Tag Archive for: 30th Anniversary

The Stiletto Connection (with Sisters in Crime)

by Paula Gail Benson

Diane Vallere

do stilettos have in common with Sisters in Crime (SinC)? They are both significant
factors in current national SinC President Diane Vallere’s writing life.
example, her first manuscript, Just
, won the RWA Get Your Stiletto in the Door contest, then became Designer Dirty Laundry, the first novel
in her Samantha Kidd series. Her upcoming release in that series will be titled
Cement Stilettos. The hashtag in the
header for her website is #shoescluesclothes. (I’m thinking Diane should feel
completely at home here at The Stiletto
she visited by Skype with the SinC Palmetto Chapter (Columbia, S.C.) this past weekend, Diane
said that she attributed her writing success to membership in Sisters in Crime.
She joined SinC after she left a lucrative job in the fashion industry to write
mysteries. Her first publication was a short story in the SinC Guppy Chapter’s anthology,
Fish Tales.
Diane with SinC Seal
year, it seems particularly appropriate that a person who credits SinC with
helping her to attain her goals should be SinC’s national President as that
organization celebrates its 30th anniversary. For thirty years, SinC
has been bringing media attention to all crime writers’ efforts, as well as
providing grants to libraries and book stores to encourage mystery collections.
Now, Diane continues that legacy of support and encouragement by emphasizing
that SinC does not differentiate in manner of publication, but celebrates the
different journeys of all authors in the mystery community.
fact that she takes her own advice seriously is in clear evidence when you
consider her body of work. She currently writes four series: Samantha Kidd (a
designer shoe buyer who returns to the town where she grew up), Madison Night
(an interior decorator who resembles and dresses like Doris Day), Material
Witness (a business woman who inherits the fabric store where she was born), and
Costume Shop mysteries (a former magician’s assistant who returns home to run
her family’s costume shop–the first novel, A
Disguise to Die For
, has been nominated as Best Humorous novel at this year’s
Left Coast Crime Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii).
began her own press in 2011. Without her knowing, her novel had been given to
an editor at Penguin. She turned down an offer to publish that novel with
Penguin and went the indie route, then wrote a new series Penguin bought.
continues to self-publish her Samantha Kidd books, while Penguin issues two
of her series (Material Witness and Costume Shop) and Henery Press releases her
Madison Night mysteries.  
of the questions Diane received from the Palmetto Chapter members was about the
following sentences found on her website:
She is also a
firm believer in not just following your dreams, but in creating a roadmap of
goals, tasks, and benchmarks to keep on track. She claims that being a textbook
Capricorn accounts for her drive, though she’s never been a big fan of being
told there’s something she can’t do.
laughed as soon as she heard the quote, because she had recently spoken to
another group that had asked her about it. She said the most important thing
about being a writer was finding ways to move forward and make writing a
priority, because writing will be as important as you want it to be.
of Diane’s great talents is her ability to pack for a writing conference. Here’s
a photo of her outfits for last September’s Bouchercon in New Orleans.
Diane’s Bouchercon wardrobe
Don’t you think her next project should be a coffee table book on how to pack fashionably?
Thanks, Diane, for writing excellent mysteries that also feature good
fashion. And, thanks for your support of the mystery writing community,
particularly in this special anniversary year for Sisters in Crime.