My first dystopian novel, Natural Selection, was reviewed by Allan Hudson at The Miramichi Review.
Check it out here: Natural Selection by Diane McGyver
Download your copy at Amazon.
For many years, I’ve driven past a sign that said “Ravencroft Lane”. I’ve never driven down the narrow dirt road tucked into the forest off the main drag between my house and our camp. However, each time I passed it, I thought, “That would make an excellent place name in one of my stories.”
The name conjured up magic, mystery and images of a place in a fantasy land. I waited years to use it, not knowing where it existed.
Then came Natural Selection, and I knew this place was here.
The small town of Ravencroft is located alongside a wide river in County Regal somewhere on the eastern half of the United States in the year 2051. The town and county is ruled by a self-proclaimed king, James Proctor. His father had staged a coup and seized power from the man who had established Ravencroft many years beforehand.
Natural Selection is now available in eBook and paperback format.
I’ve been asked many times, “Why do you write the books you do?”
My answer is simple: I write the books I want to read.
Not everyone will like my books. Those who like one book may not like another. I accept that, and I will continue to write books I enjoy reading.
Northern Survival is not like Natural Selection. Northern Survival is for adults and focusses on adult issues: marriage, divorce, betrayal, kids, lost love, survival. The characters are adults in their 50s who have lived different lives but have both experienced the cruelty of people, ones they initially trusted. There is cursing, cruel words exchanged and mild sex.
Natural Selection, on the other hand, can be read by anyone 14 and up. In fact, mature youth as young as 12 years old can read it. Two of the main characters are in their early 20s. They’re naïve, have never had a serious relationship and have no children. They have not been made cynical about love by past experiences. There is no cursing, cruel words or sex.Continue reading “Why do you write the books you do?”
I’ve stumbled upon several abandoned buildings tucked away on rarely-travelled dirt roads. Exploring them is exciting and creepy. Some where sketchy when it came to structural integrity and others were mysterious because of possible wildlife they may have harboured.
I can describe collapsed roofs, sun-baked decomposing wood, weather-soiled floors that felt spongy when I walked on them, and the stillness of the air when glassless-windows made it feel like the building was part of the overgrowth.
However, I’ve never been in a town or city that has been abandoned for so long that the buildings are hollow, signs are missing letters and the streets are a patchwork of broken pavement grown in with weeds and shrubs and hardly recognisable.Continue reading “Describing an Abandoned Town”
While I have a good supply of garlic bulbs, there’s another plant that can provide the flavour, and it’s available fresh from the garden between early May to late October. This plant also provides greenery for the dish, whether that be scrambled eggs or soups.
The perennial that everyone can grow and that thrives from being cut regularly is garlic chives. It’s so easy to grow and propagate that once you have one small plant in your garden, it won’t take many years before the clump grows to a fair size and new plants pop up around the mother plant. Don’t consider these new plants as weeds, though they may be mistaken for blades of grass in the early stage. Move them to the location of your choice or share them with a friend.Continue reading “An Easy Perennial Source for Garlic Flavour”
I’ve written many stories, so I’ve used a lot of names. My fantasy novels contain dozens of characters and while I try not to use the same name twice, I sometimes do.
While looking for a name for one of the soldiers who served at Casa Royal, Ravencroft, County Regal, in my latest novel, Natural Selection, my youngest son was talking about a few of the stars from old western films he had watched. The name Jack Elam came up and while my son prattled on, I considered the name. Yeah. That sounds good.
While many won’t know who this man is, those familiar with old westerns will recognise it immediately.
William Scott ‘Jack’ Elam was born November 13, 1920 in Miami, Arizona, USA. He’s best known for the villains he played in western films. Later in his career, he turned to comedy.Continue reading “Honouring a Western Star from Decades Ago”
My first dystopian novel is now available in eBook form. The paperback is coming soon.
Today is bathed in the shadow of yesterday.
The year is 2051. Almost three decades have passed since the Devastation destroyed civilization. Only the strong and wise survived; the weak and intellects perished. New societies emerged, forging a future with skills from the distant past.
In Green Wood, Eloise has lived in seclusion with her uncle for 12 years. While they receive visitors to Larkspur Cottage, the number of friends they have can be counted on one hand. When strangers arrive and capture her uncle, she is forced to run, but who can she turn to when she doesn’t know the land outside Green Wood or where her friends live?Continue reading “Now Available: “Natural Selection””
In my gardening journey, I seek plants that grow well in my climate. If they are perennial – come back every year – it’s an added bonus. If I can eat it, it’s a staple.
Sunroot is both perennial and edible. They’ve been eaten by humans for centuries, yet I didn’t grow up eating them or growing them in the garden. I don’t know anyone who grew them. Once a staple in the homesteader garden, the sunroot has been replaced with more fashionable edible perennials such as rhubarb and asparagus.
When I tried to find a source for the tubers, I failed. My sister and her son joined the hunt. After two years, my nephew stumbled upon an old rural garden outlet that had sunroots growing in its field. They didn’t sell it but remembered it was growing there. They dug up a few tubers, and I was the lucky recipient of three small pieces.Continue reading “Sunroots: a sustainable source of food for homesteaders”
I chose three quotes from one of my favourite actors for the front of my next novel Natural Selection. That actor is John Wayne. He’s been a hero of mine since I was a kid. While he was several generations before my time, he was a mainstay on our black and white television set.
My dad also enjoyed his films. They were more of the same generation except Dad was born in 1922, and John Wayne, given name Marion Robert Morrison, was born in 1907. He was 60 when I was born, and he died when I was 18.
Wayne’s tough, shoot from the hip style was addictive. He was an honourable man who spoke his mind. Whether I agreed with him or not, it was something I admired. That honour is lost on most actors and television personalities today. The only one left from that era is Clint Eastwood.Continue reading ““Natural Selection” Front Matter Quotes”
Late last week, the proof arrived for Natural Selection. This is my first dystopian novel, and the third book in the Romance Collection. The novel is set to launch in October.
The paperback, standard print contains 402 pages. It measures 6 inches by 9 inches.