Greetings from Sarah Sundin! Today I have the joy of interviewing novelist Marsha Hubler, who has turned her love of children and the Lord into a string of books for young people.
Marsha, please tell us about your new book, Tommi Pockets.
Thirteen-year-old “Pockets” Leland wants to be the first female world champion pool player. She also runs with a gang, is arrested, and meets her match in fiery “Captain Ar,” a Salvation Army counselor, who shares what’s really important: loving God and loving others. Does Pockets listen or does she continue in a downward spiral leading to more trouble in her young life?
Intriguing! What inspired you to write this book?
I have a passion to share the gospel in all my books so that my young readers know the truth that Jesus saves, and He can help everyone with any problem in their lives.
This is Catherine Finger bringing you an interview with today’s featured author: Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. In addition to to being an award-winning author, speaker, leader, coach, and beloved family matriarch, MaryAnn finds time to graciously leads our CAN reviewers—a great service to our authors. Thank you for joining us today, MaryAnn!
Catherine: What are your passions?
MaryAnn: Worshipping God, loving my family, sharing the Gospel, writing fiction. painting—especially in oils.
Catherine: Where do you volunteer your spare time giving you a more rounded life?
MaryAnn: I spend my spare time discipling women and ministering to my six adopted grandchildren.
Catherine: How do you use this experience in your writing? MaryAnn: Ministering to women has made me more aware of the many challenges women face in an increasingly stressful world. I draw on these challenges as I create the heroines of my stories.
Catherine: What humorous thing would your readers want to know about you or your writing life?
MaryAnn: The first sale I made was to The Saturday Evening Post for a humorous poem about an argument between my then small children. This sale was humorous in that I am not a funny person by nature, and I had no clue what I was doing when I submitted to this major magazine. I was like the bumblebee who does not know that, aerodynamically, it cannot fly but flies anyway. The Lord used this sale to confirm His call on my life to write for Him.
Catherine: Do you have a funny story relating to your writing or an event? MaryAnn: Yes. My husband and I met through a newspaper article I’d submitted (at my mother’s request) to my local paper about my earning my Master’s degree. My husband will tell you that my article was really a want-ad for a husband. We just celebrated our 50thwedding anniversary.
Catherine: Did you find a fascinating fact/story while doing research for your book? MaryAnn: Yes. While researching my latest novel, In Black and White, I was quite surprised and chagrined to discover that the seven suburban communities named “Levittown” and built during the late 1940s and 1950s were racially segregated communities, as stipulated in their sales agreements. This sad fact gave me a backdrop for a portion of my story
Catherine: What are you currently working on and what attracted you to this project?
MaryAnn: I am currently working on two projects. The first is a compilation of the poems I have written over the last 40 years. The book will be called Poems for All Seasons, as the poetry deals not only with every chronological season of life, but also with the spiritual seasons of our lives.
The second project is a historical novel titled The Urchin of Naples and based on a story my late mother told me when I was a child. My mother was born and raised in Naples, and I have visited the city several times.
Catherine: What’s one thing you want our readers to hear from you today? MaryAnn: I would like our readers to know that Jesus loves them just as they are and just where they are, and that He is the answer to their every need.
Dr. MaryAnn Diorio is an award-winning author who writes riveting fiction that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart. Her latest novel, IN BLACK AND WHITE, a love story about racism, released in November 2019.
MaryAnn has also written THE ITALIAN CHRONICLES trilogy, a page-turning, family saga revolving around the life of Maria Landro, a woman torn between two worlds, and who must choose between them. MaryAnn’s books for children include five picture books: WHO IS JESUS?, TOBY TOO SMALL, CANDLE LOVE, THE DANDELION PATCH, and POEMS FOR WEE ONES and one chapter book: DO ANGELS RIDE PONIES?
MaryAnn lives in New Jersey with her husband Dom. They’ve been married 50 years and are the blessed parents of two wonderful daughters, a very smart son-in-law, and six rambunctious grandchildren. When not writing, MaryAnn loves to paint, play the piano, and make up silly songs with her grandchildren. You can learn more about MaryAnn at maryanndiorio.com.
Stop-and-Go Devotional: 52 Devotions for Busy Families
by Diane Stortz
Publisher: Tommy Nelson
Release Date: February 12, 2019
About the book: Stop-and-Go Devotional provides short, active devotions based on Bible stories, designed for busy families with preschoolers and primary-grade children. Each short devotion consists of an action-filled Bible story (Stop and Read), an age-appropriate devotional thought with questions and a brief prayer (Think and Talk), plus an easy and fun follow-up activity, a thought to remember, and a supporting Bible verse (Green Means Go!).
About the author:
Diane Stortz writes best-selling books for children and adults. Her goal: making God’s wonders known to the next generation. She and her husband, Ed, have two married daughters and five young grandchildren—all boys! Visit her website at DianeStortz.com.
Words to Dream On calms, quiets, and opens hearts to hear faith-building Bible stories and prayers. Over 50 stories—from the Old and New Testaments—create an overview of the Bible with a focus on God’s love, care, protection, trustworthiness, and power. Each night you’ll enjoy a Bible story, a Bedtime Blessing based on the story, Words to Dream On—a Bible verse to hide God’s Word in little hearts—and a Sleepy-Time Prayer.
Balmy Christmas greetings from Marti Pieper, writing from sunny Mount Dora, Florida. Here, the strawberries are ripening, the orange trees growing heavy with fruit. And what may seem like unusual Christmas scenery only enhances the beauty of this season.
But I have the idea that the landscape looks a bit different in Cincinnati, Ohio, which author Diane Stortzcalls home. She has lots of information to share with us along with some exciting news about her own publishing projects. I know you’ll want to glean from her wisdom and experience.
How did you get into writing? How many books do you have published? What are a few of your latest titles?
In June 2006 I left my editorial position with a Christian publisher to freelance—editing and writing. I had written a number of children’s books for the publisher during my years there, mostly board books and picture books, sometimes under a different name. Since 2006, I’ve published seven books, with three more due out in the next six months. The Sweetest Story Bible for Toddlers releases December 9, and Words to Dream On: Bedtime Bible Stories and Prayers releases February 3, 2015. A third book, for babies and toddlers, releases in June 2015.
You took a brave step, Diane. And congratulations on the new and upcoming releases! Tell us: how did you get your first book contract?
A warm greeting from sunny Florida, where fall means
cooler days, shorter nights, and (as my teenage daughters say), choosing the
flip-flops with the wider straps. Today, I have the privilege of sharing an
interview with fellow Florida author Crystal Bowman. I first met Crystal when
we taught together at the Florida Christian Writers Conference, and I’m
delighted to share her words of wisdom today.
How did you get into writing, Crystal?
I started writing when I was 10
years old. I loved writing poems—some funny and some serious.
My first professional writing
opportunity (decades later) was an offer to write lyrics for children’s piano
music. That was in 1990. and I am still writing for the same composers.
How many books do you have published?
Around 75—mostly kids’ books,
but also three nonfiction books for women.
Writing for young children is much harder than many writers realize—that is until they try it! As a children's author and freelance editor, I reveiw children's stories that writers hope to publish. I often see the same mistakes being made by different writers, so in today's blog, I will address those common mistakes in order to help writers avoid them.