Literary Birthday – 20 January – Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Happy Birthday, Vanessa Diffenbaugh, born 20 January 1978.


  1. Anyone can grow into something beautiful.
  2. We have been trained to broadcast our successes and hide our failures. But the truth is this: our failures humanise us, and they connect us to one another.
  3. Hate can be passionate or disengaged; it can come from dislike but also from fear.
  4. It is stories – both real and fictional – that can captivate hearts, change minds and, in the most powerful examples, spur action.
  5. Your behaviour is a choice; it isn’t who you are.
  6. There’s still something so pure and heartfelt and emotional and genuine about a bouquet of flowers that, even with all the advances of technology and the millions of ways we have to communicate with each other, flowers are still relevant in my opinion.
  7. I’m very interested in getting inside the heads of people society discards, people on the fringe, especially immigrant kids. We dismiss them without getting into details of who they are.
  8. First drafts are never any good – at least, mine aren’t.
  9. I am not only the person who wrote and sold a novel while raising a houseful of biological and foster children; I am also the person who wrote a horrific young adult novel that never sold and gave up on a foster child I couldn’t handle – an experience that still haunts me.
  10. There’s a certain freedom in writing when you don’t know if you’ll ever have an audience.

Vanessa Diffenbaugh is an American author. Her books include  The Language of Flowers and We Never Asked For Wings. She is the co-founder of the Camellia Network – an organisation that helps children who are ageing out of foster care.

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 20th January 2018