You’ve been away from Michigan for how many years now? Are you involved with your new regional SCBWI chapter?
My husband and I moved to Chicago in 2013, and within a year I took over as listserv coordinator for the Illinois chapter of SCBWI. I also contributed several articles to their newsletter, the Prairie Wind. When his job took us to Nashville in 2018, I quickly made contact with the MidSouth regional advisor and she invited me to join their conference planning committee. I’ve been so lucky to land in regions with very active and welcoming SCBWI chapters!
You graduated from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2017. How has your degree guided and shaped your writing career?
Tell us about your work with Angelella Editorial.
I recently read Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA. Tell us about your involvement in this project and how it came about.
I served as slush queen, then managing editor, of the Foreshadow online serial anthology. I’d met Nova Ren Suma in a VCFA workshop, and when she and coeditor-in-chief Emily X. R. Pan announced plans for a new outlet for YA short stories, I wanted to help out. I coordinated the reading of some 1000 submissions to find the 20 or so that we published along with stories we solicited from more established writers. As managing editor, I kept our editorial process on schedule so we could release three stories each month. I loved seeing those 13 New Voices stories published in the print anthology, along with Emily and Nova’s wise words about craft. It’s both a lovely collection to read and a useful resource for writers.
Congrats on your recent and upcoming books! Tell us about them.
Nova Ren Suma knew the editor of the new Arcadia Children’s Books imprint, and she thought I might be a good match for their first series, “Spooky America.” She put me in touch, and my background—MFA in writing for kids plus experience writing historical nonfiction—proved just right. For The Ghostly Tales of Michigan’s West Coast and The Ghostly Tales of Pittsburgh (both 2020), I took a collection Arcadia had previously published for adults and chose the best stories for a young audience. Then I completely rewrote them to suit a kid’s sensibility. I had so much fun that I took on another volume in the series. It’s tentatively titled The Ghostly Tales of Michigan’s Haunted Lighthouses and will come out later this year. I loved sneaking fun facts about my home state into the ghost stories!
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
You can order autographed copies of Diane’s Ghostly Tales books from her website; find out more about her editorial services here.