Sally John


In this lovely month of May, I am joined, once again, by my friend and sister in Christ, Dr. MaryAnn Diorio.

Welcome, MaryAnn!
Thank you, Deb! I am delighted to be here and very much appreciate your kind invitation.

You are truly a Renaissance woman. You write, you’ve earned 6 degrees: 2 doctorates, 3 Masters, and a Bachelor’s. You’ve completed other studies at several institutions, won many awards; you’ve taught in schools, colleges and writers’ conferences. You are certified in life coaching, behavioral consulting and Biblical counseling; not to mention you are a wife, mother and grandmother. What keeps you going?
Without question, what keeps me going is my burning passion for winning souls to Christ.  This passion motivates everything I do and is an unquenchable fire within me. The young woman who first told me about my need for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ turned my life upside down.  What she did for me, I want to do for others because I passionately love Jesus, and I want everyone to know Him as He truly is, not as the world makes Him out to be.      

MaryAnn, you write both fiction and nonfiction; children’s fiction and adult; children’s nonfiction and adult. You’ve got it all covered! Is there one genre you like more than the others? If so, tell why.

Yes, I love writing fiction most of all.  The reason is that, while non-fiction appeals to the head, fiction appeals to the heart, and the heart is where transformation takes place.  Jesus taught in parables (stories) that transformed lives. I want to imitate Him by writing stories that will transform lives for Him.

Please tell us about your latest book, Do Angels Ride Ponies?

Do Angels Ride Ponies? is the story of the power of faith to make the impossible possible.  The idea for the story came to me way back in 1986.  My husband and I were attending a conference where one of the speakers was the Easter Seals Poster Child for that year, Jamie Brazzell.  At the time, Jamie was ten years old.  As he spoke about his life as a handicapped child, he described how he loved to ask his mother unusual questions. One of his favorite questions was, "Do angels ride ponies?" As soon as he spoke those words, something stirred deep within my spirit. I knew then and there that I had to write a story called Do Angels Ride Ponies? And I knew it would be a story about faith.

The book went through several revisions and was submitted to publisher after publisher.  It was with a children's book agent for a good while, but it never sold.  Finally, our Lord directed me to publish it myself.  I did so this past February, and it was wonderfully received.  One of the greatest joys I experienced through the process of publishing this book is that, with the help of my daughter Gina, I was able to locate and reconnect with Jamie and to thank him personally for inspiring this story.  I dedicated the book to him and sent him a copy.  Needless to say, he was overjoyed and so was I.

How did you become involved with the subject of your book?

(Please see above, unless you mean how did I become involved with faith. )   I became involved with the subject of faith shortly after I became a Christian.  Since I had come to Christ by faith, I wanted to understand this law of the Kingdom and how it operated.  Over the years, I have learned much about faith and am still  learning.

How does your book relate to your love for God?
Do Angels Ride Ponies? was birthed in Holy Spirit's heart and transferred by His love to my heart. I wrote Do Angels Ride Ponies? because of my intense love for Jesus Christ and my deep desire to point people to Him . Because we come to Christ by faith, I wanted to write a book where faith serves as the theme so that readers would understand that there is a realm beyond the physical realm and that that realm is accessed only by faith. 

Do Angels Ride Ponies? shows the power inherent in faith that works by love.  In His great love for us, our Lord gave us the gift of faith. Faith is the means by which we receive the fulfillment of God's promises in our lives.  Do Angels Ride Ponies? is a book that I believe God wants to use to draw readers to the simple faith of childhood.  It is also a book that encourages adults whose hearts have been hardened by doubt and unbelief to return to the childlike state where "all things are possible to those who believe" (Mark 9:23). Jesus said we have to become like little children in order to enter the kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 18:3). My book is a children's book, but its message applies to adults as well. I pray that the children who read my book will remain full of faith all of their lives and that any adults who read it will soften their hearts by returning to the capacity for faith they once had as children.

What are your goals and intentions for this book, and how well do you feel you’ve achieved them?
My goals and intentions for this book are as follows:

---To turn readers' hearts to the truth that with God, all things are possible.
---To inspire readers never to give up on their dreams.
---To have readers see that God is far, far bigger than the boxes in which we confine Him.
---To encourage readers to believe that those situations which they deem impossible in their lives can be overcome by faith in God's Word.

By the responses I am getting from readers, my goals for this book are being achieved, although I will never know fully the effects of my story on readers. My prayer is that God will use this book to accomplish His purposes in the hearts of all who read it.

What is the most important thing people DON’T know about your subject that they need to know?
The most important thing people do not know about my subject is that faith is the key to what they need in life.  Most people do not understand this truth nor do they understand how faith works.

For those interested in exploring the subject of your book, where should they start?
Those who want to explore the subject of faith should start by reading the Bible. Throughout that holy, God-inspired book is the story of how faith works to make the seemingly impossible possible.

What can we expect from you next, MaryAnn?
More and more stories for adults and children.   I have a novella coming out next month entitled SURRENDER TO LOVE.  It is part of an anthology of four novellas, each dealing with one aspect of surrendering to Jesus Christ as Lord.  The other three stories are SURRENDER TO PEACE by Rose McCauley; SURRENDER TO TRUTH by Vasthi Acosta; and SURRENDER TO COURAGE by Lynette Sowell. The title of the anthology is SURRENDER IN PARADISE because the stories all take place in the tropical paradise of Puerto Rico.  Also, my novel entitled MARIA OF PISANO will be released this summer, Lord willing.  It is the first novel in my trilogy entitled THE ITALIAN CHRONICLES.  I also am working on another children's picture book entitled TOBY TOO SMALL which deals with recognizing that what seems like our greatest weakness is really the obverse of our greatest strength.

Where can readers find you and your books on the internet (be sure to include the buy links)?
Most of my books are available on my website, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Smashwords. The links follow below:
Do Angels Ride Ponies? (Paperback)
Do Angels Ride Ponies? (Kindle)

A Christmas Homecoming (Kindle)
A Christmas Homecoming (Audiobook)
Who Is Jesus? (Hardcover)
Who Is Jesus? (Paperback)
Who Is Jesus? (Kindle)
You Were Made for Greatness (Kindle)

You Were Made for Greatness (Audiobook)

Any last words you’d like to impart to our visitors?

Yes. If God has put a dream in your heart, then He has given you everything you need to fulfill that dream.  All you need is the faith to pursue the dream and the courage to fulfill it no matter what.

MaryAnn, thank you so much for taking the time from your busy schedule to appear on this website. It’s been an honor and privilege, and such a pleasure!

Deb, I am so thankful to you for the honor and privilege of appearing on your blog.  It has been a joy to be with you and your readers. I pray God's blessings on all of you!

If you’d like to win a copy of MaryAnn’s book, Do Angels Ride Ponies? use my Contact page and type “drawing” in the comments box. The deadline to enter is May 24th.

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Content © Copyright 2018 Deborah M. Piccurelli
Deborah Piccurelli is an author and deborah piccurelli is a writer of Christian Suspence and Christian Fiction. Deborah Piccurelli writes suspence for Christians who want to read wholesome suspense and thriller writing. Deborah Piccurelli has written and authored in the midst of deceit a suspense novel. In the midst of deceit is a book that deborah m piccurelli has published, but deborah m piccurelli is writing other suspence works as well. Deborah Piccurelli writes thriller novels and has published In the Midst of Deceit. For more information about Deborah M Piccurelli you can visit her site Also, her tag line is Uncovering the Unthinkable. The phrase Uncovering the Unthinkable represents what Debbie Piccurelli writes in the books that she authors, expecially in the suspense novels.