Let's Give Them Somebody To Talk About-Dianna Shuford

We all know people who have worked hard writing, who have finished manuscripts, who have taken classes, joined groups and have diligently pursued this publishing avenue. And we all know they are about 2 seconds away from getting that first contract otherwise known as 'The Call.'

Today our Somebody is---------------------------

Dianna Shuford

I asked Dianna a few questions.

Lindi-- What genre(s) do you write?
Dianna---I primarily write Inspirational Romantic-Suspense and Speculative/Paranormal. I do have story ideas across genres, but I haven’t had the time to explore them. Working full time, running our family business and writing makes it necessary to focus on how to make the best use of the time I have for writing.

Lindi----How long have you been writing?
Dianna----The earliest I can remember writing is in middle school. I had poetry published in middle school and in high school. I discovered then that there is nothing like seeing your words, thoughts, work in print to share with any who cares to read it.
During college and my children’s younger years I still dabbled with my writing, but I didn’t get serious about pursuing possible publication until 2006. I prayed for God to grant me direction, and boy did He ever! He led me to an awesome group of writers, Georgia Romance Writers, and I have met my critique partner and other inspirational writers who have become mentors and role models in the writing industry for me.

Lindi---- Do you have an agent?
Dianna----I don’t have an agent. I have pitched to several agents and have outstanding requests that I’m working on meeting. I’ve discovered when pursuing publishing in the CBA market, it is beneficial to have an agent, especially if you can’t afford to attend the large national conferences every year.
I also view an agent as a necessary business partner because while I’ve focused on learning the art of writing, I don’t know very much about the business of writing. I would like to have someone there on my side to guide me in those unfamiliar waters when the time comes for the need to negotiate and sign that first contract.

Lindi---Do you enter contests- if no, why not? If yes, what is the most helpful aspect of entering contests?

Dianna---I do entered contests; however, I’ve learned to be selective in those contests I target. I base my decision on cost (whether I can afford it), who the initial judges may be (pubbed vs. unpubbed authors), and who the final judging editor/agents are (if I’m targeting that publishing house or literary agent). During the hard financial times everyone is experiencing right now, being selective is the way I stay within my budget.

Lindi---Do you attend writer’s conferences? If no, why not? If yes, why would you suggest conferences for authors who are Seeking publication?

Dianna--I love attending conferences. I always leave a conference feeling inspired, excited, and encouraged about my work. Conferences also provide the needed teachings and networking that help push a writing career forward. That being said, I’ve only attended one large national conference (ACFW 2010) because of the much larger cost involved, but there are many smaller conferences that are more cost effective that provide the same benefits even if it is on a smaller scale. Georgia Romance Writer’s Moonlight & Magnolias conference is one I try very hard to attend every year.

Lindi-- What is your favorite aspect of creating a novel? Character development or learning the story?
Dianna---I love brainstorming a new idea, watching the idea grow from a little spark to a full-fledged fire that burns into your creativity, a burn you can’t ignore. My critique partner and I brainstorm often, any time we hit a snag in either of our stories or when we are beginning a new story. (Laying that groundwork has become crucial as well.) Once the brainstorming is over, then it’s time to work at writing the draft, revising and editing. Not as much fun, but still worth it when the finished product sits before you.

Lindi---Tell us something fun about you!
Dianna---Fun? Hmmm…that’s a hard one. I don’t often think of myself as fun. Here goes…
* I love Sci-Fi. Not the scare-your-pants-off thriller kind of stuff, but the imagine the infinite possibilities stories. Star Trek is my favorite TV show, of course.
* I love Christian rap. My favorite kind of music.
* I love technology. My husband often buys me the latest gadget rather than jewelry as gifts. Last year, it was an e-reader, and the year before an iPod touch.
* I love helping other people whenever I can. I often have to put the brakes on because I tend to be overwhelmed with obligations from overcommitting myself.

Thanks, Dianna.

Dianna will be checking tonight if you have any comments or questions. We'd love to hear from you!!


Eva Maria Hamilton said...

Lovely interview! Go Dianna Go!

Marilyn Baron said...


I enjoyed your interview. My first published work was also a poem written when I was 11. I wish you luck in your journey.

Marilyn Baron

Dianna Shuford said...

Hey, Eva! Thanks for stopping by.

Lindi's blog is fabulous, isn't it?

Dianna Shuford said...

Marilyn, I didn't know we had so much in common. I think I was 11 or 12 when my first poem was published too.

Great minds definitely think alike.

Lindi said...

Hi Eva-Thanks for stopping by!

Marilyn--that's amazing you guys had stuff happening when you were that young. Awesome

Christy LaShea said...

Great interview, my dear friends!

Dianna is also a Diet Dr. Pepper junkie. She's a fabulous editor and a great at brainstorming!

Kudos to you ladies who write poetry. I enjoy reading it, sometimes, but never had a knack for actually writing it.

Edwina said...

Fantastic interview! Good to "see" you Diana1!!

Dianna Shuford said...

Christy is right. I am a Diet Dr. Pepper junkie. **sigh** I hate coffee so that's my favorite source of caffeine on a run-down day.

Christy- thanks for the compliments. I'm honored a great writer like you values my opinion. (No that wasn't sarcastic or anything.)

Edwina- Thanks for dropping by. Perhaps we'll "see" each other in the real world soon.

Lindi said...

Christy, I love Dr. Pepper! And you know it's David Crowder's favorite drink as well. And he lives in the house the guy who invented Dr. Pepper built.
Okay--any chance to get in a little Crowder trivia!

Lindi said...

Hi Edwina!!

Tami Brothers said...

Hey Dianna! You are too fun!!! This is a great interview. Of course, now that I know you don't like coffee...hhhmmmm... Might have to discuss that with you next time I see you. :)

Love this and I'm glad you are still going strong. I can't wait to read your writing.