Guest Author: Diana Stout and Finding Your Fire & Keeping it Hot

I’ve mentioned how write-ins on Zoom helped me complete my latest novella. Dr. Diana Stout is a regular participant in them, because she’s always busy working on one project or another. She’s been a visitor here, sharing her romance series. Her latest endeavor had me so intrigued that I asked her to come and share it with you. Today she’s talking about her non-fiction work. Take it away, Diana!


Once upon a time, writers had only typewriters and snail mail (USPS) and could only publish a book if they had an agent—the gatekeepers to publishers.

Early on, I wanted to write a self-help inspiration book: How to Deal with Difficult People. I wrote three chapters and stopped. I wasn’t an expert at anything, except maybe in dealing with difficult people. Who was going to believe me? I had no authority. I was 19.

Later after a hefty pile of publications, I wanted to write a writer’s how-to book. I was older, in my 30s, and yes, I had publications but only in magazine and newspaper. I had little to offer writers of longer works. Who was going to believe me? Again, I had no real authority.

By this time, though, I’d found my fire, my passion for writing and that fire was burning hot. I wanted to share what I had learned. I wanted to help other writers get published.

Another decade passed. I finally published a book doing so without an agent. I’d been in the right place at the right time. Quickly afterward, two more books sold through a different publisher.

As a result of these publications, a local community college contacted me, asking if I’d be willing to teach creative writing classes through their adult enrichment department. Additionally, I was being asked to present at various national and regional conferences. A dream was coming true! 

So began my writing/teaching career. Recognizing that my true fire included teaching, I returned to school, shelving creative writing for fifteen years while I obtained a BA in Creative Writing, an MFA in writing drama, and a PhD in English with Education.

As a result, I saw my writing improve through the teaching and the writing of endless papers. Students were following me; writers, teachers, and students were asking me to write books about what I was teaching and had been teaching for the past 25 years.

Hence was born the idea of my series of how-to writing craft books. In total, there will be about five or six books. Maybe more.

On August 1, 2021, I began writing Finding Your Fire & Keeping It Hot. Less than three months later, I sent it out to beta readers. My goal is to publish the book this December. 

So, what is Finding Your Fire & Keeping It Hot about? 

Have you ever wondered about your life’s purpose? Do you have a passion that you call a hobby but feel as if it’s more than that, and which others sometimes dismiss? Do you have a secret desire, a goal that you’ve never revealed to anyone? 

The book discusses what your fire is, where it’s located, why fires are needed and desired, and asks about your Why and your Passion Quotient.

There’s a discussion about various Universal Laws: how they work, why they’re important, and how you could have been misusing them all this time, not realizing how you’ve drawn negative energy toward you, which has dampened your fire, just as I had done until I learned about these laws and how they operate. 

Overall, the book is about finding your fire and what to do when it dies, something that happens to all of us at one time or another regardless of our high passion level. The book shows you how to restart your fire and how to protect it from dying again.

Assignments are sprinkled throughout with a final assignment that brings all the previous assignments together.

My next book in the series is Time Management for WritersI hope to have it published by the time I teach my online class by the same title in February 2022. To sign up for the class, go here. It’s a month-long class filled with short assignments that will help you discover how you can spend more hours and/or more quality time with your fire, your passion of writing. 

If you’d like to be notified of the release date for Finding Your Fire & Keeping It Hot, I recommend that you subscribe to my newsletter or follow me on my Facebook author page. Or better yet, follow me on all my social media! 

Check out my website:
Sign up for my newsletter (and receive a free Christmas short story): 
Follow me on BookBub:
Follow me on Twitter:
Follow me on my Facebook author page:
Follow me on Pinterest:
Follow me on Instagram:
Follow me on my Behind the Scenes (life as a writer) blog:
Follow me on my Into the Core (life as an intuitive/psychic) blog:

An award-winning writer, Diana Stout is a screenwriter, author, former English professor, and has served as a contest judge for Hollywood organizations and various organizations’ writing contests (fiction, nonfiction, adult, and teens). From time to time, she serves as a writing coach, beta reader, and editor.

To date she’s published nonfiction and fiction in multiple genres, both short and long. Her fantasy, Grendel’s Motherthe first book published through her production company, Sharpened Pencils Productions LLC, is still her most favorite project. In addition to working on the nonfiction series how-to books, she’s completing her seven-book romance novella series through this month’s NaNoWriMo event with plans to publish the series in 2022.


About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page:
This entry was posted in Anthologies, author's life, Books, careers, experiences, Guest author, Guest author post, Patricia Kiyono, writers, writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Guest Author: Diana Stout and Finding Your Fire & Keeping it Hot

  1. Diane Burton says:

    Your new book sounds like just what I need right now. Maybe reigniting the fire is what I need. Something to give me that push. Best wishes, Diana.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jeff Salter says:

    Welcome, Diana, to 4F1H.
    I love reading about individuals who have found their “fire” and are actively pursuing it — and finding ways to share it with others.
    A long time ago, I fancied I might one day teach creative writing… perhaps at a college level. But I veered away from the “education” curriculum… and, besides, I just lost my drive to be back in a classroom.
    Somewhere along my journey, I realize I had a “fire” to acquire military items (mostly American and mostly from the WW2 era) and to mount meaningful educational displays about our military history… and the individuals who sacrificed to keep our nation free.
    For several years, when I still had access to the various branches of the public library system where I worked, I’d mount displays in their locked cases.
    As I worked on these collections and displays over the years, I became aware of a desire to WRITE about those same individuals, during that same period — i.e., the “greatest generation”.
    But it was 2007-08 before I was finally working on the novel that used all that information / experience — Called To Arms Again.
    It was finally published in 2013.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      It’s always fun to incorporate your personal passions into your writing. Maybe it’s time for a sequel!


    • Diana Stout says:

      What an interesting journey you’ve had! Congratulations on getting your first novel published. Just goes to show that one can change their fire successfully! Well done. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. 🙂


  3. Welcome, Diana! You are certainly inspiring. One never knows what one action will lead to another, what one door opening will lead to others. Choices and chances!
    Continued success to you!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I love that you starting writing a book at 19 and had the self-awareness to realized you needed a few more skills. Your upcoming release sounds great.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You are an inspiration! Burn bright, forevermore.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Alicia Dean says:

    Wow. What great resources. Thank you for giving of your knowledge and time. I LOVE the idea of Zoom write-ins. I’m in a group that does them but I haven’t participated thus far. I really need to.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Welcome, Diana. I enjoyed your story very much.Thanks for sharing with us.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s