Posts tagged with: 2015 RWA Pages from the Heart Contest winner

Meet 2016 Golden Heart Finalist Diane Holiday!

Today we’re welcoming Diane Holiday, 2016 Golden Heart Finalist in Romantic Suspense with her novel LOVE IN HIDING.

dog in wavesDiane, who won first place in the 2015 RWA Pages From The Heart contest, lives with her husband at the Jersey Shore. An avid boater and beach lover, she spends her spare time on the water. She has a grown son and daughter who live out of state, so her adoring golden retriever gets a lot of attention. The dog also draws a crowd on the beach as she loves to surf the waves. Diane worked in corporate until she had children. She became a director of the Pampered Chef for nine years, then a substitute teacher for ten as she raised her family. She now volunteers in the public school system tutoring the children of active duty military families. If asked, “What’s the most important thing in life?” the answer right behind chocolate would be humor. Diane lives to make people laugh, often at her own expense. She incorporates that in her writing as well. If she can put a smile on one face, she considers her day a success.

Here’s a blurb for LOVE IN HIDING:

Prima ballerina Sarah Baker needs to disappear. She flees cross-country to hide from an obsessive stalker and winds up working side-by-side at a horse ranch with a former Navy SEAL. On the run, with a fake identity, Sarah isn’t looking for love. All she longs for is a normal life and to dance again.

Bruce Thompson is a horse trainer who runs a therapy program for amputee vets. He has no interest in another relationship after the tragic death of his wife. That is, until Sarah shows up and jump-starts his guarded heart. But Sarah has secrets, and he intends to find out what threat might follow her to the farm. His protective claws come out as he is determined to keep her and his clients safe.

While Sarah and Bruce fight their sizzling attraction, an unknown threat lurks in the midst. This one, closer to home. Will they find love and uncover the deadly plots before it’s too late?

I love the title–and the way both of them are struggling to rebuild a life for themselves! I want them to have their HEA!

Diane’s joining us today to talk about a personal act of rebuilding, and what to do when you hit the Black Moment…in your writing life.

Take it away, Diane!!


diane holidayFirst, I want to thank the Rubies for this tremendous opportunity to share a piece of myself.

I thought long and hard about what to discuss and decided that I wanted to address one of the most difficult parts of being a writer. Self-doubt and rejection. We all know this journey is not for the weak-hearted. I don’t have a thick skin, and rejections hurt. So, it’s pretty amazing to me that I can make the statement that I am confident in my writing. As soon as I wrote this sentence my inner demon said, “Yeah, but are you published?”

How do we overcome these negative thoughts and rejections? I think we all ride a roller coaster of ups and downs. I got a request for a full! Champagne and dinner out. Only, a month later, it’s a pass. I got signed by an agent! Triple champagne dinner. Only, the big pubs rejected the manuscript.

I’d had a particularly tough week prior to the call about the Golden Heart. I had found out only days before that my agent, who I didn’t even know had cancer, had passed away. I was in shock. Sad for her family, unsure of my future, and no clue what might be going on with the book I had out on submission. I remember sitting under the stars that night and thinking about my journey. Had I wasted the last four years of my life in workshops, critique groups, studying grammar and writing techniques until my eyes crossed? What did I have to show for it? A folder of rejection emails, albeit some very complimentary, but the bottom line was still a no. If I were writing my story, that night would be the dark moment. In my heart, though, I knew there was no other answer but for me to get back up and keep at it. Writing isn’t optional for me.

Two days later, the Golden Heart happened. Talk about a roller coaster of emotional highs and lows. I got a personal call from Kristan Higgins congratulating me on my final. Kristan Higgins? I was a bit star-struck. I had my dog’s leash in my hand (because I kept checking the time, and hey, it was already nine a.m., so clearly I hadn’t made the cut), her water bottle (the dog, not Kristan’s), a hat, sunglasses, keys, and poopy bags (again, for the dog.) The dog ended up asleep in the cul-de-sac by the time I got off social media and texted my family. It took me a while to find her water bottle on the top of the refrigerator and her leash behind her food bin. I was a little excited and had mindlessly thrown things around to free up my hands.

shore pictureFor me, the Golden Heart was finally some validation. My hard work had paid off. I’d spent the last four years completely dedicated to writing after moving to the shore. My incredible, supportive husband insisted I take the time to do what I’d always wanted and write a book. Sure, I’d been writing for as long as I can remember, but it was always around my job, the kids, sports, you know…life.

This couldn’t have come at a better time, and what a ride it’s been so far. The journey’s not over, though. I’m working with a new agent and have met so many amazing people through the Golden Heart. I know there will be plenty of tomorrows filled with rejections and criticisms. It comes with the job. But, just for today, I’m enjoying one of the highs.

I’d love to hear from others. What do you do to overcome self-doubt and handle those tough rejections? What high have you had that’s kept you in the game?


Connect with Diane Holiday on social media:

The Latest Comments

  • Louisa Cornell: It’s a great first line, Louise! I am looking forward to reading the book!
  • Lenee Anderson: The murderer is David’s best friend. I’m concerned if I said something along the lines of...
  • Darynda Jones: This is great, Lenee, especially for a first attempt. Wow. I’m wondering if the stakes can be...
  • Darynda Jones: YES!!! I love it, Vivi, but Autumn’s is adds that twists that grabs me. Great job both of you!
  • Heather McCollum: Yes, this works! Thank you Autumn! You are awesome!!


The Ruby Slippered Sisterhood