Interview with Diane Mayer Christiansen, Author of SURVIVOR: Out of the Wild

08 Dec 2020

What can you tell us about your new release, SURVIVOR: Out of the Wild?

Survivor is my first dystopian novel and it was an amazing experience to write it, especially while in the throes of a pandemic. I worked hard on character development and it’s really the story of strength and enduring the most difficult times. I tried to challenge the characters and really wanted to end up with a strong message of girl power. The characters must face unbelievable challenges and I think the key to their survival is wrapped around their choices. The book centers around two characters: Wren, a girl who has never known what she really wants out of life, and Aiden, a boy who has always had a plan. The chapters jump back and forth as they each navigate a world destroyed by a solar flare, both dealing with regret and pledging to make amends.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

I grew up struggling with the neurological disorder, dyslexia and was unable to read until my late twenties. At a very early age, I began making up stories to go along with the pictures in my books. I guess I’ve always had a creative mind but was unable to express that part of myself. Instead, I developed an interest in science and became a genetic researcher. But in the back of my mind there was always this desire to write. As an adult, I was able to teach myself to read and from that stemmed my inspiration to write.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

I have to begin with Harry Potter. These were the first books that I could read on my own. It took me months to get through them all. I also love all nineteenth century literature: Bronte’ and Hardy. Jane Eyre and Tess of the D’Urbervilles would be on the top of the list. Maze Runner, Uglies and any book written by Neal Shusterman.

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

F.Scott Fitzgerald is my top pick. I loved the Great Gatsby. He also struggled with a learning difference thought to be dyslexia. I would ask him what it was like growing up in the jazz age and his thoughts on the division of wealth during that time. Also, what it was like writing such emotionally charged literature, often with characters that met tragic ends.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

I always begin with a story in my mind that is fairly thought out. The best part is getting it onto paper and watching it unfold and take new directions. I also love getting to know my characters and being immersed in their world for a time.

What is a typical day like for you?

Most of my story ideas come to me during a long walk so I spend as much time as I can enjoying that activity. I usually write for several hours a day and when it’s time to edit my life becomes busy. Edits can take months and many read-throughs. Luckily, I have some great editors because my spelling is atrocious.

What scene from SURVIVOR: Out of the Wild was your favorite to write?

I think my favorite scene is when Briar realizes that it’s okay to let others be strong for you. She’s a tough chick but there’s a scene when they are traveling through a cave and the darkness reminds her of a tragic moment in the past. I think it’s nice that Wren can remind her that there are many different kinds of strength, not just tough and hard, but gentle and soft too.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

Your life is not judged by the hurdles you face, but how you step over them. If you step over them.

Diane Mayer Christiansen is the author of the new book SURVIVOR: Out of the Wild.

Connect with Diane Mayer Christiansen
Author Site

Buy The Book
B08MQX1TV3 cover image

Buy The Book

Sign up for our email and we’ll send you the best new books in your favorite genres weekly.