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Interview with DiAnn Mills

It's a privilege and honor to introduce you to DiAnn Mills. An incredibly gifted author, she once wanted to be a Hollywood actress. So lovely and full of spunk, DiAnn would have ranked up there with the best of them, but we as readers are blessed she took the writing route instead. DiAnn's gift with words had me under my covers, scared at every noise as I turned the pages eager to see what would happen next. She loves dark chocolate (my kind of gal) and once went on an African safari by herself.

Congratulations on being selected ACFW 2022 Mentor of the Year. What do you like most about mentoring?
The satisfaction of helping a writer move closer to his/her writing goals. And the lightbulb moment when the writer understands a technique.

Has an author mentored you?
Yes! Jerry Jenkins.

Congratulations on Concrete Evidence. The title seems perfect for the book. Did you come up with the title?
Yes, but that isn't always the case. I'm fine if the publisher changes a title because they look at it from multiple viewpoints, from the sales/marketing side to the psychological impact on the reader.

Your books contain FBI characters. Do you personally know any agents?
Yes! Good friends within that unique group of men and women.

Have you ever been on surveillance with one?
No-That is on my wish list. I did do a ride along with the Border Patrol. I took the FBI Citizens Cadet Academy and the ATF Citizens Academy. Both were incredible eye openers.

As an author, how would you sum up Concrete Evidence in one word?

What do you enjoy most about being an author?
Creating worlds with characters who are real, three-dimensional, and allow the reader to journey the story in the character's shoes.

What is a typical writing day for you?
Up early for Bible study and prayer.
Exercise, social media, breakfast, and a shower!
Write until lunch.
Write after lunch until word count is achieved.
Work on writing students' submissions, blog posts, and catch up on social media.
I cook dinner! So my writing can "cook."
Write or edit with husband while he enjoys a TV program.

Why did you decide to write Concrete Evidence?
I wanted to show the devastation of secrets and how deceiving others has consequences.

In what ways has God shown up to help you keep writing over the years?
To not quit. Provided encouragement through others that my stories have impacted their lives for good.

What recommendations would you give to writers to learn the craft of writing?
Read everything they can find: the bestsellers, how-to books, blogs, and articles about the craft of writing, publishing world, and social media.
Write everyday.
Participate in a writing group, either online or face-to-face.
Build a social media platform and work on their brand with the knowledge our career is not about us but the reader.

You are darling. Writing can be so sedentary. How do you take care of yourself so well?
I confess I'm a health-addict. Exercising every morning, nutritious food choices, and supplements are a part of who I am. I'm a firm believer that our bodies are the temple of God.

The Sudan is obviously dear to you. When did you go? Is there any one thing that stood out to you while there?
I went to Juba, Southern Sudan in 2007. The Sudanese are a brave and courageous people. With all the tragedies and wars, they stand strong. What I remember is: when a Sudanese says, "Jesus is enough," they mean it.

God has mightily blessed your writing life. Did it take a long time to get your first contract? Agent? How many rejections did you have before you got a yes?
My husband challenged me to write in 1996. He told me if I got anything published in a year's time, I wouldn't need to return to my job. I took him up on his challenge. I sold the book and other articles during that time. I can't remember how many rejections, but I didn't give up. Now he and I work together in the writing and speaking ministry. I couldn't do it all without Jesus and my husband. I found an agent after twenty or so books.

If you could have coffee/tea with an author, dead or alive, who would that be?
Definitely coffee! A whole pot full, and I'd like a conversation with Agatha Christie.
Gail Helgeson writes split-time fiction with a passion for leaving the legacy of a well-steeped life. She is a member of ACFW. Gail loves (okay, obsesses) all things England and can be found every afternoon sipping a cup of English Breakfast tea and nibbling on a biscuit. She and her husband share an empty nest in Wisconsin. You can find more information about her at

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