DiAnn Mills interview

» Posted on Jul 10, 2007 in Blog | Comments Off on DiAnn Mills interview

1. What made you start writing?
I’ve written since I was old enough to old a pencil, but I began writing seriously when my husband challenged me with this. “Don’t keep saying that one day you are going to write a book. Just do it.” He had the confidence in me that I didn’t have! I knew God had called me to write for Him, but fear held me back.
My husband urged me to stop working and devote my time to the craft.

2. How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?
I started writing in 1996, and my first book came out in 1998.

3. How do you handle rejections?
I don’t think anyone handles rejections well. 🙂 But I do seriously examine why and take a critical look at my story to see if the reasons are valid. If they are, then I rework those points before my agent sends it out again.

4. Why do you write?
I cannot not write. It’s a gift and a calling. I get grumpy if I don’t write everyday.

5. What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?
I have no idea. Possibly teaching writing and reading.

6. What are you working on right now?
A contemporary suspense proposal and promotion for a book I have coming out in September When the Nile Runs Red.

7. Do you put yourself into your books/characters?
I try very hard not to. I want my characters to be unique with their own strengths and weaknesses. However, I do think that there is a touch of the writer in every character.

8. Tell us about the book you have out right now.
Lightning and Lace is the third and final book in the Texas Legacy Series. It’s about a young widow struggling through grief and the task of raising three children alone. She wants to be strong, but one obstacle after another stands in her way. She has a problem with alcohol and a twelve-year-old who is a bully. But with determination and a resolve for God to help her, life slowly begins to change until she meets head-on the biggest challenge of her life.

9. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write everyday. Read everyday the genre that you desire to write. Study the craft and help other writers along the way.

10. How important is faith in your books?
At least one character solves his/her problems according to Christian principles. I’d rather write a more subtle book than to preach or cause an unbeliever to not read my books.

11. What themes do you like to write about?
🙂 Sin and all those things that fall beneath that topic. Actually, I look at situations and think “what if?”

12. What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?
When the Nile Runs Red is my favorite. The reason is because I’m so passionate about the plight of the Sudanese. I visited southern Sudan in November to complete the research for this book. Although this is my third book set in Sudan, this time I had to see for myself what the media was claiming. I have never seen such outstanding faith or incredible poverty.

13. You write both historical and contemporary books. Is it hard to go back and forth between the past and present?
Not at all. It depends on the story. Every story requires tremendous research.

14. What is your writing schedule like?
I’m up early in the morning and put in at least an eight hour day. I write; I edit; I read; I have several writing students; and I’m always working on new story ideas.

15. What drew you to place a story in Sudan? The reason I ask this is I teach high school students with learning disabilities and next year we will be reading a book about child warriors in Sierra Leone-a very heartbreaking story.
I was contacted in 2002 by members of the Aid Sudan Foundation, a non profit organization who wanted me to write a book about The Lost Boys of Sudan. It was the most difficult task that I have ever taken on. It has been a journey that I treasure. For the first time in my life, I learned firsthand about the atrocities going on in Sudan. I interviewed the Sudanese refugees. I interviewed those who worked with the Sudanese. I fell in love with a people and a country. It’s a passion that I can’t let go. When the Lion Roars is a fiction that I wrote after the Lost Boy book, and When the Nile Runs Red is the second fiction. I write fiction about the critical issues there through compelling characters to show the world what is written between the lines of their newspapers.