Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Diane Rossi

Diane Rossi kofi front page

Diane Rossi

Writer of stories, poetry, monologues, articles and wedding ceremonies. Writing is my compulsion and people are my passion. Buy Diane Rossi a Coffee. ko-fi.com/dianerossi14930 – Ko-fi ❤️ Where creators get donations from fans, with a ‘Buy Me a Coffee’ Page.


1. When and why did you start writing poetry?

My earliest memory of writing poetry was as a teenager. I would vent frustrations and make observations about relationships and experiences in poetry and diary form. It was self indulgent rubbish and I didn’t keep any of it! It was definitely a form of therapy and way of making sense of adolescent confusion. It was also part of what I would refer to as ‘seeking for the truth.’

2. Who introduced you to poetry?

I was fortunate to have had inspirational English Literature teachers at school. English was my favourite subject and one I excelled in. I loved hearing poetry read aloud and enjoyed opportunities to read in class.

3. How aware are and were you of the dominating presence of older poets traditional and contemporary?

I don’t think consciously aware. When I write poetry or prose I don’t have other poets in mind. My earliest memories were of the Romantic and Metaphysical poets. The themes must have influenced me as an intense young adult though!

4. What is your daily writing routine?

I haven’t led a life which has allowed me to stick to a strict writing schedule for years. I prefer to write when there are relatively few distractions. I find it more difficult to concentrate when there is background noise but if there’s no choice I am able to. Some days I write for several hours almost without a break and others barely at all. I envy writers who adhere to a strict routine and produce a set number of words per day.

5. What subjects motivate you to write?

I enjoy exploring human relationships and what makes people behave the way they do. There is no greater satisfaction than someone telling you that something you wrote moved them or made them see things in a different way.

Spirituality and relationships interest me. Other people’s love stories initially motivated me to write romantic/spiritual verse and prose. I began writing for couples choosing to marry in Italy back in 2005. Naturally the main theme is romantic love but also familial.
I am in awe of Nature and fond of celestial imagery: stars and the moon. The Romantic and Metaphysical poets must have played some part in shaping my thematic interests but also living in Tuscany it is impossible to ignore the influence of Renaissance writers.

Writing creatively about my experiences in Italy and growing up in Sheffield are subjects which interest me at the moment. I’ve explored my feelings about love, family and relationships in poetry, monologues and short stories/flash fiction. Several pieces have recently been featured on BBC Radio Sheffield’s Upload Show presented by Ellie Colton.

6. What is your work ethic?

Travelling throughout Italy and other parts of Europe to conduct ceremonies and writing them has and still does consume most of my time. However Lockdown meant that I could concentrate more on writing for myself and explore more personal thoughts.

I am a spontaneous writer mostly and when something really speaks to me I am compelled to write immediately. It’s important to me that what I write resonates with others. Form tends to take on a life of its own rather than being planned out methodically in advance.

7. How do the writers you read when you were young influence your work today?

When I was younger (teens and twenties) I was drawn to the passion and imagination of the Bronte sisters. So much of the psychology of their writing is connected to the landscape they knew so well and their frustrations as women trying to make their mark in a world which wouldn’t allow them.

I try to write honestly and with emotion but maintain restraint. I think also many Victorian writers influenced my interest in the undercurrents of emotion and their effects on those who repress them.

8. Whom of today’s writers do you admire the most and why?

I have read every novel by David Nichols. I love his humour and insight into the complexities of falling in love, trying to be a good parent and just how hard it is to be oneself and fit in.

I am also a great admirer of Twitter’s ‘Poet Laureate’ Brian Bilston for similar reasons. He is one of the wittiest poets around. He too makes me laugh out loud but there is also much sensitivity and social conscience in his poetry, which I really admire.

When it comes to dialogue and script writing Sally Wainwright is in a class of her own. She possesses a rare talent for showing how and why people make the choices they do. She wrote a fabulous drama about the Bronte Sisters called ‘To Walk Invisible’ which as a Bronte fan was a revelation to me and made me love them and her even more!

9. Why do you write, as opposed to doing anything else?

I cannot imagine doing anything that didn’t involve creative writing. I write because it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. It might sound pretentious to call it a compulsion but that’s how I feel.

I very much want to connect with others on a deeper level and play some small part in bringing people together. If I can write something that resonates on an emotional level or touches someone else then I will have achieved something positive.

I like to observe people and try to understand their motivations and choices. Empathy is very important to me. I don’t think there is enough of that right now. Writing for me is an attempt to put myself in someone else’s predicament and imagine how that influenced their lives.

10. What would you say to someone who asked you ‘How do you become a writer?’

I have no idea other than just write. If you write then by definition you are a writer!

11. Tell me about writing projects you have on at the moment?

At the moment I am writing a series of monologues inspired by the lives of family members and ancestors. My connection to South Yorkshire stretches back many generations and I’m currently trying to flesh out the details of those who came before me and whose DNA I have inherited. This is part of understanding where I come from and who I am. Family research is a slow and frustrating process. Travelling to Sheffield is not an option right now so I have to rely on phone calls and family tree research. I much prefer being physically in a place in order to write about it.

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