Diane Bailey has been writing professionally for more than twenty years. She started as a starry-eyed Los Angeles journalist (covering celebrities) and moved into writing for children about ten years ago. She has published five non-fiction books, and has seven more-from the World Cup to the Black Plague-coming out in 2010. In addition, she has written numerous short stories and articles, both fiction and non-fiction. She also works with other children’s authors as a freelance editor.

   Diane also enjoys writing fiction. She’s published two historical short stories-one based on an incident in her own family-and has written the manuscript for a novel, Steamed!, which is set in 1856 Iowa. Another manuscript, The Jack Factor, is a retelling of the classic fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk-from the point of view of the guy handing out magic beans.

   Currently she’s working on a humorous contemporary novel about a sixth-grader trying to survive his life. In 2006 Diane began a freelance editing business working with other children’s authors, several of whom have gone on to publish their own books. She lives in Kansas with her two children, two dogs, one mouse, and several (dust) bunnies.

Selected Reviews of Diane Bailey’s Books

Cyber Ethics
Diane Bailey

   This series of six slim volumes chronicles areas of computer safety and ethics. Cyber Ethics discusses how students should conduct themselves online. Current issues such as cyber bullying, plagiarism, and downloading music are detailed. Specific terms such as flaming, griefers, crackers, hackers, and phishing are all defined. Brief examples of what to do and what not to do online are sprinkled throughout the book. Simple yet practical advice is included on how to deal with cyber ethics. Intellectual Property aims to explain the importance of what intellectual property is and describes the many common violations of intellectual property rights. Copyrights are explained and terms such as public domain, fair use, freeware, and shareware are briefly detailed. Particularly interesting to students will be the chapters “Using Intellectual Property Fairly” and “Misusing Intellectual Property.” Both detail common student practices such as downloading music and why it is important to use information correctly. Although both volumes are less than fifty pages, they offer concise and easily understandable explanations of some complicated concepts. The series is easily accessible as it is written in the second person in an informal tone. Some specific examples and cases relating to actual students would have made the series even more readable and would have made more of an impact on young readers. Other books in the series include Cyber Literacy, The Dangers of Online Predators, Privacy and Hacking, and Viruses and Spam. The books are handsomely put together with simple graphics, color pictures, and large print. The series is simply written and geared for a middle school or upper elementary audience. This collection of books would make a nice addition to libraries or classrooms looking for basic overviews of current computer topics. (Cyber Citizenship and Cyber Safety) VOYA CODES: 3Q 3P M J (Readable without serious defects; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2008, Rosen, 48p.; Glossary. Index. Photos. Biblio. Further Reading., PLB $26.50. Ages 11 to 15. Reviewer: Jeff Mann (VOYA, February 2009 (Vol. 31, No. 6)).

Program Details

Diane’s presentations cover the nuts and bolts of writing, researching, and editing, and offer a glimpse into the life of a working writer. (This life occasionally involves watching TV while eating Frosted Flakes, but not very often.) She will also answer the questions kids always have, from “How do you write something so long?” (Answer: Five minutes at a time.) to “Where do you get your ideas?” (Answer: Nowhere. They get me!) Talks run about 45 minutes, and are adjustable for 2nd through 9th grades.

The Writing Life

  • Developing ideas
  • “Window working” (Staring out the window is working!)
  • Writing and revising
  • Networking with other writers

This is a general presentation about writing both as a process and a career. Many people think that writers churn out a few hundred words a day and spend the rest of the day playing. NOT! She will explain how it really is-both the fun parts and the boring ones. Writing both fiction and non-fiction are covered in this presentation.

Nothing But The Truth: Writing Non-fiction

  • Pick a topic, any topic
  • Effective research
  • Telling stories with facts
  • Knowing your audience

What goes into writing a non-fiction book? Diane will trace the whole process, from idea to finished product. Included is information on researching, outlining, writing, and editing. She will also cover communication with editors, and seeing a book through to publication.

The Real Deal: Doing Effective Research

  • Types of sources (primary, secondary, traditional, internet)
  • Interviewing
  • Evaluating information
  • Copyright and plagiarism
  • Enough! When to stop researching

There’s a glut of information out there-some good, some bad-both in print and electronically. Even as a professional writer, it’s sometimes difficult to know where to start! This presentation is a teaching workshop geared to help students learn how to become better researchers-and maybe even enjoy the process.

Writing Historical Fiction

  • Putting “story” into “history”
  • Wait! Toothpaste wasn’t invented yet! (Staying true to the period)
  • Using real historical figures
  • Research-learning to love it

Historical fiction combines the best of both worlds-a good story that also gives readers a glimpse into a past lifetime. For this presentation, she will describe her work writing historical fiction set in the United States.

Fees: $200/day for up to 2 presentations, $75 additional for a third.

Additional Information

To learn more about Diane Bailey and her publications please visit www.diane-bailey.com.