Her debut novel Delivery placed three times in the Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest: 2008 finalist, 2009 semifinalist, and 2010 finalist. Diana's first place of employment, a small-town floristry rich with story ideas, inspired Delivery. She is blessed to still work there part-time as a floral designer, a position she has held since 1981.
You can find Diana online here:
Author Page on Facebook
Facebook Photography Page
(Diana often uses her camera to get her writing juices flowing.)
Find Diana on Twitter
Livi finds new purpose in her troubled life when she joins her family's small town florist shop. There, the strong and wacky Wilson's Florist gang monitors the pulse of Mount Helicon, where customers carry stories even the local newspaper does not contain. Tales of birth and death, sickness and sorrow, love and betrayal, and even forgiveness--Livi hears them all. Privy to some of the community's deepest secrets, she sometimes wishes she didn't know so much, especially when news arrives that a dear family friend is dead.
Faced with servicing his funeral, she is blasted with painful memories she's struggled for decades to ignore. Soon, guilt and grief over childhood and adult tragedies close in. Instead of turning to loved ones or God for comfort, she leans on alcohol, her long-time clandestine companion--but secrets rarely escape the close-knit flower shop crew, who makes Livi's business its own. Fumbling through life's challenges together, the Wilson gang often delivers more than flowers, yet when Livi needs delivery, can the bonds of faith and friendship dissolve her defenses?
Where can readers find your book online?
Delivery is available for download at several etailers, including the following:
Purchase Link for Delivery on Amazon,
Purchase Link for Delivery on B&N
Purchase Link for Delivery on Sony
I have no memories of life before I dreamed of being a writer. It's something I've always wanted to do. In fact, I wrote my first novella at age ten. Scrawled with a #2 pencil on wide rule notebook paper and bound with blue yarn, it's a horribly sappy story about a young girl who runs away from home because her parents won't allow her to have pets--particularly a horse. The story is buried in a box somewhere in storage, where it belongs, but my passion to write burns on. (By the way, not long after I wrote that story, I received a horse for my birthday, but I promise I never threatened to run away from home to get it!)
Such a neat beginning to your writing journey. What was the inspiration for your latest work of fiction?
My inspiration for Delivery came primarily from my desire to create stories that impact lives in positive ways. Since Delivery's release, several readers have contacted me in tears to say the story touched their hearts. That's all the inspiration I need to keep writing.
Agreed...hearing from readers is such an inspiration. Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
Writers draw from life experiences to create believable characters. I am blessed with a life full of unique and amazing people, so many of my characters possess bits and pieces of real personalities I've encountered over the years. Maybe I need to wear one of those t-shirts: "Careful, or you'll end up in my novel!"
Where do you go to do your research?
Most of my research is done at my local flower shop (my day job), where every character type and human story imaginable arrives over the course of time. News crosses a flower shop's threshold that even the local newspaper doesn't print--from birth to death and everything in between. Whether I'm looking for drama, romance, tragedy, or humor, the florist is a perfect source of story ideas--and a great source of life-long friendships as well!
Sounds like a great source of inspiration! What is your favorite work of literary fiction and why? Do you have a favorite literary author?
Since middle school, my favorite novel has been To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Any author who can effectively convey a character's emotions using only two words (by having Scout describe her dress as a "pink penitentiary") earns my respect.
Who is your favorite contemporary author? Are you currently reading any contemporary novels?
I have several favorite contemporary authors, so it's difficult to choose only one. I am in love with Patti Lacy's work. I learned a great deal about good writing from reading her novel The Rhythm of Secrets. I am currently enjoying her brand new release Reclaiming Lily.
What’s your writing schedule like? When do you find time to write?
After years of prayer and with my husband's support, I resigned from my English teaching career in order to gain time to write. I work on an as-needed basis as a floral designer, a job I've held for over thirty years, so I enjoy the best of both worlds--days devoted to a "real" job and days devoted to writing. Often, these are one and the same, since so many story ideas are birthed at the flower shop.
How did you find your publisher? What was your journey to publication like?
My journey to publishing began with the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest, in which Delivery placed three consecutive years: 2008 finalist, 2009 semifinalist, and 2010 finalist. This gained Tyndale House Publisher's interest, and before I knew it, Delivery was published as part of Tyndale's exciting Digital First Initiative. I've rarely been known to take the traditional route in life, but this unique journey still blows me away!
Do you have any writing idiosyncrasies?
I believe peculiarity is a prerequisite for fiction writers. We authors can be a strange lot. I love letting my imagination run rampant at random times. I've been accused of having a bit of Gladys Kravitz Syndrome (of Bewitched fame). I enjoy inventing fantastic stories about mysterious neighbors, passing vehicles, or odd clouds drifting by. I love light-hearted embellishment, if only for a good laugh, but like any exercise strengthens the body, I hope stretching my imagination for the sake of fun strengthens my writing, despite the weird looks my loved ones give me in the process. :-)
How have your friends and family received your career as an author? Are they supportive?
While my friends and family are genuinely excited about my debut novel, no one has volunteered to take over household chores or roll out the red carpet for me yet. I'm the same daughter, sister, wife, mom, Nana, and friend I've always been, and I wouldn't want it any other way!
Diana, thank you so much for guesting today. I enjoyed chatting with you!
Can you tell readers about your giveaway?
Please check out my Share the Gift Double Kindle 3G Giveaway. That's right! To celebrate the release of my debut novel Delivery, I'm giving away TWO Kindle 3Gs! The winner receives one and chooses a recipient for the second. See details on my website at Diana's Contest.