Friday, November 07, 2008

Serials and Scenarios ~ Megan DiMaria Out of Hand

Megan dropped by for a cup o tea. It's a new special kind of tea, cybertea. Go make yourself a mug and join us.

Scroll down for a review of Out of Her Hands and a link to read the first chapter.

Thanks, Megan. It's been fun.

Favorite turn of phrase or word picture, in literature or movie.

I love the last scene in The Family Man when Jack (Nicholas Cage) and Kate (Tea Leoni) are speaking. The audience can’t hear the dialogue as they sit in the airport coffee shop while the snow beats the windows and they lean toward one another in what could be a life-changing conversation. The director left the conclusion of the movie up to interpretation—did they resume their relationship or did they go their separate ways?

Favorite season and why?

I love, love, love summer in Colorado. The climate invites you to spend as much time outdoors as possible. I have a cozy chaise on my patio that is my summer office.

Which compliment related to your writing has meant the most and why?

It’s a toss up between the Romantic Times review of Out of Her Hands which said, “Her realistic portrayal of the characters' lives should endear them to readers and help Christians to feel less alone in their daily trials," and a reader’s comment about Searching for Spice that said, “I closed this book with far greater respect and admiration for my own husband.” It thrills me to know that women identify with my characters and their situations.

Favorite chore:

Cleaning my Cuisinart Grind & Brew coffee maker. It gives me a quick sense of accomplishment, and then I can enjoy a really, really good cup of coffee.

Societal pet peeve…sound off.

It always annoys me when people don’t treat others with the same amount of respect they would demand themselves. Too often I’ve seen people push ahead of children or older people in lines at grocery stores or when they speak to teens with less respect than they would give other adults. Pul-eese!

What makes you feel alive?

Spending time with family and friends. That’s what it’s all about for me.

Unidentifiable antique, the scent of pipe tobacco and the drizzle of rain – make a scene.

The sound ushered Elizabeth back to an afternoon long ago. Donk, donk, donk. The steady drip of rainwater ticked its way down the maze of gutters clinging to the old building. In an instant, old memories placed her in the breakfast nook of Aunt Kathryn’s house while dinner simmered on the stove and fat raindrops danced off the lid of the metal garbage can outside the window.

But she wasn’t in that cozy kitchen chatting with her beloved auntie. She wasn’t ensconced in a home filled with love. She wasn’t enjoying that time when the world was a safe place. Instead she was in Efrem Sawyer’s office while the elderly lawyer scrutinized her through dingy eyeglasses perched on his beak of a nose, beneath shrub-like brows.

The skies wept for her loss. The chiming of a distant clock joined the sad symphony. The old man was patient with her pain. He leaned back, his ancient chair groaning with the effort, and fired up his ever-present pipe. A plume of smoke, thick and fragrant, floated toward the ceiling. Elizabeth reached out to take the object Efrem pushed across his desk toward her. How many times had she carefully dusted this in advance of one of Aunt Kathryn’s dinner parties? And here it sat in her hands, heavy and cold.

(Well that was fun! And it’s so out of genre for me!)

Use this "story starter" and give a sample of your voice: If Alex had known the body of the senator was in the bathtub, she would've taken Jim's offer for coffee.

If Alex had known the body of the senator was in the bathtub, she would've taken Jim's offer for coffee.

But no, she did the responsible thing and went into work on the morning of July 4th, when every other USA-loving American was hanging the stars and strips outside their front door and making red and blue Jell-O molds that would be punctuated with frothy whipped cream.

Her dear husband had even bribed her with breakfast at their favorite café. To think that right now she could be enjoying a walnut scone with her favorite gutsy Sumatra blend, extra hot and black. Instead, here she stood, with her back to that ghastly scene. The vision of Senator Nickel, floating in tepid water and then jerking to life when she let loose an ear-splitting shriek, threatened to forever burn into her retinas.

And the next time the senator asked her to do a favor and fax an important document, she would ring the doorbell—and he had darned well better be on a junket to a Pacific paradise (on the taxpayer’s dime) like he’d said he would be.


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, the sequel to Searching for Spice, 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.