Author Spotlight: MaryAnn Diorio

Welcome to Author Spotlight! Each week will feature a different author. We’ll get the scoop behind their writing life and dish a little. The authors will also be giving away a copy of their latest book. FUN.

The winner from last week’s Author Spotlight with Ben Girod is Hershey Sensenig! Please email my assistant Christen with your mailing address. (

This week please welcome MaryAnn Diorio in the spotlight! To win a copy of her book A Christmas Homecoming, leave a comment on this post! 

Share a little bit about yourself. Married with kids? Empty nester? Do you work full-time and write when you can squeeze it in?

Hi, Everyone! It’s great to be here. I’ve been writing for a long time but only recently began writing long fiction. I’m married with two awesome grown daughters and a wonderful son-in-law. I work from home as a freelance writer and life coach.

And share something about your writing. What’s your genre(s), your areas of interest…

I write Women’s Fiction and Middle-Grade Fiction. My women’s fiction deals with the deepest issues of the human heart. My children’s fiction is entertaining and fun while focusing on the building of character.

How did you get started writing? Did you have a dream of being a published author?

I came to a point in my life when I felt an increasing desire to write. I prayed and asked God to remove the desire if it were not of Him and to increase the desire if it were. The desire increased dramatically, so I began to write.

After you started writing seriously–how long was it before you were published?

I started out writing for magazines. Soon after I started writing, a poem of mine was published in The Saturday Evening Post. As a novice, I had no clue how difficult it was to get published in this magazine. I took the acceptance as a confirmation from our Lord that I was to write for Him.

Aside from a cup of good, strong coffee, what helps you get all of your “brain cylinders” firing so you can write well? Do you have any favorite places and routines when you write? How many hours a day do you spend writing?

I write between four and six hours a day. I pray before I write and while I write. I usually work at home, but I frequently will go to a local Starbuck’s or to the library when I need to get out a bit.

What has been the biggest help to you in the journey to publication? Writers’ conferences? Writing groups? Your mom as your first draft reader?

My biggest help has been writers’ conferences and critique groups. I also read voraciously. I read fiction, non-fiction, and books on writing. I read journals and magazines and cereal boxes. ☺

Is the “writer’s life” what you thought it would be? (Explain your answer)

When one is called by God to write, the writing life is a joy. This does not mean there will be no struggles. I’ve faced many of them as a writer. But knowing for Whom I write makes it all worthwhile. I don’t know that I had a preconceived notion about what the writer’s life would be. I just plunged in and realized it is hard work with great rewards and deep satisfaction. I like to describe the writing profession as having homework for the rest of your life. ☺

What are your biggest distractions?

My biggest distractions are people. I love people, so I have to guard my writing time so as not to get caught up in people when I should be writing.

What was one of the best moments in your career and what was one of the worst?

One of the best moments in my career occurred when I received my first acceptance letter. One of my worst moments occurred when a published reneged on a signed contract.

What do you least like about being a writer? Most like?

Least like: the long periods of isolation

Most like: the joy of creating

What is the role and importance of an agent?

An agent knows what editors need what manuscripts. An agent can save a writer much precious time. An agent also can help a writer build her writing career.

What advice would you give to new writers?

If God has called you to write, never give up. Pray, believe, and trust that God will order your steps according to His will, not yours.

Pretend I’m a customer at a bookstore looking for a good book. Give me a one or two sentence promo to convince me to buy your book.

When Sonia Pettit’s teenage daughter suddenly disappears for seven long years, Sonia faces losing her mind, her husband, and her son as she struggles to forgive her wayward daughter and trust God for her ret urn.

What’s on the book horizon for you?

I’m currently working on a full-length women’s fiction entitled CAPTIVE NO MORE and a middle-grade novel entitled DIXIE RANDOLPH AND THE KIDNAPPING AT SEABURY LAKE. I have several ideas brewing for more novels for both adults and children.

Last question, how can readers find you and your books?

A CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING will be available from Harbourlight Books in December. My non-fiction book, YOU WERE MADE FOR GREATNESS, is available at You may find a complete listing of my books on my website at

Thank you for sharing your writing life with my bleaders! (blog + readers = bleaders)

You are most welcome, Suzanne. Thank you for inviting me. ☺

About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Katie Johnson says:

    I look forward to the Author Spotlight every week. I would love to win MaryAnn Diorio’s book A Christmas Homecoming. Thank You.

  2. Dianna Bupp says:

    I would love to win this book – it sounds wonderful!!!!!! Thank you!!!!!!!!

  3. Dianna Bupp says:

    I am going to share this on FB also!!!!!!

  4. Chris Meyer says:

    I belong to several photography groups for critiques but I am looking for worthwhile writer groups to join. Are there any on FB that you would recommend?

  5. Jean Smith says:

    Love the cover, can’t wait to get this one. Thanks!

  6. mary ellen ashenfelder says:

    Sounds like a wonderful read. Please accept my entry. Thank you very much 🙂

  7. Donita Corman says:

    The cover is beautiful and the topic is dear to my heart..thanks for the chance to be entered..

  8. Judy Burgi says:

    I can’t wait to read “A Christmas Homecoming.” MaryAnn is a new author to me and I simply loved the interview with her. As a lover of God I felt tears smarting my eyes when she prayed that if the desire to write wasn’t from God to please remove that desire. He intensified it! When God answers prayers He answers in a big way. Thank you for honoring God in your writing!


  9. With God we can do all things. If God is it it will work out. Thanks for the chance at winning your book. God Bless!

  10. Linda McFarland says:

    Good morning….I really enjoyed the interview with writer Maryann Diorio ….and I am soo looking forward to reading Maryann’s new book ‘A Christmas Homecoming’………the book sounds perfect to read and relax with during this busy holiday season….God bless you and yours during this holiday season.

  11. Sharon says:

    I have not read too many books by Suzanne Fisher, but am quickly becoming a fan. Looking forward to reading “A Christmas Homecoming”.

  12. Michelle says:

    I’d love to read A Christmas Homecoming! Thanks for giving us the possibility of winning an ebook!

  13. Shirley says:

    Really enjoyed the interview! I would love to win the book! nysunnyglade at gmail dot com

  14. Mary D Ellsworth says:

    I have not as yet had the privilege of reading any of MaryAnn Diorio’s writing. I would be honored to be a winner of a copy of “A Christmas Homecoming”! I love reading authors new to me and finding new favorites! Thanks for the opportunity to enter the contest. May our Lord bless you all this Christmas season!

  15. loretta says:

    Like the cover, would love to win~!

  16. Karen Hansen says:

    I would love to win this book, it sounds like a very interesting story

  17. Phyllis says:

    I enjoyed reading the interview and I love the book cover. She is a new author for me, but it sounds like a very good book that I would love to add to my library.

  18. Karen Pollard says:

    I would love to read this book!

  19. Carmee Ross says:

    Thank you for this giveaway, I, too, love the cover!

  20. Beautiful cover I surely want to read the book to see if it is as good as the cover is eye catching.

  21. diane papke says:

    please enter me in your book drawing. i love christmas books. have a very merry christmas.

  22. Bonnie Traher says:

    Would love to win the book.

  23. Tabitha Rex says:

    Thank you for a chance to win such a great book. =)

  24. Wanda White says:

    I would love to win this book! I always share my books I buy and would love to win it and share it with the residents at a nursing home where we share our church services with. There are many folks there that like to read but no way to get the books, very few have relatives that visit and supply them with books during their time there.

  25. Kathy Schulz says:

    I always enjoy the Author Spotlight. Thank you for doing this 🙂 Would love to win the book – we all would!

  26. Megan Parsons says:

    Would love to win this book!

  27. Wilma Frana says:

    The book sounds wonderful, I’d love to win it.

  28. O Norman says:

    This sounds like a great book by a new to me author.

  29. Phyllis says:

    Homework for the rest of your life! Thank you for all of us. Your comments are interesting and provide us with a reason to read your books from a new author.

    Thank you for an opportunity to be in a drawing for one of your books.

  30. Toni knox says:

    I love reading christmas books! I would love to win this~!

  31. karenk says:

    thanks for the chance to read this wonderful story

  32. apple blossom says:

    sounds like a good story. thanks for the chance to win

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  33. Karen Clinton says:

    I was born to read! I hope to win this book!

  34. Bonnie J. says:

    I love the cover of this book. Please enter me in the giveaway.

  35. Terri Clark says:

    Thank you for introducing me to a new author. I would like to read this book and hope I win.

  36. felecia says:

    I would love to read this. Thanks for the chance.