Mysteries that Matter
About Diana. Writer, Teacher, Speaker.
Here’s a bit about me, and my writing journey, to start you off.
I write books for readers of all ages, mostly mysteries. My books for young adults and adults take place in all different countries – Japan, Ecuador, Turkey, Egypt – and feature globetrotting sleuths.
My newest novel – Trouble at Turtle Pond – actually takes place a lot closer to home, in a fictional New England town called Marsh Hollow, where a team of young wildlife rangers solves environmental crimes. While I still love books about travel, I also think there is so much to discover right in our own backyards. You really don’t have to look too far to stumble on a mystery! For this new book, my encounters with local endangered turtles – some no bigger than a quarter! – inspired an entire book.
Regardless of the settings, the characters in all my novels investigate mysteries that matter to them. Through their amateur detective work and crime-fighting efforts, they all learn new things, whether it’s about a different culture, or a job they’ve never heard of, or an environmental problem. They definitely learn about themselves, too – their hidden skills and strengths.
Stories and writing have always mattered a lot to me. I’ve known that I wanted to be a writer since I was five years old. I was a huge reader in school. I never went anywhere without a book. I often wrote my own little hand-written books and gave them out to people. I’d say they were mostly in the self-help genre. (“Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables!”) I’m not sure how many people actually read them, but I was a prolific self-publishing industry back in the day.
I quickly turned to mystery, though, with my first hand-bound work of fiction, The Three Lost Puzzle Pieces. (Spoiler alert: the pieces were all found). I got to bring this book to a young author’s conference in second grade. I still remember the thrill of seeing the copy on a display table there. That conference definitely put me on the path to writing as a profession, as well as meeting authors who came to visit my school. (Mysteries linger, though – I never saw my book again! Where did it go? If anyone ever finds a copy of The Three Lost Puzzle Pieces, please return it to me!)
I always loved writing in school. Even when I was supposed to be doing other things. Like math. I was fortunate to have had many encouraging teachers who supported my efforts. (With the possible exception of my math teachers. Okay, I do get it now. Math is really, really important. Lesson learned).
My family has always been incredibly supportive too. One of the best gifts I ever got was an old manual typewriter from my grandparents. I typed my stories on the black ink of the ribbon until it ran out, and then I typed on the red side until that ran out too. My fingers were often stained from that ink, once I bought more ribbon and learned to change it. (And yes, computers had been invented – but we didn’t happen to have one. Anyway, if we did, it would have made for a less interesting story!)
Somewhere along the way, a teacher advised me that in order to be a good writer I needed to be a good reader. I eventually majored in English at Hampshire College, and earned my M.A. in English and American Literature from Brandeis University.
I grew up in Seattle, which I still visit frequently. I now live outside of Boston with my husband, our son, and our elderly black cat, near a mysterious woods that fills me with inspiration and wonder every day.
What things are you most curious about? What kinds of stories do you seek to uncover?
What mysteries matter to you?
Photo by Aliza Stern Guyer
Diana Renn is the author of Trouble at Turtle Pond, a middle grade mystery coming from Fitzroy Books/Regal House in 2022, and three YA mysteries featuring international intrigue and globetrotting teens: Tokyo Heist, Latitude Zero, and Blue Voyage, all published by Viking/Penguin Random House. Blue Voyage was honored as a 2016 “must-read” by the Massachusetts Book Awards, Latitude Zero was a Junior Library Guild selection, and Tokyo Heist was an Indie Next pick. She is also a co-author of False Idols, an episodically-released thriller (for adults) published by Serial Box and Adaptive Books. Diana’s essays and short fiction have appeared in Publisher’s Weekly, The Huffington Post, Brain Child, Literary Mama, The Writer, Writer’s Digest, YARN (Young Adult Review Network), and elsewhere. She works as the Director of Coach Development at Author Accelerator, and teaches occasional workshops at Grub Street in Boston. Diana grew up in Seattle and now lives outside of Boston with her husband, her son, and a moody black cat.
Pronouns: she / her / hers
The Even Shorter Bio
Diana Renn is the author of Trouble at Turtle Pond, a middle grade mystery coming from Fitzroy Books/Regal House in 2022, and three YA mysteries: Tokyo Heist, Latitude Zero, and Blue Voyage, all published by Viking/Penguin Random House. She works as the Director of Coach Development at Author Accelerator, and teaches occasional workshops at Grub Street in Boston. Diana grew up in Seattle and now lives outside of Boston with her husband and son.
Shortest. Bio. Ever.
Diana Renn writes mysteries for readers of all ages, including Trouble at Turtle Pond, coming from Fitzroy Books / Regal House in 2022.