Diana Rumjahn earned a bachelor’s degree in social science from San Francisco State University where she currently works at the College of Creative Arts. She wrote and directed the film Going Home which has been screened at venues worldwide. She is also the author of the new children's picture book, Charlie and Mama Kyna. Rumjahn resides in San Francisco and is currently at work on film and book projects.
We interviewed Diana to find out more about her life as a published author.
Welcome to The Writer's Life, Diana. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
Diana: I am a filmmaker and published author. I have been writing ever since I was 5 years old. The book is about stuffed animals so I must share with you that I just love stuffed animals. They are so cute and bring a smile to me. I like films of different genres such as comedy, drama, action, documentary, science fiction, fantasy, and special interest.
Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?
Diana: Charlie and Mama Kyna is an award-winning charming book with beautiful illustrations for children. The story and illustrations are based on my internationally acclaimed film, Going Home, which was shown worldwide, including 45 film festivals and London Film Festival.
The story is about a little stuffed animal frog named Charlie who runs away in fear after accidentally breaking his mother’s favorite vase. Charlie makes his way to the city and meets a stuffed animal Lion named Leo and a stuffed animal giraffe named Joe outside Mrs. Cupcake’s Bakery. The three become best friends and live inside a little orange tent outside the bakery.
After awhile, Charlie becomes homesick, misses his mother, Kyna, decides to go home and invites Leo and Joe to live with them. On the next sunny day, Charlie, Leo and Joe, journey to find Mama Kyna’s home.
The book was written because I received so much positive responses for the film, Going Home. My passion is to tell you this story.
What kind of research was involved in writing Charlie and Mama Kyna?
Diana: This book was based on my international award-winning film, Going Home.
Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?
Diana: It has been a lot of hard-work for me as the author.
For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?
Diana: It took almost a year.
Do you plan subsequent books?
Can you describe your most favorite place to write?
Diana: The coffee shop in the busy areas of San Francisco. There is a lot of action and interesting people that walk by and have coffee at the café.
How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?
Diana: It is up to the individual to self-promote his or her own book which makes self-promotion very important. My book has received numerous published book reviews. In addition, the book just won an award for Best Short Story for Children from The 39th Annual Marin County Fair, Marin County, California.
What’s the most common reason you believe new writers give up their dream of becoming published and did you almost give up?
Diana: The lack of communication from book associates can be very discouraging for the writers.
Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?
Diana: Don’t give up hope. Be persistent. Keep up the good work.
Thank you for your interview, Diana. I wish you much success!
Diana: Thank you.
You can visit Diana Rumjahn on the web at www.dianarumjahn.com.