Photo Op with RL Stine! All in All a Good Day.

RL StineRL Stine Keynote Speaker

Had a great day today at the Pacific Northwest Writers’ Association Conference. My presentation titled, Part of the Solution – Writing for Diverse Populations went well – the attendees were engaged, so the discussion was rich and illuminating.

Then, I had a chance to take a photo with the keynote speaker, RL Stine of Goosebumps fame. Admittedly, I have not read any books in the series, but my sons sure did when they were younger. I mentioned to him that I was a new author working to make a name for myself, and he said, “I had times in my early career when I went to events to autograph books, and no one showed up. I know it can be hard, but stay with it.”

Thanks, RL! (I wonder what R and L stand for. Will have to look that up.)

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My Writing Journey and the Awkward In-between Place

The Passion of Creation

I’m in a bit of a writing funk. It happens. While Evangelina Takes Flight continues to do well (for which I am thankful), my 2nd book, Call Girl, is in an awkward “in between place.” I thought my manuscript was done, but I’m at it again, trying to strengthen the plot. A writer has to be in JUST the right place mentally to make revisions. I’ve only recently gotten back into my craft after shelving the manuscript for 5-6 months. I KNOW this book will do well. The target audiences are those in the #MeToo movement (I’ve been there) and women who’ve struggled with post-partum depression and work/life IMbalance (I’ve been there) – subjects that represent a gap in the fiction market.

For those who may not know much about Call Girl, it’s a complete departure from Evangelina Takes Flight which is based loosely on my paternal grandmother’s life. Call Girl is based loosely on a period in my own. The late 1980s. The days of Madonna, Full House, Reaganomics, Pretty in Pink and my own existential crisis.

No, I was never THAT kind of call girl, but I was a call center manager at a major daily newspaper. In my first year of management, I also became a naïve, completely flustered and bewildered new mom at the age of 22.

I was never a good babysitter. Couldn’t get the kids to behave or go to bed or take a bath or stop screaming or stop beating each other up or quit picking their nose and using the byproduct as a snack. In short, I sucked. Kids made me nervous. Kids made me want to be “energized” via the Star Trek transporter – broken into a million pieces and transported to another place and time. Beam me up, Scotty!

The early stage of first-time motherhood was different than babysitting – it was worse. I had terrible post-partum depression and our son had off the charts colic for 6 months!

I started writing Call Girl to chronicle that painful (and joy-filled? exhausted? confused? guilt-ridden?) period, so other women would know they’re not alone. God, I felt SO alone during that time.

What the book became was something quite different than what I expected. It’s been incredibly satisfying to experience where my mind has taken it. While some parts of the book represent my own personal truth, it’s a fiction, with much of it, well … entirely fiction.

Call Girl is the story of Julia Navarro-Nilsson, a spunky, ambitious newspaper call center manager who’s denied a well-deserved promotion for rebuffing her sleazy, skirt-chasing boss’ sexual advances. To avenge the injustice, all she has to do is make it through her post-partum depression, defend herself against a bogus union grievance, manage her nutty employees and solve a salacious workplace mystery she knows will expose her boss for the SOB that he is.

Got to get through the revisions to make it happen! As stated in a previous post, being an author is not for the faint of heart, easily discouraged or terribly impatient. Only my personal best will do, so off I go to write some more.

Wish me luck!

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Well, I Didn’t Expect This!

Given the primary buyers for my book are school districts, middle school teachers and librarians, I was somewhat surprised to see Evangelina Takes Flight on an online bookstore for inmates. But hey, I am happy for and humbled by the support wherever I can get it. Thanks to SureShot Books.

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Join Me @ the PNWA Conference This September

PNWA Logo

I am pleased to announce that I’ve been invited to present at this year’s Pacific Northwest Writers’ Association Conference in south Seattle.

Topic: Part of the Solution -Writing for Diverse Populations

Description: In this session, attendees will hear Diana’s experience in writing a compelling, award-winning story from a diverse perspective and leave with inspiration for their own writing journeys.

Presentation date and time TBD (probably Saturday, 9/15)

2018 conference dates: 9/13 – 9/16

Keynote Speaker: R.L. Stine of Goosebumps fame!

This is an investment in YOU, and you are most certainly worth it.  You want to publish your book or simply improve your craft? Register for the conference! More information HERE.

RL Stine Keynote Speaker

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ETF Makes the Houston School District’s “Name That Book” List

Proud that Evangelina Takes Flight made the Houston School District’s Name That Book List for 2018/19. See the full list HERE.

There could not be a better time for young adults to read Evangelina Takes Flight to understand the history of the immigrant experience during the Mexican Revolution and relate it to current day events.

Name That Book

I’d like to share a passage from the book, the Town Hall scene where the town’s doctor is pleading with community members who want to ban the foreign-born children from attending the only school in town.

“Evangelina came to Texas with her family to escape the revolution. If your own family was in danger of being murdered, would you stay and wait for it to happen? Would you knowingly leave your loved ones in harm’s way?

I know most of you are good people with big hearts! Do you think foreigners love their families any less than you do? Do you think it was easy to leave their homes and risk their lives for the privilege of living in this town?

Some of these people were highly respected and well-educated in their own language and country. Others were uneducated, simple, hard-working folks, anxious to start again without the fear of starving, being robbed, kidnapped or murdered. Just because you had the good fortune of being born in this country makes you no smarter, more deserving or more civilized than someone born elsewhere.”

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Infinite Terrifying Unknown – An Ode to the Immigrant Children

EK_0138On this Father’s Day weekend, I remember there was no greater feeling of safety and love and possibility than when I was with my Dad.

I can only imagine how immigrant children today must feel at the border of the promise-land, as they’re captured, screaming, reaching for their parents, loaded into busses and carted off into the infinite terrifying unknown.

Infinite Terrifying Unknown

Diana J Noble

We walked the ocean shore in search of sand dollars

A tentative step into the foamy swirling water, my hand in his

An infinite terrifying unknown before me

What monster lie in wait

to snatch a child and drag her

to its cold black hole on the other side

I looked up

mouth open

breath captive in my chest

Father bent low

“I’ve got you” he said

“What’s down there?” I asked

“Plants

Fish

Small creatures

Giant creatures

Mountains of sand dollars

Beautiful magical life 

beyond our imagination”

I leaned into the warmth of him

“I’m scared” I said

“I’ve got you

You’re safe” he assured

Its grip was sudden

Father screamed, pulled and thrashed against it

Indifferent to my cries it

dragged me into the infinite terrifying unknown

 

 

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Evangelina Takes Flight Receives the 2018 Skipping Stones Multicultural Book Award

Skipping Stones Awards

 

 

 

 

 

The dream continues… thank you to the team at Skipping Stones International Multicultural Magazine for this honor. The book review is not available yet, but when it is, I’ll post it here.

Check out Skipping Stones Magazine at their website: http://www.skippingstones.org/

 

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