Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Interview with DiAne Gates, Author of "Roped"

A true lady of faith, author DiAne Gates writes Young Adult Fiction and a thought-provoking, inspirational blog. Her words are wise, and her spirit is gentle. And I'm so grateful to have her visiting my blog! 

*** DiAne is giving away an e-copy of Roped and a trio of beautiful matted photos (pictured on the right) to one
lucky winner! To enter, simply comment under the interview with your answer to this question: "What's one word that comes to mind when you think of a rodeo?" *** 

Thanks for joining me today, DiAne. Your debut novel, Roped, was released in August 2015. Can you tell us about it? Maybe give away a little teaser?

Emily, let me thank you for having me. Yes, promotions for Roped are keeping me busy, and I believe I can speak for all authors saying the writing of a book is a cake-walk compared to the promoting…especially for me.

“Like finger-prints at a crime scene, evidence of my bad temper coated everything I touched.” And with that short sentence, thirteen-year-old Crissy Crosby admits her one gigantic character flaw. Her temper. She knows what’s right, but practicing right, when someone bumps-your-basket, causes Crissy’s temper to slosh out on the bumpor. Roped takes us through a difficult time in the Crosbys' life journey. A time that threatens to destroy Crissy. Will she learn from her mistakes? Will she achieve her dreams? You’ll have to read Roped. :) These lips aren’t telling.

That sounds like a great story! Did I read correctly on your website that in addition to writing, you paint, garden, cook, and coach aspiring writers? That’s incredible! How do you fit it all in?

ADD helps! But it drives my husband crazy. God gifted me with an abundance of energy, a love of life, and people, and painting, and—

My husband tells me he can feel me wake up in the darkness of the early morning hours. Yep, before my eyelids open, my brain is racing through the events of the day. He, on the other hand, is laid back and wonderful. Good thing—two of us like me would generate banishment from our neighborhood.

Fifteen years ago, our then twenty-eight-year-old-daughter, Michelle, went home suddenly to be with the Lord. She left behind a five-year-old daughter, a seven-month-old-son, and a grieving husband and family. For the better part of a year, I became instant mommy…again. But in the process, I learned life is a gift not to be wasted. My life verse is Hebrews 12:1-4, where the writer talks about running the race set before us…that’s all I’m doing…running the race. Running to hear my Lord say, “Well done.”

Notice I didn’t include housework and cleaning ovens and ironing on the list. Those things aren’t fun. But what could be more fun and more rewarding than teaching teens to write? And the PageMasters are award winning writers!

It sounds like you stay busy! When you begin to feel overwhelmed or discouraged, what’s your solution? Do you have a certain ritual or activity that helps you refocus and re-energize?

Thirteen years ago, I began facilitating GriefShare, a thirteen week series of Christ-centered support for those who’ve lost loved ones. And yes, I am often overwhelmed, even discouraged, when people choose to remain stuck. Stuck in grief. Stuck in defeat. Stuck in whatever place that prevents them from seeing the gift of life and love Christ died to give us.

When I come to those incapacitating times, I stop, lay face down on the floor, and cry out to God. Casting all my cares upon Him, because He cares for me. And He has never failed to lift my burdened heart and give me His strength, His wisdom, His…whatever I need at the moment. Because He is faithful.

Absolutely! What inspiring words. Speaking of inspiring words, you dedicate your blog to discussing issues facing America today. And with the coming elections, that's a hot topic. What do you think can be done to turn our country back to God?

My blog is written mainly to the Church, because I believe the Church is the problem and is the greatest mission field in the world. If you took a poll of members leaving the sanctuary on any given Sunday, I wonder what you’d find about their knowledge and understanding of the Bible? God has written and preserved His inerrant Word for us in order for us to have a relationship with Him. And we haven’t taught His words to these younger generations, because you can’t teach what you don’t know—what you don’t practice—and what you don’t truly believe and live by.

The fiction I write is reserved for Roped, and soon-to-be Twisted. My blog, Moving the Ancient Boundaries, uncomfortable as it may be, invites the reader to consider how far we’ve removed ourselves, our families, and our nation from the holy boundaries God set to protect not inhibit us. We’ve catapulted over those boundaries, and unless we, the Church - you and me - repent and return to the absolute truth of the Word of God and live by His Truth…there is no hope for America. Because Jesus is our only hope. He is the only Way, only truth, and only Light to salvation.

God is Truth, and as history proves, Truth must judge nations who rebel and turn their backs on The Lord God and His Son, Jesus Christ.

Difficult subjects to broach, no doubt. Some may argue that if God existed, He would turn America around right now. That if He had the power to do something, He'd do it. That said, do you ever find yourself wondering why God lets certain things happen? How do you keep your faith when people around you seem to be losing theirs?

Michelle’s death was the pivotal point of testing my faith. She and her husband had just witnessed God do a miracle healing in the womb of their then seven-month-old, happy, healthy boy.

Oh my, I asked all the “why” questions. I prayed for her healing and thought the heavens were brass until one morning, about a year after her death, I sat in a heap on my back patio and cried out, “God, if you’re here I really need to feel your presence.” A gentle breeze wrapped me like those warm micro-waved blankets in the emergency room, and I heard God say as clear as if He physically stood next to me, “DiAne, I did heal Michelle. But I chose to take her home to heal her.”

Even writing this recount, tears fill my eyes and my heart is washed with a fresh coat of grief. Yes, after all these years, grief never goes away. Grief is the price you pay for loving someone. Do I miss her? Oh yes! Would I want her back? Oh no! She’s with her Lord. 

But Deuteronomy 29:29 has been an anchor for me. I’m not going to repeat it here. I’d like you to pick up your Bible and read what God said and allow the Spirit of God to penetrate your heart with His truth, like He did mine that morning.
God’s in control. I’m not. And that’s the greatest promise and the most blessed relief I can think of. My instructions are to “run the race that is set before me…considering Christ…” I can run unhindered because He goes before and behind me and He “makes my feet like his feet.”

Your faith is truly an encouragement and a blessing. Thank you so much for visiting today, DiAne, and for the insight! Where can readers learn more about you and purchase your books?

My blog is not for the fainthearted, but I’d love to have you join the discussion at http://dianegates.wordpress.com/. And feel free to email me at dianegates@sbcglobal.net or visit DiAne Gates, Author Page, on Facebook. You can purchase Roped at either Amazon.com (eBook or print) or Barnesandnoble.com. I’d love to hear from you.

Readers, don't forget to comment below with your one "rodeo word" to be entered to win a FREE digital copy of Roped and three of DiAne's gorgeous photos! 

As always, happy reading!