Interview with my fellow award-winning author Diane Mae Robinson!
I am so honored to interview award-winning author Diane M. Robinson from Canada for my official author website. I met Diane in person in Miami at 2014 Readers Favorite Award Ceremony and we visited Miami Book Fair together.
- Diane, could you please tell about yourself? Where you grew up, the places you lived, your family and your current place of living?
I grew up in Elk Point, Alberta; a small town in central Alberta with a population of 900. Our house was on the edge of town, next to a forest and a babbling brook, and across the forest was my grandma’s house, which I visited every day and where we kept our horses. This forest was my magical wonderland growing up and where my creativity in writing first began. At age 12, our family moved to St. Paul, another small town 22 miles west of Elk Point. Near St. Paul is where I still live.
For the past 13 years, I have lived on an acreage my husband and I designed and built ourselves, a small castle-type house which is surrounded by forest. We have 4 dogs and 5 horses, along with an abundance of elves, faeries, and other magical creatures that dwell in the forest. It really is an awesome, magical place that inspires my fantasy writing. My family and loved ones all live nearby.
- What kind of person are you?
I am a nature lover and crave being outside. Over the years while on this acreage, I have built massive flower gardens with pathways and benches out of stones; tend a vegetable garden in the summer; have a fair size greenhouse to start my growing season early; and I like to sleep in the tent with my dogs in the summer, where I can daydream far into the night while watching the stars.
I also love being around animals, hence 5 horses and 4 dogs. Riding a horse through the forest is one of the most mind-calming things I do.
I have a great compassion for the poor and suffering in the world. I have been on 6 volunteer dental mission trips to Central America over the years, and for the past 20 years I have been constantly involved with two groups that do amazing infrastructure work in the poorest regions of Honduras, Guatemala, and Northern India.
I also have an intense need to be creative. I write, I am an artist, I teach private art lessons, and I am a writing instructor.
- Could you please tell from where comes your inspiration for writing?
Most of my inspiration comes from the forest. I walk through the forest often and will see characters etched in the trees, which inspires me to either write about a new character or write about a scene those images stir up. Forests are very magical and alive to me and I need to be near them.
Other inspirations come from reading well written books, listening to classical music, riding my horse through the forest, painting a picture or making a sculpture.
- What your award-winning book is about? Why do you write?
My first book, Sir Princess Talent has won 3 international awards, and one prestigious provincial award. The second book, Sir Princess Petra’s Talent won a bronze medal in the 2014 Reader’s Favorite Book Awards. This is a humorous series (The Pen Pieyu Adventures) about a strong-headed princess who becomes a knight, at age 9 years, through her perseverance, friendly nature, believing in herself, her acceptance of others, and her inquisitive nature to find things out for herself. Petra and her dragon, Snarls, have many zany adventures that teach moral values (in a subtle way) to the reader.
I write because I don’t seem to have a choice and it is a soul nurturing thing to do.
- You recently attended the 2014 Readers Favorite Award Ceremony in Miami. Tell about this!
Well, WOWZER, is a good word to describe the event and the days leading up to it. My favorite thing was meeting some very cool authors who are sure to be life-long friends. The ceremony itself and receiving my medal was an affirmation to me that I am on the right track and that all the hard work of my writing means something more than just words.
- What you are currently working on? Any future plans?
I just finished writing book 3 in my series, Sir Princess Petra’s Mission. It’s at the publisher’s now and will go through editing soon, and will become a book in about 9 months (time period for book birth). I am near completion of my grammar book for elementary children: a humorous grammar book with my characters from The Pen Pieyu Adventures doing their zany stuff while trying to teach grammar.
I also recently committed to co-writing a story picture book series with a friend of mine. He has created a wonderful character and has great ideas and visions for The Berry Bunny series, which he will also do illustrations for.
- What are your hobbies?
A couple of years ago and for several years previous, I rode my horse with a professional synchronized western riding team that did shows around Alberta. I have since had to give up the circuit due to lack of time. I still enjoy my horses, but mostly just pleasure ride now. I also thoroughly enjoy gardening, chatting with squirrels, artwork, reading, writing, daydreaming, attending live theater, and skating or skiing in the winter.
You can find out more about Diane Mae Robinson and her books at: http://www.dragonsbook.com
Her blog site: http://www.dianemaerobinson.com