Diane started her writing at an early age, but it wasn’t until her husband’s work took them to a small southern town she wrote her first column, “Yankee Viewpoint’s” for a local newspaper. Returning to her home-state of Michigan, she did stringer work over the years, ancestral history, and donor appeal letters for non-profit organizations. Diane became a columnist for a weekly magazine, for four years. She is the author of over three-hundred short stories. Her books to date are: Carolina in the Morning, On a Summer Night, Texting Mr. Right, Winter Wonderland , This Side of Heaven, and Stories from a Porch Swing, Lilacs in May, Journey of Redemption, and soon to be released, Beyond the May River. She and hubby, Stephen, have been married for forty-five years, and they are the parents of three grown children and three grand-gals, and live in the Sunshine state.
What is Christmas in July? The term Christmas in July describes Christmas celebrations that are held in the month of July for the southern hemisphere. Seasons down south are in reverse from the northern hemisphere. For those down south, summer is in December. Even though they still celebrate Christmas on December 25, someone decided it would be fun to celebrate Christmas in July specifically for the southern hemisphere.
Welcome to my blog. Please tell us about your Christmas Romance, Winter Wonderland.
During the early 50s many families were seeking employment in the factories in Detroit. Edsel Ford, after Henry’s death, sought workers from all over, and they were very dedicated. My characters left their home for a better future. They are a loving Christian family with three younger children and an older daughter, Ruth.
Where did you get your inspiration for this story?
I’m from Michigan and JL Hudson Company was a huge department store. My mother went there with her family when very young and it continued to serve the area until the malls became popular, and was finally taken down in the late 90s. People watched the landmark come down on television. My inspiration came from the trips I made with my mother from Lansing and then with my husband when we were first married. I wanted to write about Detroit when it was in its heyday, and I felt a Christmas novella would be fun. The storefront windows were beautifully decorated in all the stores. You can imagine the competition.
What kind of research did you do?
I’m laughing out loud!! You wouldn’t think you’d have to do much, just go back a few years and be creative. Mercy! I had to dress Ruth in the right clothing, and her love interest…we’re talking hats, coats, boots, skirts; hair styles…no pierced earrings and then the music! Times were different then, and we didn’t have tension like we do today. I tried to portray that, as well as a bad health issue that was popular then, and we happily have a cure for today. I was shocked to discover that JL Hudson’s had over 80 bathroom stalls in one lady’s rest room…gold fountains and I knew they had elevators and operators…it was the only way to go to the upper floors.
Research is to much fun, isn’t it? Tell me about one of the main characters and what you love about him or her?
I enjoyed Ruth. She was determined to make a life outside of marriage and secured a good position, having had a year working in an office after high school. She took advantage of the lay-away’s and helped get things for her younger siblings, and was a loving daughter. Vernor’s Gingerale was a big company in Detroit at that time, and she literally walked into a representative from there, as they both approached the revolving doors at the same time at Hudson’s.
Where is your website and blog so my readers can check out your recent and past books that you have written?
It’s so much fun to talk about Christmas in July. I hope my readers check out your books. Thank you, Diane, for this wonderful interview.