Saturday, September 01, 2007

DiAnn Mills

I've known DiAnn a lot of years. She's one of my favorite writer friends and a favorite authors. When her book When the Lion Roars came out, I stated both on this blog and on my web site that every Christian in America should read that book. Her newest release is When the Nile Runs Red. Although I haven't received my copy yet, I'm sure the same holds true to this book. As soon as it gets here, it will go to the top of my to-be-read pile.

DiAnn, your stories set in the Sudan are powerful. What first got you interested in this African country?

In 2002 I was approached by volunteers of the Aid Sudan Foundation here in Houston. They were looking for a Christian writer to write a nonfiction book about the Lost Boys of Sudan. I refused politely, but God had other ideas. Since that time, I’ve made friends all over the world: those who work with the Sudanese and many Sudanese who are willing to tell their stories so the world will be aware of their plight.

I know that you went to the Sudan last year. Tell us a little about your trip.

My trip to Juba, Sudan, the southern capital was a fact-finding trip for When the Nile Runs Red. I saw a people who had been persecuted and family members killed struggling to survive two decades of civil war. There was no electricity, running water, or good sanitation. The people need quality education, medical attention, and help on a grass-roots level. AIDS is on the rise. Women draw their water from the Nile with no thought of boiling it before use. The government leaders are hopeful and hard-working. Two of these men introduced themselves to me as “committed Christians.” I saw pain in the people’s eyes and hope in Jesus. What amazed me the most was that so many of the Sudanese who had been refugees all over the world have fought to obtain college, graduate, and doctorate degrees. They have taken nothing and made something of themselves while too many westerners have everything and do nothing. Once you visit Sudan, the country and its people become a part of you.

You are often a speaker at conferences. Tell us where you’ve been this year?

In 2007, I’ve spoken/taught at Taylor University in Ft. Wayne; IN; RWA Houston; Mount Hermon, CA; Baptist General Library Convention in Dallas; ACFW Southwest; Blue Ridge Conference; Abilene, TX; Inspirational Writer’s Alive, Houston; North Texas Christian Writer’s Conference; (9-2007), ACFW (9-2007). On August 16-18, conducted a fiction mentoring clinic in my home. I've been dreaming for years of helping fiction writers in this type of environment.

I was with you at Inspirational Writers Alive. Share your upcoming speaking calendar with us.

Sept 8 Book signing at the Champions location of Barnes and Noble Book - Houston, Texas 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. If you are in the area, I'd love to see you.
September 14-15 North Texas Christian Writers Conference This is a great conference in Fort Worth, TX, and one I look forward to teaching!
Sept. 20-23 ACFW annual writer's conference is a great connection for fiction writers. I'll be teaching a plotting workshop on Saturday afternoon. See you in Dallas!
Sept. 29 Book Signing at the Willowbrook location of Lifeway - Houston, Texas 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. Stop on by!
Oct. 13 Book Signing at the 1960 FM W location of Mardel's - Houston, Texas 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. This event is their biggest store wide sale.

And there will be a public book signing at the ACFW Conference in Dallas, Saturday, September 22 from 1:30-2:30. That will be a great opportunity to meet lots of Christian authors. What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about, DiAnn?

Always forgiveness. This is what sets Christians apart from the rest of the world.
Finding God’s purpose is another.

What other books of yours are coming out soon?

A Texas Christmas Legacy ­ also a September release – Barbour Books
Awaken My Heart February 2008 – Avon Inspire

I'm looking forward to the last book in the Texas Legacy series. I didn't know you had sold to Avon Inspire. We'll have to do another interview when it comes out. If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person, who would it be and why?

Billy Graham. It was during one of his TV Evangelism crusades that I accepted Christ when I was 19 years old. What a role model.

I agree. How long have you known that you wanted to be novelist?

I can’t remember when I didn’t know it! Probably age eight.

I wish I had known earlier in my life. What can you tell authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?

1. Don’t give up
2. Have published writers and reader give you valuable feedback – not family members.
3. Become involved in a quality writer’s group and attend conferences.
4. Read books about the craft and reread those same books.
5. Write everyday
6. Read books in the genre you want to write.

Tell us about the featured book.

Paul Farid was once a member of the royal family who openly persecuted any Sudanese who failed to practice Islam. Now he’s a Christian who puts his life on the line to aid the persecuted Sudanese people. His wife, Larson, is a doctor committed to giving her life for peace. Colonel Ben Alier has fought for twenty-one years against the government’s mandates to control the oil, religion, slavery, and politics of Sudan. He neither trusts nor rests any hope in the newly formed government. Ben’s health deteriorates while Larson finds out she is going to have a baby. Their worlds collide, and as the relational tensions escalate so does the physical danger.

The proceeds from When the Nile Runs Red goes back to aid the Sudanese.

I can see how much of your heart you've given to the Sudanese. How can readers find you on the Internet? I invite you to sign up for my monthly newsletter!

Readers, I receive this newsletter. You'll enjoy it.

Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of When the Nile Runs Red. If you haven't read When the Lion Roars, you'll want to get a copy of it, too.


Marion Kelley Bullock said...


I really enjoyed your interview with DiAnn. I'm hosting her on my blog next Tuesday.

I can't wait to read this latest book.


Anonymous said...

Although I've not yet read it, I gave a copy of Diann's lost boys novel to a dear friend who served in the Peace Corps. I'm very anxious to read her books about Sudan.
Bonnie Engstrom

Cara Putman said...

I can't wait to read this book and join the blog tour at the end of the month.

Stormi said...

I really enjoyed DiAnn's interview, it was very interesting and her new Sudan book sounds like a great read.


Sheryl said...

Thank you for the wonderful interview! I've read all of Diann's Texas Legacy books and loved them. I can't wait for the Christmas one to come out.

Sudan has long had a place in my heart. The people have been through so much. I would love to be entered in the drawing for a copy of When the Nile Runs Red. I've already added it to my TBR list.

Susan Talbot said...

I saw the announcement of your interview with DiAnn on SL and was thrilled to hear the details about DiAnn's trips to the Sudan and about her book, When the Nile Runs Red. Great interview. I recently finished reading When The Lion Roars and it's a great read. Will look forward to the sequel.

Thanks again and please enter me in the drawing for the book.

Susan Talbot

PS I am fortunate to have DiAnn as my mentor in my Christian Writer's Guild Apprentice course. She's a super teacher!

Crystal Warren Miller said...

DiAnn is such a good writer and to have this much passion in a story will make it wonderful. I pray it sells over and abundantly to help the Sudanese people.

I wish I had been able to make it when you came to Ft. Wayne, DiAnn. Will you come again?

Thanks, Lena, for your great interviews.

Miss Reader said...

Very interesting interview. I'm looking forward to reading When the Nile Runs Red.

Anonymous said...

Lena, you are so kind to help out other authors.

I want to read the Last Cotillion by diann mills so badly.

ChristyJan said...

I very much enjoyed your interview and I'm looking forward to reading your latest book.

Vickie said...

I've read nearly all of DiAnn's books and have always been entertained and inspired. She's a great writer.

marylin said...

This latest offer by Diann is sure not to disappoint so I'm raising my hand for a chaNce to grab a copy. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm having problems with this blog tonight for some reason. I have always enjoyed your books. I am on your newsletter. So to see you here on Lena's blog, is good as I enjoy her books too. God bless you both.
Jane Squires

My youngest daughter, age 21, is a strong supporter of the Sudan.