Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Diane E. Tatum {Writer Wednesday} + Winner

First off, before I introduce you to Diane Tatum, I'd like to announce the winner of Carrie F. Pagels book, Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance.

Mary Ellen Goodwin

Congrats Mary! You can contact me using the contact form on the left here and we'll get you your book :)

BUT - don't feel too bad if you didn't win, because today's {Writer Wednesday} author is giving away a copy of her book (paper back or ebook) Gold Earrings!!!

To enter, leave a comment for Diane and/or let us know one thing you look for when picking up a new book (is it the cover, the back cover blurb, or something else?).

A little bit about Diane...

Diane E. Tatum grew up, got married, and had her 2 sons in St. Louis County, MO. They lived in Newport News, VA, for 12 years then moved to Tullahoma, TN, in 1997. She taught in Tullahoma City Schools for 11 years, retired in 2009, and is now (as of 2013) an adjunct professor at Motlow State Community College. She teaches Comp 1 and Comp 2 at Tullahoma HS for the dual enrollment classes and Survey of American Lit at the college. Diane is the author of Gold Earrings. She is currently working on an American History series. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Word Weavers, Faith Writers, and John 3:16 Authors.

How to connect with Diane...


Facebook: Gold Earrings & Diane Elaine Tatum
Author Interview | Diane Tatum

You and Writing

Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing? What has kept you writing?
...I started writing mystery short stories in elementary school. I wrote the short story that became the novel Gold Earrings while in high school. I finished the novel and shopped it around in the mid-nineties. Not a nibble. After I retired, I spent the next year seriously trying to get it published. I finally found Tate Publishing who wanted to publish it. It is an ‘author investment’ publishing house, but I felt it needed to finally see the light of day. My mother paid my investment.

...I’ve had good success with Gold Earrings even though it was not traditionally published. Check out the reviews on Amazon!

Your Writing

Tell us a little bit about your book or what you’re working on currently? Why are you/did you write it? ...I am currently writing on the second book in my American History series. Set just prior to the War of 1812, my hero is like the Beast in The Beauty and the Beast. He is torn up with bitterness and resentment after needing to care for his siblings after his parents’ death. In addition, his Uncle Ben and his wife die as well. My heroine is the daughter of the pastor who comes to the church to fill Uncle Ben’s pulpit.

What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...The focus is on resolving the bitterness within which creates chaos in your soul and your life.


Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?
...The characters I write about are usually from my imagination. That said my imagination, my romantic actions and thoughts, my ideas are informed by my experiences, the books I’ve read, movies I’ve watched, and most importantly the people in my life.

When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories?
...Of course, with fiction the overarching goal is entertainment. However, entertainment is the best way to teach. My goal is to represent the everyday life of Christians, to show how Christians live a life under the influence of the Holy Spirit. What makes our lives different? How do we fix the problems that come into our lives? How does God affect Christians and the way they react to ordinary life issues?

What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
...Keep writing. Start a blog at Blogspot or WordPress. Take every opportunity to learn more: at conferences, in critique groups, and online. Join organizations as you can. Make connections online through Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. By building a community, you will gather what you need to know how to write well and make connections to help you meet editors, agents, and publishers.


When you get an idea for a novel, what is the first thing that you do? ...When I think of a grand idea or a character, I write as much as I know about it on my computer and save the file in a file called “Ghost of Writing Yet-to-Come.” It drives my husband crazy for me to have these ideas sitting out there waiting for me to have time to write them. It’s one reason he encouraged me to retire from teaching 7th grade, so I could “write my stories”.

September is Classical Music Month (who knew?). In keeping with that theme, do you have a favorite character from a classical novel?

...Scrooge’s nephew Fred embodies the true spirit of Christmas in A Christmas Carol. He continues to ask Scrooge to dinner even though Scrooge turns him down. His invitation is without guile or ulterior motives. He wants a relationship with his uncle for his mother’s sake. He doesn’t harbor bitterness or ill will toward Scrooge. He forgives and loves him despite Scrooge’s ill humor.

What is your favorite fall snack food?
...Fresh crisp apples – quartered or in apple salad, apple pie or apple cake.
Thanks so much for being on the blog today Diane! I love how you say your purpose, aside from entertainment, is to show how Christians "do" everyday life. That's awesome :) Your file title, "Ghost of Writing Yet-to-Come" made me laugh! I have a file like that, but it's named "Story Ideas" - soooo boring of me.

Don't forget to leave a comment readers! I'll announce the winner next Tuesday.

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