This week, enjoy meeting Contemporary Romance author Lila Diller. She’s offering a paperback of Loyal Judas OR an audiobook of Her Heart’s Decision as a giveaway. Comment below by November 8 for a chance to win!
Welcome to the blog, Lila! Let’s jump right in with a question about your writing. Are any of your stories inspired by true events or personal history?
After just a week of NaNoWriMo – a very difficult week of not knowing what to write – I got word that my sister (across the country) had tried to commit suicide. Even after she got help and was doing better, I couldn’t continue my silly romance story in the light of life and death.
The next April for Camp NaNoWriMo, the Lord inspired me to use my experience with my sister’s mental problems in my story to make it mean something more. You can get it for free when you sign up for my newsletters.
It really is amazing how God uses life’s hurts for something good. I’m glad your sister is doing better. What genre do you write and what inspired you to write that particular genre?
I mostly write contemporary Christian romance because that’s mostly what I read and watch. When the Lord inspired me to use my sister’s story, He also inspired me with the idea of a series following one couple’s love story from dating to marriage and beyond, all based on the Bible’s description of true love in 1 Corinthians 13. Each book in the “Love is” series is based on 1 or 2 of those descriptions (in the ESV).
#1 = Love is not arrogant or rude. (Her Heart’s Decision)
#2 = Love does not envy or boast. (Her Heart’s Jealousy)
#3 = Love is patient. (Her Heart’s Impatience)
#4 = Love is not irritable or resentful. (Her Heart’s Disappointment)
What a cool concept! Love it. How do you incorporate Christ and hope into your writing?
I always include a strong Christian element in my stories. I like a feel-good Hallmark romance as much as the next hopeless romantic, but I want it to mean something. I want to take something away from it that I can use in my own life so that all that time was not wasted. I want the same for my readers.
For instance, in my most recent novel, A Christmas Repair, I wanted readers who escape the busyness of the holiday season because you feel unloved or unappreciated IRL to know that Jesus sees you. He made you who you are!
I hope this book gives you a glimpse of the height, the depth, the width, and the breadth of God’s love for you! And for readers who already accept and embrace who God made you to be, I want to remind us that God made other people different – and that’s okay, too.
The mixture of ethnicities and personalities reminds us to lay down our judgmental attitudes and give grace for those who are different from us but who are also uniquely made by God. These are lessons the Lord has had to teach me, and I feel called to pass them on.
Those are great lessons! What is the setting of your current novel? Is it a real location or fictional? Tell us about it.
A Christmas Repair is set in present-day Baton Rouge, LA. Though I have never visited, a good friend of mine lives there and gave me some local spice.
How did you select the names for your characters?
The hero, Christopher Ortega, was loosely based on my husband. His first name is Christopher. I wanted to include a Latino hero not only for diversity’s sake but also to showcase my love of Mexican food and music.
The heroine, Brittany Jones, got her name from the singer Britney Spears. It’s a thing in the story, as she is about as opposite from the superstar as possible.
I’m sure my husband would love having his name in my book. LOL How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
What’s your definition of “writing”? Lol. If we’re talking how long it takes me to write the first draft, between 1 and 2 months. If we’re talking about all writing tasks from pre-writing to publishing, usually about 9-12 months.
Writing a draft in one to two months is impressive. What does your writing space look like?
My writing space changes with every book. Lol. I have lately been trying to keep my creative spaces separate from my business spaces, so my kitchen table is my work office where I have my laptop and recording equipment set up.
My writing space is the comfy rocking chair/glider that looks out of our bay window. The bit of nature really inspires me.
My art space is a table in the weird room that is between our front room and our living/kitchen space that doesn’t have any doors.
If you’ll notice, all three of these areas are not private and subject to interruption from any of my family members or pets at any time. That’s just my life right now. Lol.
You’ve accomplished a lot in those public spaces. Good for you! What is one of your favorite quotes from A Christmas Repair?
“I continued to remind myself to not get distracted all evening. It was going to be harder than I thought to put Chris Ortega out of my mind.” (from Britt Jones, the heroine)
“’Just because you’re capable doesn’t mean you never need help. I’m a capable man, and even I ask for help sometimes.’” (from Chris, the hero)
Nice quotes. Do you enjoy marketing and social media? Which platform are you most active on?
No, I do NOT enjoy marketing!! It’s one of my least favorite tasks, right up there with formatting. I am most active on Instagram right now because that’s the platform I most enjoy. It took me many years to warm up to the idea of video, and it still takes a lot of energy out of this introvert. But it helps readers to see me as a real person. Which I am. Promise. Lol. You can follow me @liladiller.
As a fellow introvert, I feel your pain. It’s been fun getting to know more about you and your writing. I wish you God’s best moving forward!
Join the conversation. Have you witnessed God using a hard situation for good? Do you like reading novels based on those types of events? What do you think about Lila’s concept of a Love series based on 1 Corinthians 13?
Comment below by November 8 for a chance to win a paperback of Loyal Judas OR an audiobook of Her Heart’s Decision.
A Christmas Repair by Lila Diller
Click the book cover for purchase link
Do you need to take a break during this busy holiday season? Do you want a quick read that will allow your mind to rest and recharge? Do you want an entertaining story that also inspires you in your faith and gives you examples of how to live it out?
A Christmas Repair is a Christian feel-good story in a coffee shop at Christmastime romance about Britt, a techy, closed-off girl, and Chris, a sensitive, working-class guy, who both work through some misunderstandings about each other and themselves to find love. Along with the complexities of family, friends, and work relationships, this story is about a guy and a girl growing closer to God and each other on an adventure that neither expected. Come along for the ride!
While Lila has historically been outnumbered by her husband of 20 years, two energetic boys, and a hyper dachshund, she welcomed another female into her house, a hilarious calico cat. Lila also loves purple, sushi, dark chocolate, and stories. When she’s not homeschooling her boys, caring for her animals, or writing, you’ll find her reading, watching movies, scrapbooking, or painting. As the author of the “Love is…” series (4 books), speculative Biblical fiction (1), and a stand-alone Christian Christmas romance, she loves to give readers concrete examples of how to live out agape love.
Please share Lila’s interview on social media to help spread the word about her books!
If you missed last week’s interview with Emily Conrad, find it here.