertise on facebook. Apparently you can pay an amount per day and they will target your audience for you.

What can readers expect from you next, and when can they expect it? 

Wow, I know I should be prepared, but I’m not working on anything right now. I work as an editor/web content writer and uni is keeping me busy. If this book sells enough copies I will start the next one very soon, if not, I plan to continue writing my suspense/crime novel, of which I’ve only written 5 chapters, but I have the story in my head ready to go. I doubt that I will have anything new ready to publish until next year.

Describe your current work in progress in less than 15 words?

Crime, suspense, woman in a coma, kidnapped boy, dirty politicians, bikies.

What is your writing routine and how do you balance your writing with your other commitments?

I’m at my computer all day either working or doing assignments, or tweeting ;). I have no routine.  At the moment I would spend at least 3 hours a day editing, so if it was writing instead, I would say a few hours in the afternoon or at night.

Do you ever suffer from writers block? If so, how do you overcome it?

I don’t suffer from writers block, although I had to write a 2,000-word story for uni and I was writing ok, but it was boring. I couldn’t grab a good idea, but could still write lots of the boring crap down.

Name one of your favourite books and how it has influenced your life.

I can’t say just one.  I think all the different stuff I read as a child and teenager has contributed to my writing style and subject – so I would say it is a few books by David Eddings, Stephen King and other writers of those genres.  It’s amazing what stays in your subconscious to influence you later.

What’s been the most memorable event in your life to date, and why?

Ok, many people would want me to say giving birth to my 2 children, or my wedding.  They were amazing times, but the most life changing for me, was finding the creative writing degree offered on line – I cried when I found it – crazy I know.  Since studying, my life has changed in so many fantabulous ways, the biggest one is that it helped me change careers from a property valuer to a writer/editor and of course, I am now publishing my book.  I feel like I’m living the dream and I can leave my head in the clouds for the first time in my adult life.

Where would you choose as an ideal holiday destination, and why?

France, because I love it, and they do a mean chocolate eclair.

What secret will your readers will be surprised to hear about you?

I have six toes on one foot.  Only joking.  I used to kiss worms when I was 2, and take all my clothes off and run down the street naked.

First and last line of a novel you would love to write?

He squashed the spider into her forehead with his blob of a thumb.

She spat on his coffin as it was lowered into the ground.

Only joking – I just made that up.  I have no idea.


Quick Fire Questions:

5 star hotel or backpack? 5 star

Espresso or latte? Latte

Plotter or panster? Panster

Drummer or lead singer? Lead singer

Favourite real person? My kids J

Favourite fictional character? Sweep (from the Sooty Show)

Burger and chips or Michelin star? I don’t know what Michelin star is, but if it’s 5 star dining, gimme, gimme, gimme.

Theatre or cinema? Theatre

Sports car or campervan? Campervan

Safari or Cruise? Safari – I vomit on boats  Author bio: Hi, Dionne here. I live in Sydney with my husband and two children. I love writing, playing sport, and laughing – not necessarily at the same time. I believe we’re all crazy – normal is just a concept.


Thanks so much, Dionne, that was fun! I’m a campervan girl myself. If you want to learn more about Dionne, follow her on Twitter @DionneLister or check out her blog at

And, drum roll…. You can buy the book here:

12 thoughts on “Author Interview: Meet Dionne Lister

  1. What a great interview! Thanks Jane and Dionne. I particularly like the first and last lines of the ‘novel’ – Dionne, you need to write that!

  2. I am so glad you finally got around to having a feature with Dionne. She is one of the most lovely Aussie ladies I know, and I bet she knows that. I hope he book is a huge success, and I love those crazy podcasts!

      • Thanks Amberr and Jane, you guys are so nice. It’s great to be loved lol. Thanks for your kind words Amberr, but I wouldn’t have gotten the book out there without the support and encouragement of my Tweep friends (including you) and no doubt, if it is a success, it will be due in part to all my lovely friends helping to promote it – so thanks!

  3. Note to self: do not offer to go on a cruise with Dionne…
    Hello, Ladies. I so love it when two or more of my buddies can be found on the same site. It’s so awesome! Thanks for the interesting and curious interview, Ladies. And since I have heard both of you on the podcast, it was your real voices that I heard inside my head as I went through it. I adore the accents! Oh, wait! I suppose I’m the one with the accent, right?
    Wishing you both a fantastic week! *hugs*


  4. ~hits wide forehead with heel of hand~ Ouch! How did I miss this terrific interview. What fun, Jane and Dionne. I’d buy a book with those beginning and ending lines. Make a good short story too. I like the rapid-fire Q & A. The discovery of the uni course was so serendipitous. Great. I love learning more and more about a favorite fantasy novelist. And I like your current work in progress: just keep going.

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