DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.
Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.
DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; the 2015 president of the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope, & Love chapter; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas. For more info, visit www.diannmills.com.
Savanna: Welcome to The Engrafted Word, DiAnn. Congratulations on your newest release, Double Cross. As your wrote this story, did your main characters – Laurel, Daniel, and Wilmington – ever surprise you or teach you an important lesson along the way?
Daniel never viewed his commitment to his grandparents as a burden. He loved them unconditionally, and that meant doing whatever was necessary to keep them safe. When others understand love is an action verb, we see a picture of Christ.
Wilmington was a difficult character to read. Did I believe him when he said he’d changed? His actions were confusing. From him, I learned to trust God and allow truth to surface.
Savanna: You’ve written historical, contemporary, and non-fiction books. Is one genre easier to write than the others? If so, can you explain why?
DiAnn: I much prefer contemporary romantic suspense. To me, the contemporary aspect is more difficult than historical because technology is ever-changing. My choice takes more work, but it’s satisfying to provide a contemporary story that shows characters solving real problems of today. Our lives are filled with unpredictable danger, thus writing suspense engages the characters with the readers confirming good with sacrifice overcomes evil.
Savanna: As a mentor and speaker to writers everywhere, what is one of your favorite workshops you’ve presented?
DiAnn: The Dance of Character and Plot – a continuous workshop session that shows the power of character in every line of a novel: plot, dialogue, setting, narrative, emotion, body language, and symbolism. I enjoy using powerpoint/keynote to enhance points that can be humorous, serious, or slightly skewed.
Savanna: I so enjoyed getting to attend your class at the last ACFW conference. Can you share with us a special memory from your very first conference?
DiAnn: My very first conference was at Wheaton Write to Publish. I was incredibly nervous. While waiting for a shuttle bus to take me to the campus, a tall gentleman asked if I was attending the conference. I said yes, and he introduced himself as T. Davis Bunn. He later endorsed a novel for me. A wonderful writer and friend. Oh – a year later, my first novel was published.
Savanna: Wow. That is so neat. Love hearing those little stories and seeing how God brought writing friends together.
Can you tell us a little piece of writing advice that has made a difference in your career?
DiAnn: My writing is a ministry, a calling. Yes, my primary focus is to entertain readers, but with that goal is also a need to inspire readers to become better people and encourage them in their life’s journey. When readers can identify with a character who struggles with a problem but does not give up, they are entertained, inspired, and encouraged.
DiAnn: I’d like to respond with two quotes.
Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for. Ray Bradbury
Never, never, never give up. Winston Churchill
And one of my own…
A novel is a living breathing organism. It has the power to entertain, shape, and inspire lives, but a Christian novel does even more. It’s a seed planter to grow believers into the kingdom of God. DiAnn Mills
Savanna: Love those, DiAnn. Thanks so much for sharing with us today. It’s been great having you as our guest.
DiAnn has graciously offered to give away 2 sets of Firewall and Double Cross. Enter below and YOU could be one of the two winners! 😉
Thanks for entering! Contest is open only in the U.S. and ends April 21, 2015. The winners will be notified by email. Happy Reading, everybody! 😉