When Dianne Farb was 47, she made herself a promise — to become a published author by age 50.
“I always wanted to write, but I never had the courage to,” she said.
Now, the local attorney is 50, and she’s transitioning to produce her three print books to audio.
“I have friends who only listen to audio (books),” Farb said. “I’m doing this to broaden my audience.”
Her second romantic novel, “Rescuing Lacey,” will be her first to be converted to audio through Audiobook Creation Exchange, owned by Amazon.com. The audio version should be available through Amazon, Audible and iTunes by Christmas.
She writes under the pen name Rebecca Heflin, a version of her great-grandmother’s name, because it has “a more romantic ring to it.”
“The audio version is bringing the characters to life,” Farb said. She sees digital publishing as an open opportunity for authors because many publishers are hesitant to invest in authors who are not well-known.
Farb won the Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Award for “Rescuing Lacey” on Sunday.
“It was like the Oscars,” she said.
The novel has also won the Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence and the Award of Merit from the Virginia Romance Writers Holt Medallion competition.
Jacksonville resident Susan Petty has stayed good friends with Farb since high school, which was “longer ago than I’d like to admit,” she said, laughing.
While reading Farb’s manuscripts, she said her high school friend’s writing is on par with that of a seasoned author.
“They’re written with a sense of humor, and each one gets better,” Petty said. “The stories get you right from the beginning.”
Farb said she tells her husband writing full time is her retirement plan. She hopes to publish a novel every year.
“I hope she becomes a Nora Roberts one day,” Petty said.
A version of this story ran on page 8 on 10/25/2013 under the headline "Local attorney releasing audio books of her romance novels"