Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I am so excited to introduce you to MaryAnn Diorio. MaryAnn first came on my radar when she contacted me about the Italian phrases I’d used in Sapphire Ice. Apparently (ahem) Google translator does not good Italian make. She so graciously fixed my phrases to make them sound like someone who actually spoke Italian was speaking, and she did it without any kind of condemnation. I have loved interacting with her at various writing moments. As I read through her interview, that same loving grace just exudes from her words, and I am so happy that you can meet the MaryAnn I met all those years ago.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. “Italian” is my middle name. 🙂 I am the firstborn daughter of an immigrant mother from beautiful Naples, Italy. As a result, I learned Italian as my native tongue and spoke with my mother in Italian all my life.
On my first day of French class in high school, I fell in love with the French language and decided that I would become a French professor. Seventeen years later, I earned the PhD in French from the University of Kansas and subsequently taught Romance languages at the university level.
At age 25, I had a powerful encounter with Jesus Christ and was born again through Billy Graham’s ministry. At age 30, I sensed God’s call to write for Him. This was unusual for me, as I had had no previous desire to become a writer. But the call became more pressing, and, finally, after receiving the confirmation I had requested, I turned my attention to writing. And I’ve never looked back.
Tell us about your current release. My latest novel is titled Miracle in Milan. It is the story of a female auditor who discovers convincing evidence that the man she loves is an embezzler.
If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Absolutely! The Cross reveals the value of a single person. If Jesus would have died for only one person, I can certainly write a book for only one person.
Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? No. Years ago, I established a “red line” in my life that I promised myself I would not cross. I will not violate God’s Word for earthly success. People have asked me if I want to be famous. My heartfelt reply is, “No. I want Jesus to be famous.” I write for Him and because of Him. My guiding verse is John 3: 30: “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction? A truly Biblical worldview among some Christian writers. Many Christians and Christian churches in America have strayed from the Word and have succumbed to an apostate worldview. We have aligned ourselves with the world and, as a result, lost our power as the Body of Christ. Jesus said this would happen in these last days (2 Thessalonians 2: 3). A few years ago, a study was done by the Nehemiah Institute to measure whether a group of Christian schoolteachers had a Biblical worldview or not. The study results showed that only 60% of them had a Biblical worldview. And these are teachers teaching our children in Christian schools!
With all those characters in your head screaming to get out how do you write fast enough to get it all down? I don’t. :). I would not consider myself a “fast” writer. I have a goal to write a minimum of 1000 words a day, and I do not stop until I have achieved that goal. Sometimes, I exceed the 1000 words. Then I treat myself to a second cup of coffee. 🙂 After taking Hallee’s excellent workshop on layering, however, I have noticed an improvement in my writing speed. Thank you, Hallee! 🙂 My new goal is to write 5000 words a day in two to three hours.
What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? This may surprise you, but I don’t believe in writer’s block. When I am “stuck,” it is that I do not yet know my character well enough.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Matthew 6: 33. Seek God first in all you think, say, and do. Commit your writing to Him (Proverbs 16: 3), and He will establish your thoughts and direct your path.
What is the farthest location you traveled to in order to research a book? I traveled to Italy. From New Jersey where I live, Italy is about 4000 miles away.
Find MaryAnn online:
Amazon Author Central: http://www.amazon.com/author/maryanndiorio
MaryAnn is giving away all three novels in THE ITALIAN CHRONICLES Trilogy in print or ebook format—winner’s choice. She will sign print copies.
By entering to win these books, you consent to be added to Hallee and MaryAnn’s email lists.