Diann is very excited about her new Women of Faith Book, RV There Yet? Coming to bookstores this June.
In RV There Yet?, three quirky friends take a wild trip across the country in a rusted-out RV in hopes to save their youth camp from closing. Little do they know that bears, chiggers, laughs, and love await them on the road ahead.
Join these gals for the journey of a lifetime in RV There Yet?--where the rubber meets the road and God leads through every detour.
Diann, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to be here.
I’m a huge fan and am so excited you could join us.
You’ve been very busy the last two years. You’ve had Hearts Under Construction, Hot Flashes and Cold Cream, (by the way, congrats on being a Holt Medallion finalist) A Match Made in Bliss, RV There Yet, A Woman of Faith book. (Available this June) and Blissfully Yours (Also available this June) And you just turned in Hot Tropics and Cold Feet. Sheesh, are you on a mission? =) With so many titles, you must be writing all the time. What’s a typical writing day for you?
I typically grab coffee first, answer email, then start writing first thing in the morning. I write till early afternoon—or until I finish a chapter--then go visit my daughter and granddaughters. =)
I love your titles. Did you come up with these by yourself?
I came up with Hot Flashes & Cold Cream (my husband also thought of it apart from me!). I brainstormed in the car with Colleen, her husband and my husband, and she was the first one to blurt out RV There Yet? =) My husband came up with Hot Tropics & Cold Feet. My editors at Steeple Hill came up with the LI titles.
Could you tell us a little bit about your road to publication? I know you were working full time. How did you find the time to write?
I’m pretty much worthless late in the evening, and at that time, by the time I got off work (5:00), my brain was on coast. So I got up and worked on my stories from 4:00 to 6:00 every morning before work. I’m not one of those perky types in the morning, just so you know. Still, I did what I had to do. By the way, I don’t get up at 4:00 anymore—don’t even have an eyelid flutter until 5:30 or 6:00.
Share with us what it was like when you got the call you had sold your first book.
How did you celebrate?
Actually, I got an email from Becky Germany telling me they wanted to publish my novella. I screamed . . . and screamed . . . and um, screamed. Everything after that is a total blur. Most likely, I had chocolate.
Did you always want to be a writer?
If you mean did I always want to be a “published” writer, no. I had never thought about it. In fact, I had no idea how to even begin that journey. But I loved to spend quiet time alone with God and my journal. So I did a lot of that type of writing.
What kind of writer are you. Are you SOTP or a big plotter?
I normally try to outline a few chapters ahead of time so I’m not faced with a blank screen. I always have an idea where I’m going, though I may not have thought out all the scenes to get there.
What’s something about you that would surprise your readers?
Ummm, I like chocolate? No, okay. Everybody knows that. Let’s see, my husband asked me to marry him on our second date, and we were married five months later. We celebrated our 31st anniversary in March!
Did you have the concept for Hot Flashes and Cold Cream for very long before you
Since entering the midlife phase, my heart’s passion has been to encourage women my age. I used to think by the time I arrived here, I’d have it all figured out. Wrong. One of the things I want to show women is that it’s not unnatural to feel emotional or snappy from time-to-time. Even Christian women go through mood swings. But when you find yourself ripping the heads of little stuffed teddy bears, it’s time to go for chocolate.
To answer your question, I guess the idea of helping women my age had been mulling around in my mind for a while, but once I looked in the mirror and saw grandma—I sat down immediately and started writing—it was either that or break my mirror.
What has been the most “glamorous” moment of your writing career? A time you felt
every bit the famous author.
It hasn’t happened yet. I’ll keep you posted.
What’s your favorite part about being a writer/and least favorite?
I LOVE every part of it! The editing part scares me out of my mind, but I enjoy it in a sadistic sort of way.
Another thing I love about this business is the fact it’s opened a whole new world of friends! I care about the people in my writing circles--many of whom I’ve never met face-to-face, but feel as though I totally know them. God is so good to allow me this opportunity!
A few weeks ago, I had Colleen Coble here for an interview. I know the two of you are great friends. I asked about her friendships with crit partners, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, and Denise Hunter. It’s evident she adores all of you. How do you think the friendships the four of you have formed has helped your career.
Oh my goodness, I would NEVER be where I am today without these guys! But here’s the thing, they not only have answered my endless questions about writing and guided me along the way, they are much more than writing friends. Like yesterday, I had an urgent prayer request for my niece’s husband, and I was on my way out of town. I called Colleen and asked her to notify “the girls” (Kristin and Denise) and ask them to join her in praying about the situation. I thank God for these girls! They make me laugh, cry, and everything in between!
God knew I needed a Colleen in my life. I tend to be on the shy side until I get to know someone. And pitching my manuscript? I totally go blank. I can remember sitting in an informal setting at a conference with Colleen, Denise, Krista Stroever, and some other people, and Colleen actually “pitched” my story idea, just off the cuff. Denise and I locked eyes and smiled. Sort of an unvoiced “Thank you, God, for Colleen” kind of thing. The book came out in March, by the way.
Can you ever see yourself writing Non Fiction? (I could totally see you writing a humorous book on Women and Menopause.)
You know, if you had asked me that a month ago, I would have said no way, but who knows. I’m totally open to whatever the Lord wants for me.
What do you think is the biggest misconception for new writers? And the hardest obstacle?
I don’t know if others have this misconception, but I thought things would move faster than they do. Seems like everything in this business takes forever. Maybe I notice it more because I didn’t start writing till I was 44, and when you have to wait a year to hear back on a manuscript, well, the clock is ticking, you know?
The hardest obstacle for me to overcome is self-doubt. We have to learn not to compare ourselves with others. I’m learning to compare myself with myself, if that makes sense. Check myself today with where I was a year or two ago. Have I grown as a writer? Am I taking steps to help in my growth process?
Is there anything you know now that you wish you had known back in the beginning of your career? Any profound advice for unpublished writers. No pressure. LOL.
I wish I had been more organized from the beginning. It’s never too late of course. But it can get a little eerie to watch my writing papers creep outside of my office and into other rooms in the house. I feel like a lion tamer with a chair and whip shouting, “Get back!”
Profound advice for unpublished writers? If writing is your passion, never, never, never give up. No matter what anyone says. No matter how long it takes. No matter how rough the road. Do the work.
Can you tell us anything about your future projects? Or even something that you'd love to work on.
I’ve just turned in the sequel to Hot Flashes. It’s titled Hot Tropics & Cold Feet. It will be out in November. Now I’m ready to start my next book. It will be a single title involving two sisters on a maple syrup farm. Let’s just say things get a little sticky . . . .
Thank you so much, Sabrina, for this opportunity! I had such fun reading through your questions. Thanks to the readers who actually took the time to read all the way down to this line. You deserve a chocolate truffle. Unfortunately, I’m fresh out of them. What? You think I’d have some just lying around my house? I think not. They’re history once they make it into our house—which in most cases, they don’t.
Diann, thank you so much for being here. I really do appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule. I can honestly say you're one of my favorite writers & I pray we'll see more and more great books from you. =)
Okay, here comes the fun part. What three things prompted Diann's writing career. Hint...a lot of authors have a certain section on their websites to give readers a look into their lives. Okay, so I'm giving it to you. I will put everyone who answers into a drawing to be held on Tuesday. The winner will receive both of Diann's new Love Inspired books. Email me directly as soon as you have all three things. And to learn more about Diann check out her website at www.diannhunt.com and the blog, Girls Write Out, she co-authors with girlfriends, Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck & Denise Hunter.