Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Best-selling author Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and heartwarming women’s fiction. Since 2001, she has published three novellas, eighteen novels, and co-authored a devotional for the CBA market.

Diann lives in Indiana with her real-life hero-husband of 36 years who continually lavishes her with chocolate—well, she can imagine it, can’t she? She’s a fiction writer, after all.

Welcome, Diann! Easy question do start...did you see yourself becoming a writer as a child? If not, what did you dream of being?

I never thought of becoming a writer, but I always loved to tell stories. I made them up all the time for the neighborhood kids. I made one up for my dad once. I loved watching his eyes grow wider as I told the story (making it up as I went along). Finally, when I said I was just kidding, he wasn’t amused and let me know it. We had a good laugh over it when I became a writer.

How long did you write before you sold your first book?

I wrote a couple of articles in 1998 and ’99. I tried my hand at a novella in 2000 and it was published in 2001. It doesn’t always happen that quickly, but I got into the business when fiction was really taking off.

Many of the people who follow our blog are aspiring writers themselves. Can you share your favorite writing tip with them?

My favorite writing tip? I find that reading current books on writing keeps me creatively energized. I’ve also learned to work hard but make room for play and rest, too.

Now for the readers…many times, it’s easy for them to connect with the characters in a book, but not so much the authors themselves. Share something about your day-to-day life that might help a reader to feel as though they know you a little better.

I wake up with bed head hair. Coffee snobs will hate me for this, but I drink Folgers instant coffee. It’s true. Not a smidge of fiction in that statement. I do add mocha creamer and whipped cream, though (every cup is a party). Then I spend time with my Lord before starting my day.

Another little known fact: I hate to clean toilets.

LOL! I hate cleaning toilets, too. I figured once I sold a book, I'd never have to do that again. Imagine my disappointment! On top of that, I still experience rejections. Now that you are published, do you? If so, how are these rejections different or similar to the ones you received before becoming published?

Yes. Rejections are a part of the business. The rejections now are more in relation to the publisher’s needs.

Tell us a little about your latest release.

Love Letters in the Sand is the tender love story of a young couple whose lives were separated by war, secrets and betrayal. A story of forgiveness and healing.

If you could only share one line from Love Letters in the Sand, which one would you choose and why?

“She would wait. No matter how long it took, Julia would wait for Stefan.”

That has significance to me for so many reasons. When we vow our love to another, we never know where that may take us. Life can be wonderful, life can be difficult, or a smeary mix of the two. But Julia would wait. No matter how long it took.

As I battle ovarian cancer, the love my husband has shown me makes me think of Julia. When we dated, we lived in different cities, so when we vowed our love to one another through love letters of our own, neither of us knew the depths of what that might entail. But our love has held strong through the rough waters. It was worth waiting for.

Writers often put things in their books that are very personal—like a funny story that happened to them, a spiritual truth they learned through difficulty, or even just a character trait that is uniquely theirs. Is there something in Love Letters in the Sand that only people close to you know is about you or someone you know?

I didn’t purposely plan anything for this book, though I’m usually learning spiritual lessons along with my characters. However, Julia’s dad in the story got a motorcycle, and my husband got a motor, ah-hem, scooter only a few years ago. That’s been a bit of a ride (pardon the pun). :-)

Readers often talk a lot about the hero and heroine of a story, but today I’d like to know something about your villain. Does he or she have a redeeming quality? Why or why not?

In Love Letters, I see the mother somewhat as a villain in the story. She has built walls around her emotional self, but as the story unfolds, we find the reasons for her rough exterior.

What kind of research did you have to do for this book? Can you share some articles or website links you found particularly helpful?

I bought a couple of books on the lives of people, soldiers and civilians, during World War II, to give me a flavor for life at that time.

Tell us what new projects you’re working on.

Recently finished the edits for my novella contribution to the book, Smitten, which I am co-writing with Kristin Billerbeck, Colleen Coble, and Denise Hunter. It’s a story of four heroines trying to turn their dying lumber town into a romance capital and the love they find along the way. We have just received a contract for two more books in the series.

The most common thing I hear when people learned I’ve published a book is, “I’ve always wanted to do that.” Faced with this statement, what advice would you give to someone just starting out in this business?

I always encourage them to join ACFW so they can participate in the courses, get to know other writers, find mentors, etcetera. I also advise them of the value of conferences for networking and learning more about the business.

What is the one question you were afraid I would ask…and how would you answer?

I was afraid you would ask if I’d read all of the classics. My answer would be I’m waiting for the movies to come out.


Diann is giving away a copy of her book, Love Letters in the Sand. Be sure to stop by The Borrowed Book on Friday for your chance to win!


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