Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Author Megan DiMaria - win a book!

Hello everyone, today I'd like to welcome Megan DiMaria to my blog. Please leave a comment if you'd like to be entered in the drawing to win a copy of this book!

Megan DiMaria loves to be an encouragement to women as they live out their faith in today’s busy world. Her upbeat personality and deep appreciation for the humor in ordinary moments creates a bond with other women as they laugh and learn that life is an adventure, one not for the weak of heart.
Searching for Spice, Megan’s debut novel about a long-married woman who wants to have an affair—with her husband, released in April 2008. Her second novel, Out of Her Hands, released in October 2008. Out of Her Hands is about taking life as it comes with all its surprises and challenges. Her son’s dream girl isn’t what she had in mind. Between her family, her job, and her friends, life is moving at warp speed. How will Linda manage when she realizes it’s all out of her hands?
Megan and her husband live in suburban Denver near their adult children. They often travel back to their roots in Long Island, NY to visit family and get their fill of delicious Italian food.

All right, Megan. Plug time! Please tell us a little about your latest release and why readers should run out and buy it as soon as it hits the shelves. Have you ever heard the expression, “When our children are little they’re on our feet and when they’re big they’re on our hearts?”

Yes, I have.

That’s how my character feels in Out of Her Hands. Linda learns how to deal with unpleasant choices made by adult children, she helps her father-in-law mourn the loss of his wife, and has to contend with the fact that her best friend is moving across the country. My early feedback says that I write what many women are currently living though. One reviewer said, “This is a great read for a quiet afternoon or in those times when you feel your own life spinning out of control and need the reality check of knowing you're not in it alone.”

Oh, wow, this sounds great. I can already think of several people who might like a copy of this book.

How many full manuscripts did you write before you sold? I wrote two full manuscripts before I got my first contract. My first manuscript doesn’t deserve to see the light of day, but it proved to me that I could write a novel-length piece of fiction. I began writing Searching for Spice, my first published novel, to enter it into the ACFW Genesis contest. It didn’t score well, but I hung in there and worked on it for a year before it was acceptable.

In your opinion, what’s the most fascinating thing about writing? I love to discover the story highlights along with my characters. I’m not a plotter, I’m an intuitive writer. I know the beginning and end of the story as well as the main plot points. I find it very exciting the see the plot unfold as the story continues.

What’s something you can tell us about yourself that most people don’t know? I’m never bored and almost always have a goal that I’m pushing toward.

LOL! I know that feeling.

When did you start writing for publication and what did people say when they found out? Following college graduation, I was a radio and television reporter. I started writing for publication in magazines and newspapers in the early 1990s when I was a stay-at-home mom. Writing is a natural extension of who I am. When I started writing novels, it wasn’t much of a shock to those who know me.

What is your favorite food? I love Italian food and vegetables.

Tell us a little about your family. I’m blessed because I have a wonderful marriage—we’ll celebrate our 30th anniversary this January. We have three great young adult children that live nearby, and we spend a lot of time together enjoying each other’s company. Occasionally we’ll make to the trip to Long Island, NY to spend time with the entire DiMaria clan, and that’s always a fantastic visit.

Who are your favorite authors? I would hate to pin myself down to a few favorite authors because I read voraciously and enjoy many different genres.

What are you reading now and what’s in your “to be read” pile?
This past week I’ve read Dark Pursuit by Brandilyn Collins and Enoch by Alton Gansky. My to-be-read list includes Quills & Promises by Amber Miller, Riven by Jerry Jenkins, Beloved Castaway by Kathleen Y’Barbo, Rhythms of Grace by Marilynn Griffith, Where the Heart Leads by Kim Vogel Sawyer, and The Perfect Life by Robin Lee Hatcher.

Sounds like a pile I might like to raid!

Do you set out to write each story with a particular theme or does the theme develop as the story does? When I write, the theme develops along with the story.

Do you have a particular method for tracking the details in your story? Can you tell us a little about this? I always have a word document that has the details about each character listed.

Who has had the most influence on your life in general? In your writing life? I think I’m greatly influenced by the times in which I grew up. My generation was the last generation to enjoy a lazy, carefree childhood and at the same time I grew up watching huge events unfold: the civil rights movement, the deaths of JFK, RFK, MLK, the Viet Nam war, peace marches, Woodstock, the women’s movement, Roe V Wade, the rise of the religious right, etc. Forget about all the technological changes that have occurred. I’m blessed to be living during interesting times. As far as my writing life goes, the authors of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) have had the biggest impact. If it weren’t for that organization, I don’t know if I would have persevered until I was published.

Do you have an agent? If yes, did you have the agent before you sold your first book or after? My first contract was a direct result of meeting Jan Stob, Tyndale’s acquisition editor, at the 2006 ACFW conference. Since then, I’ve come to be represented by Beth Jusino of Alive Communications.

What advice do you have for a beginning author? Continually strive to improve your craft by studying books on writing, attending conferences and writers groups, and writing and submitting.

Any parting comments? Yes, accept that there is a process to becoming a published author; it’s usually something that doesn’t occur overnight. Pray about the direction of your writing and be open to the Lord’s leading, even if it leads you in a direction you had not anticipated.

Megan, thanks so much for being here today.

Readers, if you'd like to contact Megan, here is the link to her website and the link to her blog.

Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered in the drawing to win a copy of this fantastic book on Sunday, November 9th.


Jo said...

Oh, I would love to win a copy of this book. Sounds really good! The interview was great too and enjoyed learning more about Megan.


Becky C. said...

This sounds like a wonderful book.

Please enter me in the contest.

Thank you,

Becky C.

Doreen said...

The book sounds great, please count me in! Thanks! purposedrivenlife4you (at) gmail (dot)com

Cheryl Shaw said...

Thanks for linking to this on the Carolina Christian Writer's loop. The book sounds great. Please enter me for the drawing.
cheryl_p_shaw (at) yahoo (dot) com

Martha A. said...

I would love to win this book!
the interview is great!

donna said...

I'd love to read one of her books and this one sounds good!


tholix said...

WOW...I haven't had the pleasure of reading Megan's books, but they both sound wonderful. I love the idea of having an affair with the husband in her first book, and I can only feel like I could relate to Linda in her second book. With four children ages 10, 14, 17, and 20, and a hubby who I refer to as my fifth child most of the time, I think I would really enjoy Out of Her Hands. I love learning about new author (new to me anyway), and I'll be looking for both books.
Thank you also for a great contest.
Happy Holiday's !!!
tholix at pineland dot net

☻☼♫☺☻ Lia ☻☼♫☺☻ said...

I'm dying to read "Out of Her Hands!" Please enter me in the contest.

liatheddrfreak (at) gmail (dot) com

Katie said...

Please enter me in this drawing..thanks

Alyce said...

I know I might be too late to enter this, but if not then I would love to be entered! Thanks!

akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com