Thursday, May 05, 2011

DiAnn Mills on The Climb

For years I’d sensed a calling that God wanted me to write fiction. But I feared every aspect of the process. I did nothing except dream about writing, conjure stories in my head, and claim that “someday I’m going to write a book.”

How sad to hold onto a dream, know it is from God, and yet have too many fears and doubts to take a leap of faith.

The husband dare
One day my husband said, “Stop telling me you’re going to write a book. Just do it!” I’ve never been one to turn my back on a challenge, so I took him up on his challenge and began gathering the tools needed to learn the art of writing.

No more excuses
This became my new full-time job. I began reading books about the craft and novels by authors I admired in the genre in which I wanted to write. I joined
writing groups and participated in discussions and critiques, and I attended writing conferences.

I wrote every day—whether I felt like it or not. I prayed for guidance, wisdom, and to overcome my fears.

I had to do the work (with an understanding that God would work through me). I had to be willing to pay the price. And I would, through the help of God, reach publication.

Success requires determination
In the first year I sold magazine articles, short stories, and devotions while working on my first novel: a historical romance. Two years after my husband’s dare the historical novel was released by Barbour Publishing for their Heartsong Presents line.

Today, I have more than 50 books in print, which have sold more than 1.5 million copies.

Are you ready?
If you’re just beginning your writing ministry, I recommend diligence. Approach writing as a job. The Bible says to work as for the Lord (Colossians 3:23), and that means giving your best.

I remember struggling and needing answers and guidance, so I now have a passion to help others improve. One place I recommend is the
Christian Writers Guild, where I am the mentor for the Craftsman students.

But the important thing is, don’t let your fears steal your dream. Take your leap of faith—whatever that means.

Under a Desert Sky (Available in June)

A race from danger...straight into the arms of love.

In 1935, socialite Eva Fortier witnesses her grandfather's murder and must flee New York to ensure her safety. Leaving behind a life of wealth, she seeks refuge in the secluded high desert area of Ghost Ranch, New Mexico.

Navajo doctor Tahoma Benally has his hands full caring for his people's medical needs. He certainly doesn't have time to fall in love. But when Tahoma's father asks him to help fulfill a vow he'd made to Eva's father, Tahoma has no choice but to oblige his father's request. In the process he finds himself drawn to the woman he's promised to protect.

With an elusive killer stalking Eva, and barriers of race and culture standing between her and Tahoma, does love stand a chance of blooming in the desert?

DiAnn Mills is an award-winning author and the Craftsman mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. Her website is Her book, Pursuit of Justice, is out now and her next project, Under a Desert Sky, will release in June.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists and have won placements in the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Book of the Year Awards from 2003 to 2008. DiAnn was also an ACFW Carol Award finalist in 2010. She received the Inspirational Reader’s Choice award in 2005, 2007, and 2010, and was a Christy Award finalist in 2008 and a RITA Award finalist in 2010. In 2010, she won the Christy Award for
Breach of Trust, the first book in her Call of Duty series.

DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of Inspirational Writers Alive; Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope and Love chapter; and the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.

She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.


Gina Holmes said...

Faith is always good advice. Love the author jpg and the latest cover. Both very pretty! Thanks for being with us, DiAnn.

Michael Ehret said...

DiAnn, thanks for visiting Novel Journey today. Your story is inspiring!

Julie Arduini said...

What an encouraging post. It helps to know a published author needed to conquer fear. I enjoy DiAnn's work so I'm glad she took on her husband's challenge!

DiAnn Mills said...

Thanks for reading this morning's post! How awesome that I can tell you about my spiritual journey to publication on the National Day of Prayer!

Julee Ann said...

Oh my good grief ... your first two paragraphs have played on a loop in my head for about 10 years.

I can't stay on here long because you are my "Husband Dare" but I will be back for motivation.

I'm not "going" to write a book.... I'm "writing" a book.

Thanks for this awesome post. God bless.

P.J.M. said...

Thank you for your story, DiAnn. Sometimes I wish I could make writing my full-time job, stepping up to the challenge that God has given me. My regular place of ministry is though my work as a counselor. But God has also asked me to write a specific fantasy fiction story... I've done a lot of self education in fiction writing since that challenge was presented, but the idea of writing a novel is still very overwhelming. I can't make it a full-time job, but you've inspired me to be more diligent in writing as a part-time job, and to be clear with myself that I am taking God up on this challenge. Clearly He believes I can do it, even if I have my doubts. Thank you.

DiAnn Mills said...

Julee Ann, I'm tickled that you're inspired to write! Keep it up!

DiAnn Mills said...

Challenges are goals in disguise. I'd love to hear from you - all of you - with writing questions or just to say hello. Here's my personal e-mail for the future.

Julie Garmon said...

Loved this! Tell that sweet husband of yours thank you for me.

Stacy S. Jensen said...

My husband gave me that dare on Saturday. I have a lot of work to do.