Monday, March 7, 2011

Authors On The Rise Interviews Dianne Jones

AOTR is proud to bring you an Interview With Dianne Jones. Please order her books and visit her website:

AOTR: Tell us about your book.

Dianne: My book is titled “Tragic Treasures: Discovering Spoils of War in the Midst of Tragedy.” It’s a non-fictional, self-help, inspirational book. It’s a very personal look at how a tremendous amount of personal tragedy at a young age led me to depression. I suffered in silence from depression until my self-destructive lifestyle ended with a suicide attempt. I discuss candidly how I overcame that battle. It’s my journey to discovering purpose in pain and hidden treasures in the debris from the battles of life. My book offers insight and encouragement to others. It’s takes the reader on their own journey to discovering purpose in their pain, overcoming life tragic moments, finding hidden treasures, and using those lessons to reach their destiny.

AOTR: What's the significance of the book's title?

Dianne: The term “Tragic Treasures” means that something of value can often be found in the midst of something terrible.

“Discovering Spoils of War in the Midst of Tragedy” was inspired by one of my favorite Bible stories about King Jehosophat and the battle against the great multitude. He prepares for the battle with pray and fasting and sets his worshippers in front of his warriors and goes to the battlefield. God goes before him and kills his enemies before he even arrives. When he gets to the battlefield he finds himself surrounded by dead bodies and what I refer to as “dead things.” However, also on the battlefield in the midst of the dead things lies what the bible refers to as “Spoils of war.” So, the King does something that most of us wouldn’t do. He stays on the battlefield surrounded by dead things [loss, death, destruction, pain, anguish] for 3 days gathering the spoils of war [valuables, hidden treasures, lessons learned]. He recovers hidden treasures that we often overlook because they lie in the debris of our tragic life battles.

AOTR: What inspired you to write this very candor book?

Dianne: I’ve known since I was a teenager that I would write books. However, it was about 16 years ago when I realized that I had the opportunity and a responsibility to use my tragedies to inspire others to overcome theirs. I realized it wasn’t too late to gain the victory over a past defeat, but there would be no victory, if I couldn’t be completely and totally transparent with the reader.

AOTR: Was it difficult for you to share some of the more intimate, personal details of your life?

Dianne: Yes. It frightened me to the point that I almost didn’t write this book. I feared how people would look at me if they knew about the depression, the suicide attempt, the psych ward visit, the abortion, and all my previous self-destructive behavior. I tried to write it without revealing my truth but the words wouldn’t fall into place. The words poured out onto the page once I freed myself of the fear of rejection and stopped worrying about the approval of others and just began to tell the story as the spirit would have me reveal it.

Dianne: What type of response have you gotten towards your book?

Dianne: I’ve had so many wonderful responses from readers who say they cried, they laughed, they were inspired and encouraged. My book was also named best inspirational book of the year by readers according to Disilgold magazine out of New York.

AOTR: What other projects are you working on?

Dianne: I’m working on my 2nd book that I hope to have released by the end of this year. I’ll be in Baltimore, April 10th at Baltimore Urban Book Fest. In April, I will also be Co-host of a morning Radio Show on Blogtalk Radio. My Publishing Company is accepting manuscripts. I’m planning to offer seminars and workshops in the Atlanta area starting this summer.

AOTR: How can our readers learn more about you and your ongoing efforts?

Dianne: Readers can learn more about me by going to my website at where they can also purchase an autographed copy of my book. For speaking engagements, seminars, or conferences they can email me directly at

AOTR: Where can readers buy your latest book and meet you?

Dianne: Tragic Treasures is available online at,, and autographed copies at my website : Readers can sign up for my newsletter at my website for regular updates about an upcoming events.

AOTR: What motivates you to write and stay focused on your craft?

Dianne: My motivation to write stems from what I believe is my purpose in life, "to minister to hurting people." I’ve been a Christian minister in the traditional sense of the word for a decade with deep roots in the church, but I was never quite comfortable with the position I was encouraged to pursue [the role of Pastor]. As a result, I had to step away from what I perceived to be "man's vision for my life", go back, and tap into "my Creator's vision for my life." I knew I had a gift, but it took me a number of years to realize that helping others doesn’t require a title, a position, a pulpit, or even a church. I made a decision in 2006 to pursue my ministry in a different way. God has given me an ability to identify with, communicate, and facilitate healing to hurting people through writing and inspirational/motivational speaking. What I am destined to do reaches far beyond religion, titles, positions, and church attendance; because "pain" has a spiritual component, but it has no denomination or religious affiliation.

AOTR: What inspired you to write your book?

Dianne: A number of things inspired me. I'm an avid reader. I've read hundreds of self-help and inspirational books. All were helpful in some way, but most were never transparent and the writer went to great lengths to establish themselves as the authority on the "subject", while distancing themselves from the pain. I realized while working with downtrodden people for 8 years in the heart of Baltimore's Inner City that hurting people long to connect with someone who feels their pain. When I grabbed a razor blade out of a sister's hand, who was trying to slit her wrist, in broad daylight on the corner in Baltimore, I did it because I could identify with her pain. I knew what despair and hopelessness looked like on the face of another human being, because I had been there, and I had to intervene.

So, when I began to write my book I was compelled to become so transparent about my pain until it frightened me. My book was at a standstill for a few years because of my fear about sharing all the horrid details. But I knew that I had to take the reader on a journey through the valley of my despair and we would come out together. I knew that my transparency would enable me to connect with the reader’s pain, thereby enabling me to draw the reader into a journey towards recovery.

AOTR: What message do you want people to take away after reading one of your books?

Dianne: The main message that I hope each reader takes away when finishing "Tragic Treasures" is that deep within every tragedy there are hidden lessons that are precious and priceless. Our soul's journey is to find the hidden treasures in the midst of the debris from the battles in life. Once we discover those "Spoils of War", we should embrace the life lessons and share the positive outcome. When we can do this, we can walk out our purpose, and achieve our destiny.

AOTR: How long does it take you to write a book?

Dianne: I write Inspirational non-fiction with spiritual components, so I find that my writing process is not systematic but intuitive. I allow the words to flow through me on to the pages of my books. So, however long it takes to me to get into a place where I can hear the words from within my spirit determines how long it takes for my book to manifest. My first book took years, because I was trying to control the story, as oppose to allowing the words to flow through me.

AOTR: You speak a lot on purpose, do you believe everyone has one?

Dianne: Yes, I do believe that everyone is born with a purpose. However, I also believe that many of us live our entire lives without discovery or walking out our purpose.

AOTR: Do you think people are born writers or is it something that can be taught?

Dianne: I think it’s both. Some people are natural writers and others can be taught the foundation of creating a story. However, a good writer has the ability to tell an incredible story and I think that’s something that some possess and some don’t.

AOTR: Name two people who inspired you/Why?

Dianne Maya Angelou inspires me, because she was an under-educated, single mother who struggled and overcame many tragedies to become a world-renowned story-teller and truth speaker. She is truly a phenomenal woman of grace, faith, and peace.

Nelson Mandela inspires me, because he fought back and changed a Nation. Despite physical incarceration, in his spirit he never gave up. He conquered his fear of death and was willing to die, so others could be free. He is truly a courageous and fearless man.

AOTR: Thank you for taking time to chat with us. AOTR wishes you much success!

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