Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Getting to know DiAnn Mills

DiAnn Mills has been writing prolifically since she was first published just over ten years ago. Alongside her writing, DiAnn mentors other writers, champions those struggling in the Sudan and speaks at retreats and conferences.

DiAnn is a fascinating and talented woman and I'm so glad she is here to share with us!

Thanks DiAnn:~

If you could have chosen your own name, what would it be?

Harper Lee

Your first pet's name?


Your best friend's name in primary (elementary) school?

June and Donna

I still keep in contact with June, but I have no idea where Donna is.

Did you have a special toy that went everywhere with you when you were young? Please describe.

It wouldn't have been a toy; it would have been a book.

If you could meet a famous person, who would it be?

Franklin Graham. I'd like to talk to him about growing up in the Graham household.

If you were stranded on a desert island what one object would you want with you?

Water bottle. I could fill it up when it was empty. J I'm so practical that I can hear the giggles from the readers.

What's your favourite ice cream flavour?

Vanilla. Are you surprised?

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

First a nurse. Then I realized I couldn't stand the sight of blood.

Then a journalist. I wanted to write newspaper stories.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Israel and Greece

Besides God, who has influenced you the most?

Tracie Peterson who is not only my friend but she mentored me as a writer.

My husband who has always believed and encouraged me.

What's your favourite book?

Actually I have two:

Memoirs of a London Doll

Little Women

These two books were my constant companions when I was a little girl. They helped me see that I wanted to write.

What part of your daily routine do you enjoy most?

Early mornings! I love my quiet times with God.

What's your favourite movie?

Gone with the Wind. Are you surprised?

Where's the most interesting place you have been?

Ireland. Loved it. Could live there.

What's your most fervent prayer?

That my life be an example of a godly woman.

What's the bravest thing you've ever done?

Went to Southern Sudan to research a novel. At the time I didn't have the sense to be afraid, but there were many people praying for me.

What gift have you received that you will always treasure?

The gift of touching people's hearts with the written word.

What is your favourite Bible verse (or "one" of your favourites) and what does it mean to you?

Jeremiah 20:9

But if I say, "I will not mention him
or speak any more in his name,"
his word is in my heart like a fire,

a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
indeed, I cannot.

What was your most embarrassing moment in High School?

Since I was incredibly shy . . . it's hard to say. I think it was when I realized a girl, whom I thought was my best friend, had used me to get to a guy she liked. Every one knew it but me.

How did your husband propose to you?

Actually, I had just made vegetable soup, and when I asked him if he'd like for me to get him a bowl, he said “I'd rather you marry me.”

Now, the story-book wedding was something out of a romance novel. The skinny on that is I thought he left me standing at the altar, when he'd purchased a home and arranged to have the ceremony there. It was fabulous.

What was the best advice you received on marriage before you were married?

Don't let the sun go down on your anger.

Please share a little about your passion for the Sudan and its people.

In 2002, I was asked by a member of the AidSudan.org to write a nonfiction book about the Lost Boys of Sudan. I declined and even gave them names of Christian writers who could do a fine job in telling the boys' story. But eventually God won out, and I wrote the book. That is when my passion began for the Sudanese people.

I interviewed hundreds of Lost Boys from all over the world and those who worked with them. Some could not tell their stories because their memories were too painful. Imagine having your family killed and your home destroyed and you are approximately nine years old.

The proceeds from the nonfiction book are given to Aid Sudan in their fabulous work. Then I had an idea for a fiction novel using the research from the nonfiction title. Those proceeds are also given to Aid Sudan. After two years, I had an idea for a second novel using the same characters as the first. This time I had the opportunity to visit Southern Sudan to see for myself what was going on in that war-torn country. I still am very close to those who helped make the books possible.

Their titles are:

Lost Boy No More

When the Lion Roars

When the Nile Runs Red.

Breach of Trust

What attracts you to romantic suspense?

I think I'm a bit of a daredevil at heart. I like an adventure and the twist and turns of a suspense novel. Also, the unlikely characters in a suspense who fall in love are a bonus to the story. J

What is your view on whether a Christian can live the life of a CIA agent with integrity?

I believe that many of us are called to careers that we don't understand or may not see God. Integrity is the fabric of every Christian, and yes it can be done as a CIA operative.

Do you share Miles' passion for American football?

I had sons who played Texas high school football. We lived it. J

What do you hope readers take away from this story?

As stated above, God calls us to unlikely roles in our walk with Him.

Breach of Security is the next book in the Call of Duty series. A sneak peek, please!

I just whisked this off to my editor. Danika Morales is a Border Patrol Agent who is dedicated to her job. But she is also dedicated to finding who murdered her husband. I've also shown the reality of those involved in guarding our borders woven with the motivations of why so many risk everything to enter the US.

What is in your writing pipeline?

I'm doing the final edits for A Woman Called Sage. This is a historical novel set in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, and the heroine is a bounty hunter who discovers she has become the hunted.

I'm in the plotting stage for the third book in the Call of Duty series. My heroine is an FBI agent sent to investigate a series of murders in West Texas. It involves the legendary Spider Rock Treasure, and that's all I'm saying. J

And I'm in the thinking stage of another historical set in the Colorado Rockies. Probably a sequel to A Woman Called Sage using a character from that novel.

Thanks so much, DiAnn for taking the time to share with us :) Can't wait to get my hands on the remaining books in your Call of Duty series.

Relz Reviewz Extras

Review of Breach of Trust

Visit DiAnn's website

Buy DiAnn's books at Amazon and Koorong


Unknown said...

I'm with Rel...can't wait for more, DiAnn! And Rel, your interviews are TOPS in my book:-)

Tracy said...

Thanks for the great interview, both of you.

I'm really surprised about the plain vanilla ice cream, given all the weird and wonderful flavours people seem to go for!

Jenny said...

Great interview, ladies!

I think the most interesting thing is wanting to meet Franklin Graham. I'm sure he has some stories to tell.

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