Diana Story grew up with a phobia about writing. Even well into her adult life, she never penned so much as a postcard. How ironic then that the Solvang resident is now a published author. Her first novel, “Maya’s Story – Slipping Between Time and Space,” was released last month on Amazon.com and is earning five star reviews.
The book has a classic good vs. evil plot. Maya is a Bay Area teenager who joins forces with the mystical powers of the constellations to save the Earth from the “Dark Menace.” The author’s own dreams and concerns about climate change populate the narrative.
Diana is the widow of Ralph Story, a much beloved and admired Los Angeles newsman. In 1960, he anchored a four-hour radio newscast that laid the path for the all-news radio format. A year later he was co-anchoring the country’s first one-hour local newscast. His “Ralph Story’s Los Angeles,” an Emmy-winning twice-weekly show (1964-1970), introduced viewers to the TV magazine series format.
Ralph and Diana married in 1978. In 1984 – two years after his retirement – they moved to Los Olivos into a house they’d originally bought as a weekend getaway. They also purchased the historic Sides building and turned it into an art gallery that they owned for the next four years.
Ralph died in Los Olivos in 2006 the same year the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences bestowed on him its highest honor, the Governors Award.
It was three months after his passing that Diana said Ralph came to her in a dream. She had been packing up his papers to send to the UCLA Library. (The Ralph Story Papers are archived in the university’s Charles E. Young Research Library Special Collections.)
“He told me not to send off anything yet. There was something in one of his scripts I needed to write about,” she recalled. She didn’t know what it was but was certain it would eventually reveal itself to her.
Diana, who spent three years studying to become a hypnotherapist and who is also a Reiki Master, has studied metaphysics for more than 40 years. She believes there are many dimensions and is an advocate of the controversial theory in physics called string theory.
It was not long after hearing from Ralph in that dream and was on her way to a workshop with a medium on the East Coast, that she began to write what would eventually become her novel.
“I wrote nonstop for six to eight hours while flying,” she said. “Ralph is my ghostwriter. I hear him all the time.”
However after what seemed like a promising start, the fantasy project was shelved for several years while Diana struggled to figure out her life without Ralph.
“I was single and at the time the Valley seemed to be a place only for married people. I decided to move to Santa Barbara. I thought, if I go there, I can go to the theater, I can take classes. I leased an apartment for a year and then bought a house and…