I grew up in Michigan and we’d often go to Detroit for special events; the Tiger ball games, plays at the Fisher Theatre and to shop at Hudson’s Department Store. I wanted to capture some of the past, as Detroit has had a lot of hard knocks lately. I decided on the year 1951when so much was happening with WWII over, veterans returning, and Detroit was prospering with large companies moving in. Michigan is known as the Winter and Water Wonderland state, thus the title. J
What started you on your writing journey?
An old black Royal manual typewriter in sixth grades; I wrote poetry and then short-stories. I worked as a secretary at Michigan State University and when my hubby’s job took us to the county seat of a southern town I worked as a newspaper reporter. The people that I interviewed were so interesting, and I had my own column which brought me attention. I was hooked with my first byline! I continued to write while raising my family, doing stringer work for area newspapers and donor appeal writing for non-profit organizations as well as family research for a book. After the kids left for college I started writing short-stories and many were picked up for publication in a variety of books and magazines. It was until 2004 that I wrote my first novel, Carolina in the Morning, and soon after had a weekly column in a Michigan magazine. In 2010 I stopped writing for my weekly and worked on my book On a Summer Night…and kept on writing!
What distracts you from writing the easiest?
I turn the rest of the world out when I’m caught up in a creative mood; perhaps a call from our daughter or grand’s who are across oceans with their dad’s work. OR our son who serves on the mission field, and we have a chance to SKYPE with him. Otherwise, I’m fairly dedicated to staying with my writing until a natural break takes place, usually after a few hours, when I leave the computer room and spend time with my hubby until it beacons me again. J
Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote?
Ruth is my main character. She and her mother, Cora, have a good relationship and she seems like the kind of daughter who would have been happy and loving in 1951. She’s a Christian with strong morals, and excited about her work and new job….until someone enters her life. I enjoyed the research about the area, no I’m not from that time zone, and much research was involved. My hubby is from the Detroit suburb so he helped in some areas. J I grew up in the capitol city of Michigan.
What makes you smile and/or laugh out loud?
The fun things our granddaughters share when we talk. Or when they visit and we go out to our annual voyage to a tea room. They love to dress up and are such fun.
What is a favorite memory from your childhood?
I wrote about it in the story “White Christmas”…we lived across from the University and my parents rented rooms for the students. When they went home at Christmas break the house was ours (me and my younger brother). The movie “White Christmas” was popular in the mid-fifties, and when Dad got home we all went downtown to see it. There hadn’t been a lot of snow yet, and during the movie it came down in constant flurries. When we exited the theatre after seeing that special film, we walked into a wonderland of snow, it was a beautiful sight. Something as a family we did before Christmas, and I always remembered.
Where is your favorite place to travel/vacation in?
We’ve just settled into a new home in Florida, but have aspirations to travel with a motor home and see the country. I have severe back problems which make travels hard on me via car; and have to lie down often. A trip to Michigan is always a special place, and I enjoy visiting family when we go.
Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
I do share Christ and the salvation plan in my books, and I try to show readers true life experiences and reality, but also how problems can be faced trusting Christ to help them. Sometimes that doesn’t happen and again reality, as in everyday life, is the focus.
Could you share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you.
“Delight thyself in the Lord and He will give thee the desires of thy heart. “ Psalms 37:4
I love this verse and feel it’s true. I’ve felt His leading time and again, and my love for writing is something He has given me. I rely on His guidance in my books and through prayer try to share with readers what He would want me to.
When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
I’ve been working on a novel, This Side of Heaven, for a couple of years. It’s set to release in February 2015. This takes place in rural Georgia and follows a young mother who flees with her two young children in a protection program, and meets someone very special. But being a new Christian and knowing how the Lord led her from an abusive situation, doesn’t act on that…until she learns of her husband’s passing. And she is free to fall in love again. The story shares sadness, triumphs, tragedy, a visiting older aunt who becomes terribly important, and a well read retired Judge, who makes this story a favorite of mine. It’s a weave of romance and suspense.
Thanks for sharing with us today, Diane!
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Diane Dean White is giving away a copy of Winter Wonderland. To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice—once on each Spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.