Wednesday, April 5, 2017

DiAnn Mills {Writer Wednesday}

A little bit about DiAnn...

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She creates action-packed, suspense-filled novels to thrill readers. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall. Connect with DiAnn here:

Connect with DiAnn...

Website: www.diannmillscom 
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Get to know DiAnn...

You and Writing 

How did you start writing?
My husband dared me to write a book, and I took him up on the challenge! Right from the start, I looked at writing as a full-time job.

What has kept you writing?
The call of God to write for Him. Also the thrill of creating story.

What or who is the biggest influence in your writing?
My husband. He is my cheerleader and my nightmare editor. :) Always supports and encourages me. We view my writing as a ministry.

Why do you write?
I cannot not write. It’s a passion and a calling. We all are living a story. I’m simply recording them.

Your Writing

Why are you/did you write it?
Deep Extraction came from the knowledge that heroes and heroines suffer from their own inner demons. While fighting to keep the world safe, they must also deal with opposing inner struggles. I was also intrigued by how easily a pacemaker could be hacked.

Do you have a favorite character in this work? If so, why?
Special Agent Tori Templeton. She’s real. Feminine. Strong. Not afraid to battle opposition.

What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
We all search for our purpose, the one thing God created us to accomplish with His help.

What’s the theme? How did you come up with it?
Tragedies can make or break us. The story deals with how family and friends health with the murder of a man. All suffered and responded in different ways. Just like us.

What was a challenge you faced while writing it?
Keeping the real villain secret until the end.

What did you learn while writing it?
The symptoms and levels of those suffering with MS.

Is there a funny story associated with writing the book?
I talked to a US Marshal who gave me the differences between the FBI and the Marshals. He was funny and real. “Our training is gladiator school.”

Was there a passage of scripture you came across or used while writing it that you’d like to share? Psalm 1:1-4

Did you get to do any fun research for the book?
I’d say my new friend at the US Marshals.

We're your characters easy to pin down or did you discover them along the way as you wrote the book?
Both. I don’t write from an outline, but I have to know my characters before I begin. For me, this is a lengthy process and so worth it. A writer never really knows how a character will act or respond until dumped into a vat of boiling oil

What made you choose the setting for the book?
Houston! Home! I can walk where my characters walk.

What's the most random thing you had to Google for the story?
Fracking. Learned about the pros and cons.

What was one thing (or character) that surprised you while writing this book?
The depths of my villain’s selfishness.

What’s your favorite snack while writing?
Black coffee and peanut butter pretzels.


How long did you write before you got published?
Six months before my first article was published. Eighteen months before my first book. I know; I’m blessed.

What’s your encouragement for younger writers aside from “keep writing”?
Keep studying the craft. Send the money to learn from the best. Read. Read. Read.

How many rejection letters did you get before being accepted by a publisher?
For my first book . . . I think five.

Are you a Panster or Plotter?
Both :) I have a few ideas about critical scenes, and I must know my characters.

What does your writing process look like?
I begin the day with God, then write for an hour or so before breakfast. I’m a morning writer. The afternoons are for social media, marketing, and branding.

What is your favorite and least favorite part of the writing process?
I don’t have one! I really enjoy the whole process.

How long did it take to publish your first book?
Eighteen months

What did you learn along the path to publishing that you’d care to share as encouragement?
Don’t give up. Keep growing in the craft - and social media

Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters?
Life. Everywhere I go, and everywhere I look. Media stories. Family. Friendships. We are all living our own story.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
Study and learn the craft while building a social media platform. And read, read, read.

Are there any books or resources you could recommend to younger writers looking to grow in their craft?
A bunch!

  • Donald Maass has excellent craft books. His workshops and seminars are excellent. I never pass up a chance to learn from him.
  • Steven James has two books on the craft: Trouble Shooting Your Novel and Story Trumps Structure.
  • Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have a fabulous series of writing books. I highly recommend The Emotion Thesaurus
  • Blue Ridge Conference
  • ACFW
How do you grow in your writing craft?
Read and study the craft and social media. Read continuously. I’m sounding like a broken record here, but it’s true.

How do you balance your writing life with “real” life?
Any tips or tricks to share? The key is balance. Establish your priorities then schedule your time. Covet the time you give to priorities.


Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what do you listen to?
No. But a contemporary Christian radio station (KSBJ) plays constantly throughout the day.

What is your favorite season and why?
Fall! Love the change of seasons, the color, and the expectancy of the holidays.

What is your favorite genre to read? Why do you enjoy it?
Romantic Suspense! Life is dangerous, and I want to read and write about courageous people who help keep us safe - and fall in love.

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