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Interview With DiAnn Mills

With over 45 books to her name, over a million and a half in print and a new book set to release this month, DiAnn Mills knows a thing or two about writing a great novel.

DiAnn, you believe a reader should expect an adventure when they sit down and open a new cover. Based on your wealth of experience, what do you believe is the primary secret to making sure that kind of expectation is met?

The answer is simple but not exactly simple for the writer to achieve. Create bigger than life characters who form a sympathetic bond with the reader. The story is about people, how they react and respond to the events in their lives. A reader encounters a character and wants to know how the people in the story solve their problems and reach their goals. Readers desire a journey--an adventure. I have to think back to Indiana Jones, a bigger than life character who was a rugged hero, made a few mistakes, and did what was necessary to achieve worthy goals.

How do you cultivate a similar sense of adventure for yourself each time you sit down to start a new project?
Most importantly, I need passion for the story and the situation involving my character. I have to put myself in the character’s shoes, close my eyes, and develop a fictitious world where I become that character.

Reflecting back, what do you see as most significant to your publication journey?
I’d say my husband’s belief in my writing. He’s my best cheerleader and my worst critic. :) Also, I’d say the encouragement of published writers.

And how do your faith and spiritual life play into the picture and affect your storytelling?
I believe my ministry and purpose is storytelling. And with that focus, truth is what guides me through a fiction novel. We all have family and friends who refuse to read a Bible or a nonfiction book with spiritual emphasis. They may not want to visit us for fear we might bring up the subject of God or Jesus, and they refuse any mention of church. They may refer to us as fanatics. But we can provide those same unbelievers with a novel in which one or more of the characters solves his/her problem from a Christian worldview, and those same unbelievers, who have no use for God, begin to get a glimpse of true faith.

What do you consider the greatest moment of your writing/publishing career?
Christy Nomination in 2008.

Who/What spurs you to write? Where do your story and character ideas come from?
My story ideas come from everywhere: media headlines, road trips, vacation spots, TV and movies, listening to conversations, people watching, history, genealogy reports, and dreaming.

What do you think makes your style of storytelling unique?
I like the edgy perspective. Depending on the character, I may toss in some humor, but for sure I’ll always include danger for the heroine. I love suspense, and I want to pass that on to my readers.

Finish this question. The best piece of advice I can give to a new author is …
Don’t give up.

Any parting words?
For those struggling for publication, I’d like to give the following tips.
1.Pray about your calling to write and specifically guidance
2.Read in the genre you want to write
3.Read and reread the how-to books about writing
4.Write everyday.

Thanks for sharing with us, DiAnn! We’ve enjoyed getting to know you.
Thank you for allowing me to be your guest!

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