Why is writing important to you and why do you think it's an important medium for the world? Humans have an urgent need to tell stories. Early humans spoke stories around the fire and eventually “wrote” stories on the walls of caves and large rocks by drawing pictographs and carving petroglyphs. I live in Northern Arizona where these early stories were written down by ancestors of the Native Americans. They are so intriguing to decipher. I relate to these drawings and the need to share and leave behind a small part of your life experience for others. My books and stories allow me to do that. And maybe teach a few things too.
Books allow all of us to add to our knowledge to increase the ways we look at and evaluate issues and happenings in our world and neighborhoods. In today’s world it has become critical to our ability to understand and counter the growing amount of fake and distorted news circulating.
What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer's block? I have not had a large dose of writers block. I’m pretty goal oriented. I also can choose topics that interest me. I write nonfiction and look forward to the first step of in-depth researching. It’s important work for the main course of writing the story itself. If I do have a bit of writers block, putting the work aside for a day or two restarts my thinking.
What is your favorite time to write? I prefer to write in the morning when my thinking is fresh. I have this uncanny ability to shut the world out of any space I choose to write in, probably a legacy of years in corporate marketing in a very un-private and noisy open plan office.
What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Beth Anderson is a very accomplished children’s book writer. But what she has to say applies to any genre. She advises writers to “mine their story for heart.”It’s the emotional aspect of the story and helps readers see or think about something a bit differently. Another children’s author, Dianne White, advised me to discover my throughline or universal truth, the Big Idea readers can relate to. Write it down and post it by your writing desk. It’s the reader’s takeaway. She suggested asking yourself what your story is really about and to “show don’t tell” this to your readers by using action verbs.
What excites you most about being a writer in today's age? I am glad that at this point of time in the book world, self-publishing has become more and more acceptable. I teach workshops on self-publishing and the excitement in the face of budding authors about to publish their first book is very satisfying to me.
Because I write nonfiction, the Internet is my saving grace. Formerly, I visited research sources in person for background information. Now it’s all available on your computer and accessed by your fingertips.
Diane Phelps Budden's Dear Hubby of Mine: Home Front Wives in World War II is out now with Red Rock Mountain Pres.