Midweek Questions from My Readers (and a Giveaway)

di dogsOn Facebook, I asked for some questions that were a bit out of the ordinary and received plenty!  I may make this a feature on my blog for a midweek pick-me-up. Here’s the first set (and then it’s your turn…):

Q. What is your favorite breakfast food?

A. I have breakfast nearly every morning at Starbucks and when I’m being good, I have their yummy steel cut oatmeal with dried fruit and when I’m being bad, I have their cinnamon chip scone. Can you guess which I have more often?

Q. Fifty years from now, what do you hope your readers are getting from your work?

A. I love this question! Everyone wants to feel as though they’ve left behind some sort of legacy. Well, since I’m dreaming, I’d like a couple of my books to be taught in high school, most particularly the upcoming Necessary Lies and my older book, Breaking the Silence. They both have to do with the abuse of power against people unable to defend themselves, something I want young people to think about. A lot.

Q. What is the first book that impacted your life significantly?

A. Charlotte’s Web. My first grade teacher read it to us and I was transported to another world filled with emotion and action and sympathetic characters who made me cry. It made me want to be a writer.

Q. If you had 10,000,000 in cash right now but you had to spend it all on a swanky vacation before the end of the month, where would you go and what would you do there?

A. Hmm. I’m going to disappoint whoever asked this question. First of all, I don’t do swank. I really, really dislike swank. I dislike anything that requires me to wear something other than  jeans or yoga pants (except for book events. I like book events even if it means I have to dress up); (the picture is me looking about as swanky as I get). Plus a swanky vacation would mean I’d be surrounded by the sort of people who like swank, so that just won’t do. So here is what I’d do with that 10,000,000 vacation: for starters, I would buy back the summer house I grew up in at the Jersey Shore. It’s on a canal between a bay and a river. (If you’ve read The Bay at Midnight, you know this little house). Then I’d invite my siblings and cousins–people who enjoyed this house when we were kids–to come spend the month with me. I’d buy a boat and or several and we’d all go boating in the bay. I think I’ve only spent about a million at this point so I will have to forfeit the rest, unless I can give it away (please let me?)

That’s enough for this week. I love these questions! Any of you who like, choose one of the questions and answer it in the comments. Friday evening, EST, I’ll pick one of you at random to win one of my audio books. And Happy Fourth of July!



  1. Andrya Wallace on July 3, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    My favorite breakfast food is a bagel with cream cheese on it. Sesame bagel, olive cream cheese. Yum!

  2. Debbie Holladay on July 3, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    The first book that I read that had an impact on me was “Gone With the Wind”. I loved this book!! It made me see the War Between the States as only a Southerner could. I am proud to be from Georgia and could identify with the Southern states. I just am glad that I was not alive during those days!

  3. Lisa on July 3, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    I’d love to take my entire family and my husband’s and rent an island for a massive vacation…..and then use the rest to build a bridge and escape the craziness that would most assuredly ensue! 🙂

  4. JerzGirl on July 3, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    “If you had 10,000,000 in cash right now but you had to spend it all on a swanky vacation before the end of the month, where would you go and what would you do there?”

    I don’t do swank either! I have a Grandson that has a very rare disease. You can read about it here:
    And here:
    If I had that money to spend on a swanky vacation I would give it to my daughter to design and buy a handicap accessible house and a handicap van so they could make Oliver’s life the best that it can be for however many years we are blessed to have him in our lives.
    I posted the link to her blog but she has not posted on it in a couple of years because I believe she is trying to move on. But I think she did an awesome job on her blog! And I love her and Oliver!

  5. Ola Norman on July 3, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    I started loving reading with the book “Caddie Woodlawn” by Carol Brink. Been reading ever since.

  6. Heather C on July 3, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    The first book that impacted my life significantly by My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. I read it when I was about 23. The significant impact it had on me was not in the story itself, but simply in the fact that I so greatly enjoyed reading it. Unlike a lot of readers, I did not grow up with a love of reading. In fact, after several boring and long high school books I was quite sure that I did not like reading and couldn’t imagine why people read for fun. When I started my first “real” job, I joined a book club because I wanted to meet more people from work and their first pick was My Sister’s Keeper. I started it assuming it would be a chore, and I got swept away in the story. I fell for the characters. I set on the edge of my seat. I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. My heart felt heavy when they were sad and I smiled and laughed out loud when pleasant things happened. This book was so significant because it was the first time I fell in love with reading. Now, several years lately, I just can’t get enough books. I’m usually reading at least 2 or 3 at a time, mostly audio. I commute 2.5 to 3 hours a day minimum, and audio books have transformed by commute from the worst part of my day, to a blissful few hours of story & adventure time. I find reading the greatest of passions. I’ve gone on adventures to far away lands, traveled through time, found new friends, and fallen in love with characters in books. I’ve recharged and escaped reality for bits of time and have been inspired and motivated to become a better person. Why I absolutely enjoyed My Sister’s Keeper, it’s not my favorite book of all times, but like old boyfriends, you always remember your first love and are grateful from what you learned from that experience. I am grateful I found my love of reading. It’s my most enjoyable hobby and a lifelong love.

    • Bonnie Huber on July 4, 2013 at 5:02 am

      I have been a reader since was old enough to hold a book. It is hard for me to understand when I meet someone that does not find pleasure in reading. I think about them and try to steer them to a book that will grab them and help them become a reader — perhaps not as avid as I am, but someone who appreciates the delight of reading. I am so happy to hear that you have found this pleasure. Thank you for sharing your story.
      Bonnie Huber
      Waterford, MI

  7. Debbie Hearne on July 3, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    I think the only question that my tired, burned out brain can answer right now is my favorite breakfast food. I love Whole Wheat Eggo waffles, no syrup, just buttered and of course a cup of black coffee. Boring, I know.

  8. Hope on July 3, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    Who was your favorite client while you were still counseling teenagers? When will Denny finish writing his book: “Jessie?” Just kidding.

    The nearest Starbucks is 50 miles distant, so I’d have to cook my own steel cut oats. I’ve not been able to accomplish that little task to my satisfaction, though. I’m too impatient, and too accustomed to quick oats!

    50 years from now, I hope people are enjoying and benefiting from the family information I’ve gathered and published on the web in the past 10+ years.

    The first book that influenced me was a manuscript I found in my grandmother’s hall tree. I was about 10 years old. It was written by my birth father, and I have no clue how it got in Mummy’s house, let alone the hall tree. All I remember about it was: 1) It was science fiction, a genre I dislike; and 2) I got a whipping for meddling, but 3) it was worth it because right across the top was my father’s byline, and I knew I had the genes!!

    With the 10 Zillion, I’d buy a zillion Bibles, take a trip around the world, and wherever I’d stop, I’d tell somebody about Jesus, give him or her a Bible of their very own, and give them a huge hug. Of course, that’s a little simplistic, but I guess if you have Jesus AND 10 zillion $, you can do about anything!

    I know. I know.
    Love you,

    • Diane Chamberlain on July 3, 2013 at 10:04 pm

      Love to hear you in such a good mood, Hope!

      • Hope on July 3, 2013 at 10:37 pm

        Why, thank you, schweethahrt! Love you lots!

  9. Diane D. Chamberlain on July 3, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    Great DianeMinds think alike. Charlotte’s Web is a pretty profound story! I just listened to it on audio CD narrated by the author. It may SEEM like a children’s book, but the lessons learned are lessons to use throughout your lifetime. Would love one of your audio books as well, since my car is where I do most of my ‘reading’. Happy 4th of July.
    The Other Diane Chamberlain

  10. Rhona kerr on July 3, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Almost every day I have a protein shake for breakfast. My favorite breakfast food wold be anything but a shake. I love breakfast foods so I make them a lot for dinner. Eggs, pancakes, French toast, waffles, hash Browne casserole, bacon, I like a little it of everything.

  11. Christina Wible on July 3, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    I know it is not fashionable right now, people have been challenging everything from the writing to the premise, but the first book that had an impact on me was To Kill a Mockingbird. By the time it came out I had already read Gone With the Wind several times but somewhere in my mind I kept saying…that was then and this is now. To Kill a Mockingbird brought things closer to home. Perhaps because after reading GWTW I thought: so the war was over and the Union won and everyone was free. But with TKAM I realized that racism still existed in the 20s and 30s and was challenged, at age 14 to start exploring the civil rights movement more than I had ever had before. Thinking of it this week on the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.

    • Diane Chamberlain on July 4, 2013 at 11:44 am

      A wonderful book, Christina. And you grew up where I did, in a town that put the civil rights movement front and center. It was an education!

  12. krystal on July 3, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Can I still answer even if I’m Canadian.

    Questions: What is the first book that impacted your life significantly?

    hmm I’m not exactly sure. I can’t remember the first time i felt transported to another world. But there are a few in recent history that I’ve read recently (or within the past few years). One of my favourites is Kalyna’s songby Lisa Grekul (Canadian author), a girl struggling to identify herself as someone is she just Canadian or is she 2nd generation Ukrainan? It’s something I struggle with(not Ukraine, but Croatian mixed with other Eastern European) and with regards to faith it would be Innocent Traitor. Jane Seymour really taught me the difference between Protestants and Catholics (my whole family is Catholic) but I think I’d more identify with Protestism. The first big book that I read(meaning over 200pgs, was Matlida) that was probably when I got transported into the book because I loved the movie so much.

  13. Nancy Ibarra on July 3, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    Island of the Blue Dolphins is a 1960 American children’s novel written by Scott O’Dell. The story of a young girl stranded for years on an island off the California coast, it is based on the true story of Juana Maria, a Nicoleño Indian left alone for 18 years on San Nicolas Island in the 19th century.

  14. Kelly on July 4, 2013 at 12:42 am

    Heidi was one of my first chapter books. I read it so many times even as an adult.

  15. Iris M. on July 4, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    I’m ashamed to admit it, but for breakfast foods, I really love Egg McMuffins and hashbrowns with a large, sweet iced tea.

  16. Iris M. on July 4, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    I think Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary was my first chapter book. My older brother introduced me to this author. From then on, I read voraciously.

  17. Iris M. on July 4, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    If I had $10 mil, I’d go on a worldwide cruise.

  18. Jamie on July 5, 2013 at 10:40 am

    I actually didn’t like to read in school because I don’t like being forced to read. The first book that impacted me in the way of getting me interested in reading was later in life I was 18, and it was called “Because of Romek” by David Faber. I was invited to my old High School by my old English teacher. He was there doing a lecture and I got a signed copy of his book afterwards. He was amazing but his story was very sad. After reading his book it just opened up a new world for me and I started with Bio’s from the Holocaust and it grew from there. I love how I can now watch most books in my head like a movie that is my favorite part of reading.

  19. Martha O'Quinn on July 5, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Like Kelly, Heidi was the first book that I could read and really think about what I read. Because I loved my grandfather so much, I could imagine him taking care of me. That’s one reason I was so drawn to the mountains when I reached retirement age. I love to see the snow-capped peaks in the distance, even when we don’t always have it on the ground where I live. I wore French braids from first through fourth grade and to make the morning ritual more pleasant, I began reading at an early age. Mother could braid and help me pronounce words when I stumbled. Beginning with Grimm’s Fairy Tales and moving on to The Bobbsey Twins, then Little Women, Little Men and Nancy Drew. I am an avid reader and do a lot of e-reading but there is nothing like the feel of a real book in my hands or seeing one on a table with a pretty bookmark inside. I feel so sorry for those who do not like to read or cannot read. Thanks for listening.

  20. Gail S. on July 6, 2013 at 8:10 am

    My first “real” book was “Little Women”. I could not put it down! What a wonderful feeling to be captivated by the printed word and transported to another world 🙂 Books became friends and that friendship has never ended!

  21. Diane Chamberlain on July 6, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Ola Norman is our winner!

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