What is your favorite Bible verse (translation please)? Why?
Psalm 19:14 NIV, “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
I feel called to write and believe this verse applies to my fiction writing, so it is my continual prayer. In my everyday life, it challenges me to think before I speak—wow do I need to keep this in mind—not to tear down but to encourage others—and to safeguard my input as well as my imagination.
Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Born in Florida and living in Phoenix, I love the relaxed, sunny southern life; where I’m wife, mother and gram. I previously attended Sunnyslope Mennonite Church, but now attend a mega-church called Christ’s Church of the Valley. Over the years, I’ve taught Sunday school and Bible studies, but now serve the Lord through my writing.
My career would have to be outlined in two very separate seasons. The first would contain several executive secretarial positions, my teacher’s assistant position at a Christian school, and a venture of owning and operating an exercise salon.
The second would contain my writing journey. It begins with my freelance writing career, including church plays, magazine articles and a stint working for Good Catch Publishing. Now I have authored eight inspirational romance books for the CBA market. At present, I have a wonderful agent, Greg Johnson of WordServe Literary, who believes in me and my writing. Something Old is the first book in a contracted series, The Plain City Bridesmaids, with Becky Germany at Barbour Publishing. I keep a website and a blog at www.diannechristner.net
How did you get started as a CBA writer?
The breakthrough wasn’t easy, but possibly typical. In the 90’s, I took parts of a manuscript to my daughter’s sixth grade English teacher for feedback. With her encouragement, I finished the manuscript. Next I attended an American Christian Writers Conference in Phoenix and bought a copy of the Christian Writers’ Market Guide. I hired a local copy editor, then started the painful process of mailings and rejections. (This was snail mail…before email attachments) Every day I went to the mailbox with hopeful expectation and traipsed back to the house in disappointment. Finally, my manuscript fit the guidelines for a Heartsong novella, and Oh Happy Day, when Barbour Publishing gave me my first book contract.
Where did the inspiration for Something Old come from?
After a nudge from my agent and a phone call with Becky at Barbour, it germinated from a series idea with the premise of three little Mennonite girls at church camp, who vowed to become each other’s bridesmaids. I developed three very different characters, and their stories naturally evolved from their individual personalities.