Staying in the Game by DiAnn Mills

Staying in the Game 

by DiAnn Mills

Running to be a Suspense Writer

I used to be a chicken. Now I write suspense novels.

In 1996, my husband said to me, “Stop telling me someday you’re going to write a book. Do it now. Quit your job. I give you one year to get anything published.”

So I did. With a great deal of stubborn attitude. I wrote devotions, articles, a short story, and a historical novel. All were published, and I never went back to my old job. In 1998, my first novel was released.

Oh, the excitement of tearing into the box of author copies. The cover … the book’s name … my name. A dream come true. The thrill never ends. And it shouldn’t.

That was a lot of books ago. But don’t think it’s been easy. The transition into suspense upped the challenge. Every book is a little tougher to write. The characterization must be deeper. The plot’s twists and turns unexpected. The setting more intense. The dialogue and emotion like a sword fight. But if writing were easy, everyone would have a bestseller.

Put boots on the ground and get the job done.

If you’ll think back to the time when writing began as a dream, the urge and passion to communicate through the written word became so powerful that you didn’t know what to do with it.

It was power.

It was passion.

It was alive.

It was undeniable.

Realization grew deep inside me that this new-found urgency came from outside the realm of my own being. Writing had become a calling and a ministry.

Here’s my challenge to you. With the understanding that God has purposed you to write, I imagine He didn’t include a time table when you’d be published. If He did, please forward me that email.

I can also safely say the techniques and tools of the craft weren’t immediately drop-shipped into your brain. If so, I want that email too.

Writing is about hard work and sacrifices. We are in a constant state of learning the craft.

Our commitment to our craft may mean getting up at 4:00 a.m. to write, or giving up our coffee breaks, or bringing lunch from home and writing during the lunch hour, or staying up after everyone else is in bed, or giving up a Saturday afternoon nap. When we sacrifice money for conferences or purchase how-to books, do we ever wonder if it’s worth it? But sacrificing for our craft does not mean ignoring our families or not providing for those we love. If a writer is selfish and neglects his/her responsibilities, the sacrifice is worth nothing. Establish your priorities in a way that honors your God.

This is you!

Coretta Scott Kings said, “I learned that when you are willing to make sacrifices for a great cause, you will never be alone.”

What is holding you back from your goals? Be courageous and shake off those shackles. Now is the time to grasp the future.

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters 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; the 2015 president of the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope, & Love chapter; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. 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