DiAnn Mills is a familiar name in the Christian writing world. Not only is she an award winning, bestselling author, she’s also a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, as well as a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She is the director of the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference, Mountainside Marketing Retreat, and the Mountainside Novelist Retreat with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. And on top of all that, She speaks and teaches writing workshops around the country.
You’ve been writing for a long time now. What first sparked your interest in being a writer?
As a child, I was an avid reader. My favorites were Little Women, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and everything else I could get my hands on. I wrote my first book in the second grade on a Big Chief Notebook with a #2 pencil. Story fascinates me. Always has.
Tell us about your early writing experiences. What was your first publishing breakthrough?In 1996, my husband challenged me. “Stop telling me you will one day write a book. Do it now. Quit your job. I give you one year to get anything published.” So I did. That first year, I wrote my book, wrote and sold devotions, a short story, and acceptance into an anthology. My book sold in 1997 and published in 1998. I simply needed a push.
Share with us about your newest book, Fatal Strike, releasing in September.
I love the concept of romantic suspense. What led you to writing in that genre?
We live in a dangerous and unpredictable world. I want to show there are courageous men and women who are willing to make sacrifices to keep us safe. As a Christian writer, my goal is to show at least one character who solves his/her problems from a Christian worldview. Another reason I write romantic suspense is to show love is a gift, often unexpected and catching the man and woman by surprise.
In addition to writing your own books, you also help other writers. Tell us about the many ways you do that.
What’s been the biggest change you’ve seen in the publishing industry from your earliest days to now?
The use of social media to establish online relationships, online marketing and promotion, and the emergence of e-books. The publishing industry seems to change daily, and today’s writer must be committed to keeping up. For the Christian publishing market, I see an increasing growth in quality of story.
What advice would you offer new writers just getting started?