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DiAnn MillsAward-winning author, DiAnn Mills, launched her career in 1998 with the publication of her first book. Currently she has over forty books in print and has sold a million and a half copies.  DiAnn believes her readers should “Expect an Adventure.”Six of her anthologies have appeared on the CBA Best Seller List. Three of her books have won the distinction of Best Historical of the Year by Heartsong Presents. Five of her books have won placements through American Christian Fiction Writer’s Book of the Year Awards 2003 – 2008, and she is the recipient of the Inspirational Reader’s Choice award for 2005 and 2007. She was a Christy Awards finalist in 2008.

Favorite Verse - Jeremiah 20:9 "But I say,'I will not mention him or speak anymore in his name, his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed I cannot."

 


 

 The WriterÂ’s Climb: by DiAnn Mills


 

I wrote my first book in second grade.  The story was a western, and every chapter ended with the hero riding off in the west. Are you surprised?  The story filled a Big Chief writing pad, and all my little friends assured me it would be a success.  I also wrote scads of poetry that I hid.  Actually the older I became, the more I hid my stories and poetry.


Many years later, I still struggled with wanting to write a book, but I didn’t have the self-confidence (guts) to simply begin. I’d sensed a calling for years, and even realized that God wanted me to write fiction. The urging from God was strong, but I feared every aspect of the writing process.  I did nothing except dream about writing and conjure up stories in my head and make the infamous claim of “someday I’m going to write a book.”  How sad it is to hold onto a dream, know it is from God, and yet have too many fears and doubts to take a leap of faith.


One day, my husband said, “Stop telling me that someday you’re going to write a book. Just do it!  Quit your job and see what you can do.  I give you one year.”  I’ve never been one who could turn my back on a challenge.  My personality defies anyone who tells me I can’t do something.  So I took him up on his dare and began gathering the tools needed to learn the art of writing. T his was my new full-time job.  I began reading the books about the craft, underlining those things that I wanted to emulate and remember.  I read novels by authors I admired and respected 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 learned about computers, and I wrote every day—whether I felt like it or not.  I prayed for guidance, wisdom, and to overcome my fears.  Note the number of “I’s” in this list.  That’s because I had to be the one to do the work with an understanding that God would work through me.  I had to be the one willing to pay the price, and I would be the one who, through the help of God, would reach publication.  Do you understand that determination is a required characteristic?

 

In the first year, I sold magazine articles, short stories, and devotions while working on my first novel: a historical romance. My first published piece was sold to Mature Living about my dad’s pet robin in the hills of Kentucky during the depression. Two years after the “challenge,” the historical novel was released by Barbour Publishing for their Heartsong Presents line. And I didn’t go back to my old job.

 
I continued to write contemporary and suspense fiction for Barbour for a number of years. Along the way a nonfiction book about the Lost Boys of Sudan graced the retailers’ shelves, as well as other full-length novels. Now I’m writing suspense for one publishing house and historical novels for another. My mind is always full of story ideas.


 At times, I attempt to see a pattern of publication, something I could pass on to new writers. But my rocky climb isn’t a step-by-step career ladder. Instead, it’s a constant striving to improve skills and to pass on what I learn to other writers. For those beginning their writing ministry—and it is a ministry—I recommend being diligent and approaching the writing process as a job. The Bible says to work as though working for the Lord, and that means giving your best. Above all, I do believe I’ve been blessed with publication because of a deep-rooted belief that I should help others improve their skills. Whatever I discover or learn mean nothing to me unless I pass on the information--a pay-it-forward mindset.
This is what I want to leave you. All the stories have been written. It’s up to the writer to develop the craft and shape the story into something beautiful and lasting. On your journey, remember how you felt when you were struggling and needed answers and guidance. Encourage others and understand it’s all about glorifying God with our gifts and talents.

 

 Don't Miss!

Breach of Trust, Call of Duty Series #1
Breach of Trust, Call of Duty Series #1
DiAnn Mills
CBD Price: $9.49

Awaken My Heart
Awaken My Heart
DiAnn Mills
CBD Price: $8.19

When the Nile Runs Red
When the Nile Runs Red
DiAnn Mills
CBD Price: $10.99

Lost Boy No More: A True Story of Survival and Salvation
Lost Boy No More: A True Story of Survival and Salvation
Abraham Nhial & DiAnn Mills
CBD Price: $9.99

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Writing & Publishing Your Book



Web Resources for Writers

There are many web sites with great information for Christian writers. Below are some that you might find helpful.

 

  • American Christian Fiction Writers
  • Christian Writers Fellowship International

  • The Christian Writer's Manual of Style
  • Writer's Digest
  • Writer's Market
  • The Writer's Magazine
  • Christian Writer's Market Guide
  • ACW Press
  • Writer's Edge (Manuscript Service)

  • More Author Tips

     • Words of Advice: Chris Fabry

     • Writing Advice: Maureen Lang