Dianne Emley is a Los Angeles Times bestselling author and has received critical acclaim for her Detective Nan Vining Novels, Iris Thorne Mysteries, and The Night Visitor, a stand-alone paranormal mystery. She’s also published short fiction for anthologies including Literary Pasadena. Her books have been translated into six languages.
A Los Angeles native, she grew up in a modest, hilly neighborhood in Northeast Los Angeles called El Sereno. She went to public schools, read a lot, and nurtured a dream of one day being a writer, tapping out short stories on a Smith Corona portable typewriter. She went to college across town at UCLA where she majored in philosophy and French, spent her junior year abroad at the Université de Bordeaux, and filled dozens of spiral-bound notebooks with her scribblings.
She had no burning career ambitions other than to pay her bills, have a little cash left over at the end of the week, and to write, which she never dreamed she could do for a living. So she worked for bi-weekly paychecks and also brown-bagged her lunch to save money to chase around L.A. with her friends on the weekends. Along the way, she went back to UCLA at night and earned her MBA. She then got better jobs and chased around with her friends at better places. Her jobs included: polling place recruiter for the Registrar of Voters, complaint handler for the California Department of Consumer Affairs, egg and poultry industry marketer, clothing boutique buyer, software company sales manager, and technical writer. She held onto her dream of being a published author, writing stories in her spare time and collecting rejection letters.
When her crazy friends started settling down, Dianne did too—to seriously writing. She took a creative writing course at UCLA at night and started her first novel, Cold Call, rising at 4:30 am to write before going to work. Three years later, it was finished. It was sold at auction to Pocket Books/Simon and Schuster and published in 1993. She kept her day job while juggling her writing career, working on her books in the early mornings during the workweek and devoting chunks of each weekend. After publishing eight more novels, she finally quit her day job and became a full-time writer. Best job ever. She lives in California with her husband and a few cats. When she’s not writing, she’s a pretty good cook and a terrible golfer.
Talking Books. Having Fun.Dianne at a book launch at Vroman’s in Pasadena, California.
Photo: Petrea Burchard