Sunday, February 24, 2008

Author DiAnn Mills - Free Book

When I heard that my good friend, and one of my favorite authors, had written a book she calls her "Zorro" book, I had to invite her back to my blog. Here she is in a photo by Chris Walter Photography. Don't you just love it?

This is your first book with Avon Inspire. What has this transition meant to you?

Cindy DiTiberio, fiction editor at Avon Inspire, works very hard for her writers. I appreciate the company’s interest in me and my historical novels.

How did you come up with the idea for this story?

I had the idea a long time before I plotted out the story. Actually, I’ve always been a big Zorro fan, and Awaken My Heart is a “what-if” idea from that story. Forbidden love is a theme I often use.

You write both historical and contemporary books. Do you like writing one more than the other? If so, why?

I don’t have a preference. Both are exciting to me. Both require extensive research. Some story ideas naturally lend themselves to historical or contemporary settings. Historical settings sometimes limit what a character can say or do in the way of solving problems, but that’s a challenge I welcome. In contemporary, the challenge is up-to-date research that doesn’t fizzle with time. Whether an historical or a contemporary, the characters drive the plot.

If you were planning a party with contemporary Christian authors, what six people would you invite and why?

Now this sounds fun. Let’s say it’s a murder mystery party, and no one knows who has committed the crime.
1. Angela Hunt – She’d be able to keep a secret.
2. Deb Raney – She’s so sweet, and no one would suspect her.
3. James Scott Bell – He could legally represent himself or the real murderer.
4. Colleen Coble – She’d be sure to bring the Starbucks.
5. Mark Mynheir – He’d be able to look at all the suspects and figure out the guilty one.

Now let’s do that for a party for historical Christian authors, what six people would you invite and why?

This party would be a box-social, and each writer would prepare their own lunch for that special someone.
1. Tracie Peterson – She’d make sure we were dressed according to the right year
2. Tricia Goyer – She’d know how to advertise the social
3. Lauraine Snelling – She’d make sure the town would be renamed after us.
4. Kathleen Y’Barbo – She’d promote each lady’s lunch.
5. Janet Bly – She’d bring along her husband to protect all of the ladies.

Many times, people (and other authors) think you have it made with so many books published. What is your most difficult problem with writing at this time in your career?

Each book has to be better than the previous one. This is my personal goal: more intriguing characters, more twists and turns in the plot, more sparkling dialogue, and definitely more emotion.

Tell us about the featured book.

Awaken My Heart is set in 1803 Texas, and tells the story of 18-year-old Marianne Phillips, the daughter of a wealthy rancher, Weston Phillips. Weston is involved in a hostile struggle with Armando Garcia, the infamous rebel leader of the ‘mestizos’ who claim to own the land that Phillips has settled upon.

Marianne innocently encounters Armando while out riding her horse, Diablo, one afternoon. Not knowing at the time who this handsome stranger is, Marianne cannot seem to get him out of her mind. Soon, she learns who he is – under terrifying circumstances. She is taken from her home and is held captive by the mestizos in hopes that Marianne’s father will trade the land of La Flor for her freedom.

Armando cannot believe that his people have stooped to such measures, and arranges for Marianne’s escape, but not before becoming enchanted with this brave young woman who has taken it upon herself to learn his language and whose faith seems to guide her through the most difficult situations.

How can readers find you on the Internet? Be sure to sign up for my newsletter!

DiAnn, thanks for coming back once again. I always enjoy our visits.

Readers, I loved Awaken My Heart. If you want to read my review of the book, you can check it out at It's one of my blogs. All my blogs on Shoutlife are book reviews. Or you can wait until after March 2nd and read it in the March newsletter on my web site.

For a chance to win a free copy, leave a comment. Someone will win. It might as well be you.


Patricia said...

Good interview - liked the who would you invite section. And the book sounds like a real adventure. Who can resist a Zorro hero?
A book I'll have to win or buy : )

Brittanie said...

I have the book and I loved it. I liked the movie Zorro too. ;) I have read Leather and Lace and the next two are on my TBR shelf. :)

DiAnn said...

I'm laughing with the Zorro comments. Armando had a way of waking me in the middle of the night and telling me what he was thinking. I don't think that man ever slept!

cathikin said...

I like the list of dinner guests, both sets. And I understand the Zorro comment now. The book sounds great, but, DiAnn, I'm a little concerned about Armando telling you his about getting wrapped up in your characters!

Abi B said...

Loved the interview questions and answers. Very interesting! Oh, I'd love to win the book too.

DiAnn said...

I plead the characteristics of a fiction writer. Actually a good friend accused me of being eccentric and bizarre. Hey, sounds like the traits of a fiction writer to me.

Mindy Obenhaus said...

Sounds like an awesome book, DiAnn. I can't wait to read it!

Carolynn W. said...

I like Zorro, so I'd love to read this book:)

windycindy said...

Hello! Thanks for a wonderful interview! This books sounds like an amazing book to read. Please enter me in your drawing. I appreciate it! Thanks,Cindi

Donna Moore said...

You are so creative with your questions. I met DiAnn Mills at a conference in Keller, Texas. She is an amazing teacher as well as a writer. I would love to win this book. runninmama[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

Anonymous said...

What a great interview. I've loved every other book DiAnn has written, so I know I'll love this one too.

Mary Ann

DiAnn said...

I'm posting a question for you this morning. What is the one "trait" that you look for in a novel? Is it dialogue, setting, plot, narrative, characterization, or the writer's style?

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

I don't often get involved in the comments section, but DiAnn's question caused me to ponder what I look for in a book.

I think it's the story that has to grip my attention, and that happens when the characters and plot are dynamic.

Of course, I also want enough information woven in so I can really see, feel, and smell the setting.

Cherie J said...

Enjoyed the interview! Sounds like a really good story.

Karin said...

Sounds like a good read!

DiAnn said...

I think Lena is speaking of credibility - real characters, real setting, real dialogue, real narrative, and a real plot that sends the reader turning pages.

Woo Hoo! We all want a real adventure!

Tara said...

I'd love to win this book!

taradawnrobertson at hotmail dot com

Carole said...

I plan to read this book whether I win or not, but I sure would love to win a copy! Thanks so much for the opportunity.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Angela said...

All right! Let me know where this murder mystery party is, and I'll be there--with lips zipped! :-) Great interview!


Maureen said...

This book sounds like a good one.


ChristyJan said...

Wonderful interview! I'd love to be entered to win a copy of this book.