Dianne Gardner is both an author and illustrator living the Pacific Northwest. She's an active member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and the National League of American Pen Women. She has written Young Adult Fantasy novels as well as articles for national magazines and newspapers. She's also an award-winning artist.
Dianne spent many years living out in the desert wilderness of the American Southwest, lived in a hogan made from adobe and cedar for thirteen years, co-owned 25 horses both pure bred and Native American ponies, traveled horseback and by wagon throughout the Navajo reservation, herded sheep and goat, worked in the forest planting trees and piling, farmed on barren soil and even lived in a teepee for a short while. She spent many long years using survival skills as a way of life.
Later she studied pastoral counseling and was a Pastor's apprentice at a mainline church. She and her husband have been feeding the homeless for over twelve years. Today she draws on both her survival experiences and her love for people, especially young people, into her writing, seeking not only to give her readers a firm understanding of her stories' characters, but a rich appreciation of nature.

 I thought we would have a fun interview in honor of the season and get the skinny on how Dianne celebrates Christmas as she has told me already that Christmas is what she celebrates.

How do you celebrate the holidays?
We feed the homeless every Sunday, so for Christmas we gather from donors and from our own funds and get warm things for them, and toys for parents to give to their children. We have many homeless dads/vets come in who only see their kids once in a great while and feel really bad that they have no gift for them for Christmas. We'll give them the present to give to their children.

What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
I love the family getting together and having a nice meal. I also love watching the grand kids open presents early in the morning while we have a cup of coffee and a good breakfast with them.

What is your favorite Christmas song?
Oh Holy Night, especially the second and third verses. I love the chorus "Fall on your knees, oh hear the angel voices..."

What food do you always make or get for Christmas?
I'm allergic to dairy, so my daughter always makes me a dairy free chocolate truffle cake. It's the best!

What is the best present you have ever received?
I got a banjo when I was young. I loved it! Also, the book Black Beauty. I read it many many times and I still have that same copy..

What is the worst present you have ever received?
I hated getting clothes that matched my sister's

Do you put up a real tree or artificial?
I used to swear to a real tree when the kids were young because I love the fragrance. But we have a small house now and I found this really cute 'real pine' artificial table top tree. So I use that now. I might decorate a tree outside this year. We live in WA and are surrounded by fir on our property.

Can we find mistletoe at your house hanging in a doorway?
No. My husband kisses me all the time anyway.

What is your favorite Christmas candy?
The only candy I really eat any more is dark chocolate. I can't have dairy and I don't like hard candies, although a butterscotch once in awhile is still nice.

What is your favorite pay it forward idea or tradition?
Wishing each other well, even in the face of adversity.

That was a fabulous interview Dianne. I loved  your answers and capturing yet a small glimpse into the your life and the lady behind the wonderful imagination.

Thank you so much. I really enjoyed it.

Ian's Realm Trilogy by Dianne Gardner
Hydra Publications Ian's Realm: Deception Peak
now available
Teenage Ian Wilson follows his father through a portal into a deceptively beautiful Realm, where horses run free, the wind sings prophetic melodies, and their computer avatars come to life. But separation from his dad puts Ian in peril as he’s abducted by a tribe of dragon worshipers and forced to find his courage.  As he struggles for his freedom and embarks on a perilous search for his father he meets the true peacekeepers of the Realm, and learns of a greater purpose for his being there.

Ian's Realm: The Dragon Shield
release date Feb 2013
As a young man, Ian returns to the Realm to search for his father, and to fight against the tyranny that has befallen his friends. But the Realm is a different place, the forest is dying, the Kaermperns have lost the shield that protected them from the dragon, and Ian has a hard time proving his allegiance when trouble follows him through the portal. His struggle to do right buries him in confusion, and he must fight his own will to prove his integrity.

Ian's Realm: Rubies and Robbers
release date 2013
Ian has proven his abilities as a warrior and now the most dangerous battle begins, the battle against the power of evil. Ian must unravel the secrets of the mountain and discern who his real enemy is, the enemy both without and within. He tackles with the twelve year old boy who seems to hold the fate of the entire Realm in his hands, and yet the pressing Songs of Wisdom call for compassion in his dealings. Ian leads his men in the fight against the powers of darkness. But he must also be willing to sacrifice everything he ever hoped to have in order to save those he loves.

You can find her books here on Amazon:


You can find Dianne in her many wonderful places full of adventure:





Go to her website for a Christmas Party going on now until Dec. 15, 2012 and while you are there check out her book trailers. They are awesome.

She is very generously giving away where four people will win a signed copy of Deceptions Peak   http://dragontargeseries.blogspot.com/

12/7/2012 07:57:51 am

What a great interview Taylor. I loved it. A very interesting lady with awesome books!

Taylor Lakke
12/7/2012 11:57:55 am

Jenna, Thanks for your feedback. Glad I was able to introduce you to Diane.

12/7/2012 11:38:45 am

Thanks so much for interviewing me, Taylor! Great questions!

Taylor Lakke
12/7/2012 11:57:13 am

Diane, Glad you like the interview questions. Loved your answers.


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    I was raised in the South but have lived in many places around the United States. Reading is my favorite hobby and has been since I was a little girl. Just started writing and am finding pure joy, it is something I was born to do. I love the ocean: swimming, snorkeling, sailing and boating. My secret ambition is to be a professional golfer. Travel is another passion I have.  I like to chew gum and wear a baseball cap when I write.  By day I am a Facility Director in Healthcare and in the wee hours of the night I am living my dream of writing books.



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