Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Diana Lesire Brandmeyer: From "Kid" Sitter to Romance Author

Diana Lesire Brandmeyer is an author who at the end of this interview is giving away her Hearts on the Road (to U.S.A. addresses only) in a drawing. To enter, just leave a comment with your email address, so I can contact the winner.I haven't done a Kid Interview in a while and this one delighted me, as my dad was a truck driver and Diana's romance book is about a truck driver (though, of a different sort!)

When Diana was just a kid, her first job involved kids and KIDS. (See her first jobs.) Read about Diana's childhood and be sure to leave a comment.She shared some great photos.

Childhood Ambition:
I wanted to be a roller derby girl. My father was strongly against that idea. Still I skated as much as I could just in case there was a chance.

Fondest Memory (back then):

Every summer my mom would bribe me to play games with her. She set all kinds of stuff on our kitchen counter from Avon and tell me if I won the game I could pick something. It was so much fun. We played Aggravation, Booby Trap, Canasta and Double Solitaire while eating popcorn and drinking sweet tea for hours every night until it cooled off enough to go to bed. No air-conditioning! We still play games when I see her, now it’s Scrabble.Mom and Diana Fishing

Proudest Moment (back then):

Having my Thanksgiving prayer picked as the best one in my fourth grade class.

Biggest Challenge as a Child or Teen:

Eating fruit and vegetables. I know that sounds crazy but I really hated those things! In school it was MATH! Did not like that subject, still don’t. I think it feels the same about me.

My First Job:

Babysitting before I was old enough to work for a paycheck, then I worked as a waitress for a very short time. After that I worked at Six Flags. Now that was FUN! My favorite part was working with the goats in the petting zoo.

Diana and a Goat

Childhood Indulgence:

Making fudge! It never seemed to turn out right but my brother and I didn’t care, we just ate it with a spoon.

Favorite Outfit as a Child:

My mom made me a dress with ladybugs on it. I loved it!

Saved from Diana's Ladybug Dress!

Diana & Brothers, David and Karl, at Easter

Favorite Childhood Movie and/or TV Show:

Gilligan’s Island and The Monkees, which I only got to watch if I could get my spelling words written three times before it came on.
(CLM: Diana, who was your favorite Monkee? Could you tell us in the comments?)

Favorite Childhood Book: Harriet the Spy tied with Little Women tied with Gone with the Wind. My husband found an old library copy of Harriet the Spy on eBay and bought it for me. It feels so right in my hands!

Favorite Childhood Activity/Pastime:

Reading! And roller skating.

Diana's first doll, Susie, whom she still has.

"The poor thing has a crooked eye and some of her fingers are chewed because I forgot and left her outside one night." (Diana did this page above for her with her scrapbooking.)

Diana and Susie

Did you pass notes or have a pen pal as a child?

Yes, I did (*passed notes!) and I got caught a few times. The teacher made sure everyone knew I misspelled a word in that note. Text messaging would have been great to have back in the day—you don’t even have to spell the words!

Childhood Hero:

My dad. I thought he could do anything—something I’m sure he encouraged me to believe. Oh, and Popeye! I even tried eating spinach because of him. After that experience, though, it seems I didn’t think him quite so exciting.

Diana and Her Dad

Anything else you would like to share with readers about your childhood which affected the writer you have become?

Kisses: Diana with Danny, Her First Brother

"I had two younger brothers who were very sick and eventually died. They took a lot of attention from my parents and I learned to be quiet, read and make-up stories in my head during that time. I would clean out my closet and have my very own reading nook."

Diana and Danny, Diana's First Brother

"I wanted my dad to let me go up in our attic, he wisely said no, I’d fall through since there wasn’t a floor. My mom made all of my clothes and I watched her, she is creative and would do things that didn’t follow the pattern and that interested me."


"Now I find myself stepping past rules and seeing them only as suggestions when I sew, quilt and write."

Diana in Her Bedroom:Diana in her bedroom at age 6. "I was very proud of that room, my mom made the bedspread."

Diana Lesire Brandmeyer has a background in education and psychology. Her credits include My Devotions, The Metro East Family Gazette, Little Visits Family Devotions and The Lutheran Witness. She received her degree from Webster University. She is the author of Hearts on the Road, A Time to Dance, Mystery of the Smithton Necklace and The Trouble with Ralph. She lives in Southern Illinois where the corn grows at a rapid rate behind her home.

She’s married and has 3 grown sons all on their own now, each of them bringing someone special to join the family. Yay! Daughters-in-law!

Diana loves having pets, right now there is only one in the house, a cat named Wendell and an occasional granddog named Rusty.

Diana's web site : http://www.dianabrandmeyer.com/
Diana's Blog

Hearts on the Road
By Diana Lesire Brandmeyer
Heartsong Presents Book Club

Abandoned, betrayed, and feeling forsaken by God, truck driver Randi Davis crisscrosses Wyoming with a broken heart, vowing never to love another man. Suddenly Matthew Carter, a pastor in search of a mobile ministry is thrust into her life and into her cab. And there’s nothing she can do about it.

Matthew sees the seedier side of trucking every day, and he feels a pull toward the the people—a definite call to minister to them. But getting this ministry established is proving more difficult than he imagined.

Soon Matthew and Randi find themselves at cross-purposes. His life on the road has just begun. Her eight-year-old niece needs a parent to come home to every day. Will this be the end of the road for Randi and Matthew’s romance?

Want an autographed copy? Go to Diana' web site.

Available NOW at Heartsong Presents.

In January it will be available at on-line bookstores. Or you can order it from your local bookstore.

(Winner of the drawing for Hearts on the Road was Janalyn! 7/19/09)


Pencildancers said...

Crystal, thank you so much for asking these questions. I really enjoyed digging into the past.
I thought Davy Jones was the best most days, but sometimes I switched favoritism to Mickey!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Isn't it fun to look back sometimes? I love the old pictures! I loved the games you played with your mom, Diana. What a neat idea. Mickey was my favorite but sometimes I liked Davy - he was sooo cute but Mickey had something else!

Jerilyn Dufresne, author said...

I loved your answers, Diana. Sure hope I win the book. :) jerilynboz@yahoo.com

Unknown said...

How fun! Diana, you still have the same smile! I love finding out about how people were as kids. Reminds me of my own childhood. It's amazing how much we writers have in common that started when we were kids.

Pencildancers said...

Jer! Thanks for reading the interview. Hope you win too. :)

Jennifer, I guess we writer's got in line and signed up at the same table before we were born. :)

Anonymous, it is fun to look back. That's funny that you switched back and forth with Mickey and Davy too.

Carrie said...

Oh my! Loved your pictures, loved the plaid pants!! I didn't have plaid slacks, mine were striped, laced up the front and were bell-bottomed, of course!

Would love to read your new book, lady truck drivers fascinate me!


Jenny said...

What a fun interview! Diana, I think our parents had the same camera:-) Oh, and having already read Hearts on the Road, I highly recommend it.
Crystal, you asked great questions--especially the extra one about which Monkee. Glad to see, Diana, you had the good taste to like Davy best. Me, too, until Bobby Sherman and Here Come the Brides came along. :-)
Abundant blessings to you both!

Janalyn Voigt, escape into creative worlds of fiction. said...

Thanks for a blast from the past! My brother and I also ate fudge with a spoon. I had a crush on Micky for the same reasons I always fell for class clowns.

Diana's book sounds fun. I'd love to win a copy.

Crystal Laine said...

Jenny, I loved "Here Comes the Brides!" And years later I came to Seattle and took the "underground city" tour (literally the sidewalks were above and the stores were below ground) and learned about these women who came to Seattle. Hmm.I want to do an interview with you, Jenny...

But my favorite Monkee was Mickey and I sort of liked the brooding Mike, too. LOL. He was so tall.

Thanks so much for doing this interview, Diana. I love all the photos to illustrate it. So wonderful.

And since I grew up with trucks (Daughter of a Truck Driving Man--who owned his own semi,) I am so interested in your book. I have it on my desk right now.

Anonymous, if you want to be in the drawing, do leave me a name or email me your email. (crystallainemiller[AT]gmailDOTcom)Anyone else who prefers not to leave their email here, may email me personal info, but DO leave a comment to be entered.

Marilyn said...

Found my way here through Crystal's TWITTER post and enjoyed the post and pics. I don't read much romance, to be honest, but this post about the author has me interested in getting a romance in my reading queue!

Pencildancers said...

I love that...stripes and laced front pants! Our generation was so well dressed!

Jenny! I forgot about Here Come the Brides. Oh my I had Bobby plastered on my wall! Such a cutie.

I loved my fudge on a spoon! I wish I could go back to one of those nights of fudge making. :)

Pencildancers said...

Come on over to the romance side, the water's warm! :)

Julie Lessman said...

Oh, Diana, a "roller derby girl"??? How cute is that!! What a doll you were (and are!) and how fun to get this glimpse into your childhood. Playing games with your mom for Avon prizes is the best ... you were a very lucky girl!

Don't enter me in the contest because I am privileged to own a signed copy of Hearts on the Road, and it's WONDERFUL!!


Pencildancers said...

Julie, I was a wild one on those skates! I so wanted to knock people over...kind of odd for my personality wouldn't you say? :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Diana & Crystal -

I enjoyed this interview so much! Many of your memories could be my memories...the doll, playing games with Mom, etc.

Please enter me in the contest. susanjreinhardt (at) gmail (com)

Susan :)

Pencildancers said...

Some things are just universal aren't they...but did you want to be a Roller Derby girl too? That would be an awesome quinky dink!

Jenny said...

Diana, bet I had move Bobby pictures on my walls! I covered every inch from the ceiling to the top of the furniture or floor--filling in the small spots with the tiny pics--Sixteen Magazine and Tiger Beat were where I got most. My two autographed pics, though, never were put up. Instead I carried them close to my heart in my binder.
I ran out of tape one day and grabbed whatever I could. Found my dad's electrical tape. He made me take the pictures down when we were moving and found all the black marks--boy was I in trouble! It took me hours to get them all down--I tried to save them.
Good times.

Pencildancers said...

Jenny, that's where all of my photos came from too. Except the one I'm sure was autographed personally by Bobby Sherman and not by some teenager working for him at the time. :)

Jenny said...

Deep in my heart I thought the two signatures were different but wouldn't allow myself to believe it--Bobby would never do anything like that to me--I'll see if I can find them somewhere (been a lot of years and they may be lost in the past)and bring them to Denver to share. :-)

Patricia said...

Your interview was refreshing. It is such fun to take a walk down memory lane--well a brief walk--I certainly don't want to go back to some of those styles.

Would love to read your book, sounds very interesting. pgrau (dot) ggi (at) gmail (dot) com

Pencildancers said...

Jenny, that would be fun if you bring them to Denver!

No? You don't want to wear bell bottoms and iron your hair in the morning before school? :)

Karin said...

What a fabulous interview idea - it was a joy to read :) I love when I learn new things about people, especially the questions that never seem to get asked (and these don't usually come up!).

Please enter me to win - the book sounds great.


Pencildancers said...

You're so right these aren't your normal questions. Crystal does a great job with these interviews.

Unknown said...

Diana, I thought I knew everything about you! I LOVED reading about your childhood before I knew you, it brought back awesome memories of my own childhood!! Thanks, and my favorite Monkee was Peter!!!

Pencildancers said...

Luanne, that's right you were a Peter girl!

Crystal Laine said...

I loved reading the comments from this group! What fun!

We have a winner! Janalyn has won the drawing for Diana's book, Hearts on the Road. I've contacted her and will wait to hear if she accepts.

I'm looking for more interviews for this blog, so be sure to pass the word along to your favorite authors. (Or if you have a special person in mind.)

Pencildancers said...

Crystal,thank you again for allowing me to share part of my past. And thank you to all of you who posted comments! That was exciting to me!
Congratulations Janalyn!