Monday, January 17, 2011

An Interview with Diane Craver

Today, we will talk to Diane Craver about A Christmas Gift, her latest book published by Whimsical Publications.
She also wrote: Whitney in Charge (sweet contemporary) and Marrying Mallory (inspirational romance), both published by Desert Breeze. A Fiery Secret (chick-lit mystery), No Greater Loss (inspirational romance) and Never the Same (women’s fiction), published by Samhain Publishing.

I loved reading this book and reviewed it recently. See:

Q: You said the story is fictional but based on your own childhood experiences. Can you tell us specifically what led you to write the story?

A: I had thought of writing a story about my father, Horace Wilson, for a long time. His life was hard with his mother’s rejection at a young age, and he was raised by various relatives. Some homes were better than others, because he stayed at times with an alcoholic uncle. Even though both parents deserted him, he had a deep faith and was able to be a good father to me and my siblings. Although I wanted my book to have the emotional honesty of a memoir, I decided to fictionalize it. My goal was to capture a time and place in my childhood based on a true incident in my life that saddened and shocked me. An image of my father’s secret was burned into my mind forever, so the following sentences are the first ones in A Christmas Gift.  “It was 1957 when I saw something that I wasn’t meant to see. I have never forgotten this night because it had such an impact on me.”

Q: I worried about how well everyone accepted the cantankerous Grandma Fogle. Was she written that way to add more conflict?

A: I did want to add more conflict but I was also influenced by my own grandmother. She was self-centered, putting her own needs first. When my father was young, she decided that she had a better chance to get married without him around.

Q: Debra convinced herself she needed to love her Grandma regardless. Have you ever had to do that yourself?

A: Yes, I’ve had to force myself to love certain people who have been very hurtful. I’ve prayed to let go of the negative feelings towards certain relatives and others. All of us carry baggage and we need to rid ourselves of these feelings and do what the Lord wants.

Q: How did you decide whether or not to include an angel in the story?

A: Another good question, Sid. Originally I started the chapter with Elizabeth appearing to Debby. I thought it would be good to have James’s sister talk to Debby, but it just didn’t work for me. Then it occurred to me that an angel would be perfect for this scene. Including an angel in my story was important because I believe God sends angels to guide and protect us during dangerous situations. As the Bible says, “He will give his angels charge of you, to guard you in all your ways.” (Psalm 91:11). 

Q: The letter from Debra's father to her was perfect. Tell us about writing it.

A: Thank you, Sid. That means a lot to me. The letter flowed from my heart because I was already so invested in the characters of Justin Reeves and Debra. 

Q: In the epilogue we learn that Debra becomes a heart surgeon. How did you decide to do that?

A: I’ve always had a strong interest in medicine. I planned on becoming a registered nurse, but the high school guidance counselor discouraged me. He felt I wasn’t strong enough in science to go into nursing. Instead I majored in education and became a teacher.  In my mind, Debra was meant to be a doctor and nothing else. By the way, I loved researching how surgeons repair damaged hearts. That’s the fun part of being a writer. Researching different careers to use for my characters is an education in itself and lots of fun.

Thank you for interviewing me, Sid!

You're welcome, and thank you for giving us this special insight into writing A Christmas Gift.


  1. Hi Sid,
    I'm happy to be here today! Anyone leaving a comment about this interview will be entered in my January blog drawing. I'll give a $10 email GC to Amazon to one lucky winner!

  2. Wow, great interview. I loved reading the story behind the story. :)

  3. My friend Peg sent this email:

    You are a good interviewer, Sid. Good questions to bring out the important features of the novel. Don't know where you get the time to do all that you do and still have fun with Celeste... Peg

    (the fun she refers to is probably the recent trip we went on.)

  4. Thanks for stopping by, Nicole! Glad you enjoyed the interview.

    I agree Sid is a busy guy but thankfully, he still finds time to interview authors and review books.

    I'm glad you got away with your wife! It's always nice to get a break from the daily routine and have fun experiencing new places!

  5. Great blog, Sidney. Awesome interview! Letting go of that baggage is often very hard to do. But if we ask, the Lord will give us the grace we need to let go.

    I wish you conintued success, Diane!

  6. Hi Anne,
    I'm glad you stopped by Sid's blog. Thanks - I hope you have continued success too!

  7. Diane, as always, enjoyed your interview!! :)

  8. I enjoyed the interview and I always enjoy hearing about the whys and reasoning behind the author's story. Makes the book more meaningful - thanks!!

  9. I just keep reading good things about A Christmas Gift. Since both hubby and I have read the book, we can vouch for the truth of the many good comments. I enjoyed reading your interview here and wish you continued success.

  10. Very interesting interview. A Christmas Story sounds great, I am looking forward to reading it.

  11. Hi Ladies,
    Thanks for the lovely comments about A Christmas Gift and interview.

    Gladys, I love that both you and your hubby read A Christmas Gift and enjoyed it so much.

    All of you are entered in my drawing for my January blog contest!

  12. Hi Diane, this sounds like a story that can be enjoyed just as much after the holidays. A very good interview. I always like to hear the story behind the story and how another author interweaves fact and fiction. I wish you continued success. Linda

  13. Hi Linda,
    I appreciate you popping in here. Thanks for the nice words about my book! I hope A Christmas Gift sells all year round. :)

  14. Hi Diane, Your book was one I wanted to read since I first saw it before Christmas. I can sense your love and deep admiration for your father, and the respect you feel for him to not tell his real story, but leave it lay. You have honored your father more than a memoir could. You included the pain you felt in the fiction to tell a story we all can relate to. Diane, I'm not familiar with your writings before A Christmas Gift and you are a new author to me. I'd like to rectify that and read your lovely story as soon as I can purchase it. It appeals to my reading appetite. Thanks for telling us about it, you've shown a loving nature to your work and that makes it real. Thank you, Sid, for inviting me to meet Diane. That was thoughtful.

    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

  15. Great interview. Enjoyed getting to know some about you. It is always interesting reading about other people and getting to know about them and than reading their books.


  16. Great interview. It is so important to let go of baggage and to love others--even those who are difficult to love. Doesn't mean we have to approve what they do...Look forward to reading a Christmas Story.