I have much to be thankful for, and my readers are a great part of that. For twenty-two years you have read with me, laughed with me, cried with me through the pages of my books. There are well over ninety of them now and for one reason or another, I have a special memory attached to almost every one.
Annie and The Outlaw reminds me of Stephie Walker, the bookseller I knew so many years ago who was fighting the same battle that Annie was in the story. I had no idea when I wrote that book how personal it would become to Stephie, or how I would travel the road with her through the brain tumor that ultimately took her life. I am so thankful that story helped her find the courage to face her fate.
Out of The Dark became the story that helped one young woman I met finally tell her family about the sexual abuse she’d suffered as a child. I didn’t write it for that reason, or maybe I did and just didn’t know it. I’m always led to tell stories because they talk to me. I am so thankful that lady now walks without the burden of her past. The Boarding House was another such story and I knew it would dig the scabs off of old wounds, but sometimes that’s what it takes for something to heal.
Jackson Rule is probably the most requested and talked about book in my backlist. A good many of my readers still claim it to be their favorite, but for me, it’s linked to an award I won because of it. It was the $10,000 Janet Dailey award, given for the best romance of that year dealing with a pertinent social issue. Because of the money I won from that award, it afforded me the opportunity to begin a scholarship at my high school alma mater, given to a graduating senior in my sister’s name. So, because of Jackson Rule, I have been giving the $1,000.00, Diane Lynn Thompson scholarship, every year since 1997.
The Survivors, written under my pen name, Dinah McCall, was written during the time when I was losing the love of my life to cancer. As I wrote a book about people living through a traumatic event in their lives, he was dying. The dedication in that book has become the one most talked about by all my readers, and in an odd and unexpected way, it has kept the memory of my sweet Bobby alive, not only in my heart, but in the hearts of many, and for that I am truly thankful.