Meet author MaryAnn Diorio

Dr. MaryAnn Diorio is a widely published, award-winning author of fiction and non-fiction for both children and adults. She writes riveting fiction that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart. MaryAnn resides in New Jersey with her husband Dom. They are the blessed parents of two adult daughters and five rambunctious grandchildren.




Tell us about your newest book.

My latest release is titled Return to Bella Terra. It is Book 3 in my trilogy titled The Italian Chronicles. Return to Bella Terra completes the moving story of my heroine, Maria Landro that began in Book 1, The Madonna of Pisano, and continued in Book 2, A Sicilian Farewell. The trilogy was sparked by an incident that occurred in the life of my great-great-grandmother.

What genre do you focus on and why?

I focus on writing women’s fiction. For over 40 years, I have ministered to women from all over the world. As a woman and a life coach, I understand the feminine heart, and I can relate to the deep and conflicting emotions that women often feel. I also understand the complexities of the challenges that women face on a daily basis.

Why do you write? What drives you?

One reason: God called me to write. It is this calling—fueled by my passionate love for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and my desire to obey Him—that drives me. He has ordained that I would proclaim the Gospel message of love and redemption primarily through my writing and primarily through writing fiction. I love writing fiction!  There is nothing else I would rather do with my life.

Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?

My main character in Return to Bella Terrais Maria Landro. The name simply came to me after I asked God to write the story of His heart through me.

What does a day in your writing world look like?

When writing a novel, I am quite disciplined. I write from 9:00am until 2:00pm or 3:00pm five days a week. When on deadline, I also write in the evenings and on Saturdays. I treat my writing as I would treat a day job. I have a set time to get to my office and a specific word count goal to reach every day. I usually do not stop until I have reached my word count for the day. If I have to stop, I make up my word count before the week is over.

What is the hardest part of being an author? Why?

For me, the most difficult part of being an author is the waiting for results. If God has taught me one thing during my writing career, it is that I am in need of patience. This Scripture verse in Hebrews 10: 36 sums it up for me: Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.”

What’s the best part of your author’s life? Why?

The best part, without a doubt, is the joy of co-laboring with God in the creative process. I see myself as His pen as He writes the story of His heart through me. I know that other writers who follow Jesus have had similar experiences. The joy of it is unspeakable!

What is the craziest thing you’ve experienced as an author?

I would have to say that the craziest thing I’ve experienced as an author was my first sale. Novice that I was, I submitted a funny poem to The Saturday Evening Post, totally oblivious to the fact that this was a magazine virtually impossible for a beginning writer to crack. The poem resulted from a funny incident surrounding an argument between my two little girls. At the time, I had been praying for a sign from the Lord that He wanted me to write. When The Saturday Evening Postaccepted my poem for publication, I knew that a miracle had occurred and that God had given me my sign.

What are you most proud of?

Rather than proud, I would say I am most thankful that God has chosen me to write for Him.  I am also quite thankful to have fulfilled my longstanding dream of writing The Italian Chronicles.  So many stories are still gestating in my heart that I feel I will need several lifetimes to write them. My prayer is that the Lord’s will will be done in my writing and in my life.

What is your favorite pastime?

I love to create works of art in colored pencil, oils, and acrylics. I also love to make up silly poems with my grandchildren.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

Yes. I have two published novellas: A Christmas Homecoming (Pelican Book Group) and Surrender to Love (TopNotch Press). I also have a published short story titled Magnolia Memories (TopNotch Press).  As for children’s books, I’ve published four picture books and one chapter book. The picture books are Who Is Jesus?,Candle Love,Toby Too Small, and The Dandelion Patch. The chapter book is titled Do Angels Ride Ponies? This fall, Lord willing, my latest children’s picture book will be released by TopNotch Press. It is titled Poems for Wee Ones and is a collection of the poetry I have written for children over the years. My wonderful illustrator is Valeria Wicker.

What are you working on now?

I am working on a contemporary novel, also women’s fiction, with romantic elements. It is titled In Black and White and is a story about racism and reconciliation.


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