Once Upon a Time

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

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It wasn’t a dark and stormy night. Thunder didn’t rumble, and lightning didn’t streak across the sky.

In fact, it was a summer day in Houston—99+ and the pool felt wonderful. My grandchildren and I were laughing, splashing, grandparentingand enjoying Popsicles.

“Mimi, will we always be able to swim in your pool and play together?”

“I hope so,” I said.

“What about when you’re really old?”

“You might have to help me get in and out of the pool.”

My grandson showed his muscles. “I can do that.”

I smiled. We grandmothers love our grandchildren fiercely. No words can describe the she-bear love that first started with their parents and now their children.

grandparentsThat day in the pool, a story began.

The idea simmered for days and weeks.

The grandmother was feisty, witty, lovable, and knew how to use a gun. She was my kind of woman, but what role would she play in my story?

What if she inherited three grandchildren, ones she never knew existed.

What if she was more terrified of caring for those children than she was facing a firefight?

My story idea didn’t evolve overnight, but started with a single what-if thought. When I took the premise and set my characters and plot in Houston, my city, it came alive. It’s important for me to drive the same streets as my characters, see their homes, eat at their favorite restaurants, select the coffee house they’d frequent, listen to their dialogue, and learn their unique problems, challenges, strengths, and goals. Story is birthed in truth, a single thought that is credible. When I look around me, I see potential for real people, real stories, and real victory.

Once upon a time, a story idea dropped into a writer’s mind . . .

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What amusing events do you recall from your children or grandchildren?

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DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable DiAnn Mills author photocharacters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels. 

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association; International Thriller Writers, and the Faith, Hope, and Love chapter of Romance Writers of America. She is co-director of The Author Roadmap with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. 

DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas. 

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at www.jhcdev.com/diannmills.

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