About The Author
Diana M. Hawkins was born and grew up in Zimbabwe. She moved to the United States as an adult, where she pursued a career as a journalist and environmental writer. Today retired from professional writing, she focuses on creative work, ranging from children’s stories to romantic suspense novels, and more.
Diana always dreamed of being a writer and by the time she’d reached the third grade, her mother gave her an old typewriter. She grew up on a tobacco farm and her first writings— short accounts of happenings on the farm—she typed up in a one-page newsletter, which she handed out to family members and farm workers.
Following high school, her writing ambitions took a back seat to the thrill of world travel. She spent the next six years working for the airlines and travelled extensively. After she married and moved to the United States, she attended journalism school and worked for several newspapers in Arizona. Later, she took a job with the government as a public affairs specialist and in 1993 moved to Georgia, to work for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She retired from the government in 2005 to begin a new writing career.
She has always had a passion for animals and wildlife, which may be the reason she wrote Lumpy the Elephant for her children, back in the 1970s. The book, however, was not published until 2008 and by then her kids were all grown up. Although the book has been out of print for five years, it is now back on the market and available worldwide from all major online booksellers.
Diana’s been a cat owner for most of her life and her latest book, Mom’s Cat Stories, published in 2015, is a memoir featuring the 11 precious cats she and her family have owned during the past 58 years. Her love and concern for elephants has also influenced her writing. For the theme of her first novel, set in 2008 Zimbabwe, she focused on the evils of wildlife poaching and the ivory trade. She published Shadows along the Zambezi in 2012, and is presently working on a sequel to that story.
In the sequel to Shadows along the Zambezi, the newlyweds, Piet van Rooyen and Jessica adjust to married life and discover they have infertility issues. Meanwhile they continue their battle to save Zimbabwe’s elephants and are confronted by the sudden loss of countless wildlife species, including hundreds of elephants found dead near poisoned water holes in Hwange National Park. They discover that the government is rounding up young elephant calves, separating them from their herds then shipping them overseas to spend uncertain lives in Chinese zoos. The odds are stacked against the elephant herds, as poaching persists fueled by the lucrative ivory trade. Secretly funded conservation groups step up to aid the newlyweds but Piet and Jessica’s efforts are soon bedeviled by backstabbing political factions whose intentions, they suspect, include the funding of international terror groups.