The RV Book Fair – Diann Floyd Boehm

Welcome to The RV Book Fair! Diann, tell us about your latest book and what inspired you to write it?

Ruby Takes Chicago is the sequel to ¨Rise, A Girl’s Struggle for More¨, a historical fiction for young adults.  ¨My readers wanted to know what happened to Ruby, and my publisher asked me to write a sequel. Of course, my great-grandma, grandma, and mom are also my inspiration. I am blessed to have the best role models; they were true trailblazers. I am proud to share part of my grandma’s journey through historical fiction.  

How do you approach the process of writing? Do you have a specific routine or ritual. 

I think about the message I want my readers to receive and how the story arc should go. Then I start writing. Once I have the story written, I go back and begin the process of editing, move  cut chapters to different locations, cut and add, etc.

What’s the most inspiring or unexpected place or situation where you’ve found inspiration for your writing?

I was waiting for our table in a restaurant, so I just began watching and listening to people. I had been stuck on how I needed the wording to come, and lo and behold, a person came in, and based on his dialogue with a loved one, I saw one of the characters I needed and the voice for the character.

Many authors have a favorite place or environment where they like to write. Where do you find your most creative place and why?

I have a particular room that I refer to as the Story Garden. It is my creative space. I filled the room with books, art from when my children were young, and other art and pictures of family. When I enter the room, it tells my mind to let my imagination flow.

How do you choose the title for your books, and how important do you think book titles are in attracting readers? 

I chose a working title, and once the story was completed, my publisher and I discussed the best title for the book. It was teamwork. The title is very important to attract the readers.

What themes or messages do you hope readers will take away from your work? 

My basic theme is to “Embrace Imagination,” to write stories about Peace, Love, Kindness, Love, and believe in yourself.

Are there any specific authors or books that have influenced your writing style or storytelling?

Yes, there are. I return to some oldies but goodies, Pollyanna, Beautiful Joe, The Ugly Duckling, and the Golden Books.

 What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing? Any hobbies or interests that influence your writing?

I want to embrace lots of experiences, so I enjoy singing, sewing, crocheting, traveling, white water rafting, and ziplining. I love motherhood and all the experiences that go with it. I am blessed to have come from a large family where you learn how to share, make up, and learn from one another.

 What challenges have you faced as a writer and how have you overcome them?

Two challenges stand out: rejection letters and not getting carried away in your research. How did I overcome them? In the first case, I must give credit to my upbringing – basically, to never give up and see the negative as one step toward the positive. 

Regarding the second, I must remind myself to stay on task. I made a card and taped it on the computer to remind myself of what I was researching so as not to go down a rabbit hole.

Are there genres or topics you enjoy writing about the most?

I enjoy writing children’s books the most because I love inspiring children on many topics. When parents or a loved one read one of my stories to their little ones, they create happy memories, conversations, and a love for reading.

Do you have a favorite character from your own books and if so, why?

Let me address this based on two different genres, Ruby is a favorite character from “Rise, A Girl’s Struggle for More” and “Ruby Takes Chicago” because she is my grandmother. My great-grandma, Grandma Ruby, and my mom were trailblazers in their day. They gave me encouragement and the belief never to give up, but to go for my dreams.

How do you balance the need for commercial success with your artistic integrity as a writer?

I hope to be a commercial success one day, but that is not why I write. I write to make a positive difference in someone’s life. When I receive emails or someone in person shares how much fun they have reading their child’s stories, or they loved my young adult historical fiction book and had to order one for their daughter, I know I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. If I am lucky enough one day to have commercial success, that will be a blessing and icing on the cake, as the saying goes.

Can you discuss the role of research in your writing? How do you ensure accuracy in your work?

When researching for my young adult books, I used the internet, spoke to my mom about my grandmother’s life experiences, and referred to books. I would double-check and sometimes triple-check historical events, houses, settings, and weather to be sure every report matched. My publisher had a historical book editor double-check all my work for accuracy.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors who are looking to get their first book published?

Don’t give up—No, only means one step closer to yes.

Do you have any upcoming projects or future writing plans that you like to share with your readers?

I am writing two more children’s stories and working on presentations for conferences and school visits.

What are your thoughts on the future of publishing and the role of technology in storytelling? 

The verdict is still out on how the publishing companies will handle the technology that can enhance their work but can also have robots programmed to do the publishing  or even the writing job. Humans have to be aware of how companies program robots/humanoids to be sure there is room for both.

In your opinion what is the most challenging aspect of writing, and how do you overcome it. 

The most challenging aspect of writing depends on what book I am working on. If it is a y/a historical fiction, I ensure I have the history and voice correct for my readers. Regarding children’s books, it is making sure they have a moment to laugh, want to read the book repeatedly and making sure the illustrator captures the essence of the story so the young readers are drawn into the pictures.

Find out more about Diann at:

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