As the youngest in the family growing up on a farm outside of Findlay, Ohio, Diane Craver often acted out characters from her own stories in the backyard. In high school she was the student sitting in class with a novel hidden in front of her propped up textbook. Her passion for reading novels had to be put on hold during her college years at Ohio State University with working part-time on campus and being a full-time student. Before embarking on her writing career, she was a school teacher and play director.
Diane is a member of Romance Writers of America. Several non-fiction articles have been published in Woman’s World Weekly, The Catholic Telegraph, Virtue, Down Syndrome Today, WritersWeekly.com, and several other publications. Her book, The Christmas of 1957, received 5 stars from the Midwest Book Review. She writes contemporary romance, inspirational mainstream, chick-lit mystery, and non-fiction books.
After watching the original movie, Cheaper by the Dozen, young Diane decided then and there, she someday wanted a large family. By the time she married Tom, the love of her life, she decided maybe six children was a better number than twelve. She enjoys her life in southwestern Ohio with her husband and six children. Two daughters, Christina and April, live away from home with successful careers. Another two children, Bartholomew and Emily, are attending college. Life is never boring with two daughters, Sara and Amanda, born with Down syndrome living at home. Diane’s husband of thirty-one years is very supportive of her writing career, as well as her awesome children.
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Using Life Experiences in My Writing
As a writer, I have to admit that my stories are influenced by my many life experiences. Hey, I've lived life fully! LOL Even though I might use some real-life situations and interesting features from actual people for my characters, I create fictional stories for the reader's enjoyment.
When I wrote my newest release, WHITNEY IN CHARGE, I wanted to write a story about sisters and their family bond. The focus had to be on the youngest sister, Whitney, since I'm the little sis in my family. I could easily write how the older sisters like to mother the youngest. In Whitney's case, her sisters Shannon and Regan want Whitney to get back into dating after her husband's death. Unfortunately, they think they know best and sign her up for skydiving so that she can meet hot guys. Whitney hates heights and flying! I also enjoyed writing about Whitney falling in love again.
In my chick-lit mystery, book, A FIERY SECRET, the main character is a feisty investigative reporter, Catherine Steel. The inspiration for her came from my daughter Christina. I stole a few of her amusing dating stories for a bit of the storyline. There's a secondary character Miranda born with Down syndrome. She was fun to write. I think it's important to show people with disabilities in a positive light. Miranda is actually based on my youngest daughter Amanda. She is a vivacious 19-year-old and brings great joy to our family.
Luke Brunsman, a character in my inspirational romance, NO GREATER LOSS, was inspired by my husband, Tom. I also like my heroines to be strong women with athletic abilities. Psychologist Jennifer Hunter is a great tennis player (I'm not) and Tori Moorhead in my women's fiction, NEVER THE SAME, is awesome in sports. After watching our daughters, April and Emily, excel in sports, I like to include athletic abilities in some of my female characters. I admire athletic talent, especially since I have none in that area. Hey, I started out on the varsity girls' basketball team but was moved to the reserve team.
But I don't just get creative ideas from my own family and life. TV has been a big influence. One idea actually came from a news report about a plane crash. When I heard of a woman walking away from this crash and wanting to change her life, my imagination took this compelling idea to develop the story for NEVER THE SAME. The same thing happened with A FIERY SECRET. On TV they mentioned Prince Charles and Camilla Bowles getting married, and an idea popped into my head how cool it’d be for the main character to have a fantasy related to Buckingham Palace.
I will continue writing some real-life situations for my characters, but I will also use imagination to mold them into unique people.
CONTEST: Leave a comment or question for Diane this week and you're entered in her drawing. The winner will get to choose a free download from her Samhain backlist. The titles are NO GREATER LOSS, A FIERY SECRET, or NEVER THE SAME.