Tuesday, April 19, 2011

One Mom's Encouragement--Dianna Love Passes It On

by Cassondra Murray with Dianna Love

Y'all pull up a bar stool and put in your order for a glass of wine or one of Sven's fabulous cocktails. I've poured myself a glass of California Cabernet, and I want to celebrate a new--and very different--project by lair favorite--and my long-time friend, Dianna Love. She's just launched something that's *cue valley girl squeal* totally awesome, and I want her to share it with you, and the reasons behind it.

If you're a lair regular, you know by now that Dianna's first book won a Rita Award, and she's gone on to co-author two successful series with #1 NYT Bestseller, Sherrilyn Kenyon. The first was Sherrilyn's original BAD Agency series. The lastest is Dianna's brainchild--the rockin' Belador urban fantasy series.

Many of you have read my interviews with Dianna in the past, and been inspired by her drive, determination, and what seems like a bottomless well of energy, which she draws on when pursuing something she cares about. I recently learned that she gives her mom a lot of the credit for encouraging Dianna to go for her dreams and follow her heart--first into art--and later into her newest passion, fiction writing.

As we head into the weeks before Mother's Day, I asked Dianna if she'd share a little about her mom, what that encouragement meant to her, and how that's led to her sponsoring a national art contest based around her latest book.

Welcome Dianna!

Dianna: *lifts her glass of Australian Shiraz* Thanks! It's always great to be back here in the lair!

Cassondra: You’re an inspiration to a lot of people because you’ve basically had two very successful careers. Many of the Bandits and Buddies know that you were an artist before you were a writer. But that's key to your latest project, so for those new to the lair, will you tell us briefly about your “past life?”

Dianna: Sure. My life revolved around art pretty much from the first time I picked up a crayon. I was blessed with the ability to draw photo-realistic art and by the time I was in middle school, I was selling detailed pencil portraits for $5 each to earn money for art supplies. My parents had five kids and no extra money for frivolous use of school supplies like paper and pencils. I have never forgotten an uncle who worked in a paper mill and brought me a ream of paper once when he came to visit. The memory of that gift has stayed with me since grade school.

Cassondra: What a great gift for a budding artist.

Dianna: *nods* Over the next few years as I grew into my teens and on into adulthood, I went from drawing portraits on 18” paper to painting them 20 feet tall way up above the ground. When I was first living alone at seventeen, I used my art to do side jobs between three “regular” jobs I held during the week. By age twenty, I was building a business in painting signs and murals. Over the next thirty years, I expanded to creating massive three-dimensional objects for unusual marketing projects and eventually created unusual high-tech advertising pieces for events like the Olympics and companies such as Coca-Cola.

(Cassondra interjects: That Coca Cola sign on the left is in downtown Atlanta--it's an example of the kind of projects Dianna's company built.)

Cassondra: I’ve known you for a long time, but only
recently came to understand the roles your mom, and her encouragement, played in your art career. We’re coming up on Mother’s Day, and we've got a lot of moms in the lair with us today. I think they'd love to hear a little about your childhood and your mom. I especially love the story about the tv station interview. Will you tell that one?

Dianna: *takes a sip of Shiraz* Yes. My mother was no wallflower, but she was a wife during an era when the man had the last say in a house. With five children, there was no doting on any one, but I remember my mom coming to first grade just to see something I’d drawn. I thought I was in big trouble *grin* – that was the only reason a parent was asked to come to the school back then -- but I’d used my newsprint sheet of paper--anyone remember drawing on newsprint?--(*cassondra raises hand*) to draw an involved series of the Billy Goat’s Gruff cartoon, and I guess my teacher was impressed, because she called my mom in to see it.

By the time I reached sixth grade, my mom had gone through years of having me draw at the kitchen table and on anything I could get my hands on, plus I’d won some art contests by then.


Cassondra: But in sixth grade something pivotal happened?

Dianna: Yes. We had two six-week sessions of art that year. I was in heaven. Free art materials and time to draw--but more about that later.

My art teacher entered a batik I created in a national contest, which I knew nothing about until they announced in home room that I’d placed 3rd…and that I was to be interviewed on television. They might as well have said I was expected to travel on the next moon flight.

Now back to that "time to draw" in class thing....My dad had grown up during hard times and expected us to only study in school—and that didn’t mean drawing or painting. Art was a waste of time and money to him, so when I told them about the television interview, he said no.

I had never heard my mom naysay him, but she said yes. She dressed me up and drove me to that interview. The first and second place winners were seniors who t
hey also interviewed. Everyone was very nice, going over questions with me before they started rolling.
That was a memorable experience to be sure.

But more than anything it made me realize that my art did count because my mom said so. Never underestimate the power of believing in your child.

Cassondra: How did you use that belief and encouragement—how did you transfer it into something concrete as you moved through your teens and into y
our adult life?

Dianna: My mom would do anything for her children for the short time we had her (she had a heart attack and died when I was seventeen). She patiently listened to every story, helped with everyone’s homewor
k and cut no one slack when it came to being a good person and the best you could be at anything.

Because of her encouragement and pride in what I’d created, I never considered giving
up my art. But my father told me I couldn’t depend on it to make a living. I believed that as a teen, and took mechanical drawing in school to appease him. Being a strange right brain/left brain artist who loves math, I aced the class, but one thing it did was show me that I hated the idea of engineering or architecture.

I never walked around thinking I’d be the next Rembrandt painting portraits all day, but neither did I enjoy working in an office, so I gravitated to painting signs and murals. Living alone at seventeen is a two-sided blade of positive and negative. Every day was a struggle to survive back then, but the positive is that the only voice I heard was my own and that one told me to follow my heart.

I have always felt as though my mom is nearby watching over me and I still feel her spirit with me in everything I accomplish.

Cassondra: *swirls wine in glass* I want to talk for a minute about passing on the encouragement your m
om gave you. I’ve seen you sit down with new writers and help them through tough spots in the writing--or in the business--more times than I can count. But your encouragement of others didn’t start when you started writing. Once you had your own sign business and your own shop, you helped other young artists get started and taught them how to do what you did. Your consistent willingness to teach others and share the work and success might seem counter-intuitive to some people. Will you talk about why doing that fits your basic philosophy of encouraging others?

Dianna: It goes back to my mom's influence. She would stop to help any child anywhere. I remember her saying that she hoped someone would help her children when they needed it if she wasn’t around to do it at some point. She was the original “pass it up the line” person who helped others because that’s who she was.

I’ve never thought about how often I do it, because helping others is just a natural part of my being. I never considered my competitors in business or art to be my opponents or enemies, and I feel the same way about writing.

My philosophy is that the better job we all do in whatever field we’re in,
the more successful we all will be and when it's writing, that’s good for readers and the business. On top of all that, it makes me very happy to see others succeed, so I benefit too.

Cassondra: When you made the switch from painting to writing, did it feel as though you were giving up one dream to pursue another? Did you have any moments when you wondered if it was the right thing to do? If so, how did you make your decision?

Dianna: I loved painting, but I’d spent so many years away from home working, in everything from cold to suffocating heat, that my urge to write came at a good time for me. I’d been making up stories in my head, so when I reduced the amount of time I was climbing to paint and build, I started writing these stories down in between times I spent painting in my home studio.

But the writing really captured me. My husband kept telling me I couldn’t continue to paint huge walls and write books, because the schedule was killing me. I work every day, but my writing was demanding so much I couldn’t keep up the pace. So I finally made the decision to go full time into writing. It was a difficult decision because I’d spent my life building a business in art, but this is where I refer back to the question about helping others--back to what I le
arned from my mom.

I had so many friends in the sign business by that point that I was able to place all my clients in good hands and h
elp my friends at the same time. My husband still oversees two large sign maintenance contracts we have, but I’m rarely involved in that now.

Cassondra: You've shared how art competitions played a role in your development as a young artist. When did you first get the idea of sponsoring a national art contest, and what’s your purpose in doing that? And why the focus on high schools in particular?

Dianna:
I kept thinking I wanted to create an image of Feenix, our sweetheart gargoyle in the Belador series, and started sketching on it when it hit me that this would make a fun art contest.

I had the opportunity to enter art contests from 3rd grade on, and those played a part in building my confidence in a field everyone considered a waste of time. I can’t tell you how often you hear that you can’t make a living in that field – I proved them all wrong. *grin* I think confidence-building is especially important for young artists who might let naysayers talk them o
ut of pursuing a dream.

When I came up with the My Feenix Art Contest, I wanted everyone to be invited whether they hand -drew pictures, created on the computer or made stuffed animals, so the contest has three categories-- Flat Art
, 3-D and Digital-- for each of the two division--the High School Student division and the Adult division.

Cassondra: You’ve spoken before, here in the lair, about your dogged determination to remain true to whatever you’re passionate about. I’ve heard you say “A bad day painting was better than a good day doing anything else.” How does this art contest play into that, and how do you see it encouraging others to follow their passion?

Dianna: I do believe following your passion should be at the core of what you do if you want to be happy in life. I think just entering an art contest is a big step for many artists who are timid about submitting their art to a professional group.

The contest has no entry fee and all of the initial submissions are sent as jpgs. There’s a category for digital art, but even the hand-drawn and three-dimensional art is submitted as photos for the first round. We did this to make it as easy as possible for anyone to submit.

Sometimes just the act of doing one thing to move your craft forward is all it takes to get you thi
nking more seriously about your art--and that's true of writing too--of whatever your art is.

Cassondra: Our Bandit Buddies run the gamut from late teens to parents to grandmothers, and everything in between. What would you say to our visitors in the lair today about pursuing their dreams at any age, and how would you suggest they encourage others in their lives to do the same?

Dianna: That’s a great question, and I have a story about how important that is.

Years back, I attended a social event at the home of a female business associate. I commented on the beautiful still life and landscape paintings in her home by one particular artist whose name I couldn’t decipher.

Her mother, who had come to live with her that year, was from Puerto Rico and spoke no English, but the woman loved to watch Bob Ross’s Joy of Painting television shows where he gave art classes. Her mother was in her mid 80s when she picked up a paintbrush for the first time in her life and shocked everyone with her talent. It been a secret passion of hers forever, but she never had the opportunity to try. Now her family has these amazing paintings to remember her by.

A lot of people have t
hose secret yearnings.

I think we have to stop once in a while and ask the people closest to us, “Is there anything you’ve ever wanted to do that you haven’t and you’d like to do now?” Or just listen—pay attention-- when we hear that new or different sound in their voice when they’re telling us about something that has caught their attention.

Have an open mind about listening. That’s all it takes sometimes to encourage someone to pursue a dream.

*Bandits and Buddies shift to make room as Sven and Paulo set trays of snacks on the tables and bar*

Cassondra:
If someone is an artist—or KNOWS an artist—who might like to enter the My Feenix Art Contest, how do they get more info?

Dianna:
You can
go to www.myfeenix.com and find out everything you need to know. The instructions and entry forms are there on the site. Top prize in each adult category is $1000. Top prize for students is an iPad, plus money for school art departments and books for school libraries.

Help me spread the w
ord--and pass on the encouragement. It's never too early--or too late--to go for your dream.

Cassondra:
Feenix first appeared in BLOOD TRINITY, first book in the Belador series, which was released last October. The second book in the series, ALTERANT is scheduled for release September 27th. You can read an excerpt of BLOOD TRINITY, see the blurb for ALTERANT, and meet the Beladors at www.authordiannalove.com

What about you Bandits and Buddies?

It’s not always a mom who plays the role of encourager. Has anyone ever encouraged you at a low moment? What did they say?

Have you gone for something that scared you, and been encouraged in doing so by either watching someone
else, or having someone tell you to go for it?

What have you gone for “against the odds,” or what are you going for right now?


Have you taken a moment to encourage someone else in the pursuit of an important dream or goal? Who was it? Your child? Brother or sister? Critique Partner? Friend?


Who has made a difference in your life with a touch, a card or phone call or a word when you most needed it?

Sven is passing another round of drinks, so eat, drink, and tell us how you've helped spread the encouragement, or been encouraged at just the right moment.

Oh...and tell us what drink Sven is mixing/pouring for you. *grin*

Dianna is giving away two signed copies of BLOOD TRINITY
and one of the coveted Belador t-shirts!

167 comments:

Kim in Hawaii said...

Aloha!

Cassondra said...

Woohooo Kim!

Broke Trish's streak with the rooster!

Cassondra said...

Is it just my computer, or is the text on the blog really tiny for everyone? *Cassondra makes frowny face as she squints at the blog*

Jane said...

Hello Dianna,
It's usually mom or dad that does the encouraging, but as you get older you can rely on others like your friends. I have a few cousins I turn to when I need to bounce ideas off them or just need a pep talk.

Kim in Hawaii said...

Sven, may I have another drink before Hawaii Five O (and the delicious Alex O'Laughlin) take to the small screen?

Dianna, you are da kine (the best). I appreciate your generous support of military families!

Regarding the question, "Have you taken a moment to encourage someone else in the pursuit of an important dream or goal?"

This is a timely question as I found myself encouraging several authors (at all stages of publishing) during RT. I simply fell back on a Hawaiian proverb:

He lawai'a no ke kai papa'u, he pokole ke aho; he lawai'a no ke kai hohonu he loa ke aho.

(Okay, everyone now say it).

Translation: A fisherman of shallow seas uses only a short line; a fisherman of the deep sea uses a long line.

Explanation: You will reach only as far as you aim and prepare yourself to reach.

Proverb courtesy of renowned Hawaiian researcher Mary Kawena Pukui.

Cassondra said...

Jane said:

It's usually mom or dad that does the encouraging, but as you get older you can rely on others like your friends. I have a few cousins I turn to when I need to bounce ideas off them or just need a pep talk.

That's true for me too--as I've grown older, I've made friends who will be there for me when I need the good word. When I was younger, it was more often family. So cool that you have cousins you can rely on for that.

Cassondra said...

Kim said:

Translation: A fisherman of shallow seas uses only a short line; a fisherman of the deep sea uses a long line.

Explanation: You will reach only as far as you aim and prepare yourself to reach.


What a great proverb. And how cool that you were able to use it just in the past few days to encourage others in their dreams!

Cassondra said...

I'm going to catch some sleep. Y'all won't have to wait long for Dianna. She's usually getting up about the time I'm going to bed. I'll be back in a bit. Sven has the night shift though, so drinks and snacks will be flowing. Y'all make yourselves at home.

Helen said...

Whoo Hoo Kim have fun with him

What a fantastic interview Ladies

Dianna
This is an awesome thing to do encouraging others to get where they want to be and do the things that they want to do.
I have always encouraged everyone I know to aim for what they really want because in the long run it will make them happy more often than not. My Mum was always there for us and always encouraged us as well. I love spending time with my children and grandchildren and I think I am always positive with them.
The one thing I want more than anything at the moment is to be able to retire so as I can spend lots of time with the granchildren as they grow up and of course I will have more time for reading.

Have Fun
Helen

mariska said...

"It’s not always a mom who plays the role of encourager. Has anyone ever encouraged you at a low moment? "

My sister. Helps me a lot with the decision to meet someone else when I lost faith to a man :) And yeap, happily married with two boys now !

Kim, Congrats on the GR :)

Aside to Sven,
please find me another drink, can't drink this Cocktails, I'm still breastfeeding my 5 months old baby, do you have any Blueberry milkshakes, thank you ! :D

Dianna Love said...

Hi Kim - Congrats on nabbing that boy!! I LOVE that saying (that I'll never be able to repeat with any efficiency ). I heard you were at RT and am not the least surprised that you were encouraging authors - that's the kind of giving person you are.

Thanks for all that you do for our military families,too!! and thanks for stopping by to chat.

Dianna Love said...

Good morning Cassondra (though I know it was night for you ) - I thought the type looked fine. Thanks for the amazing job you did on pulling all that together. I'm hoping you're in bed by now and we'll see you later with the other night owls.

Dianna Love said...

Hi Jane -

Thank goodness for friends and extended family. When my mom passed away I really missed that person who wanted to know when something great happened or who understood that failure was just a step forward in reaching your goal.

thanks for stopping by today1

Dianna Love said...

Helen said -
"The one thing I want more than anything at the moment is to be able to retire so as I can spend lots of time with the granchildren as they grow up and of course I will have more time for reading."

That sounds wonderful - and your grandchildren will benefit by more time with someone who is enthusiastic about their endeavors. Sounds like you got that from your mum - they make such an impression in our lives. I think having a lot of time to read sounds like heaven.

Dianna Love said...

Mariska said -

"My sister. Helps me a lot with the decision to meet someone else when I lost faith to a man :) And yeap, happily married with two boys now !"

I like that your sister's encouragement influenced your life that way. What a wonderful reward for taking that scary leap again...and that blueberry milkshake with the whip cream and cherry looks delish. Sven is really on his game today.

thanks for stopping by!

June M. said...

My sister and I are very close since we grew up. We encourage each other and help each other as much as possible.

I would prefer to have something tropically fruity, but without alchol (it messes with my blood thinners).

Beth Andrews said...

Hey, Dianna! So glad you could be with us today - I love when you visit the lair :-)

Has anyone ever encouraged you at a low moment?

I'm going to give a shout-out here to my wonderful CP. Tawny is always there for me and really helped me through...well...not a low moment really, more like a dip in the road *g*

Dianna, that story of the 80 year old woman who started painting reminded me of my MIL. She started painting when she was in her late 70s (she's 85 now) so we all (her 7 kids) have her paintings in our homes.

Thanks so much for the great post, ladies!

Dianna Love said...

June said -
"My sister and I are very close since we grew up. We encourage each other and help each other as much as possible."

That's wonderful to have a sister who's a friend to encourage you and for you to help her. It's nice to have someone who has known you since childhood and understands how much something means to you.

thanks for stopping by!

Dianna Love said...

Hi Beth -
Thanks for the warm welcome. I'm thrilled to be back in the lair!

You said -
"I'm going to give a shout-out here to my wonderful CP. Tawny is always there for me and really helped me through...well...not a low moment really, more like a dip in the road *g* "

That reminds me of when I first sold. I was with my husband who started making the family phone calls and I started making calls to my CP (critique partners for those who are not writers). Few people understand the ups and downs in this business like a CP.

You said... "that story of the 80 year old woman who started painting reminded me of my MIL. She started painting when she was in her late 70s (she's 85 now) so we all (her 7 kids) have her paintings in our homes."

What an amazing gift to all of you, but it's even more wonderful that she did something she obviously had a passion for.

thanks for visiting today!

Maxine Davis said...

Isn't it strange how things work out sometimes? For years I was a "closet writer" and nothing could stop me. Now that I openly admit I'm a writer, people show such enthusiasm that when I secretly feel down, they lift me up and I'm ready to write again.

Barbara Vey said...

Strange as it may seem, one person who was there for me at a very low point in my life was Dianna Love. When my mom died last year, Dianna sent me a card and, knowing my quirkiness about opening mail, she wrote on the envelope "Open this right now!" It made me laugh and I really need that.

Anna Sugden said...

Hey Dianna! *waving*

Great post! I've been lucky enough to have a fab sister (and her family), awesome friends, great in-laws and the best husband to give me those words of encouragement when I need them. They're my special people.

My cluttered desk is filled with things my buds have sent me - they make me smile and encourage me to keep going.

Both my parents told me that I could do anything I put my mind to - my special people are the ones who make me believe that's true.

Dina said...

Hi Dianna, I have BLOOD TRINITY and looking forward to reading it next wk on my short trip. thank you again!

Jan said...

Good Morning! Sven, please, pour me a Mimosa...its morning here in Chicago! Hi Dianna, Cheers!

I've been fortunate that both my BFF and hubby encourage me to "step out of my box" and try new things. I can't say that I've made significant accomplishments, but if I mention that I'd like to try something new, such as taking a class, I get great support from both...and often my hubby goes with me and we learn together.

Think Spring!

Dianna Love said...

Maxine said -
"Now that I openly admit I'm a writer, people show such enthusiasm that when I secretly feel down, they lift me up and I'm ready to write again."

LOL - I was a closet writer when I started. My husband is THE most supportive man in the world but I didn't tell him for a month because I wasn't going to be so presumptuous to think "I" could write a novel. But the minute I told him and other friends I had a world of support, too.

thanks for coming over to visit!

Dianna Love said...

Barbara said -

"Strange as it may seem, one person who was there for me at a very low point in my life was Dianna Love. When my mom died last year, Dianna sent me a card and, knowing my quirkiness about opening mail, she wrote on the envelope "Open this right now!" It made me laugh and I really need that/"

Oh, Barbara, all I can say is you give it back to everyone a hundred fold, especially through your Beyond Her Book blog where you support authors AND readers every day. Thanks for the sweet post.

[I'm smiling about how you opened that letter THAT day - still proud of you]

Dianna Love said...

Hi Anna *waving back* -
you said..."Both my parents told me that I could do anything I put my mind to - my special people are the ones who make me believe that's true."

What a wonderful legacy every parent can give any child. I don't think they often know how much impact they have on our lives while they are so busy raising us and juggling life. It's great that you have built an extended family of friends who support your drive to do anything you put your mind to.

thanks for visiting today!

Dianna Love said...

HI Dina -

You said... "I have BLOOD TRINITY and looking forward to reading it next wk on my short trip. thank you again!"

You're very welcome. I hope you have a super trip and enjoy our new series. thanks for stopping by!

Dianna Love said...

Hi Jan -

you said..."I've been fortunate that both my BFF and hubby encourage me to "step out of my box" and try new things."

I love that your hubby and BFF are there for you when you step outside your comfort zone. Many great things that have been accomplished in the world came from someone taking a gamble and going into unfamiliar territory, and who probably had someone in their corner.

BTW - I'll be in Chicago next week with Sherrilyn Kenyon on the Born of Shadows tour. I think we're there on Wed (have to look at my appearance page to know where I am most weeks...). Hope you can stop by in person. :)

thanks for coming here today!

Liria said...

Hey Diana, just stopping by to say hi :)

Jan said...

Hi Dianna- I'll keep an eye out for you in Chicago! Hope the weather cooperates and turns more springlike for you!

Sven, can I have a refill over here? Please??

Cindy said...

Good morning

Dianna Love said...

Hi Liria -

Thanks for stopping by and make sure to grab one of those concoctions that Sven is slaving over. :)

Dianna Love said...

Cindy -
Good morning to you too!! Thanks for stopping by!

Isis M. Nocturne said...

Hi Dianna! :)

I'm so lucky that I can say that my immediate family (and my godparents) are incredibly supportive of me and my aspirations. For the moment, I'm still a college student who has always said I was going to be a romance writer, but has now changed her path and is majoring in film. Everyone I know and love keeps telling me I made the right choice and that they know I'll succeed simply because of my determination to tell a story on a medium that isn't paper.

I think something that I went for that really scared me was applying for my Birthright trip to Israel. As a writer, I understand the need to experience real things before I can write them, but going through the application for the trip to Israel and having to re-apply for a total of two years was terrifying. I remember asking my mom if I was having a prank played on me when I finally was accepted onto my trip. But I'm so thrilled that she encouraged me to keep applying, because I'll never forget how amazing Israel is.

*laughing* I'm a film major who also writes love stories. If that isn't going against the odds, I don't know what is!

Due to Sherrilyn Kenyon's influence in my life, and her encouragement of me to do things I love, I try to be there for my friends and support them through all their endeavors. One of my younger friends used to role play as Sookie Stackhouse on Twitter, and after she was being cyber bullied by some people who wanted her to be based on book!Sookie rather than show!Sookie, I just told her that if she needed me for ANY reason, she could email or call me. Our friendship has deepened a lot since then. :)

There are a few people on that list at different times in my life. When I was 12, it was my paternal grandmother. Knowing that I was going through a tough time with schooling, she gave me the gift of my first romance novel while I was visiting her in NY with my family. She simply told me that there's more to life than school, which is exactly what I needed to hear at that moment. (Now that she's passed away, I can't believe how badly I miss her.)

I like to think that I encourage my friends (especially those who are attempting to break into writing) by giving them honest opinions of their work and helping to edit their work on occasion. (I knew that pesky background of mine in English was handy for something!)

And YUMMY, Sven just served me a Key Lime Pie martini! *sips delicately*

seaellare said...

Dianna -

It was so interesting to read about your art! I had no idea. I was introduced to your work shortly before KMM's FeverCon last year, and love it!!! Soo looking forward to the next Belador book :)

desere_steenberg said...

Lovely post, the one person that made it all better when I was having a really horrible day is my 5 year old son he took one look at me when I got home and just gave me a hug and said I love you,it made it all better and I forgot about my fears for a while so I got a touch and a word !
Take Care,
Desere

Dianna Love said...

Isis said -
"When I was 12, it was my paternal grandmother. Knowing that I was going through a tough time with schooling, she gave me the gift of my first romance novel while I was visiting her in NY with my family. She simply told me that there's more to life than school..."

What a wonderful grandmother you had! You came from strong stock for sure.

And you said -
"Due to Sherrilyn Kenyon's influence in my life, and her encouragement of me to do things I love, I try to be there for my friends and support them through all their endeavors."

Sherri is always telling writers to never give up no matter what and she's a walking icon for sticking it out in the face of adversity. I know she'll be touched to know she had a positive influence on you.

Thanks for coming by and sharing with us today!

Mary Buckham said...

Dianna ~~ Love the words of inspiration you shared here! Have to go find a hankie -- then let more folks know about the Feenix Contest ~~ that's so amazing [and just like you to offer!].

Cheers ~~ Mary B :-)

lee said...

Hi Dianna,
Can't wait for Alterant. Love the Belador series! See you at Dragon Con!

Liz said...

Hi Dianna!
First let me say great interview! I had the opportunity to meet you during the No Mercy Tour. You won't remember but thank you once again for signing my copy of Whispered Lies. It's one of my most prized possessions! I can't wait for Alterant =) Thank you for sharing stories about your mom. My mom is my biggest encouragement as well! Hope to see you soon! Take care!
~Liz Friess

Dianna Love said...

Seaellare said -

"It was so interesting to read about your art! I had no idea. I was introduced to your work shortly before KMM's FeverCon last year, and love it!!! Soo looking forward to the next Belador book :)"

My friends who have known me "only" as an artist are always surprised to hear about my writing - lol. Thanks for reading Blood Trinity. I had such a great time at Karen's event. She's a lovely person to know and her assistant Leiha is a jewel, too.

Thanks for stopping by!

Dianna Love said...

Desere said -
"Lovely post, the one person that made it all better when I was having a really horrible day is my 5 year old son he took one look at me when I got home and just gave me a hug and said I love you,it made it all better and I forgot about my fears for a while so I got a touch and a word !"

I so admire all the authors who accomplish so much on top of being a parent, but that's a nice flip side to share - how your children can be the source of energy you need some days. The families who pick up the slack so one of their parents can pursue a dream make such a difference, and become part of that dream.

thanks for visiting with us today!

Dianna Love said...

Mary said -
" Love the words of inspiration you shared here! Have to go find a hankie -- then let more folks know about the Feenix Contest ~~ that's so amazing [and just like you to offer!]."

*Waving* at my dear friend Mary Buckham who many of you know from our traipsing around the country teaching Break Into Fiction. An award-winning author, Mary has helped many writers launch their career in publishing and she's a tireless supporter of everyone going for their dream.

thanks for swinging by the lair today! :)

Amanda said...

Thanks Sven for the royal screw how did you know *takes a SIP* Mmmmmmmm .......My Grandfather believed in my choices. After going to school for and working in the medical field my family was stunned and secretly furious that I would choose such a as they saw it " A career downgrade" though I was actually averaging more money. My grandfather said "Leave her alone she knows what she is doing. Live your life and she will live hers!" ..... I know the difference is purely social but I never had any use for what others thought. I still don't understand the importance of someone else's opinion about my life unless I was trying to sell it to them, which i am not. So anyway, I became a truck driver 10 years ago. I am happy everyday and my Grandfather bragged on me to every person he knew and met that I was the strongest smartest person he knew. I lost him 3 years ago but he told me one day that I was the best of them and they would never understand because they were to scared to be happy. I am happy how many people do you know are after ten years excited to go to work?

Dianna Love said...

Lee said -

"Can't wait for Alterant. Love the Belador series! See you at Dragon Con!"

Oh, thanks for reading and your kind words! We're excited about Alterant - lot of surprises coming. Look for me at DragonCon (and Cassondra). I'm not going to say what, but we'll be handing out something fun.

thanks for stopping by today!

Dianna Love said...

Liz said -
"First let me say great interview! I had the opportunity to meet you during the No Mercy Tour. You won't remember but thank you once again for signing my copy of Whispered Lies. It's one of my most prized possessions! I can't wait for Alterant =) Thank you for sharing stories about your mom. My mom is my biggest encouragement as well! Hope to see you soon! Take care!"

I do have a tough time with names when we meet so many people during the year but I bet I know your face next time we meet. :) Thanks for coming out to see us on tour and reading the books. I appreciate your enthusiasm over the books I have with Sherri. Mom's are just in a league all their own, aren't they? :)

thanks for visiting today!

Katrina said...

Thanks for the words of encouragement. You never know when some small act can have an impact on others! Good reminder to pay it forward and keep pursuing your dreams.

Cassondra said...

I'm up and back. Took me a bit. We lost power at some point in the night and my internet was down when I woke up. Took me a bit to get it going.

Looks like the party is rocking along and Dianna arrived early as usual. *grin*

Cassondra said...

Helen said:

I have always encouraged everyone I know to aim for what they really want because in the long run it will make them happy more often than not.

I can see this in you Helen. You're one of the most uplifting people I know--at least online. I'd love to get a taste of that in person some day.

The one thing I want more than anything at the moment is to be able to retire so as I can spend lots of time with the granchildren as they grow up and of course I will have more time for reading.

What a great goal! I bet you have plans for it already. I haven't read through all of the comments, but if you haven't said, do you have a time in mind for it?

Dianna Love said...

Amanda said -

"My Grandfather believed in my choices. After going to school for and working in the medical field my family was stunned and secretly furious that I would choose such a as they saw it " A career downgrade" though I was actually averaging more money. My grandfather said "Leave her alone she knows what she is doing. Live your life and she will live hers!"

Bless your grandfather for seeing the value of doing something you really enjoy. I've always said if you follow your passion you'll find happiness. It doesn't mean life or work will be easy - Im sure you've had tough days on the road - but that you'll feel the difficult times are worth it when you can do what you love. Kudos to you for following your heart and to your grandfather for being your rock when you needed one.

thanks for sharing with us today!

Cassondra said...

Mariska said:

Aside to Sven,
please find me another drink, can't drink this Cocktails, I'm still breastfeeding my 5 months old baby, do you have any Blueberry milkshakes, thank you ! :D


Ha! Sven is a whiz with a blender. I bet you've already had several.

Dianna Love said...

Katrina said -

"Thanks for the words of encouragement. You never know when some small act can have an impact on others! Good reminder to pay it forward and keep pursuing your dreams."

You're welcome and you're so right. We have to think about the things we say - both positive and negative - because words are powerful. I really believe it fills a spot in our soul when we do something good for another person.

thanks for stopping by today!

Cassondra said...

June M said:

I would prefer to have something tropically fruity, but without alchol (it messes with my blood thinners).

Well...I'm sure Sven has mixed it up by now and it was fabulous. I would have suggested he make a Virgin Sex On The Beach or Virgin Daiquiri. Lemme know what he mixed for you, will ya?

Cassondra said...

Beth said:

Dianna, that story of the 80 year old woman who started painting reminded me of my MIL. She started painting when she was in her late 70s (she's 85 now) so we all (her 7 kids) have her paintings in our homes.

That's so cool! I think a lot of us ending up putting our real dreams off until late in life because of kids and homes and day jobs where the money is so necessary. One of the reasons I think Dianna wants to encourage young people to start out making their dreams a success--and realizing they CAN make money doing what they love.

Cassondra said...

Maxine Davis said:

For years I was a "closet writer" and nothing could stop me. Now that I openly admit I'm a writer, people show such enthusiasm that when I secretly feel down, they lift me up and I'm ready to write again.

That's so cool! I know a number of people whose families and friends do not encourage them. They have to get around other writers for encouragement. I'm so glad you have people all around you who are supporting your writing dream along with you.

Cassondra said...

Barbara Vey said:

Strange as it may seem, one person who was there for me at a very low point in my life was Dianna Love. When my mom died last year, Dianna sent me a card and, knowing my quirkiness about opening mail, she wrote on the envelope "Open this right now!" It made me laugh and I really need that.

Hi Barbara! *waves madly* It's nice to see you here in the lair! That doesn't surprise me one bit about Dianna's card. A laugh when you need one is one of the best gifts isn't it?

Jenn3128 said...

As much as I loved this post, I also got a little upset reading it.

I'm jealous. I didn't have anyone to encourage me as a child. My parents are two of the most selfish folks I've ever known. They didn't know how to encourage, it was all a competition. It still is, my job, my family.

Aaack, let's shake that off...Sven, where are you? Bring me Grey Goose with a squeeze of lime.

catslady said...

Art was one of the few things I got praised for as a child but yet when I wanted to go into that field I was told that was impossible because you had to get a job that made money. So although I did not follow my dream, my youngest had even more talent which I've alway supported - she has won many awards and next month graduates in graphic art :)

Cassondra said...

Anna Sugden said:

My cluttered desk is filled with things my buds have sent me - they make me smile and encourage me to keep going.

I do this too--I have a little bear on mine. He's holding a sign that says, "You DID IT!" And I have other little trinkets that remind me of people who love me.

It's interesting to me that up until a couple of years ago I still had some things that were "gifts" from people--but they were people who really aren't supportive of my dreams. I've gotten rid of those now. It may seem ungrateful, but I don't need reminders of their non-support. I think I kept those around out of a sense of obligation more than anything. I passed them on to others who could appreciate them, and kept only the stuff from those who support me in my journey.

Cassondra said...

Dina said:

Hi Dianna, I have BLOOD TRINITY and looking forward to reading it next wk on my short trip. thank you again!

You're going to LOVE it!

Amanda said...

Diana~ I have a question that has been weighing on my mind. My daughter has been drawing and writing since she could pick up crayons and scribble nonsense on construction paper now she has several self illustrated novels and stories. She has received her first rejection letter sighting that they don't take paranormal or scify inspirational or teen. They returned it unread. She has since then lost steam. She is 17. I worry she has always been a prolific writer and artist she seems to have lost her drive.. I keep telling her that that it is just part of the process and she will get it eventually; but, I have never submitted my writing I don't know what it feels like. Can you help me understand so I can better help her ?

Cassondra said...

Jan said:

I've been fortunate that both my BFF and hubby encourage me to "step out of my box" and try new things. I can't say that I've made significant accomplishments, but if I mention that I'd like to try something new, such as taking a class, I get great support from both...and often my hubby goes with me and we learn together.

I think any time we try something new, it's an accomplishment worth celebrating. It's easy to get stuck in a rut. Harder to leap out of it and go a different direction.

My husband is supportive too. It's so cool that you take classes together. He and I seldom do that. Hmmm...maybe we'll have to change that. What a good idea!

Cassondra said...

Liria said:

Hey Diana, just stopping by to say hi :)

Hi Liria! Welcome! Grab a drink and stay a while.

Cassondra said...

Cindy said:

Good morning

Good morning! *grin* I can just barely say that, but I crawled out of the coffin in time. Don't have coffee yet though... Must get some. Now.

Cassondra said...

Isis said:

... I'm still a college student who has always said I was going to be a romance writer, but has now changed her path and is majoring in film. Everyone I know and love keeps telling me I made the right choice and that they know I'll succeed simply because of my determination to tell a story on a medium that isn't paper.

That's VERY cool. And I see that you may tell love stories on film too. I applaud that. They're so maligned in the film industry--but just as in books, they're top sellers. Are you planning to write screenplays as well as making films yourself? Or are you aiming toward one over the other?

I think something that I went for that really scared me was applying for my Birthright trip to Israel. As a writer, I understand the need to experience real things before I can write them, but going through the application for the trip to Israel and having to re-apply for a total of two years was terrifying. I remember asking my mom if I was having a prank played on me when I finally was accepted onto my trip. But I'm so thrilled that she encouraged me to keep applying, because I'll never forget how amazing Israel is.

Now that is just totally awesome. That had to be a life-changing experience for you. So proud of you for going for it!


Re: your grandmother, you said: ...She simply told me that there's more to life than school, which is exactly what I needed to hear at that moment.

That's a wonderful gift to have--saying the right thing in the right moment. It sounds like you're following in her footsteps with that.

And YUMMY, Sven just served me a Key Lime Pie martini!

Sven has mad skill with the blender. Enjoy!

Cassondra said...

Seaellare said:

I was introduced to your work shortly before KMM's FeverCon last year, and love it!!! Soo looking forward to the next Belador book :)

Welcome! So glad you like the Belador series. I absolutely love it. I get to read it a little in advance, and I STILL bounce around waiting for it. *grin* I heard FeverCon was fantastic.

Cassondra said...

desere said:

...the one person that made it all better when I was having a really horrible day is my 5 year old son he took one look at me when I got home and just gave me a hug and said I love you,it made it all better and I forgot about my fears for a while so I got a touch and a word !

Okay, that got a great big Awwwwwwww out of me. Made me smile really wide.

Kathleen said...

My mom was very adamant about all of my siblings (there were 8 of us!) getting an education. She made sure I applied to a couple of colleges-even private ones so I could get a good degree. I ended up going private over state (although state would have been fine-just much further away-maybe that was her motive) so having her say -Apply to Nazareth as well as the SUNY school really made an impact.

Cassondra said...

Mary Buckham said:

Dianna ~~ Love the words of inspiration you shared here! Have to go find a hankie -- then let more folks know about the Feenix Contest ~~ that's so amazing [and just like you to offer!].

Hi Mary! *waves madly* Grab Sven and...er...Wave down Sven and grab a drink. Yeah. That's what I meant. *grin*

Christiana said...

It is so nice to wake up to such a wonderful and uplifting post. Thank you very much, ladies for putting a smile on my face so early.

Oh Sven, Mix a mimosa with a bellini, but sub sprite for the champagne please. (peach puree, orange juice and sprite, it's so nice to wake up to)

Without a doubt, my greatest Encouragement came from My Aunt. She always encouraged me no matter what I chose to do, but once I started writing down all the crazy stories I was telling her, that was it. She said that was what I was meant to do, and not to let anyone stop me. When My mother, (don't get me wrong, I love her dearly) started lecturing me that I needed to get my head out of the clouds, that I needed to be responsible and needed a strong work ethic, that writing wouldn't pay the bills, and dreaming about a career that wasn't going to happen would prevent me from getting a "real" job, I'd go to my Aunts. We'd spend the Long summer days's exploring Chicago, and I'd spend the nights writing. I can't tell you how many notebooks I went through as a teen during those summers, but my aunt kept each and every one, made notes, and corrected my grammer and spelling on them. Last year, Just as I was getting the first proof copy of my short stories, I lost her. I've been a little lost since then, but I have found that a few of my friends understand my need to write. They've kept pushing until I finally started writing again.

I am petrified every time I put pen to paper, (yes I am one of those writers, I love my computer but I prefer handwriting the first draft,) I am afraid that it won't be good enough, that it won't stand up to all the great authors out there. Yet, when I get that overwhelming urge to put the pen down, I remember my Aunt's words, "This is what you are meant to do." It works like a charm every time, to keep me writing. When I get scared, or think I'm messing up, I just pull out the box of notebooks my cousin sent me, grab a book and look at the notes my Aunt made on them, and it reminds me that she had faith in me and I have to have faith in myself too.

Which is why right now, I'm wrapping up another round of polishing on a story that I plan to submit to a publisher in the next couple months. It freaks me out if I think about it too much, but I have a friend who always reads my final draft, and she says if I don't submit this one, she'll do it for me. Thank goodness for friends who push you to be your best.

With all the encouragement that I get, I try to encourage others to follow their dreams whenever I can. Lately it's been my pet project to get my nephew to enter a sketch in Dianna's Feenix contest, I might be biased but I love his drawings, even though I am not into that whole Anime scene he adores.

The small circle that I allow to see my works in progress are the ones who touch me the most, both with their constant encouragement, the honest criticism, and the fact that at Four A.M. I can call and they'll be there to listen to the crazy dream that I had that I must write out. It also helps that they don't think I'm crazy because I listen to the voices (the characters that is) in my head. It's not easy being a writer, whether published or not, but good friends, a pitcher of margarita's, a bunch of pens, and chapters printed out are how we catch up with each other, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Again, Thank you Dianna and Cassondra for a wonderful start to my day.

Gin said...

Sven just placed my margarita with extra salt in front on me. Only problem...glass way way big...will take a few minutes to drink this one...LOL!

I love your books but I didn't know you painted. I am obviously behind on things.

My best friend has encouraged me to write. And I try. She is the only person close to me that knows I want to write. Someday I will surprise us both and get something worthwhile finished.

Donna MacMeans said...

Grrr...Blogger ate my last comment. Let me try again.

Dianna - What a marvelous idea! I'm forwarding the information to my local art league. You know how expensive art supplies can be. A cash prize gives, not only validation which is much needed in any artist endeavor, but the financial ability to pursue one's passion. Is there a deadline for the submissions? Didn't see it in the blog.

As to Cassondra's questions - I have always been a closet artist. Most of my encouragement in my early years geared toward academic success - not artistic. I started painting after I married and I must give my husband credit for encouragement. I joined the local art league when I was in my forties and they really were great with encouragement and workshops. I entered some contests, won some ribbons, started to think I had a knack.

Then I discovered writing and that took over my painting time. Can't say my family was as encouraging in writing as they were with painting. They could see the paintings - not so with the developing books. However, my local RWA chapter furnished the encouragement to keep at it in spite of all the rejections. Contests finals helped with the validations as well.

Now my family is strongly committed to my artistic pursuits and I try to encourage them as well. I also try to give back through my local RWA chapters. Without a passion, a part of the soul dies. So glad you're doing something to nuture others.

Cassondra said...

lee said:

Can't wait for Alterant. Love the Belador series!

You and me both!

krazycasher said...

Dianna,
I am going to be in Atlanta in July. It would be great to see you. We are friends on facebook fjust let me know if you will bearound.
Pam (from Kroger)

keatonkat said...

Dianna, Cassondra,

My Mom has also been instrumental in where I am today, along with being blessed by a dear, dear friend of over 30 years who is always there for me.

Oh, and Sven? I'll take another scotch and water.

Thanks,

keatonkat

Cassondra said...

Liz said:

My mom is my biggest encouragement as well! Hope to see you soon! Take care!

Hi Liz, and welcome!

It seems to be really common that moms are the biggest fans and champions of many people. It's no wonder Mother's Day is the biggest flower sales day of the year, is it?

Cassondra said...

Amanda said:

My Grandfather believed in my choices. After going to school for and working in the medical field my family was stunned and secretly furious that I would choose such a as they saw it " A career downgrade" though I was actually averaging more money. My grandfather said "Leave her alone she knows what she is doing. Live your life and she will live hers!" ..... I know the difference is purely social but I never had any use for what others thought. I still don't understand the importance of someone else's opinion about my life unless I was trying to sell it to them, which i am not. So anyway, I became a truck driver 10 years ago. I am happy everyday and my Grandfather bragged on me to every person he knew and met that I was the strongest smartest person he knew. I lost him 3 years ago but he told me one day that I was the best of them and they would never understand because they were to scared to be happy. I am happy how many people do you know are after ten years excited to go to work?

Amanda, what a great story! And I'm so glad you had your grandfather to support you. He must have known that getting up and going to a job you don't like is a soul-killing thing.

Good for you for making yourself happy and not giving other people the power to decide how you feel about yourself and your work! And I don't know that many who love going to work after 10 years. Smart move!

Cassondra said...

Katrina said:

Thanks for the words of encouragement. You never know when some small act can have an impact on others! Good reminder to pay it forward and keep pursuing your dreams.

You're so right, Katrina. At times I've had something small, like a smile and a kind word, pick me up when I was so down I thought I wasn't going to make it through the day. I forget that sometimes when I get wrapped up in my own stuff.

Cassondra said...

Jenn3128 said:

As much as I loved this post, I also got a little upset reading it.

I'm jealous. I didn't have anyone to encourage me as a child. My parents are two of the most selfish folks I've ever known. They didn't know how to encourage, it was all a competition. It still is, my job, my family.

Aaack, let's shake that off...Sven, where are you? Bring me Grey Goose with a squeeze of lime.


I can relate to this in some ways. My parents weren't selfish, but I heard the "what are you going to do for a living, your art and music won't support you" so much that I believed it. A lot of my family is still not supportive of the direction I've taken in life. I grew up with the "women are teachers or nurses" mentality--and yes, I'd certainly be making more money doing that, but I think my soul would wither away.

I've had to get my encouragement for THOSE pursuits from other places. It took me a long time to find a group of friends who had my back in that.

So sometimes it's not family that does it. A friend of mine once said, "Blood makes you relatives. Love makes you family" and I think those are wise words. You go where the love is. I do, anyway.

Cassondra said...

catslady said:

Art was one of the few things I got praised for as a child but yet when I wanted to go into that field I was told that was impossible because you had to get a job that made money. So although I did not follow my dream, my youngest had even more talent which I've alway supported - she has won many awards and next month graduates in graphic art :)

I was told the same things! It's taken me a few years to get back to doing what I was meant to do. Good on you for encouraging your daughter, and I say it's never too late for you to pick up the paintbrush and pencils! DO IT!

Amanda said...

Thanks Cassondra. He did know my Grandfather spent his life doing what needed to be done

Cassondra said...

Amanda said, about her daughter:

She has received her first rejection letter sighting that they don't take paranormal or scify inspirational or teen. They returned it unread. She has since then lost steam. She is 17. I worry she has always been a prolific writer and artist she seems to have lost her drive.. I keep telling her that that it is just part of the process and she will get it eventually; but, I have never submitted my writing I don't know what it feels like. Can you help me understand so I can better help her ?

Amanda, Dianna will be along and will be able to give you more information, but I will tell you that one of the best things your daughter can do is to join a professional writing organization for the genres she wants to write. It will help her around a lot of the frustration because they'll educate her about how to approach publishers, and how to target her work to those who are looking for the kind of thing she's writing. She'll also learn more about the craft of writing and find other writers for encouragement and support.

I will say--and I think Dianna would agree--that almost every writer benefits from these associations. The sooner she joins and starts networking and learning, the better. If you need suggestions for which organizations to start looking at, there's a list of professional writing organizations on Dianna's website at www.authordiannalove.com Just click on the "Community page, then on the "writers" page.

Cassondra said...

Kathleen said:

My mom was very adamant about all of my siblings (there were 8 of us!) getting an education. She made sure I applied to a couple of colleges-even private ones so I could get a good degree...so having her say -Apply to Nazareth as well as the SUNY school really made an impact.

Good for your mom! Sounds like she was a lot like Dianna's mom in that they both pushed their kids to be the best they could be. Moms take a lot of flack for that when we're teenagers, don't they? But in the end, they're often right, and we don't known it until later.

Christina Harrison said...

You can't deny who you are and that creative streak inside you. Sometimes that creative part is getting a deal together and sometimes it's something you can hang or sit in your home. Everyone in my family creates, be it quilting,sewing, music, drawing, painting, photography, sculpting, cake decorating or several others to choose from. There's always someone to laugh at them (when appropiate) or offer support om other ways. If I could pick just one thing to work on it would great because my house wouldn't look like a craft store, but I love doing a lot of things. I couldn't ask for a more supportive family and in return I love supporting the M&Ms and my kid in their hobbies and endeavors in life.

Cassondra said...

Christiana said:

Without a doubt, my greatest Encouragement came from My Aunt. She always encouraged me no matter what I chose to do, but once I started writing down all the crazy stories I was telling her, that was it. She said that was what I was meant to do, and not to let anyone stop me...

I totally get what you're saying because my aunt was my encouragement too. She's always been on my side--when I was discouraged, she's the one who would make me understand that I had worth, and my dreams had worth. I credit her with making the difference in a lot of the choices I've made which have turned out for the better. Because they weren't "normal" choices by many people's standards.

...Which is why right now, I'm wrapping up another round of polishing on a story that I plan to submit to a publisher in the next couple months.

Woooot! Do it, do it DO IT!

...if I don't submit this one, she'll do it for me. Thank goodness for friends who push you to be your best.

Amen.

Lately it's been my pet project to get my nephew to enter a sketch in Dianna's Feenix contest,

That's terrific! I hope everyone will follow your example and encourage artists to enter!

... It also helps that they don't think I'm crazy because I listen to the voices

Oh yes, the voices. The ones that won't shut up. We all know about those, and it's essential to have some friends who don't think you're crazy. Well, maybe we're all a little crazy. *grin*

Cassondra said...

Gin said:

My best friend has encouraged me to write. And I try. She is the only person close to me that knows I want to write. Someday I will surprise us both and get something worthwhile finished.

Yes, you will! Go for it! I'm glad you've got your best friend in your corner to encourage you.

And watch out for that margarita. Sven doesn't fool around when he's mixing tequila.

Christiana said...

Cassondra said:

Oh yes, the voices. The ones that won't shut up. We all know about those, and it's essential to have some friends who don't think you're crazy. Well, maybe we're all a little crazy. *grin*

Not only do they never shut up, but they think you need to see things in technicolor that at times you wonder how you imagined them up. I am firmly convinced that those voices, especially certain ones are determined to not only have their story told, but to have it told their way, no matter what the book loving society would prefer. I have often heard of the writer being called the puppeteer, when in actuality I have found that the characters control the strings.

Cassondra said...

Donna said:

You know how expensive art supplies can be.

Ha! Yes. I'm not Dianna, but yes, I know. Last night I just dropped $22 on one sheet of watercolor paper. Yes, I cringed as I pulled out the debit card. And I got really nervous when I started the drawing. Don't wanna mess up that pricey 300-lb paper by erasing too much.

Is there a deadline for the submissions? Didn't see it in the blog.

OH! I should have included that. Didn't even think about it. Deadline is July 9th, but that's to have the jpeg submitted and the entry form snail mailed in to the contest office. Beyond that, categories will close when they get full, so while there's still plenty of time, people should go ahead and enter--don't wait until the last minute. All the details are at www.myfeenix.com.

Categories have a cap on number of entries so there will be enough qualified judges.

... I started painting after I married and I must give my husband credit for encouragement.

My husband has always been my CEO--Chief Encouragement Officer--too. He believes in me when I don't believe in myself. That's a powerful gift.

Cassondra said...

krazycasher said:

Dianna,
I am going to be in Atlanta in July. It would be great to see you. We are friends on facebook fjust let me know if you will bearound.
Pam (from Kroger)


Hi Pam! Welcome to the lair! Thanks for stopping by. I bet I've been to your Kroger when I've been in Atlanta working with Dianna.

Cassondra said...

Keatonkat said:

My Mom has also been instrumental in where I am today, along with being blessed by a dear, dear friend of over 30 years who is always there for me.

Wow, that's an amazing thing to have that support from someone who has known you so long.

Oh, and Sven? I'll take another scotch and water.

Sven is starting to look a little rough around the edges, isn't he? Pouring drinks for hours. But I like that double-five-o'clock shadow he's got going Very sexy.

Cassondra said...

Christina Harrison said:

Everyone in my family creates, be it quilting,sewing, music, drawing, painting, photography, sculpting, cake decorating or several others to choose from. There's always someone to laugh at them (when appropriate) or offer support om other ways.

That's a wonderful thing, to have a family who creates and encourages one another in doing that! Sounds like there is a lot of laughter and maybe hugs when you need them.

Cassondra said...

Christiana said:

I am firmly convinced that those voices, especially certain ones are determined to not only have their story told, but to have it told their way, no matter what the book loving society would prefer. I have often heard of the writer being called the puppeteer, when in actuality I have found that the characters control the strings.

Indeed. Mine can be very demanding. Especially when the secondary characters want their own stories, and want them NOW.

Dianna Love said...

sorry I had to dive away from the computer for a bit, everyone. Had a few fires to put out. :)

Sven, make that a double of whatever you're making that is smoking...

Dianna Love said...

Hi Jenn (3128) -

you said - "I'm jealous. I didn't have anyone to encourage me as a child. My parents are two of the most selfish folks I've ever known. They didn't know how to encourage, it was all a competition. It still is, my job, my family."

I really understand how you feel because my dad didn't just not support me, he actively badgered me about what a waste of time art was and how I'd end up with nothing if I pursued that. I would have loved for my mom to live long enough to see the result of her faith in me, but I do feel like she sees what I've done. The best thing you can do is decide to follow your passion and prove to anyone who's negative just how wrong they are.

Thanks for sharing with us and go after your dream!

Dianna Love said...

Catslady -

I'm sorry you didn't get support for your art and consider doing something with it even now.

You said - "So although I did not follow my dream, my youngest had even more talent which I've alway supported - she has won many awards and next month graduates in graphic art :)"

That's fabulous!! We know where she got the genes for that. :) How wonderful to be able to support someone else and "know" what it means to have that support. Good for you.

thanks for coming by!

Dianna Love said...

Amanda said (about her daughter) -
"She has received her first rejection letter sighting that they don't take paranormal or scify inspirational or teen. They returned it unread. She has since then lost steam. She is 17. I worry she has always been a prolific writer and artist she seems to have lost her drive.. "

It's hard to take rejection at any age, but especially as a teen. I would tell her what I tell many writers - that she has not liked a book or a picture that a thousand other people have liked and/or bought. That doesn't mean the book or picture was bad, just that it was not her flavor. In the same sense, she heard from ONE person out of how many million out there? Tell her that I often share a story about a Golden Heart winner whose first book was shopped to the top 5 houses in NY. 1 passed, didn't like it. #2 said they thought it sounded too much like a NYT author they had, could she write a new one (like we pull them out of thin air?). #3 said it had plot issues and needed to be rewritten. #4 said it did not fit what they were looking for.

#5 loved the book and bought it. The book hit the USA Today best seller list. If they had stopped at any of the first four that book would never have been published. Tell her writing is hard and dealing with publishing is even harder, but that she's just as capable of being published as any other writer and she should try again so that she can prove that one person wrong.

I'm glad she's got you behind her!

Dianna Love said...

Kathleen said -

"My mom was very adamant about all of my siblings (there were 8 of us!) getting an education. She made sure I applied to a couple of colleges-even private ones so I could get a good degree. I ended up going private over state (although state would have been fine-just much further away-maybe that was her motive) so having her say -Apply to Nazareth as well as the SUNY school really made an impact."

Wow, your mom sounds like she was a powerhouse and very determined to make sure her kids had that power behind them. Kudos to her for giving you the push you needed, when you needed it, to go the extra distance to choose from the easy option. Now you can give someone else that push. :)

thanks for coming by today!

Minna said...

Who has made a difference in your life with a touch, a card or phone call or a word when you most needed it? My good friend, several times when I was going through some hard times.

Nancy said...

Kim, congrats on the bird!

Dianna, welcome back! As for going against the odds, isn't that what everyone who submits a manuscript is doing? I'm lucky in that my husband and son support my aspirations and are willing to adjust their plans when necessary.

Sven is making me a Coke because I have to drive out and get the boy in a bit. Then he'll make me a bourbon and ginger ale.

I loved Blood Trinity and am looking forward to Alterant!

Dianna Love said...

Christiana said -
"...I am petrified every time I put pen to paper, (yes I am one of those writers, I love my computer but I prefer handwriting the first draft,) I am afraid that it won't be good enough, that it won't stand up to all the great authors out there. Yet, when I get that overwhelming urge to put the pen down, I remember my Aunt's words, "This is what you are meant to do."

Your aunt sounds like a fantastic mentor and how lucky you are to have had her for the time you did. If it helps, EVERY writer has those moments of fear. Publishing a book doesn't make it easier, if anything, it gets harder because you think "will this one be as good as the last one" you just poured your heart and soul into. You wonder if you can do it again, but once you sit down and get busy the magic does happen again. :)

I'm an aunt and godmother to several teens/young adults who I've always encouraged to find something they would enjoy even if it takes a couple tries. I think we have lost a lot of the extended family support systems in recent years in this country because we tend to move away to new cities. That's one reason my husband and I decided we would like to be the "support" team rather than raise children. We felt like we could be more helpful to several families that way.

Thanks for encouraging your nephew to enter the art contest. See? You're paying it forward. :) Just the idea that "you think he's good enough to enter a contest" can mean a lot down the road to him.

thanks for stopping by today.

Dianna Love said...

Gin said -
"I love your books but I didn't know you painted. I am obviously behind on things."

lol - you're not behind. Thanks for reading my books. :)

and you said -
"My best friend has encouraged me to write. And I try. She is the only person close to me that knows I want to write. Someday I will surprise us both and get something worthwhile finished."

That's a good friend. My SIL is big reader and someone very dear to me. Other than my hubby, she was the only one I told about writing at first. She'd read my pages and get excited...then she finally said not to give her anything until I was done b/c I changed something when I edited. I so love that she was over the moon excited about me writing and never doubted I could do it.

You should try the 100 club. You write 100 words a day, no matter what it's about. That sounds easy because it's only 10 lines of text on a manuscript page, but the key is to do it every day. After a while, your muse will make you write on the story and the next thing you know you'll have pages. Just try it.

thanks for stopping by and definitely write those words down!

Cassondra said...

Minna said:


Q: Who has made a difference in your life with a touch, a card or phone call or a word when you most needed it?
A: My good friend, several times when I was going through some hard times.


Minna, so glad you've got that friend in your corner!

Cassondra said...

Nancy said:

Sven is making me a Coke because I have to drive out and get the boy in a bit. Then he'll make me a bourbon and ginger ale.

Okay wait. This is new. I had no idea you were a bourbon drinker. Well. I never. You just don't know a person, even when you think you do!....

Nancy, every time I'm around you, you surprise me.

That's a good thing though. *grin*

Dianna Love said...

Donna M -
Love hearing about so many artists in our field. :)

you said -
"...Then I discovered writing and that took over my painting time. Can't say my family was as encouraging in writing as they were with painting. They could see the paintings - not so with the developing books. However, my local RWA chapter furnished the encouragement to keep at it in spite of all the rejections. Contests finals helped with the validations as well."

Hah! With the fabulous books you now have published you've proven what passion and drive can do to a dream. We are so fortunate to have a huge writing organization like RWA that nurtures and mentors so many writers. It had to be even harder back when RWA did not exist and there was no internet. Supporting each other meant even more and laid the groundwork for today's organization.

Good for you that you have continued to go after what makes your heart sing. It shows in your writing! Thanks for visiting today.

Dianna Love said...

Krazycasher...Hi Pam!!

you said -
"I am going to be in Atlanta in July. It would be great to see you. We are friends on facebook fjust let me know if you will bearound.
Pam (from Kroger)"

I'm so thrilled!! You're still in Seattle, right? I'll be out there this year, too. :) Definitely send me a note to diannaATauthordiannalove.com and we'll catch up. :)

thanks for coming by here and good to hear from you.

Dianna Love said...

KeatonKat said -

"My Mom has also been instrumental in where I am today, along with being blessed by a dear, dear friend of over 30 years who is always there for me."

Friends like that are beyond special and so important. How nice to have had your mom and this person to back you when you stepped out to try something new. And I'm sure you're just as supportive in return. :)

thanks for coming by to visit today!

Dianna Love said...

Christina said -
"You can't deny who you are and that creative streak inside you. Sometimes that creative part is getting a deal together and sometimes it's something you can hang or sit in your home."

I couldn't agree more. I often hear someone say it's wonderful to have my talent for art or writing, then they finish with "I didn't get any talent." That's when I tell them they're wrong. Talent isn't confined to art, music, theater, or whatever "sounds" like a creative endeavor. Talent comes in many forms. I considered my mom to have a special talent for raising her kids and I think the people who volunteer have a gift for how they bring people together.The guy who trimmed our house was passionate about what he did and it showed. A friend of ours builds custom mufflers for vehicles and he is truly an artist.

Everybody has a gift and a passion...it's just a matter of being open to developing that passion.

thanks for stopping by today!

Dianna Love said...

Minna said -

"Who has made a difference in your life with a touch, a card or phone call or a word when you most needed it? My good friend, several times when I was going through some hard times."

Isn't that the truth? It's so nice, especially in this electronic age, to get that card or phone call when you really need just one person to be on your side and understand. I love to send hand written notes, and to get them. I keep all of them. Glad you have someone like that in your life.

thanks for visiting today!

Dianna Love said...

Nancy said -
"Dianna, welcome back!"

thanks, it's great to come here any time! :)

"As for going against the odds, isn't that what everyone who submits a manuscript is doing? I'm lucky in that my husband and son support my aspirations and are willing to adjust their plans when necessary."

It's a true blessing to have a supportive immediate family because there are many out there who don't. It's hard for many families to understand when a writer is battling to get pages done or revised and traveling to conferences "before" they sell. This is when you find out who is really in your corner and your family clearly is, but they've also seen your success and know how hard you're working to reach your dream.

You said -
"I loved Blood Trinity and am looking forward to Alterant!"

Thanks! We're excited too. I'll see you at DragonCon for sure. :)

thanks for coming by and I hope you're feeling better. :)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Holy Cannolis, Batman! Look at all the peoples! Grins. So glad you have such a wonderful reception committee, Dianna! It's fitting for someone who DOES give so much.

*dries misty eyes, as I've been the recipient of Dianna's helping hand*

So glad you're here with us today! I'll read through the comments and then answer the questions.

In the meantime, Kim, Congrats on nabbing the chook!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Maxine Davis said: Now that I openly admit I'm a writer, people show such enthusiasm that when I secretly feel down, they lift me up and I'm ready to write again

That's so cool. And so true! I'll shout out here to ALL the Banditas, who are about the best there is when it comes to encouragement, pick-me-ups, stern talking-to's, and disposing-of-the-remains-of-those-who-displease-us. Grins. (Not, that's NOT a threat....) Ermingarde always comes in handy for those little jobs, btw.

I'll second Mariska and several others when I say my sister has been a HUGE encouragement, as were my late parents. I didn't lose my Mama as early as you, Dianna, but she never knew about the writing, even though she'd encouraged it. I do regret that, although I know she "knows" it now. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Dianna Love said: My husband is THE most supportive man in the world

I'll second that one too, Dianna. My DH is amazingly supportive and wonderful. He's always showing off my books, or telling people when the next one is out, or suggesting things to readers. He's a gem.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Cassondra said: I passed them on to others who could appreciate them, and kept only the stuff from those who support me in my journey.


Yippeee! I think this is really smart, Cassondra. This biz is crazy enough without the added burden of those people who want you to be "sensible."

Nothing cool, interesting, lucrative, legendary, or breakthrouh was ever achieved being sensible, and if you show me a sensible writer (other than a self-help-guru), I'll show you an unemployed writer. Hahahah!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Cassondra said: Oh yes, the voices. The ones that won't shut up. We all know about those, and it's essential to have some friends who don't think you're crazy. Well, maybe we're all a little crazy. *grin*

Bwah-ha-ha-ha! I love the voices. They make me happy. (most of the time) One of my Chief Encouragers gave me a bumper sticker that says: Now My Little Voices are Texting Me

Makes me LOL every time I see it.
Snork.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Cassondra said: Nancy, every time I'm around you, you surprise me. That's a good thing though. *grin*

I feel the same way, Cassondra. Nancy, you pull out some of the most interesting character traits sometimes...

SNORK!!! And then, there's the Plantagenets....HAHAHAHAHA!

Dianna Love said...

Jeanne said -
"...Look at all the peoples! Grins. So glad you have such a wonderful reception committee, Dianna! It's fitting for someone who DOES give so much."

Ah, thanks, Jeanne. You're another one who supports the passion and visions of your friends. I'm tickled to see so many great visitors today. :)

thanks for always being willing to party with me.

Amanda said...

Thank you Diana. I never see you when you are not giving encouragement and offering Kyms words. I once saw an article that said that your physical beauty was eclipsed only by the beauty of your personality. They were right.

Amanda said...

Kind words not Kyms

Dianna Love said...

Amanda said -
"Thank you Diana. I never see you when you are not giving encouragement and offering Kyms words. I once saw an article that said that your physical beauty was eclipsed only by the beauty of your personality. They were right."

Oh, my goodness, I'm so flattered and blushing. :) I really appreciate you visiting today and all your warm comments.

Dianna Love said...

Amanda -

lol - don't you hate the keys that "correct" what you type and change kind to Kyms? ;) I figured that's what you meant.

Cassondra said...

Jeanne said:

Nothing cool, interesting, lucrative, legendary, or breakthrouh was ever achieved being sensible...

Ha! Well...I have had my sensible moments, but I try really hard to keep those to a minimum.

*grin*

Amanda said...

LOL my phone loves changing things up on me it is a little game we play

Heather said...

One of my most uplifting influences is my little nephew. He'll be 2 in August,so he's just a little guy, but I don't think anyone has affected my perspective on life more than he has.

He's not even 2 yet, and he has already had two open heart surgeries to repair a heart defect. The second one was back in December and he was ready to run around just 20 minutes after getting out of surgery.

Seeing his strength and his happiness even after his obstacles, made me realize that you really can handle anything you choose to as long as you stay positive.

Things can always be worse. I often times wonder if I could handle what he has had to deal with, if I was facing a similar situation. Then he smiles at me, and I think, anything really is possible. I've seen it first hand in him :)

Dianna Love said...

Heather said -
"One of my most uplifting influences is my little nephew. He'll be 2 in August,so he's just a little guy, but I don't think anyone has affected my perspective on life more than he has.

He's not even 2 yet, and he has already had two open heart surgeries to repair a heart defect. The second one was back in December and he was ready to run around just 20 minutes after getting out of surgery.

Seeing his strength and his happiness even after his obstacles, made me realize that you really can handle anything you choose to as long as you stay positive."


Aren't children amazing? They don't know the meaning of "can't" and they just go for it full bore. We can take a lesson from children who battle life threatening situations. They often take my breath by the amazing spirit that just bursts from a child with serious health problems. It's humbling. Bless your nephew for being a fighter and for showing everyone around him what really matters in life. I know he's lucky to have you as an aunt.

thanks for visiting us today!

Cassondra said...

Heather said:

Things can always be worse. I often times wonder if I could handle what he has had to deal with, if I was facing a similar situation. Then he smiles at me, and I think, anything really is possible. I've seen it first hand in him :)

Aw, that's a great story!

You're right. A lot of it is attitude, and mine can get darn bad sometimes. Thank you for sharing that!

Dianna Love said...

I am a very early riser (surrounded by vampire children like Cassondra...) so I'm going to sign off for the night. I'll be back early tomorrow to catch up any late posts.

Thank YOU Banditas and Cassondra for having me back today. I love visiting the lair and had a great time with everyone sharing their stories of inspiration and support. Remember - Always follow your heart and you'll be happy in life.

Love and hugs, Dianna

CindyO said...

I no longer have either of my parents. I do remember that mom would tell me that nothing was impossible the impossible is just a bit harder to do.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

CindyO said: I no longer have either of my parents. I do remember that mom would tell me that nothing was impossible the impossible is just a bit harder to do.

Wow, Cindy, my mama used to say that too! She decided, after we put a man on the moon, that there really was NOTHING which was impossible. She used to say "Landsakes, girl, if humankind can do that, we can do anything, so don't let anything stop you."

Grins.

That said, my parents were both uber practical and figured we should all have a "fallback" job plan. Grins. As someone said about girls-being-teachers, mine was being a librarian. I am not now, nor have I ever BEEN one, but I've got the certification! Hahaha!

Chelsea said...

Dianna, Thanks so much for remembering our Beyond her Books on facebook when you do these interviews. I find your life fascinating and love reading new things about you all the time! I think your mothers encouragement is an amazing thing and I agree with her that it shouldn't matter who you teach but helping others out is an amazing thing, not just for them but for your own soul as well. It's always been my dad who was more on the encouragement than my mom ;) I hope that when my son is older he'll feel like I do even now about my dad. Thanks for sharing :)

Who has made a difference in your life with a touch, a card or phone call or a word when you most needed it?

My dad always. He might have drove me crazy when he lived with me but no matter what his hugs, his loving support in anything I do, and his listening ear when he knows I just need to get something off my chest are worth more to me than anything. In my dad I have a non judgmental parent who completely loves and adores me, gives me free advice and makes me feel like I'm the most important thing in his life.

Email is swtlilangel4jc @yahoo dot com

Thanks again for sharing Dianna and thanks Romance Bandits for posting her interview here :)

Leiha said...

Great blog today Dianna! The more I read about you the more I love you!

Cassondra said...

CindyO said:

I no longer have either of my parents. I do remember that mom would tell me that nothing was impossible the impossible is just a bit harder to do.

Oh, what a fantastic thing for your mom to say! I'm sorry she's not with you now. It sounds like she was an amazing woman.

Cassondra said...

Chelsea said:

In my dad I have a non judgmental parent who completely loves and adores me, gives me free advice and makes me feel like I'm the most important thing in his life.

Hi Chelsea, thanks for stopping in, and welcome to the lair!

That's fantastic. I think all it takes is one person in your life to make a huge difference. Some people don't get that from their parents and have to go find it in other people.

Lucky you to have a dad who encouraged you!

Cassondra said...

Leiha said:

Great blog today Dianna! The more I read about you the more I love you!

Hi Leiha! Welcome and thanks for stopping in to say hi!

Louisa Cornell said...

Aloha, Kim! The GR is no fool! He wanted to have a little island time!

Dianna is one of the reasons I decided to start writing again. We met at a readers' luncheon about five years ago and talked about how I had always wanted to be a writer until my music career sort of took over my life.

You have no idea what your encouragement and wonderful personality have meant to me over the years. I'm not published yet, but I'm not quitting either!

I've been really lucky to have people like Dianna, the Banditas, Diane Gaston, the Pixie Chicks and the Ruby-Slippered Sisters to keep me on the trail of this writing thing.

My parents always encouraged us to pursue our dreams and to reach for the sky. I would never have had my opera career without their help and sacrifice. I can still hear my Dad whispering in my ear "You can be anything you want to be, Stinky (don't ask!) because you're the smartest person I know." Those words spoken to a twelve-year-old girl have resonated through my life no matter how bad it gets or no matter how down on myself I feel.

Cassondra said...

Dianna, thanks so much for spending your day with us! Sleep well! I'll be up for a while yet. ;0)

Dawn said...

It is awesome that your mom supported your art and you. I think that it is one of the best things a mother can do for their child. Encouragement can go a long way :).

alba said...

Hi dianna I was over at SOS Aloha said you were her so I thought I would stop by and wave HI...
Ann/alba

LilMissMolly said...

Sven would serve me a very large cold dark beer. Yum!

donnas said...

Congrats on the release!!

Im pretty sure I would be having a nice cold vodka and OJ.

Kim what a great proverb. Thanks for sharing!

Kym said...

Dianna, your mom sounded like a wonderful mom to have ..I have done my best to teach my kids the same principles, and hope my kids speak as fondly about me, as you do yours.

I have learned so much about you this week on the blogs..and your kindness shows thru all you do !

Kym
krykym(at)fullchannel.net

snulfers said...

I'm a simple kind of person that has a friend who keeps encouraging me to seek-out my dreams. when we first got to know each other she asked me what my dreams where. I told her my dream was to get an electric floor mop to keep up with my home. ( told you I was simple) The next day she showed up with a Bissel flip-it and told me to get some bigger dreams. I now am pursuing a career as a peer support specialist and dream of a Wolf Pup floor loom.

Sheree said...

Sven, bring me a mojito stat! Thanks!

Great post! My parents were very encouraging to me and my siblings. Whatever our interests were, they try to enable us to pursue it, even horseback riding.

I'm always impressed by artists. I had art lessons in first grade until I spent one afternoon skipping art class to read books in the bookstore by the bus stop (I read above my grade level). That was the end of my art lessons. I suppose I should have kept at it but since I'd rather read, my parents didn't push me.

Teresa K. said...

Dianna,

I know from personal experience how kind you all and how you pass it on. Last year when I had that car accident after leaving DragonCon. You and Sherry were so concerned and made sure I was okay.

I also seen how you were with the fans at DragonCon. Your an awesome LADY!

Teresa K.
tcwgrlup41@yahoo.com

Dianna Love said...

Cindy O said -

"I no longer have either of my parents. I do remember that mom would tell me that nothing was impossible the impossible is just a bit harder to do."

Great words to live by. That's what makes a mom so amazing - giving you something to hold onto when they aren't there in person. Sounds like a wonderful woman.

thanks for visiting - looks like I "just" missed you last night.

Dianna Love said...

Chelsea said -

"In my dad I have a non judgmental parent who completely loves and adores me, gives me free advice and makes me feel like I'm the most important thing in his life. "

I think that's a big key to helping someone else - being non-judgmental. The person who can approach help with an open mind and heart can do amazing things. You dad sounds like he was a terrific guy and left you with plenty of tools to face life.

thanks for coming by the blog today and I'll see you back at the FB club house. :)

Dianna Love said...

Hi Leiha -

You know I love you, too. [BTW gang - Leiha and I go back many years and she works with the fabulous Karen Marie Moning, another dear friend of mine]

Hope you're having a great time in Florida, but we miss you back home.

thanks for coming by the blog. :)

Dianna Love said...

Louisa said -

"Dianna is one of the reasons I decided to start writing again. We met at a readers' luncheon about five years ago and talked about how I had always wanted to be a writer until my music career sort of took over my life."

I am so thrilled with watching how you've gone from talking about writing to finaling twice in the Golden Hearts and winning other awards. I meet people all the time who say "I've thought about writing because I have this story idea, but 'I'm' not a writer..." and I tell them about how you decided one day you were going to write your story and where that has taken you. I think your music career is just amazing, too.

you said -
"I can still hear my Dad whispering in my ear "You can be anything you want to be, Stinky (don't ask!) because you're the smartest person I know." Those words spoken to a twelve-year-old girl have resonated through my life no matter how bad it gets or no matter how down on myself I feel."

lol about your dad's cute name for you, but having two parents encourage you is wonderful. You proved them right, which really had to make them happy. It's a two way street - someone gives encouragement then you have to step up to the plate, which you did and more than once.

thanks for coming by and for sitting down to write your first book.

Dianna Love said...

Dawn said -
"It is awesome that your mom supported your art and you. I think that it is one of the best things a mother can do for their child. Encouragement can go a long way :)."

You said it right - encouragement CAN go a long way, throughout a person's lifetime. I use to fret over everything around my nieces when they were 2-3 years old, worrying about doing everything "right" around them because I wasn't a mom. My brother said you can't do anything wrong with a kid if your love it. I relaxed after that and stop stressing and realized he was right.

thanks for stopping by!

Dianna Love said...

Alba said -

"... I was over at SOS Aloha said you were her so I thought I would stop by and wave HI..."

Hi Alba - thanks for coming by to say hello. Waving back at ya!

Dianna Love said...

LilMissMolly -

I hope Sven got your drink just right. Thanks for coming by to visit today1

Dianna Love said...

Donna S said -
"Congrats on the release!!"

Thanks and glad you came by today!

Dianna Love said...

Kym said -

"...I have done my best to teach my kids the same principles, and hope my kids speak as fondly about me, as you do yours. "

I have no doubt that your children will remember that you set a good example of who to live and what matters in life. One of the things that was is so powerful about being a parent is when we - the children - think about our actions because we want our parents to be proud of us.

"I have learned so much about you this week on the blogs..and your kindness shows thru all you do !"

That's so nice of you to say - I have a great time visiting with all of you on FB. You've created amazing energy with the Friends from Beyond Her Book Party FB page! Thanks for coming by to say hello.

Dianna Love said...

Snulfers said -

"I told her my dream was to get an electric floor mop to keep up with my home. ( told you I was simple) The next day she showed up with a Bissel flip-it and told me to get some bigger dreams. I now am pursuing a career as a peer support specialist and dream of a Wolf Pup floor loom."

LOL - now THAT's a friend! And look what one person's encouragement has done - you are looking to be a 'peer support specialist,' which continues to pay it forward to others. Don't stop, no matter what. You will have the chance to affect a lot of lives.

thanks for coming by to visit.

Dianna Love said...

Sheree said -

"Great post! My parents were very encouraging to me and my siblings. Whatever our interests were, they try to enable us to pursue it, even horseback riding."

From that background, I'm sure you and your siblings have shared that encouragement with others because doing so becomes a part of your being when you have it all during growing up. That's wonderful to have had two supportive parents.

You also said -
"I'm always impressed by artists. I had art lessons in first grade until I spent one afternoon skipping art class to read books in the bookstore by the bus stop (I read above my grade level)."

But the good news is that you can always draw if you want, but I'm glad you're a reader! thanks for stopping by today.

Dianna Love said...

Teresa K said -

"I know from personal experience how kind you all and how you pass it on. Last year when I had that car accident after leaving DragonCon. You and Sherry were so concerned and made sure I was okay."

That was scary! Glad you were okay and thanks for the kind words. DragonCon was wild last year with Sherri being the top guest.

You also said -
"I also seen how you were with the fans at DragonCon. Your an awesome LADY!"

Oh, thanks. I'm so flattered. You have no idea how much it touches my life to meet readers in person.

thanks for stopping by today to visit!

Jen said...

I believe there is nothing better then a family that will stand by you and back your dreams. While I personaly do not have a lick of creativity, I come from a very creative family. We have artists and musicians,florists and party planners, even a comedian.

I have watched my family nurture these talents and praise goals reached even in times of great financial strain. I can think of nothing better to give a young person then the gift of self cofindence and a safe haven where the skys the limit!

Bravo to all the encouragers!

Mindy said...

Hi Dianna :)
Great interview,
Both of my parents were/are artists and always encouraged me to "just try it" if anything interested me instead of just watching everyone else. If it hadn't been for Mother and Dad encourageing me, I doubt I would ever have had the courage to sing solos in school.
Just try it is the way I was brought up & to this day I still am a "tryer"

Mindy :)

Mindy said...

Oops, I'm Birdsooong(at)aol.com

Mindy :)

Cassondra said...

Y'all, I'm sorry I didn't catch these last night--I turned in a little early --trying to shake an upper respiratory infection before I have to travel next week.

Louisa said:

I can still hear my Dad whispering in my ear "You can be anything you want to be, Stinky (don't ask!) because you're the smartest person I know." Those words spoken to a twelve-year-old girl have resonated through my life no matter how bad it gets or no matter how down on myself I feel


Wow, Louisa, what an amazing gift he gave you there.

My first grade teacher once turned to me and said, "You can do anything you want to do. Remember that." And it stuck in my heart in just this way. I heard her--heard her with my heart and not just my ears. I believed it and it carried me through a lot of trouble in my childhood.

Those words spoken to a child at the right time are so powerful.

Cassondra said...

snulfers said:

I'm a simple kind of person that has a friend who keeps encouraging me to seek-out my dreams. when we first got to know each other she asked me what my dreams where. I told her my dream was to get an electric floor mop to keep up with my home. ( told you I was simple) The next day she showed up with a Bissel flip-it and told me to get some bigger dreams. I now am pursuing a career as a peer support specialist and dream of a Wolf Pup floor loom.

I'm so impressed with your friend! She saw the potential and now look at you going after what you want!

Those Wolf floor looms are amazing.

Cassondra said...

Dawn, alba, Molly and DonnaS,

Thanks for stopping by to say hello!

Cassondra said...

Sheree said:

I had art lessons in first grade until I spent one afternoon skipping art class to read books in the bookstore by the bus stop (I read above my grade level). That was the end of my art lessons. I suppose I should have kept at it but since I'd rather read, my parents didn't push me.

Well, I bet you were probably gravitating toward your real love of books, and there's nothing wrong with that in my view.

So glad your parents encouraged you to find where you belonged!

Cassondra said...

Teresa K said:

I know from personal experience how kind you all and how you pass it on. Last year when I had that car accident after leaving DragonCon. You and Sherry were so concerned and made sure I was okay.

Teresa, I'm glad they were there to help. Dianna and Sherrilyn are good folks to have in your corner. ;0)

Cassondra said...

Jen said:

I can think of nothing better to give a young person then the gift of self cofindence and a safe haven where the skys the limit!

I don't think I've ever seen a statement more packed with fundamental wisdom.

I just have to say Amen.

Cassondra said...

Mindy said:

Just try it is the way I was brought up & to this day I still am a "tryer"


That's a fantastic philosophy! I've always looked at anything--like building a house--and said, "how hard could it be?--Someone else is doing it, so I should be able to do that too." I think I got that from growing up with cousins and extended family who would take on pretty much anything as a do-it-yourself project.

That's served me well through my life.

And that was a great thing they taught you---don't just watch--
TRY IT! Most excellent.

Catherine Mann said...

Hey there, Dianna! Always great to read an interview about you - it's like having a cyber visit. :) Congrats on all your success - you're awesome!!!