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Diann Floyd Boehm is an award-winning international author. Diann writes children’s books and young adult books. In addition, Diann writes books to inspire kids to be kind, like themselves, and to “Embrace Imagination”.
Diann’s Story Garden YouTube Channel gives children the opportunity to hear different children authors read their stories.
Diann is the co-host with Dr. Jacalyn on USAGLOBALTV.
Diann continues to be involved in various humanitarian projects with multiple organizations.
Diann was born to parents of George and Mabel Floyd in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but grew up in Texas with five brothers. She has traveled extensively to many parts of the world and has lived in the Philippines and Dubai.
Bookstore | Black Pearl Books | Austin
Today on Discovered Wordsmiths, I want to welcome Diane Bo. Diane, how are you doing today?
[00:01:22] Diane: Great. I’m so happy to be here. Thank you very much.
[00:01:24] Stephen: For me, I live in Ohio and it looks like it’s about the storm. So we may get some lightning and thunder in the middle of our conversation, but tell us where do you live and a little bit about you and what you like to do besides.
[00:01:36] Diane: Sure. So I live in Austin, Texas, and can you please send some of that rain to us? , We would deeply appreciate it, , but uh,
[00:01:44] Stephen: actually the second Austin Texas author I’ve talked to today. Oh, really? . Yeah. That’s interesting. All right, go ahead. I’m sorry.
[00:01:51] Diane: Yeah no, it’s okay. I just had to throw the rain out there.
So yes. I’m from Austin, but I was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. And my parents, we moved here when I was about 18 months. And so I consider myself a T girl, even though by the rules of Texans, you’re not a true Texan unless you were born on the land.
[00:02:12] Stephen: It sounds like you’ve spent more of your life there than not.
So we’ll give it to you, you think? I’ll give it to you. I’m not from Texas so I might try, but you can come to Ohio, We’ll take you, ,
[00:02:22] Diane: Right? Thank you. Ohio’s a lovely state. It
[00:02:26] Stephen: can be even during the storms. Yes. Even during the stores, there’s so much. So what are some things you like to do besides riding?
[00:02:34] Diane: So I wasn’t always a writer, I was actually in the classroom, but things that I love to enjoy, I love to sing.
Thank you. And I’ve been on stage quite a bit in my younger life as well as when we were living in Dubai, my husband job took us there and it opened up a whole new world for me. So I was able to be in some musicals with the West End out of London. And I love crochet singing. I’m eccentric.
I just, I love to dabble in lots of things, discover life. Enjoy gardening, listening to the birds, et cetera. .
[00:03:09] Stephen: Nice. Okay, great. So you were in the classroom teacher what did you teach?
[00:03:15] Diane: A variety of things. So I’ve taught from preschool all the way to eighth grade. In the classroom and then outside of the classroom.
Meaning in the classroom means you had one grade, but then I became a curriculum director and I was self taught before there was degrees in a technology and I was of that weird person who’s just Oh my gosh, these’s computers are amazing. I can do so much with my kids. And so I just totally embraced.
And before I know it, they were like, Okay, who knows how to turn on a computer? And everybody had just Okay, there is the weird teacher over there and . And the next thing I knew I was teaching from first eighth grade. Nice. Okay. Yeah, it was
[00:03:58] Stephen: cool. So what made you wanna start writing?
[00:04:01] Diane: I have always been a storyteller whether through singing on stage and acting as well as just making up stories.
My mother said when I was, the day I was born, I came out singing and I hadn’t stopped . Got it. And and singing such a way of a beautiful storytelling as and a day came, I was in the garden. And I’m not a great gardener, but I. To have fun planting flowers and playing in the dirt.
And then, this inspiration came to me saying I needed to take my stories and put ’em down. And so I thought, you know what, that’s really a good idea. And so that’s what I did, . Nice.
[00:04:41] Stephen: Okay. Yeah, so let’s talk about one of those stories. Your book, Little Girl in the Moon. Tell us what, it’s a little bit, what it’s about and a little bit about your writing it, what you were, why you wanted to write this.
[00:04:53] Diane: Sure I’ll be happy to. The little girl in the moon, she actually lives on the moon and I wanted to write this book because, especially cuz I’ve traveled throughout the world, I’ve been totally blessed to be able to do that. And I saw how there was similarities in different schools. Bullying is universal.
And I just thought, there needs to be books out there about kindness and love, and even if people are different, don’t look at their physical features, look at what’s in their heart, and So I thought, how could I do this? And also bring in curriculum so that teachers could use this book. So I decided I’ve always loved the moon and I thought I’m gonna make my own world.
And that’s what I’ve done. The little girl on the Moon’s a series and it’s morphed into the Moon Link Adventure. But in the first book that you brought up, and thank you very much, the little girl in the moon. You learn who she is and you learn who she is by the phases of the moon. And what I mean by who she is.
Her mama asks what she, why she wants. Earthling children to know who she is because moon lengths have never cared about earthlings and they don’t even know we exist. And the little girl in the moon’s because they love the moon as much as I love the earth. And so the mom is what is it you want them to know?
And she thought about it and she says, I want them to know. I like to sing just like them. And so you go through all these different. and when I’m in the schools and I read it to the kids, they get all excited. Cuz they see little I you learn about her through seeing like the. Phases of the moon, right?
So you see teeny tiny pieces until she appears and the kids are all excited and then they see what a moon lean looks like. And they’re like, Oh. And they’re like, Yikes. And I’m like you liked her a moment ago, but now you know what she looks like and you don’t think you wanna be your friend. And the little kids are like, Oh my gosh, she’s right.
And the takeaway is, Okay. I’m gonna like people, even if they’re different. And isn’t that what life’s about? We’re supposed to look for the beauty of people.
[00:07:12] Stephen: Yeah, absolutely. And I love the fact that you totally went into your school Kid Voice
Totally did that. I love that. excited. It’s, Interesting. Do the kids pick up that they’re like learning a lesson or do they just enjoy the story?
[00:07:28] Diane: They en they just enjoy the story and then we talk about afterwards and then they discover, they learned. But they’re so engrossed in finding out what happens because the way I I illustrated it and it’s the first pa, it’s the.
It’s the first artwork I’ve ever done in my life, which is a whole background story to that in itself. And the kids are just so amazed that they have to use their imagination and start thinking what they might, it might look like at the same time. They’re like oh, I’ve seen a banana moon. And they’re like, Oh, I know that part of the moon.
And so it is, it’s a really great way to engage kids. They’re not just staring at a picture, they’re thinking.
[00:08:09] Stephen: I love that cuz one of the things I wanna do is get kids to write more and understand that they can write their whole lives. I talked to a lot of adults, a lot of authors that are like, I didn’t know I could write.
And then I did and now I’ve written and I love it and kids can start now. I mean you, you don’t have to have a degree and to start writing when you’re in fifth, sixth grade, whatever. You can just do it. And the fact that you said they have to use their imaginations, I love that part too, cuz. Something we, I think we tend to lose as we become adults.
We kinda get that out of us. So having kids use their imaginations is just huge and to understand the power of that.
[00:08:49] Diane: Absolutely. And of course my tagline is embrace imagination. And that comes from all the way being in the classroom because the kids when you have me as a classroom teacher, it is all about creativity.
Yes, you have to learn the basics, but you learn it through creativity is the way I approached my c. And the kids today, I worry about them because they have all these devices and they’re so plugged in. And I, and it’s funny because I spent so many years teaching kids to be plugged in, but to use the computer as a tool yes.
And, but not take away the imagination. And so now I just think it’s so important. Take off your shoes, wiggle your toes in the grass, pour some, sit in the dirt, pour some water in the dirt and make mud pies. It’s really fun.
[00:09:46] Stephen: Absolutely. I love that. And I agree with you. I think we want, our kids had the best of everything and we get the iPads and the computers and the laptops and then we realize that, just going outside and walking on grass and your bare feet is sometimes what’s best.
I, I, Yes, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. So you mentioned it’s, the book has morphed into a series about the moon links you said? Yes. So tell us a little bit about the other books, the whole series.
[00:10:14] Diane: Sure. So thank you for asking by the way. So the next one that came out, and again, these. Ideas come to me in the middle of the night.
And so the big idea of the story by did is just hysterical. I had a fight with my angel. I don’t wanna wake up. You better wake up. Or I’ll give the idea to someone, but I don’t wanna, Anyway, so I up and and there came the story and it even has what I hope becomes a song one day. And.
That particular story is really about love and peace and harmony throughout the universe. And then the next one is Moxy and Tyco Town. And Moxie is the mooning dog and the mooning dog takes you on with the little girl on the moon, but you never really see her. So it’s Charlie Brown, you hear for the parents.
So that’s what I had because. I didn’t want everyone to be just stuck on what one mooning looked like. I wanted kids from around the world to envision their own little mooning as they travel through Taka Town and they start learning the very first of of mooning words through the community. So that one’s kind of fun.
And then it was time I kept getting, Please bring a boy in. Please bring a boy in. So I brought in the mooning boy, her best friend, and that morphed into the Moon League Adventures. And the first one is the Moon League Adventures. Seren Getty. And my youngest daughter who’s a professor at Skad University and teaches technology, by the way.
She’s the artist and just did a phenomenal job with it. And you get to learn about different animals in the Serengeti as well as where is the Serengeti. And and it’s just a, it’s just really a fun adventure, and I’ll have a new one coming out by next August.
[00:12:11] Stephen: Yay. Great. Nice. And are these, do you have a publisher or are they independently published?
[00:12:18] Diane: I am so blessed. I wanna say to your listeners that. It takes a long time to get published. Oh my gosh. There are more nos than there are books of mine published. But praise God that we have in indie authors, can publish is much easier now as well as hybrid. So I ooc publishing out of Canada.
Published has all my little girl on the moon series as well as a couple other books. And because I have so many stories and it took so long to get published I worked out a deal with OC Publishing in Canada and it’s just incredible the the founder and owner and so Texas Sister Press publishes some of my other books so that I can get, try to get two books out a year.
Because I really want my, I really want my messages out there and you never know when the good Lord is gonna need you somewhere else on another planet or something. So I’m like, I want my messages.
[00:13:19] Stephen: So good. So good. So how many are there right now? Total?
[00:13:24] Diane: I have nine books out. Wow. Ok. Yeah. I know.
Isn’t that exciting? And and then I just had a Yeah, nine books I just had. I’m taking a breath because I’m thinking about what’s coming up. I just had one book that came out that won an award called a song, a piece that came out this summer and then just about two weeks ago, a time to fly. Just came out some so stoked about it.
As you probably know and your listeners too, but just in case, if you’re wanting to write, just start writing because what you first write probably isn’t your greatest, but you just get better and better. It’s like you’re learning this craft and the inspiration that comes to you just like.
It just gets better and better. I don’t know what to say, so just keep doing it. So it’s time to fly. I fall in love with each baby when it’s baby, meaning my book when I
[00:14:16] Stephen: hold it. So it sounds like the kids get into the books and enjoy them and you’re on book nine. So you’re getting some good feedback, I assume.
What are the parents.
[00:14:24] Diane: If it hadn’t been for Covid, I was my grow being asked to come into the schools were it was really growing. Luckily different parents in the different parts of the world that are educators have invited me into their schools through Zoom. So I’m getting really positive feedback and before Covid and also living in the Middle East, I was lucky enough to teach in Saudi Arabia creative writing all the way up to think I did up to sixth grade, and then spoke to the eighth graders and did a q and a.
And then I’ve been at a lot of British schools and American schools overseas and Wow. So it’s kinda fun to know that here in America, now that I’m back in, in my homeland, that I have school teachers reaching out to me now and asking me to come. So that’s cool. And then, yeah, that’s very good.
And then, because of Zoom, I can now go back into these other schools and go, Okay, I’m in Saudi Arabia and a British school today. How cool is that?
[00:15:22] Stephen: Very cool. Yeah. Yeah. That’s something definitely an experience you may not have gotten and it, it brings the world a little closer together, I think, too.
[00:15:29] Diane: Absolutely. And it. When you’re in these international schools, you’re with, one of the American schools in Dubai has 175 different nationalities just in that one school. And that’s huge. And to be part of that, It isn’t just about me sharing my books, but learning from these kids too.
Because what I like to do is not just come in and read a story, I wanna be engaged with the kids. I want them to share their thoughts. So I always try to make sure that I’m asked to do creative writing with them and learn from them.
[00:16:07] Stephen: Nice. Yeah, I like that. Thanks. So if you had a choice the world traveler that you are, would you rather see your books turned into movies or TV shows?
[00:16:18] Diane: Oh my goodness, it would, That’s a great question. Hey, that would be amazing on any level. It would, it really would depend on the storyline. I truly believe that the little girl on the moon, Which is morphed into the Mooning Avengers makes great, would make great animation and excitement for the kiddos because there’s no fighting, there’s no violence.
It’s your learning, but you’re having fun and your imagination is growing. Where my book, that’s a young adult historical fiction rise. A girl struggle for more Definitely is is a movie. Definitely is a movie. Okay.
[00:16:54] Stephen: Now you mentioned being in schools all over. Do you get your books translated or are they still in English and you’re going to these schools with an English copy essentially?
[00:17:06] Diane: Another excellent question. Yes, they’re all in English and English is the international language. So even though I’ve been in lots of schools, including in schools in Africa, in several countries, because Africa has lots of countries, people forget it. So con it’s a lot bigger
[00:17:22] Stephen: than it shows on the maps that we show our kids.
[00:17:25] Diane: huge. And yeah. And all the different countries are just so amazing. But but even like in Uganda, Ethiopia, and Kenya, I am like way out in the barriers are in the Philippines way out in the Barrs as well, and everybody speaks English and I’m always blown away by, My husband, he is blessed with a wonderful ear and can pick up languages and speak several languages, but for me, I just did not have that confidence even though I, definitely studied languages in high school and even actually junior high school and college.
But I just didn’t have the confidence. But yeah, the kids, it’s amazing. Like in Uganda. and some parts English is the only language they want the kids to speak in school because they want the kids to get a job. And I find I, I found that very interesting.
[00:18:20] Stephen: Yeah. So let me ask a little personal question.
Your husband does he do different accents? Like he, can he imitate various accents?
[00:18:28] Diane: Oh my gosh, , that is a compliment that they all say. He was one person from Dubai and he an emira. That’s what. I’m called a Texan, right? I guess you’re called Ohio. What? What do you Yeah, Ohio.
Yeah, Ohio. So they’re, it’s Emiratis for the local and they’re like, I would’ve never known that he was in an Emirati, which is like the greatest compliment. And then I remember going to dinner one night with some new clients that came in from Korea, and they were. You as me has that Korean accent done so well, and I’m like, I’m so proud of that
I’m like, How does he do that?
[00:19:04] Stephen: Yeah. I asked because I am not good at picking up languages and I’m also really horrible at accents, so I think they go together.
[00:19:12] Diane: Yeah. Yeah. It’s something about that rhythm. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:19:16] Stephen: Okay. So Diane where can people find your book? And do you have a website?
[00:19:21] Diane: Yes, I do. Thank you. Of course Amazon, Amazon’s kind of Santa Claus. They bring everything, right? And Amazon did not pay me to say that anyways but you can find me at, I’m gonna, I’m gonna say my name and then I’m gonna spell. So it’s Diane Lloyd ba.com, but I’m gonna spell it because it’s different to spell it.
Yeah. Ok. D i a N as in Nancy, N F L O Y D B O E H M dot coms. And it looks like Behe, but it’s Diane Floyd ba.com.
[00:19:57] Stephen: Ba. Okay, got it. Okay, we’ll links in the show notes.
[00:20:01] Diane: Thank you. And I’ll tell you a teeny, tiny story cause I know it we’re, It’s almost time to go. Oh no, Keith, go ahead, please. Oh, okay. So the reason Floyd is that it’s my maiden name and my daddy, he said, Diane, he knew he was gonna leave us to go to heaven.
And he said, Diane I know you’re gonna be published one day, so I have a favorite ask of you. And I said, Okay, Daddy, what? And he. Please bring back your maiden name. It would make me so proud. So after that I just went Diane Floyd Baam. And do you know what I was published , I think daddy, when we went to have made sure.
[00:20:39] Stephen: Nice. And you said you have a book coming out by next August. Give us a little preview what that one’s about.
[00:20:45] Diane: Sure that’s Moon Ling adventures birds around the world. And my daughter’s doing the illustration. It takes a while cause she’s a professor. But that book lets you see all these incredibly gorgeous birds that you may not have known about, but it also, without you realizing that you’re learning geography because of the migration and.
It’s gonna be incredible. Really. It’s gonna be incredible. And the way the moon links. So what happens is the moon links, they go to the observatory. So what I’m hoping is kids realize, Oh, I wanna go to the observatory and have their parents take ’em there, if as possible. And because they’re at the Moon Ling observatory, they’re able to watch the earthlings and different things that go on.
And they do a simulated. Adventure. And so kids are like, it’s really in tune to what kids are today, simulated adventures and fun. And so that’s how it all comes about. And the two, the little boy in the moon has his own doggy called Shadow, And Shadow and Moxie are all part. Of the story and the adventure.
So it’s really, again, take an imagination. So like when I’m in the classroom and I share these things with the kid has, I’m like, Okay, if you could go to what planet, how would you create your language? What would it be? I just wanna, you can do this, and before you know it, they’ve written their own little adventure and I just go away so happy because that’s what I want.
[00:22:19] Stephen: I love that. That’s exact . It’s funny you say that. My, my, I. On my website, I have things for teachers and parents called Imagination Inspiration, and it’s little prompts to help parents. But my first book is called Embracing the Magic, and Oh, wow. The lesson in it, it’s a fantasy book in a fantasy world.
It’s, with some fantasy creatures like Golans and stuff like that. . But the whole point is trying to show kids that there’s magic in the world. Yes. Even with us here, And that’s my point. So we’ve got a good, we think a lot alike. We should sit down for coffee sometime,
[00:22:58] Diane: please. I think we’re kindred spirits.
[00:23:01] Stephen: That would be great. Yeah. I love that. . So let me ask you this. Oh, who are some of your favorite authors and books that you like to read?
[00:23:07] Diane: I’m horrible about saying the author’s names and that just terrible. But I get so engrossed in the books and really, I read a lot of children’s books.
So what if you could see me right now? If everyone could see me right now, you would see that you’re in my Story Garden. So I like sun far. I have over I painted that by the way. I have over a, a hundred children’s books that I’ve read mom and daddy read to me as well as books that I collect.
And, but when I think about books that I like, the reason I like children’s books is because people say, Oh, Children’s books are just for kids. And I disagree with that. I think they’re for everyone because they have a message and it’s a simple way to do it. So one of my favorites was my sons Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
I just love that because we all have those days, right? But in the end, It’s gonna be okay. And then, there’s another book that doesn’t get much hasn’t talked about that much, but it’s really wonderful. The big fat strawberry and a hungry bear and the big fat strawberry. Do you know that one?
[00:24:21] Stephen: No, I don’t know that. So it’s a maybe, but yeah, I don’t
[00:24:25] Diane: remember . So it’s, you know this bear and he has this strawberry, No, the mouse has this strawberry and the mouse thinks someone’s going to get it. So he puts he chains the strawberry. And you see this shadow and then as you read the book, you’re thinking, is it really a bear?
And so the author. So clever because in the end there’s a question, is there really a bear who ate the strawberry? And again it just, the kids are like making up their stories.
[00:24:57] Stephen: Yes. Yeah. Okay. And there, in Austin, where you live, do you have a favorite bookstore that you go. Oh,
[00:25:04] Diane: Yes. . So I do, We have an indie we have an indie bookstore and we have a new one that just opened up called The Pearl. And I’m really excited about it because they support indie authors and yay.
And I’m all about supporting IND authors.
[00:25:20] Stephen: Yeah. Agreed. I like that. Okay. Yeah. So before we move on to author stuff, and we’re going to talk about keep how important it is to keep on writing as an author. For those of you that are listening, that’s our second half. But before we go, if someone asked you, I’m looking for a book for my kid, Why should I get your book?
What would you tell ’em? ,
[00:25:39] Diane: if you’re looking for a book for your child and you want to inspire. My books are about kindness, peace, hope, love, and if those resonate with you, then definitely my books are for you.
[00:25:57] Stephen: Okay, there you go. Great. Thank you Diane. The book sounds wonderful and it’s been a great talk.
I hope some people are interested in. Go check out the show notes.
[00:26:05] Diane: Thank you again. Thanks for having me.