Diane Swanson

Diane Swanson grew up in Lethbridge, Alberta. When she was a child, she collected rocks, watched insects, went swimming, and ate ice cream cones. She could make paper dolls and play the piano. Diane held pet shows and circuses for the neighborhood children. And to make a little cash she gathered cardboard boxes and sold them to the local grocery stores. She listened to radio programs like The Cisco Kid and played cowboys. Diane also loved to read. The Secret Garden was one of her favorites and she always wrote stuff—all kinds of stuff, especially her own adventures.

Diane’s dog, Sammy, was her ever-present pal. On summer mornings they would walk to a lake and scour the shore for neat-looking rocks. At home, Sammy would sit by the piano as Diane played, pretending that she had discovered a song that could open the door to a secret passage. Diane recalls that about the only thing they didn’t enjoy together were prairie thunderstorms. Sammy would hide, while Diane loved to watch the lightning flash across the sky. She thought it especially great when a hailstorm broke while they were outside. Then she and Sammy would take cover in the garage and send messages along the clothesline to the house: “We’re stranded! Send cookies!”

Now a full-time author, Diane has made a career of writing fun and informative factual books for kids. She credits the astonishing natural world as the inspiration behind her writing. Children have always influenced her approaches to writing: the child she once was, her own two children, and all the children she knows. One tip that Diane would give to young writers is: “Write what really excites you. No matter what your subject is, if you let your excitement shine through your words, you’ll grab your readers’ interest.”

Diane has published over 70 books for children including her latest with Annick Press, Animal Aha! (2009), about some of the incredible discoveries made about animal bodies and minds. Other books written by Diane include The Wonder in Water (2005), which is a look at just what’s in the wet stuff, from the tiniest drop of sweat to the largest ocean. Tunnels! (2003) is the first in the exciting True Stories from the Edge series. 

Other Annick Press titles by Diane include The Dentist & You (2002), Turn It Loose: The Scientist in Absolutely Everybody (2004) and Nibbling on Einstein’s Brain (Original 2001, Updated 2009). Her work has earned numerous awards, including the B.C. 2000 Award, the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children, and the International Youth Library’s White Raven Award. Her work has also been shortlisted for the Mr. Christie’s Book Award, the B.C. Book Prize, the Red Cedar Award, the Silver Birch Award, and many more.

She was one of the original members of the Victoria Chapter of PWAC (Periodical Writers Association of Canada), a member of The Canadian Children’s Book Centre, is a member of CANSCAIP, CWILL, and was a volunteer tutor for Project Literacy.

Diane lives in Victoria, B.C., with her husband. When not working on writing projects,she is busy geocaching, ballroom dancing and raising bonsai trees. She also often visits schools and attends conferences.