Why do you write the kind of books you do?
My writing has slowly evolved into what my agent and I have coined dramatic romantic comedy. It’s dramatic because characters struggle with real life issues and grow in Christian faith. The comedy is recognition of the human condition—not laughing at others but at ourselves. Love never goes smoothly. I slowly build dramatic climatic scenes then douse them with comedy. I believe humor brings an additional layer of reality to a story and its characters. This style naturally and perfectly expresses my personality, my worldview, and even the way I decorate my home.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
I’m a gal who thinks more about where I’m headed than where I’ve been. So I’d say tomorrow could be my happiest day. Generally speaking, I’m a content person.
How has being published changed your life?
It’s forced me to live outside my comfort zone. Ouch! Speaking engagements really stretch me. On the positive side, the stretch takes me all the way up to heaven’s throne. Bless the Lord for his help.
More specifically, the Plain City Bridesmaids series helped me re-evaluate and come to terms with my Mennonite upbringing. It’s been a wonderful, learning and healing experience for me.
What are you reading right now?
In nonfiction, The Everything Guide to Writing a Romance Novel by Christie Craig and Faye Hughes. In fiction, Smitten by Kristen Billerbeck, Colleen Coble, Diann Hunt, and Denise Hunter. I’ve preordered and am looking forward to reading Keli Gwyn’s upcoming release, A Bride Opens Shop in
. El Dorado Colorado
What is your current work in progress?
My heroine works at a
In real life, I’ve experienced pain, joy,
and even laughter ministering to my elderly in-laws. The retirement setting is
rich and teeming with comedy and
drama. After spending a decade in and out of care centers and rehab facilities,
the story practically writes itself. It has a playful premise, but I don’t want
to spoil the surprise. Mennonite Retirement Center
What would be your dream vacation?
An entire summer at a beach house. A writing vacation.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
Setting is the first thing I settle when I’m developing a new story idea. I chose
for two reasons. I liked the sound of the place, and I was familiar with it. Plain City
was where I met my husband. My real life romance. Plain City
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
I’d love to spend the evening with you,
Lena. Would be thrilled and
honored to talk writing with you.
That would really be fun, wouldn’t it? What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
If I had unlimited funds, it would be decorating. I like antiquing with my husband. We’re going this weekend to look for a candy dish for an upcoming Bunco party I’m hosting. Did I mention entertaining groups? Not real great with intimate dinners, but love hosting large parties. I love everything about the holidays. Since the weather’s usually nice in
Jim and I enjoy hiking nearby mountain trails and watching the sunset from our
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
One obstacle is getting sidetracked. The best way for me to keep ON track is having a plan that includes daily writing goals.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Find an agent. Create a website even if you aren’t yet published. Write consistently.
Tell us about the featured book.
Something New’s about a Mennonite gal who feels stuck in life. Lil Landis has an adventuresome spirit, but her plain Jane life is stifling her dreams. She sets out to put her potluck genes to better advantage by becoming a head chef. But when her dad requests her help, she feels guilt ridden and returns to the farm she detests.
Lil literally collides with her hero. At the restaurant where she works, she backs her clunker into his boss’s expensive car. Fletch is a veterinarian intern who comes to the Landis farm to care for the sick livestock. But because of his past involvements with activists against animal cruelty, he ends up working undercover at Lil’s farm. From there the conflict escalates.
This is book two of the Plain City Bridesmaids series.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Prologue – Lil’s vow – Ten years earlier (unedited version)
Ten year old Lillian Mae Landis inched her toes to the edge of the tiny square platform fifty feet above the ground. She ran clammy hands down her glittery red costume and poised them. Her heart rose to her throat as she watched the trapeze swing through the air toward her. She counted, one, two, three, and then leapt forward.
Lil’s stomach somersaulted, and she exulted when her hands clasped the swinging bar with perfect timing. The crowd gasped. Her body jerked, but she held fast and tightened her tummy and leg muscles as she brought her body into perfect form. The air rushed across her face. The music came to a crescendo. Every eye was riveted on her performance.
A second trapeze carrying the teenager Rollo—a handsome boy with flowing blond hair—made its descent. Rollo’s knees gripped his trapeze bar. Keeping silent count, Lil let loose of her bar at just the correct moment and Rollo’s sure, strong hands caught her arms. The crowd roared in delight. She basked in their admiration.
“Ouch! Stop it!”
Lil blinked, torn from her fantasy. She pulled her face from the open van’s window and looked sideways where her cousin Jake Byler was pulling Katy Yoder’s black pony tail. Lil tucked one foot under her home-made culottes and twisted so she could look him square in the eyes.
“What was your favorite part of the circus?” she asked. Their families had attended the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus together when it had come to
, earlier that month. Columbus,
“The tigers.” Jake growled in her friend Katy’s ear, then sank back in his seat and started tussling with his buddy Chad Penner.
Lil rolled her gaze heavenward. Then forgetting about Jake, she told Katy, “I liked the trapeze artists.” She had already described the circus to her two best friends—Katy Yoder and Megan Weaver—repeatedly, but she didn’t think they really understood how magical that experience had been for a girl whose normal day consisted of gathering brown eggs and snapping green beans. Lil lived on a farm.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Website: http://www.diannechristner.netFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/diannechristnerbooks
Thank you, Dianne, for the fun interview.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Something New (The Plain City Bridesmaids) - paperback
Something New (Plain City) - Kindle
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