Diane Byington joins us on the blog this week to discuss her latest novel, a time-travel thriller, If She Had Stayed. Welcome, Diane!

Author Name:  Diane Byington

Book TitleIf She Had Stayed

Book Genre:  Women’s fiction/thriller/time travel

Release Date:  February 17, 2020

Publisher: Red Adept Publishing

How would you describe If She Had Stayed?

From would-be rock star to museum curator, Kaley Kline remembers the past through rose-colored glasses. When she gets the opportunity to go back into her own life and change the thing she regrets the most, she chooses to go back to college and not break up with her boyfriend, Scott. But that might not have been the best decision she’s ever made.  

What drew you to the idea for the book about time travel that in part features the inventor Nikola Tesla?

This book was a process. I’ve always liked time travel, but in this case it was a means to an end, the end being the ability to have a second chance at fixing the things we regret the most. We can’t do that, of course, so I needed to find a way that someone could. Ergo, time travel. And I think that Tesla was so quirky that he could have actually discovered it, if that were even possible.

How has your real life informed If She Had Stayed?

I love to write about professional women and their concern with their careers. I am a retired social worker. During my career I was a college professor, a professional coach, a technical writer, a psychotherapist. I was never a museum director, though, and that caught my interest in trying to figure out what that life would entail.

In what ways do you think you’ve evolved as an author since your first book came out?

This is my second novel. The first one was a serious historical novel about a girl who wanted to run the Boston Marathon, but it was 1968 and women weren’t allowed. I loved writing that book, but for my second novel I wanted to write about something different, fun, a little on the crazy side. In my third novel, which I’m finishing now, it returns to the serious side. I think I’ve found my niche, which is as a writer of women’s fiction with an edge of suspense.

What’s your favorite part about writing/being an author? What do you find challenging?

The absolute best part is seeing my writing in print and hearing from readers who’ve liked the book. That is awesome! The most challenging part is the marketing. I’d rather write than market, but that’s the case for most introverted author. In these challenging time, authors must do both.

What are your interests outside of writing and reading?

I love to kayak, spin and weave, and photograph sunsets. I also love to hike and bike and hang out with friends.

What are you working on now?

My new book is about an astronaut who, just before she goes up to space for the first time, is hit by a truck and terribly injured. Because of this, she is ultimately grounded. She is devastated and, instead of finding a new life, she is determined to find another way to get to space. It leads her into some questionable decisions and a dangerous situation that threatens to end her life.

Where can readers find you (website, blog, social media, etc.)? Any upcoming events?

Because of the coronavirus, it will be a while before I do in-person appearances. I’d be delighted to attend your virtual book clubs, though, or speak to groups via Zoom or Skype. You can reach me at www.dianebyington.com, at my author Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/dianebyingtonauthor), Twitter (@dianebyington), or Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/dianebbyington). I’m also starting a Facebook group to support people who are interested in journaling during the pandemic. Check it out at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2696965530532463/. I hope to have it up and running by the time this interview is printed.

Thank you, Diane! If She Had Stayed is out now.

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 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.