Diana M. Raab, MFA, RN, has been a medical and self-help writer and poet for the past thirty-five years. In 2003, she earned her MFA in Writing from Spalding University. Diana is the author of eight books, including her first memoir, Regina’s Closet: Finding My Grandmother’s Secret Journal the recipient of the 2009 Mom’s Choice Award for Adult Non-Fiction and the 2009 National Indie Award for Excellence in Memoir. She’s editor of Writers and Their Notebooks, a collection of essays she compiled by esteemed writers who use journals to inform their work. Diana teaches in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. She frequently moderates panels at conferences across the country, with a focus on writing for healing.
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Q: Thank you for this interview, Diana. Can you tell us what your latest book, Healing With Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey, is all about?
A: It is a self-help memoir in the form of prose, poetry and private journal entries about my cancer journey. It explains how I embraced the process of healing and turned a negative into a positive by writing about it. My goal now is for my words and journey to help others who are embarking on a similar path.
Q: Is this your first book? If not, how has writing this book different from writing your others?
A: No. This is my 8th book. Writing his book was different from the others because of its very personal and emotional nature. It was a book written from the depths of my emotional reserve. Those who know me said they really got to know me better after reading it.
Q: How difficult was it writing your book? Did you ever experience writer’s block and, if so, what did you do?
A: Thankfully I never encountered writer’s block. This was an easy book to write because it was one I needed to write in order to heal.
Q: How have your fans embraced your latest book? Do you have any funny or unusual experiences to share?
A: My readers have given the book stellar reviews. Some adjectives used to describe the book include: powerful, poignant, insightful, inspirational, compassionate, wry, concise and painfully honest. It is fast-paced and a quick read.
Q: What is your daily writing routine?
A: Each morning, while still in bed I write in my journal for at least 20 minutes. I then have my coffee, get dressed and head down to my writing studio. I answer a few emails and get writing. More often than not, these days I am having to spend more time marketing my work on-line, but I try to do some creative work every day.
Q: When you put the pen or mouse down, what do you do to relax?
A: I meditate, practice yoga, workout, walk on the beach with my dog, hike, and travel
Q: What book changed your life?
A: The private journals of Anaïs Nin.
Q: If someone were to write a book on your life, what would the title be?
A: The Power of Perseverance, Resilience and Love
Q: Finish this sentence: “The one thing that I wish people would understand about me is…”
A: I live to write.
Thank you for this interview Diana. I wish you much success on your latest release, Healing With Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey.