Diana Stevan was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the only child of immigrants from the Ukraine. As her parents worked around the clock at a meat packing plant and the markets, Diana spent most of the time with her Baba, who could not speak a word of English. She did however pick up a love of words from her father. He had the habit of reciting poems by Kipling, Wordsworth and Tennyson as he walked about the house.
After graduating high school with honours, Diana married Robert at 19 and then graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics when she was 7 months pregnant with her first child. Later she returned to University of Manitoba where she received a Master of Social Work with Honours and was on the Dean’s List.
Jill of All Trades
Diana likes to joke about her checkered resume; she calls herself a Jill of all trades. She’s worked as a cashier, baker’s helper, librarian, fashion salesperson, and a professional model. Though writing was relegated to hobby status, she was a member of the Manitoba Authors Association.
She taught junior high home economics and instructed night school students in those fine arts. Then, during her twenty-five years as a clinical social worker, she taught at a community college, was a field instructor for schools of social work at the University of Manitoba and the University of British Columbia, and worked as a therapist in a variety of settings.
As for writing, she was editor of the Child Guidance Clinic Newsletter, published an academic article, and wrote travel and fitness articles for city newspapers. In 1985, she became a freelance writer for CBC Television’s Sports Journal. One of her highlights was covering the first all-female crew to sail from Victoria to Maui.
Along the way, Diana’s love of language took her into the field of acting. With her children grown, and while still working as a social worker, she studied scene study with Mel Tuck at Gastown Actors Studio and Carol Rosenfeld of HB studios. Since then, she’s worked on TV series, commercials and movies of the week. Her acting credits here.
She also wrote three screenplays, one of which got the attention of Jody Foster’s agent in L.A. Her acting career slowed in 1998 when she and her husband moved to Vancouver Island because they wanted to be close to one of their daughters. Though she missed working in front of the camera, she co-produced a few short films and co-write one.
Together with her husband, Robert, Diana has traveled throughout North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
They have two children: Karen and Robyn, and three grandchildren.
Where She Is Now
Now, in Campbell River, British Columbia, Diana enjoys meeting with her fellow writers twice a month. She’s written a stage play, some short stories and many poems. She’s had a poem published in the UK journal Dreamcatcher. A short story was published in Escape, an anthology put out by Peregrin publishers in 2012.
Her debut novel, A Cry From The Deep, a romantic mystery and adventure was published in October, 2014, and The Blue Nightgown, a novelette in May, 2015. And in March, 2016, she published under her imprint, Island House Publishing, her second novel, The Rubber Fence, psychological fiction, inspired by her work on a psychiatric ward in 1972.
She also hopes to publish soon, her baba’s story, Lukia’s Lot, that takes place between 1915-1929 in what is now western Ukraine.