Diana was born in Rochester, New York, and has master degrees in both Education and Public Health with additional training in special education. After completing her graduate studies, she and her husband headed to Thailand with two bulky backpacks to work in Cambodian refugee camps. Two kids, and ten years later, Diana moved to live and work in six other countries: Vietnam, Romania, India, Kyrgyzstan, Laos and even in North Korea for two years. Diana has also traveled to over fifty countries in five of the seven continents. She has seen the horrific impact of war and natural disasters, but also has witnessed the inspiring power of human resilience and caring. Diana currently lives in Thailand with her husband and an extremely chatty myna bird. She makes frequent trips to the USA to join writing conferences, give talks and visit their two married sons. Her hobbies include puppetry, story-telling, yoga, hiking, animal watching and her favorite pastime––discovering the beauty of diverse cultures around our world.
Some of Diana's most unusual adventures to date have included:
Searching for endangered animals as part of her research for her continent-hopping middle grade adventure novel, Armando and the Amazing Animal Race, in the Ein Gedi, Israel; Tamil Nadu, India; Vladivostok, Russia; Chengdu, China; and the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil.
Being invited by the Government of North Korea to conduct a teacher-training workshop for forty kindergarten teachers in Pyongyang, North Korea.
Training television staff in Laos in story-telling techniques in collaboration with UNICEF, for the first nationally-produced children’s television program called “My Village".
Working with Save the Children and the Government of Laos to develop low-cost teaching materials for remote hill tribe villages.
Training and empowering illiterate women to run a day-care center in a coastal fishing village in Southern India after their local school was destroyed in the 2004 Tsunami.
Helping diffuse ethnic tensions between Romanian and Hungarian teachers in rural Romania by leading Peace Education workshops.
Overcoming bureaucratic challenges to open the very first private preschool in Hanoi, Vietnam, in 1995.
Coordinating humanitarian assistance in Cambodian Refugee camps (including a Khmer Rouge camp) on the Thai-Cambodian border.
Training a nutrition survey team in Cap Haitian, Haiti, using local Haitian creole language.
And…. what her husband is most proud of…. in rural Thailand, successfully backing away from a cobra standing with its hood fully extended, ready to strike!
Diana is a member of SCBWI and an amazing online critique group called Write Away that includes five published children’s book authors including a Crystal Kite award winner.
Some Favorite Quotes:
“Nature can win if we give her a chance” - Jane Goodall
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” - Mark Twain