Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! I’m always excited when I have a friend as my guest, and this week I am THRILLED to have DiAnn Mills as my guest. DiAnn and I served together on the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope, and Love board. We became friends there and have remained friends for almost ten years. I love every moment I get to spend with this phenomenal lady. I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did. She’s giving away a copy of her latest release – read on to see how you can enter to win!
Tell us a little bit about yourself: That’s not easy! I’m DiAnn to my husband and friends, Mom to my sons, and Mimi to my grandchildren. Family is life, and my goal is to leave them a spiritual legacy.
I write suspense-filled fiction woven with a thread of love in which one or more characters solve their problems from a Christian worldview. We live in a dangerous and unpredictable world, and I want to show brave and skilled people who are willing to make sacrifices to ensure others are safe.
But I love other adventures too! I love to hike, especially in the mountains. Some people prefer the ocean to relax. Not me. I want the mountains. Cooking and baking are a passion and another way to be creative—and hopefully turn out a taste treat. Fashioning new recipes is a challenge, and I love it. Gardening allows me to wiggle my fingers in the dirt. Whether it’s pulling weeds or planting, I’m all over it. The triangle behind my kitchen sink is filled with new “babies” getting their roots before I introduce them to the world. Oh! And I love roasting my own coffee beans. Husband has designated the outside for this hobby, and I don’t blame him when I smell like coffee from my hair to my toes.
I believe in eating a nutritionally sound diet and exercising at least five days a week.
Am I normal? No. Don’t want to be. I’m a Jesus-loving woman who has a flair for the impossible and a desire for the next exciting thing.
Tell us about your current release: Concrete Evidence shows the power of love when a tragedy threatens a young woman’s relationship with her beloved grandfather. She sees her grandfather, a highly respected former senator and current owner of a dam construction business, standing over a smoking gun. I loved writing the passion, the unpredictable plot, the thread of love, and the ultimate betrayal set on a Texas hill country ranch.
This is the back book cover:
On the family’s Brazos River Ranch in Texas, Avery Elliott helps run her grandfather’s commercial construction business. Raised by Senator Elliott, Avery has never doubted her grandfather is the man of integrity and faith she’s always believed him to be …. until the day she finds him standing with a gun over the body of a dead man. To make matters worse, Avery’s just discovered a billing discrepancy for materials supposedly purchased for construction of the Lago de Cobre Dam.
Desperate for answers, Avery contacts FBI Special Agent Marc Wilkins for help. As Marc works to identify the dead man Avery saw, threats toward Avery create a fresh sense of urgency to pinpoint why someone wants to silence her. With a hurricane approaching the Texas coast and the structural integrity of the Lago de Cobre Dam called into question, time is running out to get to the bottom of a sinister plot that could be endangering the lives of not only Avery and her loved ones but the entire community.
As they search for answers, Avery Elliott and FBI Special Agent Marc Wilkins must decide if they can trust each other or if trust is the most dangerous choice they can make.
Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards to reach a larger audience or be more successful? No. Not in the least. A story is about a character who struggles to achieve a goal or solve a problem. Along the journey, the character grows and changes into a better person, depending on if he/she is a protagonist or antagonist. Profanity can be written by writing: he/she cursed or swore. Also, metaphors and similes show inappropriate language: I hadn’t heard language like that since my navy days.
With all those characters in your head screaming to get out how do you write fast enough to get it all down? The only way is to focus on a particular character, the traits, problems, and goals. I mentally step into the character’s closet and dress to be that character.
Who was your first Screen/Musical Crush? Ricky Nelson
Do you have pre-determined length in mind when you first begin a book? Yes! I plan for 90,000 to 94,000 words.
Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? (Book series, maybe?)
Carolyn Keene – Nancy Drew Series
Franklin W. Dixon – Hardy Boys Series
Louisa May Alcott – Little Women
What is the farthest location you traveled to to research a book? Southern Sudan. A little dangerous, and when I think about it now, I cringe. But the trip exceeded all expectations for story authenticity, new friendships, and personal spiritual growth.
How hard is it to come up with names for your characters? What are some of the sources you use? Increasingly hard! I want the character to fit the meaning of their name. I search online, and I have books with name meanings that help. Another source is to look at the most popular names the year my character was born.
How old were you when you wrote your first book? I was in the second grade. The story was a western (I was a Wagon Train fan), and I wrote it in a Big Chief notebook pad with a #2 pencil.
Find DiAnn online:
DiAnn is giving away a signed paperback of Concrete Evidence! See how you can enter to win: