Saturday, June 21, 2014

Diane Huff Pitts is my Guest

Today, I welcome Diane Huff Pitts. Her first release is a novelette that was published in connection with multi-published author, Kathi Macias. How wonderful to make new writing friends like Diane. I'm so excited for her. Diane, Writing with God's Hope blog has a few questions for a new writer. Here we go:

        1. Tell us a little about yourself.
Thanks for the privilege of an interview! In the past I defined who I was by     talking about what I did. Over the years, I’ve held a number of titles-- friend, wife,     mother, musician, educator, physical therapist, and writer. Hopefully, anything about    me is linked to God. For many years I derived my significance from what I could do rather than what my Creator and Savior says about me. That truth is the heartbeat            of my writing.
     2. Did you ever feel like giving up on your writing?  And how did you press through this?

                               Writing is hard work. The adage “Don’t quit your day job” is true. I worked two jobs as a physical therapist and university instructor while trying to write. Over the last decade, I never stopped writing, but I pushed writing for publication to the back burner. I struggled with family demands and self-doubt. Would anyone read what I wrote? Do I have something worth saying? God, are you in this?
  When you are called to write, you can’t escape it. I like to think I’m a receptive student of the craft. As long as God allows, I will write.

      3.What gave you the idea for this book?

         The Summer’s Dance” in the Summer in Sweetland series is an extension of being a health educator as well as helping me cope with changes in my family. Some of my family members moved to assisted living facilities (ALF). Many of my patients live in an assisted environment. The general public doesn’t fully appreciate the amazing things--funny, endearing, and courageous--that occur in that environment. I decided to weave a story to applaud these residents whose lives have meaning and give our communities strength. Mystery, comedy, and light romance. You’ll find it all in “The Summer’s Dance.”

                        4. How do you feel this book will encourage readers, or did you have something in mind like this when you wrote it?

   I definitely wanted to encourage my readers. That’s another intent of my writing. In the South we have a saying--Living in High Cotton. We can all live in high cotton if we feel our lives matter. For me, high cotton is feeling a sense of inner wealth, not financial wealth or luck. Our significance is not dependent on what we do. In our frailty and weakness, we are the strongest because the light of Christ can shine through fractured lives.

        5.How did you find your publisher?

   Kathi Macias assembled a team of writers for the Summer in Sweetland series and invited me to participate. Kathi and her coeditor Anne Baxter Campbell are interested in mentoring writers like me. Helping Hands Press is the publisher for this endeavor.

                        6. What are the pluses & minuses about doing a novelette? Would you do it again?

   The volumes in the Summer in Sweetland series are 8,000 words. I am learning to adjust my storytelling to varied word counts and not sacrifice the essence of the tale. Believable, multilayered characters is the challenge with shorter word counts.

                           I love what I do. When I wake up thinking about storylines, I know the time is worth it. Would I do another story like “The Summer’s Dance”? I’m working on it right now!
            WWGH:  This is Volume Two of the Summer in Sweetland series. I know there's a Volume Three. Glad to know you're working on another one.
Diane Huff Pitts grew up in Selma, Alabama–the crossroads of southern living and the Civil Rights Movement–then moved to Mobile, Alabama. Both locales shape her writing.
A lifelong learner, Diane reads constantly. She picked up a few degrees along the way: nursing and physical therapy from the University of South Alabama and a doctorate from Des Moines University. Although no longer teaching at South Alabama, she is a certified clinical instructor for doctoral students in an outpatient physical therapy setting.
Diane and her husband Darrell live in a close-knit community outside of Mobile. Their lives are enriched by three sons, a (new!) daughter-in-law, and two rescued dogs. She is active in the teaching and music ministry of a local church and sings with a multicultural women’s chorus from Mobile.
         Find Diane at these links:
And your story in this Volume is "The Summer's Dance."
            Virginia Danforth Livingston isn’t born into money but has access.  The world unravels around Virginia with one ring of her doorbell. Will the matriarch of Sweetbriar mansion and founder of Livingston Investigations lose Sweetbriar and with it her identity?
            Across town at The Breckinridge, Dr. Bernard Thompson meets his match when Virginia shows up in the assisted living facility.  Small town problems become big ones when things start disappearing. Mysteries abound. Does Geraldine Gibson, the quirky lady in purple, have the answer?
            Can the unlikely trio of Virginia, Bernie, and Geraldine find the culprit or is there bigger fish to fry?
            Volume 2 gives us a bird’s eye view of Sweetland and neighboring New Beckton. Characters you come to love are right over the backyard fence in Sweetland, and after the summer’s dance, life is never the same.
    For me and others who would like to purchase this great book, the link is:
    Thank you for stopping by today, Diane. I enjoyed getting acquainted.  


Unknown said...

Hey, there, Diane, the book sounds wonderful. Glad to have you here today.

Diane Huff Pitts said...

Thank you for the privilege