Today it is my pleasure to introduce a Tuesday 12 x 12 author who has been a follower of my blog (and vice versa) since before 12 x 12 in 2012Diane Tulloch. Diane’s kindness and generosity in our community is ever-present, and we are all fortunate she decided to take this leap of faith with us. She shares her world and her experience freely in her work and in the online community, and is always ready to support a writer in need of help. She is as determined to learn and grow as anyone I’ve met in this business, which I admire and which in turn inspires me. I will always think of Diane as her blog name — Patient Dreamer. For isn’t that what all writers are? 

Believe in yourself – is a phase that I have heard many times.

As a shy seventeen year old learning to drive, a patient driving instructor took me for my test, ignoring my pleas that I felt I wasn’t ready. I passed of course, but his words of…”I have more faith in you than you have in yourself. Believe in yourself and you can achieve …” have followed me everywhere. As a child with parents going through a tough divorce I buried my head in books of adventure, friendship, courtships and happy-ever-afters. I loved art, was always creative and arty but never thought of writing as a career. A private secretary was what my parents had in mind for me, so I learnt shorthand and touch typing.

Six years ago, moving comments by a well-known star prompted me to write, putting thoughts and pent up feelings of my childhood onto paper. Wondering if someone could tell me if it was any good, I found an editor online to send it to. I still remember my email which finished with “…. If you think I am wasting your time and mine then please throw it in the bin.” I had never heard of critique groups, or cover or inquiry letters. You can’t imagine my shock when she insisted I continue with it. For the next year life took a front seat, writing was put on hold. When I did return to the critique she had done, I found I was totally lost. What did “having a voice” mean or “show not tell.” I realised as I tried to work my way through it that I needed proper guidance from someone. Enter Emma Walton Hamilton, and her picture book course “Just Write for Kids.” I hesitated taking her course, but an email from her convinced me to give it a go. I can’t express enough how much I learned from Emma and the course. The “Children’s Book Hub” with its wonderful resources and Teleseminars, followed and in early 2011 I started my blog, unsure where it would take me.

A trip to the 2011 LA SCBWI Summer Conference was mind-blowing. I loved the meeting of other like-minded and creative people there. Being home here miles away in a different time zone, one can feel isolated. I realised very early on I needed a writing partner, to elbow me out of procrastination, a buddy to nut ideas out, look over my work, someone I could trust, to be both gentle and direct in giving me guidance and feedback. Where-ever I looked I felt overwhelmed by the experience everyone appeared to have. Scary stuff!

After PiBoldMo (Picture Book Idea Month) in 2011, I joined 12 x 12 in 2012; again, I was frightened of the expertise around me and wondered if I would fit in. When my laptop was stolen earlier this year I was overcome with the love and support from this wonderful 12×12 family and realised I had to get over my fear and take a leap of faith. I was always afraid to ask for help and hoped someone would just extend a hand. The challenge of producing a draft, a rough draft each month keeps me honest and connected, (even with a very busy full time job). Thanks to 12×12, an inspiring writer gently, over time, nudged and encouraged me into sharing my work. Boy, am I grateful! Then another 12x12er asked me to join her, so I took that leap of faith, and I now have a wonderful critique group. It’s true, I feel I am racing to catch up, still learning new things, but I am forever grateful to you, Julie, and the 12x12ers.

Thanks to this amazing online family, I have met some wonderful people, through their inspiring blogs, and fun ones, such as Susanna’s Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday series. The amazing surprise is finding a couple of 12x12ers here in my own country. So I don’t feel so isolated, and my confidence has grown. Most of all, I am believing in myself and have goals to achieve. I sent a manuscript to Rate Your Story and entered a competition which is drawn next March. I’ve drafted a novel I hope will be submission ready by end of next year. 2013 will be an interesting year, with hopes, dreams, hard-work and changes, knowing I have a wonderful online writing family behind me.

In our last SCBWI meeting here in NZ we were all asked to introduce ourselves and explain where we were at to our guest speaker. My comment of, “I am a pre-published writer,” garnered cheers of “like that” and “yay.”

Born and living in Auckland, New Zealand, married 34 years, Diane and her husband love travelling to interesting places, such as the palaces of Russia to the jungle of Sumatra, enjoying various cultures and meeting interesting people. The love of sharing her travel stories fuels her passion of writing, picture book, middle grade and YA. She is an advocate for Big Brother and belongs to various local writing groups including SCBWI, Australia/NZ SCBWI, Children’s Book Hub, BiPoldMo, WriteOnCon,
12x12in12, Writers and Illustrators. Diane can be reached via her blog, on Facebook, and Twitter.

Categories: 12 x 12 in 2012, Authors, Children's Books, Friendship, Goals, Guest Blogging, Perfect Picture Book Friday, PiBoIdMo, Picture Books, SCBWI, Works in Progress, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,



  1. Diane, I love the quotes you have heard and are living by. I’m so glad you have carried on with your journey. It definitely sounds like you are doing what you are meant to 🙂

  2. Hey Diane,

    Great to hear your voice on here and to know you are progressing forward towards your dreams. Keep on believing….

  3. Awesome story, Diane! That’s wonderful how you’ve grown and joined so many writing venues! Won’t be long til you’re published!

  4. Diane, Thanks for sharing. I love our writing community.

  5. Did you know that you are very good at inspiring people, Ms. Tulloch? Great post!

  6. Super post! I think you are a very strong person, Diane and all the struggles make you stronger still. I love how many exciting places you’ve been to. I wish I had known you when I lived in NZ.

  7. I don’t have to tell you to keep going, Diane, you’re the one inspiring the rest of us!

  8. You rock, Diane! Thank you for reminding me how strong our writing community is. You are a MAJOR force inside it. *applause* 🙂

  9. That’s lovely Diane! I still feel a twang when I think about your stolen laptop. Rushing right over to my files to back them up elsewhere as soon as I post this. Happy writing!

    • Thankyou so much for your lovely comments, Wendy, Robyn and Cathy. Oh my, you still remember that Cathy, I thought everyone would have forgotten …lol. I have copies in different places now. You ladies are awesome!

  10. Diane, I think you are one of the most resilient, persistent writers I know. What a great pleasure to have met you in person and be connected through 12×12 and EWH! Keep on keeping on!

    • Aww.. Thankyou Joanna, you are making this old girl I am sooo pleased that we got to meet, and I hope we will meet up again soon. YOU dear friend are inspiration.

  11. Like Joanna, I’m one of the few who can say I’ve met you in person! Good for you for facing all that life has thrown you and persisting with your dreams. Sounds as though 2013 will be a momentous year for you — all the best!

  12. Wonderful to hear your story of determination, Diane. If we know God has given us a gift, we need to open it and use it. I’m so glad you did just this. I’m thankful for our 12×12 group…what a great community!

  13. Diane, you are a true supporter in our online community. You encourage and add valued comments! Thanks for sharing your determination. It’s truely inspiring.

  14. Thanks Diane, enjoyed hearing your story. Its been wonderful getting to know you via the online community. Best of luck in the new year. 🙂

  15. Hurray for you, Diane, being brave enough to follow your dreams. It is hard, but that’s what makes this wonderfully supportive community even more wonderful. Keep up the good work – your story is inspiring 🙂

    • Aww thankyou Susanna, you are a legend. I would love to meet you, such a whitty, sensitive, caring person whose blog is always fun, informative, and makes me hungry. I usually ensure I have a drink beside me when I tune in to your blog, since your suppling the food for my midnight snack….hehe. 🙂

  16. Yeah! So glad you took that first crazy leap and have found this wunderbar community! I received the packet, but a proper show of gratitude is making it back to you the old fashioned way! I also hope we get to meet the old fashioned way – some day!

    • aww Julie, you shouldn’t have -(re replying for the packet), I loved being able to share a bit of the Hobbit fever that’s happening here. It sure is a wunderbar community and I hope that I get to meet your oneday – that would be awesome!

  17. I’ve seen your name, Diane, in comments. It is so nice to hear your story on a more intimate level. Isn’t that funny that we see familiar names in this community but never really know each other. But it feels like we do.

    • Yes Romelle, I agree it is funny we see peoples names, but never really know them. I am glad you liked my post, and I hope to “see” you around more. Thanks for you lovely comment.

  18. Diane, you have the spirit of a writer like few I’ve ever met. I know your patience will be well rewarded. Thanks for sharing a little more about yourself. I’m jealous that you’ve been to the SCBWI LA conference. It’s on my bucket list items.

    • Aww … thankyou Hannah for your kind words. I am sure my patience will be rewarded and having you there on my side, I know it will happen. We will meet at one of those meetings … one day!

  19. Diane, I enjoyed reading your post and getting to know more about you. And, as Julie said, I LOVE your blog name — Patient Dreamer. It says so much in just two words. Thanks for sharing. I’m looking forward to reading your next story!

    • Thankyou so much Carrie. Actually the two words representing my blog name were words that was often used to describe me, ever since I can remember. As a small girl teaching my grandmother to crochet, my Mum said, “goodness you have the patience of a saint.” People usually love me to teach them things, because i have a lot of patience, and take my time. Dreamer, well, yes I am always dreaming. Mum used to growl at me for dreaming…lol. So it seemed natural for me to call my blog that. I liked what Julie said about it being, “what all writers are.”
      Looking forward to our next critique.

  20. Diane, thanks for sharing your determination and persistence. I will never use the term ‘unpublished’ author again! – Damon Dean

  21. Can’t think of a more loving, caring and generous person to interview. I have spent time with Diane, and although she says she’s shy, she’s not. She is very outgoing, worldly and will strike up a conversation with anyone. She is talented and very determined. Love you Diane!!

    • Oh my! I had tears in my eyes when I read your comment Pat. Thankyou so much for your kind words. Always encouraging. It’s because I know you are there, that I can step out and do things, I never thought I would ever do. You have been my quiet inspiration. Thankyou and I hope we meet up again, soon. The feeling is mutual!

  22. I enjoyed reading your story, Diane! It may be cliched but it is so true–you must believe in yourself. And ‘pre-published’ is such a great term. It will happen, it’s just a matter of when. Lin Oliver was using it here in the UK last month when she visited for our annual conference, and we’ve all picked up on it.

    • Thankyou Rebecca, so pleased to see you here. How wonderful Lin used that expression. Lovely lady I met at the LA Conference, such a character and so dedicated. Yep, I agree, a Matter of WHEN!

  23. Whew! I think I got everyone. Hope I didn’t miss anyone out! Oh My I cannot believe so many people came to meet me here, and what wonderful comments. Thankyou so much Julie for having me and for the wonderful caring and encouraging community you have built up in the 12×12. Who said writing was a lonely business, better come take a look at the 12×12. 🙂 Thankyou sweet lady.

  24. Kathleen Cornell Berman

    Diane, I enjoyed reading about your journey to becoming a writer. It’s wonderful that your driving instructor recognized your fear, but for him to say such encouraging words was obviously so meaningful to you. Hope this will be the year you will become PUBLISHED!

  25. Diane, you are such a patient and beautiful presence in our picture book community. It’s been fun to share the journey with you!

  26. aww… Thankyou so much Kirsten, the feeling is mutual.

  27. Thanks Diane and Julie for a lovely insight into Diane’s journey as a writer. It’s always so interesting to see how writers have come to be…..and I wonder who that person was who gave Diane the nudge to show her work to the world? ;~)

    Donna L Martin

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