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Diane lives in Cleveland and likes to bake, besides her writing career. She has written several books focused on her faith and has another coming soon. In keeping with her baking likes, she also has a recipe book.
Diane is an inspiration as she started writing later in life, and has enjoyed several years of a wonderful career.
Okay. All right. So Diane, welcome to discover word Smiths and I know what type of day you’re having. It’s probably rainy because we live very close to each other. So how are you doing on this rainy day?
Diane: I’m doing great. It’s cozy here and everything’s good, so no complaints.
Stephen: Good. It’s good to have you on. I’m excited because of the genre you write in. You’re the first time I’ve had anyone with that genre, so it’s great to have the variety which I hope that the people listening enjoy hearing authors from different genres. So before we get into that though tell us a little bit about yourself where you live, some of the things you like to do besides writing.
Diane: Oh, sure. My name, my author name is Diane Erlic, and I had that name for all my life except till last June when I got married for the first time. And so I’m Diane Drought now, but I kept that name for the sake of my books and everything. Yeah, I turned 68 and I got married the first time, so Wow.
Congrats. So I’m happy and we’re having a great time. Nice. But I live, yeah, I live near Cleveland, Ohio, and lived here all my life. Went to school in Cincinnati, got a degree in design, so I have a creative streak. But when we get into talking about the books and everything, that part was very unexpected.
I didn’t expect to write up into, I have six books up on Amazon now. I’m working on a seventh and so we’ll get into that, but I really don’t have any experience with that. What do I do besides writing? I love cooking and baking. Anybody that knows me knows to come over at dinner time or let me know.
Gimme 30 minutes notice. And I’ll have dinner on the table cuz I got enough stuff in the freezer. Beautiful. So we love to entertain. One of my books is on the Gift of Hospitality, which I absolutely love. Otherwise, we’re very active, over 50 people. We both spend plenty of time at the gym and walking and getting together with people.
So that’s in a.
Stephen: Nice. Great. So what’s your favorite dish to cook?
Diane: Oh, gee. I love baking the most. I guess I just had some friends over and I said, come over for we had dinner, but I taught myself how to make tiramisu. Ooh, okay. And It was difficult, but boy, it was good. Nice. The leor that, yeah, the leor the Kahlua that you put in it really carries the flavor and it was really fun to share with people.
Stephen: of those that you’re like, oh, I messed it up. I gotta eat all the ones I got time to. Sure. More. Really.
Diane: That’s why we’re at the gym all the time.
Stephen: Yeah. And then they end up tasting better. Okay, I’ve eaten 50 of these things today and I might be feeling the effects.
Diane: Sure. Yeah. When I met my husband, I said, we’re the perfect match.
I love to cook. He loves to eat, so perfect. It
Stephen: works out good. Yeah. Okay tell us about your books in general, but most particularly the newest one, what it’s about and. Why you wanted to write this?
Diane: Oh, okay. Yeah. I’m currently working on my seventh book and I happen to have a little, I don’t know if it carries.
Oh, wow. Proof pulls up. But I have a mockup of the cover if you can see it. Okay. Yeah. And the name of it is called Seeing Heaven from Planet Earth okay. I lost it for a second there. I took a nose, guys. Sorry. So anyway, this this was inspired by blogs. I have a website and a, and monthly blogs.
We’ll get into that in a little bit, but as our connection, you and me is through writer’s group with Dave Van Horn. And so I was at my writer’s group one night and you get to read things and they critique you. It’s very helpful. And Dave just, he’s such a idea person and said, if you have enough of these blog articles, you’ll have another book.
And it was like a light went on. I go, yeah, because it’s a devotional. People in my genre, Christian inspirational Christian growth, love, something that they can ha have read for one day, put it down, and then read something new for the next day. It’s called a devotional and so you have different topic.
And different things that, that just carry them through the week or whatever. However, somebody wants to do it, but this is based on the parables of Jesus. When I started doing my research, there are tons of books out there already written very scholarly about the parables of Jesus.
That’s not what I wanted to. Doing my research, I found that this type of reading writing called simile and called parabolic teaching, it’s this is like that. So when Jesus taught, he said his I, the iconic phrase was, the kingdom of God is so he would use something from everyday. That people could recognize and immediately understand and identify with, and then he would take it to that higher plane of the kingdom of God, and he would just move people than to understand that hidden realm of his father’s kingdom.
So that’s what I attempt to do with these everyday topic. And then I pivot and say then the Bible says this, so this equals, this is like that. And it helps people picture and understand the Bible’s take on a specific topic. So hopefully I’ll be done with this. I’m hoping by this summer, but for sure by fall.
So I’ll have that out on Amazon and ebook.
Stephen: Nice. Nice. And you’ve got several books out and that you said they’re all very similar to this. Why did you choose to write inspirational Christian books?
Diane: Here, I’ll tell you my long story. Okay, great. That’s what we’re here for. I became a Christian in 1983.
My brother explained to me that I could know God personally, that all I had to do was turn to him and. Lord please forgive me in my sins and come into my life and show me the way that you want me to live. And I did that very thing. Jesus is real. His power is real. He’s there. He’s real. He’s alive.
So through the Bible and through P Prayer, God will start to communicate with you in your mind, in your heart, and in your. Things that he has for you or different things that he wants to say to you. It’s very personal. That’s why you hear us being born again. It’s a personal relationship. It’s you and him, together, and that’s how life was always meant to be.
We were never meant to be estranged from God, trying to do it all on our own. So with Heaven’s help, at the time when I became a Christian, then I started to go to church. I started to teach Sunday school and I started to teach junior high Sunday school. The parents wore me, these kids.
A little wild. I don’t know if you can do it, but I did and we had a wonderful time. I started to write a newsletter from my students and I mailed them out every week, and the parents said that the kids would run to the mailbox to get their newsletter. Junior high hopes. As I worked on those, Again the light bulb went on.
Maybe I should do a book. People suggested that I didn’t know at the time that I was touching people that I had a talent for this, but it was a talent that I tripped over and discovered. And so people enjoyed my re writing. I had to learn my craft. If I was gonna write a. I had to learn grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, all that good stuff.
I hadn’t expected to become an author. It was overwhelming at first, but then as I finally just leaned into it, sure enough, I had a book, junior High Hopes, while that was just my training wheels that never got published, but I had to get started some way, right? The book that I wrote and published after that was a book called Transforming the Queen.
Now you probably can’t tell this from my manner and my mannerisms. I’m very, a very happy, upbeat person, but at one time in my life, in my thirties, I was in deep depression. I couldn’t even go to work in the morning. I was living at home. I was one of those bounce back ba baby boomers that came back and lived with their parents.
They were very patient with me. But as I began to pray and read the Bible, and especially with forgiveness issues, and just seeking God to help me in my heart, that heaviness lifted. I came out. Of all that depression and there’s really not a trace of it. Now, of course, that was a lot of years ago. I had to really work at it.
There was a lot of self-determination. I had to decide, that I needed to stand up on my own two feet and have the right path in front of me. But that’s what I did. So this book is actually my. Of logging how I came out of that and the different heart issues and the, and pain and different things that I was experiencing at the time that now I’m perfectly healed from.
So that book, it took me five years to write that. But, and then I did self-publish, so that was my first book.
Stephen: Nice. Good. And how many books did you say you had?
Diane: I have six full paperbacks. The next one that I wrote, I was teaching a Bible study at a church, and our topic for the Bible study was called Take the Limits off of God.
So again, this is another devotional, just different topics that we covered as a group that I had the notes for. And again, eventually I had. To create a book out of it. This is probably one of my most my best selling book because of that devotional style where people again, could, can select a topic, read it for the day, and I’ve actually had five star, I have five star reviews on Amazon for this book, and I’ve received some very kind notes from people over the years thanking me for how touch, how touched they were by this.
The next book that I wrote was to help people. It was to offer something for people’s self-esteem, not necessarily just directed at women, although by this time I was working with women’s groups and again doing some public speaking in that. And so my next book is called Confidence Shall Be Your.
And this is a really good guide to not just trust in yourself and rely on yourself, but rely on God for that godly confidence that being able to look someone in the eye and smile, say your name, introduce yourself, take away all the shyness and the self. You know it, you know the things that would intimidate you for being around other people.
And so this gets you, into society. It gets you moving and helps you to get over those people fears that a lot of people get bound up with. After that, I wrote a really interesting book. It’s called Seeing Behind the. And it’s a book on spiritual deception. Unfortunately there is a dark side to the spirit realm that the Bible describes.
And as a Christian, you became, become very well aware of that reality too. So this is for people to help them stay out of that dark realm that is only deceptive and. Wants to hurt and harm. So this describes this, the spirit of the gift of discernment, discerning of spirits where you can actually understand the different things that are coming at you every day and have a better wisdom to know how to tackle some of the difficulties in life.
The next book that I wrote is called Tabernac. Again, this was totally unexpected, but the Lord started to speak to me through scripture and talk about the the priesthood of all believers that the Bible describes. And so this is a book on prayer, on worship and the term is called ministering to the Lord, where you can actually through praise and worship.
Just spend time just protecting the presence of God. Just extolling God and just having this wonderful prayer prayer closet, prayer time that is so uplifting for you, but also, to pray for other people and events that are going on in society. It’s amazing. I’ll tell you something really fun.
God called me to prayer because I do what’s called intercession and it’s praying deep in the middle of the night. Three in the morning you’ll find me up and God called me to pray the day of the boston Marathon bombing. You remember that? For the Boston Marathon and deep in the middle of the night I was woken up out of a sound sleep, and I heard the word pray come to my mind.
And so I wanted into deep intercession. And then the next day I found out, about that horrible bombing, but only there was two nap sex with bombs and only one went. So by a miracle, only three people were killed. Many injuries, but they survived. And those people got to run that marathon, even with their prosthesis and, all the injuries they got across that finish line.
So that’s prayer, intercession, and the power of it. And then finally during Covid I had been doing writing. Recipes and, writing down my favorite recipes and everything. And I started to assemble some notes on the gift of hospitality. Sure enough here, recipe for sharing.
And this is actually my front door and I, and I have actually pictures. So in 2016, I was 65. Let’s see. No, 60. And I moved from a condo into a freestanding single family home that was twice the size and needed a lot of rehab. So with the help of a friend of mine who does that kind of work, I rehabbed a 2000 square foot home.
Wow. Beginning to end. Roof shutters painting the whole thing. And all for the sake of having a big dining room and a di big living room and a big kitchen so that I can have friends over. So I documented that whole thing. There’s pictures, and then the second half of my book is all my recipes. It was a fun book that I got to write during Covid.
So that’s out on Amazon too, and I’m actually gonna do a revision on that hopefully this year, cuz I’m gonna include a chapter on how I met my husband on an over 50 singles dating site. And how we got together. So those are my books in the, in a Books in a nutshell. I did one little ebook, it’s called How to Write a Book.
I did a seminar for a women’s group one time and wrote a, did a class on how to write a book and kept the notes. I thought, that is a, something that’s widely searched by people and if. If you go to Amazon, you’ll find it and come download it. It’s just a little ebook, but it’s all the experience that I learned and I took away from all my years of writing and self-publishing and I think it’s very helpful for people.
But that’s just a short booklet. It’s the ebook. So that’s great.
Stephen: So you’ve written for several years in several books. What are, I’m gonna jump around a little bit on questions. Sure. What are some things that you’ve learned from that first book to now that you’re doing differently in your
Oh, okay. My composition comes a lot easier now. And so mainly It’s the, it’s, I taught myself this summer how to do my own eBooks. It’s probably the software. And and I had employed an editing service on one of the books, but I think I’m just gonna, do my own editing. And then also For this heaven book, I think I’m going to purchase this software called Atticus, where I can actually typeset my own interior of my book.
I’ve already I’ve already hired out someone to do the cover, so I guess my learning experience now is in the software, in the production. It’s a lot easier for me. I understand it. It’s not such a big, black hole of learning. My learning curve, is a little easier now and and I really enjoy the computer and the software part of it too.
So you go from the creative part, the writing and the composing, and then you get into this very practical mode of making sure that your writing is good, that it’s powerful, that your sentences make sense, that they lead to one another, that your paragraph breaks are makes sense. And that you just put out a really good product for your reader.
That’s my goal. Nice.
Stephen: And you’re working on this book to get out soon. Do you have any plans for things after that? Any books after that?
Diane: Yes, I do have a book planned for next year. I haven’t gotten a title yet. Over the years, I have other books that I never published that I have lots of material.
I’m always taking notes and writing things down. Yeah, I think re readers will see another book out of me for next year. Nice. Okay.
Stephen: And the people that have read your books, what type of feedback are you getting from your reader?
Diane: Like I say, I have five star reviews on Amazon.
Right now I don’t really get I just opened a Facebook for my ministry. It’s called Reform Ministry. I haven’t gotten any too many followers yet. Not a whole lot of feedback, but. Like I say, I’m writing these blogs I started last year and I have blogs above on my website. I’ll give you the name of my website Yes.
For viewers. So they can go and follow me on the blogs, but it’s reform ministry.com. R e f o R M I N I S T R y. Dot com. That’s my website. There’s a lot of pages on it. There’s a lot of information. There’s a bible reading schedule if you want that. I talk a little bit about my beliefs and then all the books are posted up there and then these monthly blog articles and they’re all up there, includes a picture and I, I have a tracker on my blog and so I can actually see where people, I wrote it, I wrote all these down.
I wrote all these states and countries Nice. That where people visit me from Now, there’s no place to actually interact on the blog article because of the setup of my website. I’ve been read by people from New York, New Jersey, Iowa, California, Ohio, North Carolina, Florida, Connecticut, and Utah. And those are just the recent ones.
And then the countries where people have visited me and viewed the pages, Ireland, India, Canada, China, Tanzania, Malawi, Israel, and India. And those are just some of the recent. So it’s really fun for me to go on my tracker every day. I see if people are reading me, how long they’re on there, what pages they view, and from what I can tell, I am getting a lot of readership and that’s my goal right now because I just wanna put out.
Important, good information for people that they can read in their spare time. Nice.
Stephen: You yourself, do you have any favorite books and authors?
Diane: Right now I’m reading a Man and he’s very famous called, his name is Randy Alcorn, a l c o r n, and he’s written many books I’ve been reading.
Books for a lot of years. The one that I’m in the middle of right now, because it pertained to what I was doing, it’s called Heaven. And he just intricately describes what the Bible says, about heaven. And it’s actually a physical place. We are gonna have physical bodies. We’re going to eat, we’re gonna know people.
It’s gonna be just a carryover from life on Earth, so it’s very exciting. Nice.
Stephen: Okay. I’ll put a link in the show notes to that. Sure. For people. And do you have any favorite local bookstores?
Diane: Right now there’s not too many bookstores in my area. Just I have started looking at the Good Reeds website.
For books that people recommend. And then just the Amazon bookstore is probably my go-to. Okay, that’s
Stephen: fine. And so we jumped around a little bit, covered some of the author topics already. But if somebody came up to you and said, Hey, Diane, I heard you wrote a book inspirational devotionals.
Why should I get your book and read it as opposed to all the other ones out there? What
Diane: would you call? Yeah there’s a lot of. Material out there. I have a lot of different topics. All these books are different topics. So what I tell people and what I have on my website is that you can actually build for yourself.
A library of these books, and if you read them, in the order that I just gave you, you would have a full all encompassing understanding of the Christian life. Everything has been touched on. So if you take ’em as a whole and use them as your own personal library. Then you would have a very well-rounded understanding of what the Bible calls us as Christians.
Stephen: Okay. And what would you tell somebody, let’s say they don’t read Christian inspirational, but they wanted to find out what your books are about. What would you tell ’em about why they might wanna read your books if they’re like I don’t care about all that. What would you say to them?
Diane: I would say to them, That’s
Stephen: a tough one.
Diane: Yeah, that’s ok. I would say them just try it. I wrote down actually to, I wrote down a little challenge for your viewers, for people Okay. Who have never read. Don’t take my word for it. Don’t even buy my books, I put ’em out there for the world. But here’s the challenge for your readers.
If you just get yourself a Bible, yeah. You can go online, it’s there, or go to a bookstore or maybe dig one up outta your attic, I don’t know, wherever you keep it. Or maybe it’s on the coffee table. Yeah. And it’s always been there and you just have, you have to dust around it every weekend.
I don’t know. They don’t put ‘
Stephen: em in hotels anymore.
Diane: No, I guess not, but it, but every, it’s online. Everything’s online. So go find yourself a Bible, go to the New Testament, because then you can learn about the savior Jesus, and just read, instead of getting overwhelmed. Oh, I’ve never read the Bible.
It’s so hard. I’m not gonna understand it. It’s not hard. Yes, you can understand it and just read a chapter. Those are the big numbers. It’ll say, one, two, whatever. Just read yourself a chapter or a paragraph or a little bit for the day, and then. Just turn to God and say, God, what do you have for me from this?
What do you have for me? And do the Do it for a week, do it for a month. However long it takes you to get in a little bit of a groove, God will start to present himself to you. It’ll be very personal. It’ll be very warm. It’ll be very inviting. He loves you. He wants to communicate to you. And that’s probably him calling me now,
stop this phone. But but just to get back to that, it’ll be very warm, it’ll be personal and you’ll know that you have a friend in heaven who loves you, who wants to help you, who has power to help you. Who wants to help you through your deepest needs. And I just challenge your re your viewers to just try it themselves.
Stephen: That kinda made me think, wasn’t there a show several years ago called God Calling that Yeah,
Diane: there’s a book out. Yeah. Called, yeah. God Calling. All
Stephen: right. Diane I think it’s been a great talk. Like I said, you’re the first Christian writer I’ve had on here with Inspirationals in that, so it’s, I love having a variety of authors to show what’s out there.
And I love the fact that you started this not when you were 20, when you were in your sixties already, or late fifties already. And congratulations on being married by the way, so for everybody. So I love that all aspects about you. We do have, we both sit in on Dave’s meetings sometimes and we do have a lot of writers that listen to the show.
So before we go, what advice would you give to some new writers out there?
Diane: Be encouraged that whatever you’re writing, if you’re writing from your heart, then you can make it into a product that people will identify. And want to read because you have a voice to help someone else in whatever experience you’re expressing, you have a voice to help the next guy.
So keep up the good work and just give it a try. Great.
Stephen: Wonderful. Thank you. I appreciate that. It’s been great catching up with you and having you on. I will let you know when this goes live. Thank you.
Diane: Thank you so much.