About the Author
Diane Stringam Tolley was born and raised on the great Alberta prairies. Daughter of a ranching family of writers, she inherited her love of writing at a very early age, penning her earliest published works in Mrs. Hainsworth’s grade six class. Trained in journalism, she has written countless articles, short stories, plays, and songs. She is the published author of thirteen novels and e-books. Her thirteenth, Daughter of Ishmael, was released early in 2017.
Author Residence: Alberta, Canada
1. Who or what inspired you to become an author?
Raised in a large family of storytellers, I caught the bug like one would a cold. One learned to participate in self-defense. And living on a Boer War era ranch provided no end of grist to my storytelling mill.
2. Who are some of your favorite authors? Do these authors inspire your own writing?
One of my favourites is Madeleine Brent. Her stories always featured strong female leads—each with a unique ability that eventually ‘saves the day’. Because of her, the women in my books are strong without being hard. An important difference.
3. What inspired you to start writing biblical fiction?
I love the scriptures. The stories are unparalleled still, even with the plethora (real word) of works that are published every. Single. Day. But because the scriptures are told largely from a male point of view, I always wondered what the women were doing. I love a background story and there is no one more ‘background’ than the women behind these great men of the scriptures.
4. When you are not writing, what other "hats" do you wear?
Oh, golly. Wife. Mom. Grandma. Seminary teacher. Playwright. (Also children’s theatre director and/or referee.) Writing mentor. Blogger. Promoter (more wishful than actual at the moment). Musician. Biking companion/confidante. And chief-cook-and-bottle-washer. (Wash those bottles!)
5. What inspired the idea for A House Divided?
Have you ever wondered if anyone regretted their decisions? I mean the major, life-changing-and-not-for-the-better decisions? I pictured the wife of Lemuel and wondered if she ever had regrets about her husband’s (and by association—her) decisions to follow Laman. Did she sit by a fire in her later life, watching her children dance about it painted in blood, and have regrets? Or imagine might-have-beens? A House Divided, the sequel to Daughter of Ishmael, was Hannah’s chance to make the different decisions later in life. Still not easy. But right.
6. What do you want readers to take away from reading A House Divided?
I want readers to know that making the major, good decisions is seldom (almost never) easy. That great sacrifice comes first. And even after one sacrifices, the rewards don’t always look like you pictured. But are always—ALWAYS—worth it.
7. What is your current WIP? What can you tell us about it?
I’ve just finished working on the story of God’s Tree. A take-off on the Tree of Life.
If it was discovered by a small boy.
And if he had the faith—and courage—to do something about it.
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