Monday, March 07, 2016

WHO IS JESUS? - MaryAnn Diorio - One Free Book

Dear Readers, I’m excited to welcome back MaryAnn Diorio. We’ve featured her books for adults on this blog and one of her children’s books. When I heard about the children’s book she’d written titled Who Is Jesus?, I just had to feature it here.

Welcome, MaryAnn.
Thank you, Lena. It is so kind of you to host me today.

We've featured you in the past for your adult fiction, but today we're going to discuss your children's book, Who Is Jesus? Please tell us a little about this book.
Who Is Jesus? has an interesting backstory. It is, of course, a work of non-fiction that was sparked by my visit to the children's section of a local secular bookstore. As I was browsing through the children's books, I noticed a book about Jesus. My heart leapt to see what I thought was a Christian book in a secular bookstore. But when I opened the book to look through it, my heart sank. The book portrayed Jesus as nothing more than a good man and a teacher. It mentioned nothing about His being the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Moreover, the book included information about Buddha, Mohammed, and Hare Krishna, among others. The worst part was that it encouraged the child reader to choose which one he would follow, pointing out that all were good.

I literally left the bookstore weeping and determined in my heart to write a book about Jesus that reflected the truth of Scripture. I went straight home and started writing Who Is Jesus?

And I’m glad you did. What kind of reception have you had for Who Is Jesus?
By the grace of God, the book is now touching many lives, not only the lives of children but also the lives of those who read the book to them. I have received comments from parents and grandparents regarding how Who Is Jesus? has impacted them as well as their children and grandchildren. One letter, in particular, came from a father who said that Who Is Jesus? showed him that he was not presenting his son with a true picture of the forgiving nature of Christ when we sin. So this precious father immediately began teaching his son that Jesus will always forgive us when we repent of our sin.

The illustrations by Kim Sponaugle are delightful. Did you choose the illustrator?
Yes. I had the wonderful privilege of meeting Kim Sponaugle at a secular children's writers' conference years ago. Because she, too, is a Christian, we clicked immediately. When I saw her work, I knew then and there that I wanted her to illustrate one of my books one day. And, by the grace of God, she did! :)

When did you first start writing for children?
When my children were small, we would make up stories together at bedtime. Each of us added a part to the story. For example, when I had finished my part, I would ask the question, "And then?" One of my girls would then pick up where I had left off and add her part to the story. We would go round and round, often way past bedtime. My husband used to say he had three children, not two, LOL! :)

As my daughters grew, they would often say, "Mom, you should write children's stories." Others began to say the same thing. I guess it's that I have a very childlike personality and love children. I think the biggest reason, however, is that I clearly remember what it was like to be a child. I can recall the emotions I felt as a child, and I have great compassion and empathy for children, especially those who are hurting. All of these factors contributed to my decision to write for children. Another extremely important factor is a prophetic word I received several years ago from a world-renowned evangelist at a Christian conference I attended. He prophesied over me that I would one day write children's books. And I am now doing just that. Glory to God!

You've written two other picture books for children: Toby Too Small and Candle Love. What are these books about?
Toby Too Small is about a boy very small in stature who learns that what matters in life is not how big one is on the outside but how big one is on the inside.

Candle Love is a story about sibling rivalry, especially when a new baby arrives. It was based on my own experience with my two daughters when the second one was born. Its premise is that love expands to the need at hand and that there is always enough love to go around.

Do you prefer writing for children or adults?
In essence, I find little difference philosophically between the two. Children are little people, and adults have an inner child that still affects them. In my children's books, I deal with this inner child as it is being formed and lived out in the now of the child's life. In my adult fiction, I deal with the deep issues of the inner child as that inner child affects my characters' adult lives, forcing them to face issues stemming from childhood, issues that need to be dealt with in order for healing to take place.

Do you have more children's books in the works?
Yes. I am currently working on a book of children's poetry called Poems for Wee Ones. Lord willing, it will be released this year. I also have written a story book for older children, ages 6-9, called The Dandelion Patch, in which my main character stands by her convictions and refuses to compromise. I hope to release this book this year as well. Perhaps one of my most exciting projects is a children's play called Miracle at Madville which I hope to make into a musical.

That’s exciting. My daughters and I started the puppet ministry at the church we attended when they were in junior high. I was also the children’s choir director. At Christmas that year, I wrote a Christmas play that used live children and puppets, and the music director’s wife wrote the music. How can readers find you on the Internet?
I love to hear from readers and encourage them to write to me with any questions they may have about writing or about children's books. They can reach me via the following venues:

Thank you, MaryAnn, for sharing with us today.
Thank you, Lena, for your kindness in hosting me.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Who Is Jesus? - Hardback
Who Is Jesus? - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:
Http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

angela in ky would love to win.

Bakersdozen said...

I so appreciate good literature for children that really tells them about Jesus. I am the mom of a large family (the youngest child is 8) and I am young grandchildren. I would love to share this book with them.

Michelle
Southern CA

MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA said...

Thank you so much for your comment, Michelle. You have such an important role as the mother of young children. I come from a family of eight children, so I can appreciate the dynamics of a large family. :) Blessings on you as you teach your children and grandchildren about Jesus.

MaryAnn

MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA said...

Thanks for dropping by, Anonymous. :) Blessings to you!


MaryAnn

Mary Preston said...

All of your books sound marvellous.

Mary P

QLD AUSTRALIA

MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA said...

Thank you, Mary. I trust one or more will bless you.


Warmest regards in Jesus,

MaryAnn

Robin in NC said...

I would love to win a copy to share with my grandsons! Thanks for sharing with us!

Robin from Raleigh
rw620 AT aol DOT com

Bonnie Engstrom said...

This book sounds perfect for my grandchildren, although I can't find anywhere in the interview that indicates the age range. Still, I would love to win it for them.

Bonnie
Scottsdale, AZ

MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA said...

You are most welcome, Robin. From one grandma to another, it was my pleasure. :)


Blessings,

MaryAnn

MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA said...

Hi, Bonnie,

Good question, Bonnie, and sorry for the oversight. :) The age range is from 2-6.


Blessings to another grandmother!

MaryAnn

MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA said...

P.S. Mary, I just realized you're from Australia. Part of my novella, A CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING, takes place in Sydney. :)


Blessings,

MaryAnn

MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA said...

Thanks for your comment, Angela.


Blessings to you!

MaryAnn

Connie said...

Oh, this sounds like a wonderful book to share with my young granddaughter. She has inherited my love of reading and I try to find books that will teach, as well as entertain. Thank you for using your talent in such a worthy way.
Blessings!
Connie from KY
cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Conway, SC.

mongupp said...

I love children's books 😀
Monica, Ontario

MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA said...

Connie, I hear you! My three-year-old granddaughter loves the book (although I'm sure she is prejudiced, especially since I dedicated it to her and she sees her name in it)!

Thank you for your kind words. I praise the Lord for the gift of writing and trust that He will use it to point people to Himself.


Blessings,

MaryAnn

MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA said...

Hi, Sharon,

I love your "get-to-the-point" attitude. Your comment made me smile. :)


Blessings,

MaryAnn

MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA said...

Thanks for your comment, Monica. I love children's books, too. If you go to my Pinterest account, you can check my board titled "Vintage Children's Books."
https://www.pinterest.com/drmaryanndiorio/

Blessings,

MaryAnn

Brenda Arrington said...

This sounds like a wonderful book to share with my 3 grandsons. I would love to win it and share it with them. Now that my 8 year old is reading, I'm glad there are good books such as this one for him to read to this proud Gramma. Thank you for the chance to win.

MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA said...

Thank you for your comment, Brenda. As a grandma myself, I understand exactly what you mean. I pray blessings on you and your precious family.


MaryAnn