Unveiling the Creative Tapestry with Diane M. Dresback

From Filmmaker to Author Extraordinaire, Exploring the Depths of Storytelling

Diane M. Dresback discusses her journey from adversity to success, blending genres, and balancing filmmaking with novel writing in a dynamic interview.

In the vast landscape of contemporary literature, certain voices stand out for their unique blend of creativity, depth, and a touch of the unexpected. Diane M. Dresback is one such voice, whose journey back to storytelling after a discouraging college experience is as inspiring as it is transformative. In this interview with Reader’s House Magazine, Dresback invites us into her world of words, where strong female characters navigate psychological, sci-fi, and medical landscapes with deft precision.

Diane M. Dresback’s journey back to writing after a discouraging college experience led her to rediscover her love for storytelling. With a background in filmmaking, she blends elements of psychological, sci-fi, and medical thrillers into her novels, ensuring a quick-paced and captivating read. From exploring the intriguing concept of waking up in someone else’s body in “Awakening” to delving into the controversial practice of cryonic preservation for newborns in “Postponement,” Dresback’s stories challenge readers to ponder complex themes while enjoying an immersive narrative experience.

Your journey back to writing after a discouraging college experience is inspiring. What motivated you to rediscover your love for storytelling, and how did your background in filmmaking influence your approach to writing novels?

After learning the truth about my biological mother and her difficult choice to give me up for adoption, I found myself relaying the story to people whenever the opportunity presented itself.

I lamented to my 16-year-old son that I was not skilled enough to write—echoing my freshman college professor’s well-intentioned yet ill advice. My son said to me, “Mom, you shouldn’t let one professor have so much control over you.” It hit me like a ton of bricks. I chose to put the story into a screenplay that took three years to finish due to full-time work, raising a family, and assisting elderly parents.

I focused on narrative filmmaking for many years. In 2014, with a vengeance, I shook off the last of that professor’s detrimental words and wrote my first novel. Now I’m working on my tenth book while developing future film projects.

The adoption story was eventually written into the novel, Room for Another.

Your novels often feature strong female characters and blend elements of psychological, sci-fi, and medical thrillers. What draws you to these genres, and how do you ensure that your stories resonate with readers who enjoy quick-paced domestic thrillers?

Those genres intrigue me as they often offer something new and different. I like reading, watching, and writing unique stories. Ones where the struggles of one or more characters go beyond the everyday, run-of-the-mill challenges—yet, are still personal and intimate. 

I’m a “What if…” story creator. Almost all my fictional books begin with that simple question. It doesn’t mean the entire story fits for example into a traditional sci-fi genre, but rather contains a thread of something out of the ordinary within the storyline.

The fast pacing of my novels is likely due to my filmmaking. I am a visual writer and approach scenes in a book like scenes in a movie—late in, early out. Readers complete details in their own minds, so I don’t often ink page-long descriptions.

Awakening, the first book in your “Awake As A Stranger trilogy, explores the intriguing concept of waking up in someone else’s body. What inspired this unique premise, and what challenges did you encounter while writing about such complex themes?

Awakening is an example of a “what-if” question. While relaxing in a bath one evening, an idea popped into my head: What would happen if a person woke up literally living in someone else’s body?

The story required blog and article research into the lives of those whose bodies were “taken over.” As the trilogy progresses, the characters start to unravel how body takeovers occur and attempt to eradicate them.

The books make clear the fact that we all make assumptions about people judging them on trivial things and often those assumptions are inaccurate.

In your novel “Postponement,” you explore the controversial practice of cryonic preservation for newborn babies. What inspired you to delve into this ethical dilemma, and what research did you undertake to portray it authentically in your story?

One of my first short films (2008) followed the idea of “postponing” newborn babies until the parents chose to bring them home. I have always loved the potential of this concept and went on to write a longer script, a novel, and a feature-length screenplay.

Cryonics has been used in many novels and movies over the years, but freezing your infant baby either for convenience or medical reasons is a little fresher. This is my medical/sci-fi thread throughout the current-day story. 

The main character is a troubled employee who makes her own controversial decisions. Researching the current science and creating the “science fiction” side of things became a fascinating endeavour.

I’m drawn to telling stories that give people food for thought or discussion after watching or reading. Postponement provides them an abundance of chewing!

Reminisce delves into the unsettling territory of memory manipulation. What inspired you to explore this theme, and how did you navigate the psychological complexities of altering memories in your novel?

My What if for this novel sparked while listening to friends reminiscing about old times. What would happen if we could go back to re-experience a memory with full sensibilities—touch, taste, smell, sound, emotions—a total immersion into the recollection? 

Recall is cool enough, but the more interesting question is what happens if we try to alter those memories?

Existing studies are developing memory therapies to assist people with such things as PTSD and other traumas. Reminisce is not so above board as my character discovers the underground practice and meets people who he thinks might help him deal with his woes through memory manipulation.

As both a filmmaker and an author, you’ve experienced success in both mediums. How do you balance your creative pursuits, and do you find that your experiences in filmmaking inform your approach to writing novels, or vice versa?

It’s truly all about a good story but in different ways. My first four books all came from film concepts I created. I have since adapted three of them back into much-improved screenplays with the intention of directing the films. 

Going from script to novel offers a fantastic chance to explore characters and force them to face a plethora of problems. I can include locations without worrying about a film budget, and create more side-stories.

Going from novels to screenplays allows me to trim or combine characters, choose the best situations to communicate the gist of the story, and overall tighten things up. Sometimes a character in the screenplay makes a different decision than in the novel. That’s okay with me since I wrote them both!

Follow the Author

Photographs Attached (again, may not need them all, but provided extras):

Diane M. Dresback headshot (blue shirt); photo credit – Bibhash Biswas

Verified by MonsterInsights