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July 12, 2018 Hesston RecordJuly 12, 2018 Hesston Record

Renowned Kansas Author Coming Home To HPL

Posted 6/1/2017

Hesston Record Staff

Kansas Noteable Book author Janelle (Roupp) Diller will be returning to her hometown for a book signing at Hesston Public Library on June 7 at 10 a.m.

Diller, whose work, Never Enough Flamingos, was one of only 15 books selected across all generas as a 2017 Kansas Notable Book.

“They choose 15 outstanding titles either by Kansas authors or on Kansas-related topics,” said Hesston Public Library Director Libby Albers.

Albers said Diller will not only be coming for a signing, but she is also donating one of her total collections to Hesston Public Library.

Diller said she is returning to Hesston to take part in the Nerd Camp Kansas, a consortium of elementary and middle school librarians hosted at Hesston High the first full week in June.

“I love catching up with friends and family in Hesston. The Nerd Camp Kansas on Tuesday looks like a ton of fun too,” she said.

Diller, a jack-of-all-genres, said her variety of audiences keeps her work fresh.

“The first piece of advice an agent or publisher will tell a new author is stick with a single genera since it makes it easier to build a following.

“Which means, I guess, I should’t have written a political thriller, followed by a historical coming-of-age story with some children’s books in between,” she said.

Diller said she plans to continue branching out and pushing herself as a writer.

“I’m just having fun. If you read authors who only write one kind of book, they start to sound formulaic and tired. For me, writing books for both children and adults keeps both fresher,” she said.

The last time Diller was in Hesston, she hosted a signing for her Pack and Go Girls series in September at Hesston Elementary School.  This time, she will be presenting the debut of “Never Enough Sisters,” the sequel to “Never Enough Flamingos.”

“The second book in my trilogy is launching in June, so this seemed like a perfect time to get the word out,” she said.

Diller added Hesstonians will have a special opportunity to get a copy of “Never Enough Sisters” before it hits the wider market.

“I hope the third book in my trilogy, “Never Enough Lilacs,” will be out in late 2017,” she said.

As a writer, Diller said it is important to her to continue to tackle difficult social issues.

“Although the trilogy is about Mennonite and it does take place in Kansas during t he Depression, it’s about so much more.

“It’s about power and hierarchy; it’s about making difficult choices when we could look away and pretend nothing is happening. it’s about the price we pay when we do nothing,” she said.

While the book is a historical fiction, she said readers can relate to the key points.

“It echoes the larger story of what was happening in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s - and sadly - what’s happening today in the world.  I wish the themes weren’t so timeless,” she said.

Even her children’s books challenge young readers with new ideas and battle social convention.

“They have important themes such as confronting prejudice, dealing with fears and finding courage,” she said.

The Pack and Go Girls are aimed at children ranging from elementary school to early middle school.

Albers said having such a  successful local author can be encouraging for other aspiring  authors and hopes to make Diller a regular at Hesston Public Library.

“We are talking in the future about having her back this fall to do a writing workshop for some additional programming-related activities,” said Albers.

Diller is a graduate of Hesston High School and Hesston College. She married Hesstonian Steve Diller.  Today she divides her time between sailboating around Mexico and a home in Colorado.

Her parents were Milford and Rosie Roupp and her in-laws are Ivan and Doris Diller, all of Hesston.