IF SHE HAD STAYED by Diane Byington – Interview & Giveaway



Sometimes the past is better left alone. 

Kaley Kline is thrilled to have landed a job as director of the new Tesla Museum in Colorado Springs. To make the museum successful, she searches for undiscovered works to display. When she finds an old safe that might have been Tesla’s, she’s shocked to find some diary pages supposedly written by the inventor himself.

Kaley initially thinks either that the journal is a fraud or Tesla was experiencing a nervous breakdown when he wrote it. However, if his experiments were real, the world will never be the same. She decides to secretly build Tesla’s time machine and attempt to go back into her own life to change a decision she has always regretted.

She prepares for a trip to the past, not knowing whether she will electrocute herself or travel back to the Boulder of her sophomore year in college. But an old boyfriend might have hidden some secrets from her—secrets that could have her fighting for her life.

Diane took some time out of her busy schedule to answer some of our questions:

  1. How did you become a writer?

 I’d always wanted to be a writer, but kept putting it off. One day, I got this message from the universe: If not now, when? I was so impressed to receive a message, any message, that I started writing. After three years of working on a novel and knowing it wasn’t good enough to publish, I decided to put it away. I applied to the Stanford online program on novel writing and was accepted. The novel I wrote from that two-year program turned out to be my first novel, WHO SHE IS. And I’ve kept going from there. It turned out to be a great message and I’m grateful for it every day.


  1. Do you outline or just wing it?

 My new novel, IF SHE HAD STAYED, was a product of National Novel Writing Month, which is the month of November. You decide to write an entire novel during the month. There isn’t time to outline or edit, so you just write like crazy and hope something comes out of it. I knew the beginning and the end of the book, but the middle was a puzzle. It was great fun, although it required many more drafts before it was publishable.



  1. What makes thrillers so popular?

 I think people like to be a little bit scared, knowing that the story will come around all right at the end. It doesn’t work that way in real life, but in a novel, you can relax and go with it.



  1. Tell us about your latest.

 My new novel, IF SHE HAD STAYED, is a blend of women’s fiction, thriller, and time travel. Kaley Kline, the protagonist, is thirty-five and hasn’t lived up to her expectations. She has a temporary job as the director of a museum dedicated to Nikola Tesla that will only be made permanent if she raises a lot of money in a short time. She’s determined to find a Tesla artifact that no one else has discovered. She does manage to find some journal entries from Tesla in which he describes his experiments in time travel. Kaley decides to go back into her own past and change something she’s always regretted. She left her college boyfriend, Scott, to sing in a band, and she didn’t become famous and didn’t see Scott again. She’d love to go back and stay with him and have the life she missed. Only things don’t turn out the way she’d hoped. And then it gets exciting!



  1. If a movie were made, who would you cast?

 I’ve always pictured Caitriona Balfe, the star of the Outlander series, as Kaley. As for Scott, I’m not sure. Kaley talks about him as a younger Robert Redford. Who would that be?




Diane Byington has been a tenured college professor, yoga teacher, psychotherapist, and executive coach. Also, she raised goats for fiber and once took a job cooking hot dogs for a NASCAR event. She still enjoys spinning and weaving, but she hasn’t eaten a hot dog or watched a car race since.

Besides reading and writing, Diane loves to hike, kayak, and photograph sunsets. She and her husband divide their time between Boulder, Colorado, and Dunedin, Florida.

Thanks to KATE ROCKS Book Tours we have one Ebook copy to giveaway. Just tell us what’s the latest book you’ve read with a strong woman character. We’ll announce a winner soon.

GIVEAWAY: USA only please.

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