Monday, March 2, 2009

Spotlight falls on DiAnn Mills

I am so excited to share an interview with one of my very favorite authors DiAnn Mills. I have attended conference where she is teaching and let me just say she is incredible. She is a Texas gal which is always a plus in my book so with out further delay let's learn a little more about Diann Mills and her newest book Breach of Trust.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a novelist who loves to write! And I consider myself blessed to be able to write as my chosen career. I launched my career in 1998 with my first publication. Currently I have over 40 books in print.

My readers deserve to “Expect an Adventure.” That expectation helps me to create unforgettable characters in action-packed novels. That action can be emotional, physical, mental, or spiritual.

Six of my books have appeared on the CBA Best Seller List. Three of my books have won the distinction of Best Historical of the Year by Heartsong Presents. Five have won placements through American Christian Fiction Writer’s Book of the Year Awards 2003 – 2008, and I was the recipient of the Inspirational Reader’s Choice award for 2005 and 2007. And a Christy Awards finalist in 2008.

I’m a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope and Love, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. I speak to various groups and teach writing workshops around the country. And I’m a mentor for Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writer’s Guild.

My husband and I live in sunny Houston, Texas. We four adult sons and are active members of Metropolitan Baptist Church. We have a beautiful two year old granddaughter and we will have a grandson in June. God is good!

My hobbies are cooking and gardening, and I love to hear from readers and writers.

Could you please tell us a little about Breach of Trust?

Paige Rogers is a former CIA agent who lost all she treasured seven years ago when her entire team was killed in a covert mission. She blames their leader—Daniel Keary—whom Paige believes betrayed them. Disillusioned and afraid for her life, she disappeared and started a new life as a small-town librarian. But when Keary announces his candidacy for governor of her state, he comes after Paige to ensure that she won’t ruin his bid for office. He threatens everything she holds dear, and Paige must choose between the life of hiding that has become her refuge . . . or risking everything in one last, desperate attempt to right old wrongs.

What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
I suppose that would be a trip to Southern Sudan – by myself. I am very passionate about the plight of the Sudanese, and when the opportunity came to research for a novel, I grabbed my backpack and sunscreen and off I went!

WOW, I think that is really brave of you.

Beside salvation, what is the best gift you have ever received?

My husband!

Who is the most important influence in your life besides God?

Again I would say my husband. He’s my best cheerleader and my worst critic. J He also handles the busy side of writing for me. We’re a great team.

I hope he knows how much you appreciate him and his love and encouragement.

Let’s pretend money is not a factor, if you could go anywhere is the world where would you go?

The holy lands. I’d walk where Jesus walked. Just the idea of experiencing Israel and the places of the Bible is exciting and emotional.

Okay they say you can learn a lot about what a person reads so tell us what book are you reading now? What books are found lying around your home?
I’m currently reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

What is your favorite children’s book? Memoirs of a London Doll. This was the first book that I ever purchased as a child, and I bought it at a used book store for .10. I told my husband about how I loved that little book, and he found it for me on ebay. The copyright is 1922 – or something like that.

I don't think I have ever read Memoirs of a London Doll.

What do you find most challenging about writing?
The same thing that I find most appealing – characterization. I use psychology books and personality testing and people observation—anything I can think of to get closer to my characters.

I went to a writing conference where you were teaching characterization. I learned so much in that hour about the craft. I would highly recommend writers attend any conference where DiAnn is teaching.

What do you find most rewarding?
The finished book. When I know it is the best I can do.

Tell us a little about your road to publication?
In 1996, my husband said to me: “Stop telling me that someday you are going to write a book. Do it. Quit your job, and I’ll give you a year to get anything published.” I’m rather stubborn and the challenge was just what I needed to begin my writing ministry.

He sounds so much like my own husband. I heard those words not too long ago.

What are you working on next?
Two books: 3rd book in the Call of Duty Series, and a historical novel set in the Rockies.

If your book was being discussed at a book club what do you think the focus of the discussion would be on?

Hopefully the characters and the unpredictable aspect of the plot.

I always am trying to learn new ways to be organized in the office, what is your favorite organizational tool?

Excel Spreadsheet. Keeps me honest and organized.

What would you like your readers to say about your writing? Unpredictable!!!

What is your favorite verse from the Bible? Why?

Jeremiah 20:9. But if I say, "I will not mention him or speak any more in his name," his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.

This verse is my mission verse, the purpose for my ministry. I cannot not write anymore than I cannot not talk about Jesus.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Write everyday
Read the books from the genre you want to write
Read the books about writing
Participate in writing conferences
Participate in writing groups

What do you want your readers to take away from your novel? A character solved his/her problem by reacting and responding according to faith and truth.

DiAnn,thanks so much for stopping by Write By Faith. I loved having you visit. Where can readers find you on the Web?


DiAnn Mills said...

Thanks, Donna!

Lorraine said...

Good job Donna! Please keep writing.