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Interview with DiAnn Mills

DiAnn Mills writes under the tagline: Expect An Adventure! And that’s just what you’ll get. Join us today as DiAnn talks about her latest release, Double Cross, her advice as a writing mentor, and who’s on her favorites list!

What did you enjoy most about writing Double Cross?
The characters, always the characters. Laurel survived childhood trauma beyond my understanding. Daniel experienced the joy of his grandparents raising him with love and a foundation in Christ. Abby, a favorite, is who I want to be when I grow up.

What was the hardest part about writing Double Cross?
Researching the various methods the FBI and Houston’s Police Department use to investigate crimes - and how task forces are formed. The second most difficult part was the research of Alzheimer's disease and the treatment of those stricken by dementia.

Where did the idea for Double Cross come from?
I thought the most difficult alliance would be one in which neither person trusted the other. With that idea, I chose a woman FBI agent and a felon, a man she’d put into prison.

Who/What spurs you to write? Where do your story and character ideas come from?
A vivid imagination. I see story everywhere: conversations, media topics, novels and nonfiction books, and movies. I’m a firm believer that life is unpredictable and danger stalks the unsuspecting. With that in mind, I want to entertain the reader where good overcomes evil.

What (or who) has been the biggest influence to your writing career?
My husband. He’s my best cheerleader and my nightmare editor. Without his urging back in 1996, I’d never have had the courage to create a story.

I know that you mentor writers frequently. What is one thing or word of advice that you often give to those you mentor?
Read. Write. Read.
Develop rhino skin.
Guess that’s two. :)

What author(s) do you look up to? And why?
In alphabetical order:
Harlan Coben - He always provides an exciting adventure and a depth of character I can only emulate.
David Baldacci - Never disappoints me with twists and turns.
Steven James - He believes story trumps structure, writes it, and I believe it.
Joel Rosenberg - Whoa! Suspense at its finest with plot and characters that emulate life.

You write both contemporary and historical fiction. Do you prefer one genre over the other, or both equally?
I prefer contemporary because it’s more challenging and more accurately addresses the issues of today. Technology changes by the minute, and those changes impact every person on the planet.

Out of all of the books you’ve written, do you have an “absolute favorite” character? What makes them your favorite?
That’s like asking which one of my sons is my favorite. So I can’t give you an answer because it depends on which book I’m concentrating on at the time. I will say the characters in the FBI: Houston series please me with their response to life’s problems and happenings. Taryn in Firewall, Laurel in Double Cross, and Bethany in Deadlock (October 2015) are like close friends. :)

What are you currently reading?
The Third Target - Joel Rosenberg

Any parting words?
We can never stop learning the craft or the art of marketing and promotion. Our hearts and minds must be focused on the changes in the publishing industry and prayerfully consider the best way to move forward. A writer who stagnates does not advance her career.

Thanks for sharing with us, DiAnn!

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