A passion to help young people address problems facing them in today’s world is the driving force behind today’s guest Diane Guntrip‘s decision to take a new direction into writing and speaking.
Diane is an educator of many years standing both in Western Australia and the UK. Since the release of Dear H in 2014, she has presented workshops in WA primary schools based on the book. In 2016 Diane presented to audiences in the UK, including Nottingham University students.
Her wide interests have actively involved her in many creative pursuits and as well as writing and teaching, she has created businesses in jewellery design and interior decoration.
Diane is now semi-retired and her aim is to continue writing and introducing her books to a wider audience. She is passionate about helping young people address problems that are facing them in today’s world.
To find out more about Diane and her books, visit her website.
Why do you write? Writing is only a part of my creative psyche. I have and am still involved in other creative pursuits. Writing is just one way of expressing myself creatively.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? I would have to be involved in another form of creativity. In the past, I have been a teacher of textiles, have been involved in jewellery design as well as designing home furnishings. I am presently learning to play the piano and learning French. I am also a traveller by nature so visiting other countries would be high on the list.
What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? My first book, Dear H was started many years ago. It was meant to be just a short story and I had no thoughts of publishing it at the time. A long the way and over the years, the book developed into a story that was relevant to today’s young people. I decided to self publish as I wanted to reach my audience whilst the topic of bullying was hitting the headlines. For me, the biggest obstacle in submitting the manuscript to traditional publishers is the time factor between submitting and waiting for a response. However, I have recently submitted the manuscript to traditional publishers.
How involved have you been in the development of your books? Do you have input into the cover/illustrations? I have had total control in the development of both of my books. They are diaries and I was specific in my instructions to my type setter and chose a font which was closest to the handwriting of a young girl. I also chose the daisy theme on the covers of both books as it is important as the daisy was chosen as the emblem for an anti-bullying group.
What’s the best aspect of your writing life? Visiting schools and giving presentations. I find it very rewarding. I have been a teacher all of my working life but giving presentations gives a different perspective into working with students. The feedback I receive from the students makes the writing process worthwhile.
—the worst? Spending hours on book promotion.
What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? With the knowledge that I now have of the writing process, publication and book promotion, I do not think I would contemplate writing a book at all.
What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author? How hard and frustrating the whole process is.
What’s the best advice you were ever given? I cannot recall being given any advice.
Diane’s top tip for aspiring authors: Write to fulfil yourself.
Both books are available here.