Monday, October 04, 2010

Interview With DiAnn Mills

DiAnn Mills is a talented and prolific author, a great teacher and mentor, and a friend and fellow Texan. I’ve asked her back to Random Jottings today, and know you’ll enjoy getting to know her better.

RM: DiAnn, I still identify you with historical fiction. I especially enjoyed your latest book in that genre, A Woman Called Sage . But you’ve also branched out with your Call of Duty series. What caused you to move in this direction?

DM: I love suspense, either in contemporary or historical. My stories are about unlikely women who have chosen professions or a way of life that is out of the normal woman’s comfort zone.

RM:  I enjoyed the two previous books in the Call of Duty series, and I’m looking forward to reading Pursuit Of Justice. Can you tell my readers a bit about it?

DM: I love this story! Pursuit of Justice weaves a legend set in West Texas about lost gold stolen by the Spanish from the Incas. Clues were etched into rocks, but no one has ever been able to decipher them—at least no one who has acknowledged finding the gold. For centuries, men have died pursuing the treasure.
Special Agent Bella Jordan has been sent to West Texas to help unravel murder cases who are linked to the Spider Rock treasure. The prime suspect is Carr Sullivan, a man with a shady past. But what trails Bella is her own past laced with demons that began with the Spider Rock treasure.

RM:  You’re also heavily involved in teaching in the Jerry B Jenkins Christian Writing Guild. What does this entail?

DM: First of all, let me say that my writing ministry is two fold: writing the best novel possible and teaching/mentoring writers to do the same.

The Craftsman program at the Christian Writers Guild is the top level of distance learning. The students have to qualify for this course, either by having successfully completed one of the other other CWG courses or through an assessment of their writing. The course includes twelve monthly lessons and a five-day residency in Colorado Springs with Jerry Jenkins, me :), and two other prominent persons in the writing industry. The classes are limited to twelve participants, which permits one-on-one time at the residency.

My role is to edit each Craftsman lesson and follow up with a phone call. This allows me to help the writer work out any problems with their writing, brainstorm, and of course form a bond with the writer.

RM:  What is the best piece of advice you have for writers who are struggling to get a foothold in the publishing industry?

DM: Learn the craft. Agents and editors must love your work, not simply like it. Pray for guidance in every area of your writing life—understand who is the Boss of your career.

RM:  I know you have a passion for the Sudan and its people. What brought this about? And would you tell my readers what they can do to help this embattled nation?

DM: Back in 2002, I was asked to write a nonfiction book about the Lost Boys of Sudan, that book Lost Boy No More is still doing well, and the proceeds go back to aid the Southern Sudanese. Shortly afterward, I wrote a novel When the Lion Roars about the situation in Southern Sudan. Again, proceeds go back to aid the Southern Sudanese. In writing this book, I found a passion for a persecuted people unlike anything I’d ever experienced before. I’ve been called Mom by many of these now-grown men.
In 2006, Moody Publishers purchased When the Nile Runs Red, a second novel set in Southern Sudan. This time I traveled to Juba, Sudan, the capital of Southern Sudan. I was tremendously moved by my experiences there. I learned how selfish we all can be with our materialistic mindset. I also learned that when a Sudanese says that Jesus is enough, he/she means exactly that. Proceeds go back to aid these courageous people.

Abraham Nhial assisted me in writing the nonfiction book, and he has now graduated from seminary and holds a prominent position for the Episcopal Church in Sudan. Although he and his wife have taken on a tremendous amount of responsibility, there are no funds in which to pay him. Those of you who would like to contribute to God’s work in Southern Sudan, you can log on to this site and click on the “donation” page. Be sure to indicate “for the work of Abraham Nhial” in the comment box at the bottom. This tax deductible donation will help Abraham continue the ministry in which God has called him.

RM:  And what last words do you have for my readers?

DM: Let me hear from you! My facebook author page is here. This is where I have a more of a personal relationship with others. Please visit my website and sign up for my E-Newsletter.
And most important of all, let me hear from you!
May God Bless

DiAnn, thanks for visiting, and for your gracious offer to give a copy of Pursuit Of Justice to one of my readers. That's you, folks. Leave a comment for a chance to win this book. Check back on Monday, October 11, for the name of the winner. And stay tuned for more author interviews soon.


Mocha with Linda said...

Already have the book, so don't enter me. Just had to say I love DiAnn and her writing!

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Thanks for the interview. I really like DiAnn's advice on how to get a foothold in the publishing industry--pray for guidance in every area of your writing. So important.

I like the Call of Duty series, but haven't read this book yet. I'd love a chance to win it. Thanks!

Richard Mabry said...

Linda, I'm sure DiAnn appreciates your kind words. And I appreciate your leaving a comment.

Cindy, I agree that DiAnn's advice is excellent. She's been a good friend and mentor to me, and she's never steered me wrong. That's why I'm delighted to "share" her with my blog readers. Thanks for your comment.

DiAnn Mills said...

Thank you all for your great encouragement. You are why I write.

Carol J. Garvin said...

I love DiAnn's best piece of advice! Learning the craft and praying for guidance has to be the key. I haven't read Pursuit of Justice" but I'd love to. It sounds great.

BTW Richard, if you check out my post today ( and click on the photo of our RV you might be able to see the copy of Code Blue on the picnic table. :) My hubby was reading it last week as I finished Medical Error while we were on a mini vacation. He's now read both and agrees with my opinion that they're great stories.

Richard Mabry said...

Carol, thanks for your comment and for featuring Code Blue against such a beautiful background in your own blog post. Glad you and he liked both the novels.

Becky Harling said...

Great Interview with DiAnn, Rachard! I am one of your fellow CAN authors. My husband Steve and I lived in the Sudan for two years in the early 1980's. We also had several of the "lost boys" attend our church when we were ministering in San Diego, CA.

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks, Becky. DiAnn's passion for the Sudan and the "lost boys" is obvious. Nice to see that you all have that connection.

Kaystrom said...

I appreciate you, DiAnn, and your passions that parallel my own. Bless you and your writing, my friend.

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks, Becky. DiAnn's passion for the Sudan and the "lost boys" is obvious. Nice to see that you all have that connection.