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A Writer’s Dream

Diane Dettmann’s first foray into writing consisted of scribbles on a rainbow tablet when she was four years old. It was the rudimentary beginning of a pastime she would enjoy her entire life.

Dettmann retired in 2006 after a 37-year teaching career in the Saint Paul Public Schools in Minnesota. She taught elementary school, and during the last six years of her career, she attended national training and became a literacy staff developer in her building.

She modeled reading and writing lessons in classrooms, developed curriculum, and supported teachers in incorporating readers’ and writers’ workshops into their daily instruction. At the same time, the training provided Dettmann with a wealth of knowledge and inspiration for her own writing.

Dettmann started a local writer’s group, Quill and Thought, to inspire both other writers and herself. A few years later, while she was earning her master’s degree, her story “Betrayal,” recounting her aunt’s educational experience in rural Minnesota in the 1920s, was published in The Hamline Education Journal. That story inspired Dettmann and her aunt to coauthor a family memoir, Miriam, Daughter of Finnish Immigrants. In 2009, Dettmann presented the book at an international immigration conference in Turku, Finland.

The luxury of retirement and the techniques of memoir writing that Dettmann had practiced with students provided the perfect combination to follow her writing passion.

In August of 2011, after several years of daily writing, revisiting her journals, and realizing she had a story worth sharing, Dettmann published her memoir, Twenty-Eight Snow Angels: A Widow’s Story of Love, Loss, and Renewal (Outskirts Press), an inspirational story about rebuilding her life after the sudden death of her 54-year-old husband.

 For years as a writer, Dettmann had attended author events at bookstores. Sitting in the audience, she envisioned herself sharing her book with readers and autographing copies.

In June 2012, her dream was realized at the Barnes & Noble store in St. Paul, Minnesota, as she sat in the author’s chair chatting with customers, sharing her story, and signing her book for patrons.  

Dettmann’s books are available online at and

Additional information is available on Diane Dettmann’s website.



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