A native of Redding, Connecticut, Diane Daniels Manning moved to Nahant, Massachusetts, a small island outside of Boston, to pursue an academic career. Climbing the tenure ladder, she moved to New Orleans to chair Tulane’s Department of Education. While there, she also became certified as a child and adult psychoanalyst by the American Psychoanalytic Association. When she had an opportunity to co-found a therapeutic DAY school in Houston, she took it. Since moving to North Carolina, she continues to be devoted to helping children with social and emotional challenges by serving on the Board of the Lucy Daniels Center in Cary, NC.
Diane writes fictional stories inspired by actual people or events. Her novella set in New Orleans, YELLOW SHOTGUN ON DEMETER STREET, won the Faulkner-Wisdom Prize and a Women in Film and Television (WIFT/Houston) Short Script Competition. DEAR MR. PRESIDENT, a completed middle grade novel, is seeking an agent. Her interest in real people’s lives also produced two collections of oral histories of teachers: HILL COUNTRY TEACHER and BUT WE MADE IT!
DEAR MR. PRESIDENT
A Forthcoming Middle Grade Novel by Diane Daniels Manning
A lonely boy who misses his soldier-dad, learns about life, loss, and hope from a puppy that’s too homely for dog shows, seventy-year-old twin sisters, two best friends, and a highly placed ally.
What would you do if you wondered where your soldier-father is and when he is coming home? Ben Durrell, a twelve-year-old boy who never gives up hope, goes straight to the top and sets up an email chain with the President of the United States. If only Ben’s brain could remember the day he forgot, he might discover the answers for himself, but his mom and his shrink say it is better if he remembers on his own. Meanwhile, helping the old woman next door with her naughty, ugly-duckling poodle puppy keeps his sadness at bay. DEAR MR. PRESIDENT is a middle grade, coming-of-age novel that impresses readers with Ben’s resilience as he negotiates becoming an adolescent without his father. It is an uplifting novel full of hope, friends a boy can count on, and unexpected triumphs.
YELLOW SHOTGUN ON DETMER STREET
A Prize-Winning Novella by Diane Daniels Manning
YELLOW SHOTGUN ON DETMER STREET is a story of loss and redemption where the past meets the present, unlikely strangers become family, and a fragile love is glimpsed through the stained glass window of a dilapidated shotgun cottage. Set in New Orleans, 1987, the “City that Care Forgot” is famous for Mardi Gras, jazz, and mint juleps; but underneath the glitter lurks a darker world marred by three hundred years of racial injustice reified in shotgun cottages and garçonnières where white men exploited young black women.
Two unlikely friends, an old woman and a boy with special needs, take an aging champion standard poodle to the Westminster Dog Show and heal their troubled families. Seventy-year-old Bess Rutledge has fantasized about winning the Westminster Dog Show all her life, but now she has decided she is too old to follow her dream. She meets Benny, a lonely fourteen-year-old with mild autism and ADHD, who has a dream of his own: to impress his self-absorbed mother. He becomes convinced that winning Westminster with McCreery, Bess’ aging champion standard poodle, will finally make his mother proud of him. Getting Bess to go along with his plan, however, is not going to be so easy.
“A charming novel about a troubled young dog owner that will appeal to readers of all ages.” – Kirkus Reviews (Click Here)
“HILL COUNTRY TEACHER vividly reminds us of how far teachers have come from a time when they had no rights and no voice — and how much they have lost through the bureaucratization of education. These teachers have a rich story to tell.”
– Albert Shanker (President, American Federation of Teachers)
“People forget that Texas was settled so much later than the eastern United States … Texas was really the place to pioneer. You know what I missed more than anything else when I first went out there to teach? Iced tea! No ice on the Divide, no electricity, too far out to buy ice. We finally got a kerosene icebox, and that was heaven to have ice and ice cream.” — Helen Hall Moffett (from BUT WE MADE IT!)
“When I came to Kerrville in 1940, they had a garbage man up here. He took out the garbage—a colored fellow. They paid that garbage man $125 a month…and they paid me to run that school down there, paid me $70 a month. It’s still short of taking a tooth out.”
— B.T. Wilson (from BUT WE MADE IT!)