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; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association; International Thriller Writers, and the Faith, Hope, and Love chapter of Romance Writers of America. She is co-director of The Author Roadmap with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.
DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.
DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at www.diannmills.com.
DiAnn: I wanted to write. Could taste it! Dreamed about it, but I didn’t begin until my husband dared me to write a book. His words: “Stop telling me that someday you’re going to write a book. Quite your job and do it now. I give you one year to get anything published.”
Joi: That's fantastic!
Joi:How did you select your genre?
DiAnn: I love history, and this genre seemed like a great place to start. However, as I continued in my writing career, I wrote contemporary and historical. I now write predominantly contemporary romantic suspense because it’s harder. :)
DiAnn: Up early! Quiet Time. Social media for the day. Breakfast. and writing on the treadmill for a couple of hours. The afternoons are spent creating blogs, responding to e-mail, editing, and getting in word count that I might have missed in the morning.
Joi: How do you organize your writing? (outlines/note cards/post-its)
DiAnn: I prefer an outline and a spreadsheet to keep track of scenes. I use Scrivener, and the cork board tool is excellent.
Joi:What's the most surprising thing a character has “told you”?
Joi: Do you have a list of characters that you're saving for future use? What kind of information do you keep on these charactersDiAnn: I don’t have characters but I do have story ideas. I keep them in a file titled “Book ideas.” Real original, I know.
Joi: What does your work space/office look like?
DiAnn: I could send you a pic! I have white bookcases behind me, along the entire wall on the left, right, and a huge window on my right with a credenza that displays my grandkids. In the right rear corner near my desk are my FBI paraphernalia.
Joi: What is your go-to snack when writing?
DiAnn: Peanut butter filled pretzels and coffee.
Joi: If you could only recommend one NOVEL, what would it be? Why?
DiAnn: I’m thinking … Breach of Trust was my first novel to win a Christy Award. However I really enjoyed writing Firewall, and it was nominated for a Christy and received a lot of awards.
Joi: If you could only recommend one CRAFT book (writing, no crocheting), what would it be? Why?DiAnn: Steven James - Story Trumps Structure
It’s a writer’s tool to how important the concept of story is to the art. Yes, structure is vital and writers must learn the rules. But story takes over - always.
Joi:Is there anything else you'd like to add?
For writers: Don’t give up! Write every day. Read every day. And always add prayer.
Joi: DiAnn, thanks for joining us! It was a pleasure to interview you!
DiAnn is doing a giveaway! Leave a comment below and we'll draw a winner in a week!