DiAnn Mills headshotDiAnn 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.

You’ve got a long list of book titles to your name. Exactly how many books have you written?
78 total: 75 novels and novellas, 2 nonfiction, and one middle-grade fantasy that I co-wrote with my granddaughter.

Share with us about your newest book, Fatal Strike, releasing in September.
There’s a killer on the loose in Galveston, targeting law enforcement officials and using a fatal injection of snake venom to take them down. Authorities have reasons to believe the Veneno gang is behind the hits, and FBI Agents Leah Riesel and Jon Colbert team up to track down those responsible. Their best lead is an eyewitness who identifies a young man dumping the third body on a church doorstep. But their suspect has gone into hiding, and those closest to him are reluctant to reveal anything that might help investigators find him.
My hero and heroine are snipers for FBI Houston SWAT.
I had lots of fun writing this story. A huge fear is snakes, so I was able to write the characters’ fear realistically. 🙂

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.
I have a passion for helping serious writers, either by mentoring or coaching. Most of my blogs are directed to help the writer reacher higher in their goals.  In addition, I am the conference director for Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference with social media expert Edie Melson. Edie and I also direct Mountainside Marketing Retreat, Mountainside Novelist Retreat, and soon Mountainside Speakers Retreat, and Mountainside Nonfiction Retreat. The Mountainside Retreats are designed to help the writer focus on a particular skill.

Quote from Fatal Strike by DiAnn Mills

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?
I have five tips for new writers:
1. Pray about your writing future.
2. Write everyday.
3. Read the how-to books and respectable blogs that teach craft and social media.
4. Read in the writer’s genre.
5. Read and study the bestsellers.

Anything else?
I love writers and readers. Would love to hear from you! Connect with me at any of the social media platforms or on my website.

Social Corner:

About the Author Sharon Wilharm

Sharon Wilharm is a female filmmaker, blogger, and speaker. Her movies have screened in theaters, festivals, and churches around the globe, aired on multiple television networks, and sold in stores and online outlets throughout English speaking countries. She's accumulated dozens of festival accolades including the “Shibboleth Award for Visionary Leadership in the Field of Christian Film Making”, numerous Best of Fest awards, and 4 ICVM Crown Awards. She's passionate about storytelling and loves entertaining and inspiring audiences with her filmmaking, writing, and speaking.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.