While living in California Diane Brandow, now of Storm Lake, came up with the idea for a story in her head.
"I've always liked to just dream," she says. However, it wasn't until she had moved back to Iowa that her story took shape. A friend heard the idea and told her she should write it into a book. She says she didn't know anything about writing a book but she gave it a shot.
Diane had written over 400 music lyrics for guitar and keyboard in her life but says writing a novel and song lyrics are completely different processes.
Her recently published "Color of Tears," western romance is set in Montana. Since she started her first book, Diane says she put her music writing aside. Her lyrics have not been published - she says she does that form of writing only for her own enjoyment.
After many years of having the idea behind "The Color of Tears" in her head, the book took her three years to write, she says. While working a full time job at Vision Care she spent a lot of her free time just researching information since the story is set in the 1800's and she wanted the setting to be authentic.
She enjoyed even the tedious research aspect of the process, and said that the writing itself was a way to relax and is "a good therapy."
She enjoyed getting to know her characters. "I like finding out what happens next," she says. She says as she wrote her book she learned more about herself and learned to let her emotions go. As she was writing her book all of a sudden she'd burst out laughing or another moment she'd start crying, caught up in the world of her characters.
Amazon.com gives the plot synopsis. "The once bitten but not-so-twice-shy Jace Mathison could capture any woman's heart, and Dany Madrid's is no exception. From the moment he lays eyes on her, he knows she is the kind of woman he could spend a lifetime looking for. Their love seems meant to be, but young Dany is haunted by old memories. Can she learn to let go of what was and embrace her love for Jace? Or will untold secrets and unforeseen danger tear them apart? Author Diane Brandow weaves a passionate tale of romance, heartbreak, and hope."
Diane says she definitely feels readers will fall in love with the characters.
Her second book, "Rainshowers," proved a little easier to write, taking her only three months. Set in the present time, it required much less reseach.
It is currently in the stages of being edited and now she has plans for a third book in her head. However, she says she refuses to write a sequel. "They just start sounding the same, in my opinion," she says. However, she says she does like stories of strong women, cowboys, falling in love and happy endings. Brandow says she wouldn't explain the meaning of the title "Color of Tears."
"That's in chapter 13," she smiles.