Deb: Today, I'm welcoming Dr. MaryAnn Diorio to the Inkwell! I follow her by email and thought it was a great time to reach out and chat.
MaryAnn, with your career background, how did you find your way to writing fiction?
MaryAnn: The simplest answer is that God led me to write fiction. In fact, God led me to writing, in general. My formal education was in Romance languages (French, Italian, and Spanish) and Education. For several years, I taught foreign languages, mostly at the college and university level. Writing had never been on my radar, although journalism had once flitted across my find when I was in high school. But after my first day of French class, my fate was sealed. Or so I thought! :)
Then, at age 30, I discerned God’s call on my life to write for Him. In response to that call, I attended my first writing workshop, a session on how to write light verse. Now, I am not a funny person by nature (my husband is the comedian in the family), but I attended this workshop because it was the only one with an opening left. While the workshop was excellent, I left thinking that I would never write anything funny.
About a week later, my two little girls at the time had a terrible argument. I had just read a parenting book about letting children solve their own problems without parental intervention. Well, when the decibel level skyrocketed, I trashed the book and invaded the argument. As I was disciplining my children, I started laughing. I should write a poem about this, I thought. Well, I did write a poem, and, by God's miraculous intervention, that poem was accepted and published in The Saturday Evening Post. This was God’s way of confirming to me that He had indeed called me to write for Him.Deb: Yes, it's funny how that happens. Our plans are not His plans. Thankfully!
It seems that so much of what you do revolves around helping others deal with the ups and downs of life. Have you always been a Christian counselor and how has your faith helped you in what must be very exhausting work due to the emotions involved?
MaryAnn: First off, I am not a licensed Christian counselor. I am a Certified Life Coach. The difference between a counselor and a coach is that a counselor helps the client look backward into his past to discover obstacles to overcoming problems, whereas a life coach deals with people who are, essentially, emotional healthy and ready to move forward with their lives. I became a life coach because God has given me the gift of exhortation in the Body of Christ, and coaching is an outstanding way to encourage those who need it.
Deb: Thanks for the insight on that. And boy, Encouragers are so badly needed right now.
Moorestown, New Jersey
November 28, 2015
Tell us about your move to using Podcasts and how we can find them.
MaryAnn: I started listening to podcasts as the result of a writing course I was taking. Up until this time, I had been writing a weekly blog titled “Winning with the Word.” As I was listening to my writing podcasts, the thought occurred to me that I could put my weekly blog posts into the podcast format as well. I had recently read that more people are listening today than reading. They read in their cars on the way to work. They read while working out or doing the dishes. So, because I wanted to reach more people with the Gospel message, I started to record podcasts. My podcast name is “Winning with the Word” and it can be found on Apple Podcasts, Blubrry, iHeart Radio, Soundcloud, Spreaker, Podbean, Podchaser, Castbox, and Deezer. Listeners can subscribe to the venue of choice to receive “Winning with the Word” in their mailboxes each Monday morning.
Deb: I've just subscribed! It's nice to switch over from audiobooks, (which I listen to all the time), and hear thoughts on so many topics. Podcasts just seem to have boomed in popularity from five years ago. Maybe it's the fact so many of us have smartphones now!
MaryAnn, what do you most enjoy when it comes to free time?
MaryAnn: I enjoy spending time with my family. My husband is now retired, so we spend a lot of time together. One of our daughters lives with her husband and six children within walking distance of our home, so we get to see our grandchildren quite a bit. Our other daughter lives about 40 minutes away, and we get to see her frequently as well. Next to spending time with my family, I enjoy reading, painting in acrylics, playing the piano, and tread-milling (my coined word for exercising on a treadmill. :))
Deb: Perfect! Creative breaks and exercise. Congratulations!
Thanks so much for being my guest, MaryAnn.
Dr. MaryAnn Diorio is a widely published, award-winning author and former Professor of Fiction Writing.Her riveting books explore the deepest issues of the human heart.Her latest work is a children’s picture book entitled Who Is Jesus? MaryAnn may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via her website at www.maryanndiorio.com
HEART-MENDING BOOKS FOR THE YOUNG, and YOUNG AT HEART
MaryAnn's latest novel is In Black and White, which happens to be on sale in celebration of Black History Month.
A white woman. A black man. And their forbidden love.
Can endurance and faith sustain the love between a white woman and a black man, threatened by rejection, guilt, and racial injustice? Can love alone reconcile their starkly different worlds, lighting the way to a bright future together?
When graduate student, Tori Pendola, a white American woman, and Jebuni Kalitsi, a Ghanaian exchange student and heir to his tribe's chieftaincy, fall deeply in love, they must face not only their own inner demons of rejection and guilt but also the demons of societal hatred bent on destroying their relationship. Will their love survive the cruel and bitter attacks against them? Or will hatred and prejudice gain the upper hand?
In Black and White is a deeply moving story of the power of God's love to restore all that is broken in their lives.
Buy IN BLACK AND WHITE:
(Note: The above are MaryAnn's affiliate links)
Find Mary Ann on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram also!