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Diane Gaston

Contest Question

When Diane Gaston was a little girl, she learned all the words to popular love songs. When she played, her dolls acted out tragic love affairs with the current TV or movie heartthrob. She thought everyone in the world made up romantic stories in their heads to get to sleep at night.

The third daughter of a U.S. army colonel, Diane moved often as a child, as far away as Japan one year. But mostly she lived in the Washington, D.C. area, where she now resides. The life of an “army brat” bred strong values of duty and honor and discipline, but it also meant many moves, many new houses, but also new friends. Until new friends could be made, reading books passed the time.

It was always the romance in books that Diane liked best. She read Nancy Drew more to see what Nancy and Ned were up to than caring how the mystery was solved. She will never forgive Louisa May Alcott for not letting Jo wind up with Laurie in Little Women. The happy ending of Jane Eyre was more to her liking than the tragic one of Wuthering Heights.

Diane in High School

Diane's Wedding day

When Diane attended Ohio University, she majored in English literature. There she again read Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, and also DH Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, bringing her closer to the romance fiction she soon learned to love. Susan Howatch’s Cashelmara and Penmarric were early favorites, but when Diane discovered Georgette Heyer and then a whole genre of Regency romance, she felt like she’d found the world where she truly belonged.

Diane’s real life career, however, consisted of helping others craft their own happy endings. She’d earned master’s degrees in both psychology and social work and became a county mental health therapist. She also married and raised a daughter and son, now grown and on their own.

At the county mental health center where Diane worked, she and her colleagues would sometimes fantasize about what job they dreamed of having. Diane always said her dream job would be writing romance novels. When her life settled down enough, that’s exactly what Diane set out to do. It took years, but finally the dream came true with a phone call from Mills & Boon. Diane soon put her mental health career behind her and became a full-time writer of Regency romance. Her books have gone on to win prestigious romance awards such as the National Readers Choice Awards, the Orange Rose, and, the biggest award of all, Romance Writers of America’s RITA.

Before ever selling a book, though, Diane reaped a world of friendships through her romance writing, a wonderful bonus to living her dream. When not writing, Diane enjoys emailing with her friends and traveling to England for research. But no more moving. She’s lived in the same house for over 20 years now, shared with her husband and three very ordinary house cats. Diane loves to hear from readers and friends. Email her at .

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The Latest Blog Post

Highclere Castle
October 23, 2014

One of our stops on the Duke of Wellington tour was to Highclere Castle. What does Highclere Castle have to do with Wellington? Not a thing. But Read More»

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A Reputation for Notoriety :: Was a finalist for Best Historical in NJRW's 2013 Golden Leaf Contest.

Gallant Officer, Forbidden Lady :: Winner of the 2010 Holt Medallion Award of Merit from Virginia Romance Writers.

Gallant Officer, Forbidden Lady :: Selected as one of Michelle Buonfiglio's Fave 2009 Romance Books from Barnes and Noble's Heart to Heart Blog.

The Vanishing Viscountess :: Winner of the 2009 Desert Rose Golden Quill for Best Regency Romance. Scandalizing the Ton was also a finalist for the award.

Nancy Richard-Akers Mentoring Award:: Diane received the 2008 Nancy Richards-Akers Mentoring Award at the Washington Romance Writers Spring Retreat on April 26. Each year this award recognizes one WRW member who most generously mentors her fellow writers, encourages them, and shares writing and industry wisdom.

A Reputable Rake :: Winner of the 2007 eHarlequin Readers Choice Awards for Favorite Historical

Mistletoe Kisses :: Winner of the 2007 of the eHarlequin Readers Choice Awards for Favorite Anthology

A Reputable Rake :: Winner of the Romance Writers of America's 2006 RITA award for Best Regency Romance

A Reputable Rake, The Wagering Widow, and A Twelfth Night Tale from Mistletoe Kisses :: Finalists in the 2006 National Readers Choice Awards for Best Regency

The Mysterious Miss M :: Winner of the 2005 National Readers Choice award for Best Regency

The Improper Wife - Winner of Best Book in the 2005 Orange Rose Contest for Published Authors (now called the Book Buyers Best contest).

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In addition to her Diane Gaston books, Diane wrote two Regency-set historicals under the name Diane Perkins: The Improper Wife (Warner, 2004) and The Marriage Bargain (Warner, 2005).

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