Welcome, Diane Theiler
By Jeff Salter
Knowing that the Gibson-Ragle Publishing Company has a collection of quality Kentucky authors, I invited Kathy Ragle last month to suggest someone as my August guest author. Always on the lookout for promotional opportunities for her company’s authors, Kathy readily suggested Diane Theiler. Diane and I have not yet met in person, but I really like what I can “see” of her through this interview give and take.
What was it like growing up with seven siblings?
[D.T.] — Living in a household with ten people and only one bathroom wasn’t easy. But I have to say there was never a dull moment. What one kid didn’t think of the others did. I hated all the commotion and noise and would go off by myself and daydream, write, or just enjoy the quiet.
In what places (besides KY) have you lived? Where have you traveled?
[D.T.] — I’ve never lived outside of Kentucky, but I have traveled some. I went to visit a friend in Germany for three weeks. She was in the hospital the whole time so I didn’t get to see much of the sights. I’ve also been to Florida, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, and Niagara Falls where we went into Canada.
What types of employment have you had prior to what you’re doing now?
[D.T.] — As a teenager I worked at Steak N Shake. I then went to the Key Market where I met my husband. I also worked at Hickory Farms, Tupperware, and Allstate, before I got a job at UPS where I’ve been for twenty-one years.
Besides writing and reading, what are your hobbies?
[D.T.] — I like to paint and make crafts. Working puzzles has also always been a favorite. My daughter and I have puzzle wars, where we work the same puzzles to see who finishes first. I also like quiet times where I can set and meditate, spend time with family and friends, and just enjoy the peace and quiet after everyone leaves. My husband loves auctions, and I love yard sales. We both love finding treasure among someone else’s junk.
Are there any more adventuresome activities in your life?
[D.T.] — I like to try new things. I loved sky diving, getting covered in paint, and zip-lining. Didn’t care much for bungee jumping although it was fun after I jumped.
When did you start writing creatively and what type things did you first write about?
[D.T.] — I started writing creatively at a very young age. I loved to write and tell stories but didn’t realize I could do anything with it. In high school I took journalism and creative writing classes as my electives.
Tell us a little bit of how you were called, or began writing. Happenstance? A clear call? A chosen career?
[D.T.] — The Lord has worked on my heart for years about witnessing. I kept telling him I wasn’t a good speaker. Every time I said those words, he’d say “Write a book.” I fought writing for years. Probably close to thirty years. Then one day I gave up and started writing. I loved it! I’m so sorry waited so long.
I know you’ve been writing since you were a child, but when did you know you want to pursue publication?
[D.T.] — Though I’ve always wanted to publish, I never really thought I would (or could) because I didn’t know the steps required.
How has being published changed your life?
[D.T.] — Being published has given me that extra confidence. It’s made me realize I can do anything I set out to do. It wasn’t until I met Jean Kinsey and Becky Kelley at a book signing that things turned around. Since they liked my writing, they ended up taking me under their wing and started mentoring me. I was excited to put forth the effort needed to get where I wanted to go.
How did you hook up with Gibson-Ragle Publishing?
[D.T.] — I met Kathy Ragel at a book fair. A friend of mine who knew her, asked if she would read the first three chapters of my book. She agreed. I wasn’t set up so I left. My friend called me at home and said Kathy wants the rest of your book, she wants to know what happens. She ended up publishing it. When I wrote my second book, I had two publishers who wanted it. I compared contracts and went with Kathy again.
Have you ever encountered people who seem unable / unwilling to comprehend that writing is something you are driven to do?
[D.T.] — Definitely. When I’m in the process of writing, I am unable to focus on anything else. I can’t wait to get home from work so I can get back to my writing. I even use my breaks to write. People have a hard time understanding that kind of drive.
If you were not a writer, can you imagine what else you might do to express the creativity within you?
[D.T.] — I would paint, draw, and dance. I love all three, but don’t spend time doing the others because I am consumed with my writing.
Give us an example of someone who has contacted you and expressed how much your writing meant to them.
[D.T.] — I had a lady contact me through my website after I published my first book. She thanked me for writing Heaven’s Bait and said it had really touched her. It made me feel so good.
How do you picture your typical reading audience?
[D.T.] — I actually wrote Heaven’s Bait for people in their twenties. However, it has been extremely popular with the older generation, too. Maybe because it’s Christian. My mom said she’d never read it, (She doesn’t read) but then surprised me and did. She loved it.
Why do you write the kind of books you do?
[D.T.] — I write Christian suspense. I like to set down with a good book and not have to worry about bad words or inappropriate scenes. But on the other hand, I don’t want a boring book. I like suspense and excitement. I like to think out of the box.
What would you say (about your writing) to someone who’s trying to decide whether to buy one of your books?
[D.T.] — Do you like Frank Perretti? Heaven’s Bait is something like that except that most of the story happens in the spiritual realm. I’ve also been told it’s kind of in the same genre as The Shack. I haven’t read that but my publisher really like it.
The age old question for writers-are you a “pantster” or a plotter?
[D.T.] — A panster – It works for me. If I could be a plotter I think it would make things a lot easier. However, when I’ve tried, I’ve never been able to follow the plan. Whether its God that’s inspiring me or my characters that want to tell their own story, it always comes together at the end.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
[D.T.] — Myself. Sometimes I just get lazy, but other times I’m really good at finding excuses why I don’t have time to write. I have to remind myself it’s all about priorities and remember what it is I want to accomplish and why. I then make myself get back on track. Once I get started again, off I go.
What is one writing question you’ve WISHED had been asked of you… but never has been asked? Then answer it here.
Why do you use your families first names as your main characters?
[D.T.] — I didn’t use the common spelling for my daughter’s names when they were born. They were always frustrated when they couldn’t find their names among the rest of the names at the store, whether it was on a bracelet or something else. So I thought it would be neat to write a book for each of them with their first name as the main character. Later I rethought and decided to write one for my son too. The books will be something they will have after I am gone. Something I wrote for them. Heaven’s Bait uses my nickname Annie. It was written before I made this decision. Black Mamba uses Christene’s name, and my work in progress will use Cathleen’s name.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
[D.T.] — Don’t give up. Also don’t be super sensitive when people criticize an aspect of your writing. Take their advice and learn from it. The more people correct you, the better you will get. Super sensitive people have a lot of trouble. They get their feelings hurt and have trouble moving on. As a writer you will be rejected and corrected many times. Each time should make you stronger and a better writer. Keep at it. One day you’ll realize that you’ve got it!
What question would you like to ask anyone reading this blog today?
[D.T.] — What makes you choose a specific book? If you have two or three you think you’ll like, how do you decide which one to get?
Diane Theiler spends her spare time writing Romance and Christian Suspense novels, mentoring young girls, and enjoying her family. She loves a good story and has no trouble admitting she’s been bitten by the writing bug since her children left the nest.
Diane’s first novel, ‘Heaven’s Bait’ has been a huge success. If you haven’t already read it be sure to get a copy. Just like ‘Black Mamba’ it will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. Both books are available at Amazon.com and Kindle.com as well as other local bookstores.
A struggling Soul, a binding contract, and the hope to find her way home, leave Annie no choice but to fight with everything she has. Fighting for her fleshly body in a spiritual world makes the battle even harder. When bad choices lead her through a demon infested forest and plop her at Satan’s door, Annie is torn between faith and fear. Does she have the strength to make it through or will the outcome leave her entrapped forever?
Filled with symbolism, this book allows the reader to identify the demons in his/her life, see the need for Jesus, and gain inspiration to study the Word. It is a story of Spiritual Warfare where Annie overcomes hurdle after hurdle as Satan fights to make her his own.
[JLS # 292]