Monday, November 23, 2009

This Week's Special Guest Is Diane Craver

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,, 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.

Visit Diane's Website *** Visit Diane's Blog

Welcome to the Tiki Hut, Diane!


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.

: 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.


  1. Welcome to the Tiki Hut Diane!

    Thanks so much for being our special guest this week and I loved the post - it's so neat to read about what sparks a writer's imagination!

    Best of luck with your books!

  2. Thank you so much for having me! It's awesome being here!

  3. Diane, I admire people with athletic ability because it's something I completely lack as well. As for good dating stories -- and I should use this -- I once almost shot my date's dad. We were skeet shooting, and I aimed very carefully and kept following the target as it got lower and lower. Didn't see my date's dad walk in front of me. Fortunately, he ducked.

  4. Shawna,
    What a great story - glad your date's dad ducked! You should use that in one of your stories! Thanks for visiting me here. You're entered in my drawing!

  5. Hi, Diane.

    What is your opinion on book trailers? Do you think they help in book sales?

    Tracey D

  6. I love the way you've put so much of your real life into your books. Unfortunately my life is so dull if I did that it would read like binary code.

  7. Hi, Diane! I love books that draw on real life! And I do love books that involve a character's relationship to his/her family--often that's really telling! Congrats on your releases, and may you continue to find inspiration for your fiction in all sorts of different real-life ways!

  8. I truly admire your for using real life as your inspiration in your books.

    I have not read your work yet, but am going to check out your books.

  9. Diane,
    I loved Whitney In Charge. You really captured the essence of sisterly love and caring with Whitney and her sisters. I can see where you taped into your real life feelings to bring that out in the book. Bravo!


  10. Hi Tracey,
    Great question about trailers. I saw a bump in my sales for A Fiery Secret (chick-lit mystery) after my trailer was released. I don't think the trailers always help sales but they definitely get readers' attention, and I've heard that a reader has to hear an author's name 7 times before they might buy their books.

  11. Pamela,
    I guess we have an unusual family in some ways so that makes life interesting. :)

  12. Thank you so much, flchen1. I'm glad you enjoy books that draw on real life.

  13. Estella,

    Thanks so much. I'm glad you want to check out my books!

  14. Thanks, Steph! I'm glad you brought that out about the sisterly bond - I had so much fun writing it.

  15. Hi Diane,
    You're a new author to me and I'm absolutely thrilled to make your acquaintance. Your stories sound wonderful and I can't wait to start reading the ones already in your backlist.

    Happy Reading
    Anna Shah Hoque

  16. Dear Diane, I love the humor and interaction between Katherine and Jake in the excerpt of A Fiery Secret! Having six kids myself, I know how much being able to see the funny side of things makes the day go better. I can tell Jake will surprise Katherine many times in their relationship and she will bearn a lot more about him and herself! Congratulations on a very intriguing second-times a charm story.

  17. Hi Anna,
    It's nice to meet you, too! Thank you for being interested in my stories and your kind comments.

  18. SciFi lover,

    Great to know you also have six kids. :) Enjoy them -they grow up so quickly. Our son's getting married this Saturday.

    I agree - humor helps to get thru each day.

    Thank you!

  19. Have any of your caracatures real life counterparts ever identified them selves?

  20. Hi snulfers,
    Well, my character Catherine Steel is based loosely on my daughter Christina but after she read A FIERY SECRET, she felt Catherine was actually a combination of 3 of my daughters. :)

    My husband recognizes certain personality traits in the character Luke Brunsman that are his.

  21. Hi Diane, It is great to meet you! I am haeding over now to check out your website. Happy thanksgiving!

    debby 236 @ att .net

  22. Hi Debby,
    Thank you for visiting here and my website!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you, too! My son's getting married this Sat. so this is an extra special week for us as a family!

  23. Hi Diane,
    It's so funny what your blog said about you being the one reading a novel hidden behind your textbook in high school. Me and all of my girlfriends from high school loved to read as well. We would all have our current novels with us and hide them behind our textbooks during lectures. Believe it or not, it was too easy to be swept away into the book's world and tune out everything and everyone else. After reading about your books, I'm very interested in No Greater Loss. It sounds like such a beautiful story and I cannot wait to read it. Happy Holidays!

    ~Melissa A.~

  24. Hi Melissa,
    Sorry that I'm just now replying. Our son's wedding was last night and the rehearsal dinner was on Friday night.

    That is funny about you and your girlfriends doing the same thing in high school about hiding your novels behind your textbooks. My high school librarian teased me that I had read all the novels in our school library. lol I enjoyed writing No Greater Loss and hope you will like reading it.

    Thanks for your lovely comments. Happy Holidays to you, too!

  25. THANK YOU to Author Island for hosting me here. I enjoyed all the great comments.

    My daughter Amanda drew the name for the winner of a free download of one of my Samhain books!

    She drew Anna! Congratulations! I'll email you and you can choose from my back list - NO GREATER LOSS, an inspirational romance, A FIERY SECRET which is a chick-lit mystery, OR NEVER THE SAME and it's women's fiction.

    Have a great evening, everyone!