Diane Guntrip is an educator and author of books for young teens.
She is an advocate for bullying prevention and a promoter of positive mental health. Diane has qualifications in teaching, speech training and counselling.
‘Dear H’ and ‘The Daisy Chain’ focus on bullying, self-esteem, depression and self-empowerment.
Diane’s interests are wide ranging and encompass jewelry design, travel, reading, singing, animals and, of course, writing.
Diane is based in Perth, Western Australia. She is available for workshops, book signings and speaking engagements.
- When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
DG: I can’t remember ever making a conscious decision to become a writer. Even now, I write on what I would describe as a casual basis. From a young age I have always been actively involved in some creative pursuit. I trained as a teacher specializing in English and Textiles and taught Textiles for 6 years in the UK. Later, I became a jewelry designer and also ran a business featuring designer cushions all whilst I continued with my teaching career. There has never been a time when I have not been busy with some form of creativity. So to return to the question, I can remember writing stories when I was around the age of 8. I then became so involved with other interesting projects that I did not begin writing again until about 16 years ago. Then, I had no intention of becoming a published author.
- How long does it take to write your book(s)?
DG: My first book, ‘Dear H’, was an ‘on-off’ project for 15 years. When it was started, I only had aspirations for writing a short story. Over the years, it developed into a diary and the word count was increased. It was not until two 12 year old girls read my manuscript and told me I should have the book published that I decided to go ahead and self-publish.
- What is your work schedule like when writing a book?
DG: Following on from my previous answer, with my first book, my writing schedule was spasmodic. The sequel, ‘The Daisy Chain’ was published 2 years later. I fit my writing around working, gardening and other activities. I find having ‘gaps’ in between writing works well for me as it is during this time, that I often come up with more ideas to enhance my writing.
- Where do you get your ideas or information for your book?
DG: I find this a difficult question to answer. I usually have the whole story in my head before I begin writing. I often cannot identify where the idea has sprung from. A lot of my information comes as a result of being involved in education for many years and life in general.
- When did you write your first book?
(Already explained above.)
- What do you do when you’re not writing?
DG: I am always busy. My mind never stops coming up with ideas. I still teach on a casual basis and have been involved in school workshops based on my first 2 books. Presently, I have curtailed some of my creative pursuits so that I can concentrate on completing my 3rd book, a spin-off from ‘The Daisy Chain’. It will be called, ‘Tilly’s Story’. When it is finished, I plan to return to learning the piano and French.
- What does your family think of your writing?
DG: I do not have a large family. My husband is very supportive.
- What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your books?
DG: With my first book, ‘Dear H’, I was surprised at how my book could help young people. I thought I had just written a story to be enjoyed, until it was pointed out to me how I could use it to empower people against bullying and other social problems.
- How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
DG: I have written 2 books. ‘Dear H’ is my favorite.
- Any tips/suggestions on getting started?
DG: If you feel the urge to write, just give it a go.
- What do you think makes a good story?
DG: Everyone has an idea of what a good story is. If you enjoy reading it, it’s a good story.
- As a child, What did you want to do when you grew up?
DG: The first thing I can remember was wanting to be an actress.
Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/dianeguntrip