An Interview with Maryanne Raphael: Author, Editor & Instructor
Sylvia: Welcome Maryanne. Please give our readers a brief introduction of yourself and a little about your book.
Maryanne: Thank you Sylvia. My name is Maryanne Raphael and I was born in Waverly, Ohio. I am the oldest of ten children. I graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Ohio University; then attended Sorbonne in Paris. I was an editor at Prentice Hall and an editorial assistant at Woman’s Day Magazine. I taught at the New School in New York at Ohio University, at Parker School and the University of Hawaii. I met Mother Teresa and became a co-worker and with her permission wrote two books about her work. Now have ten books for sale on Amazon.com, they are: “Runways,” “The Man Who Loved Funerals,” “Anais Nin, The Voyage Within,” “Along Came A Spider,” “A Personal look at Madness,” “Alexandria ,” “Mother Teresa, Called to Love” “What Mother Teresa Taught Me,” “Garden of Hope,” “Dancing On Water,” and “Saints of Molokai.”
Sylvia: Wow, nine other sisters and brothers. I can imagine you had a very busy childhood. What inspired you to write your first book?
Maryanne: My 70 year old grandmother asked me to write her life story for her. Grandma Daisy was a Sunday school teacher but she never graduated from the 8th grade. We spent months together writing her life story and just as I was finishing it I got my scholarship to college and my younger sister Kathy finished the book. I began studying creative writing and wrote my first novel Song of Slop Hallow, which was never finished.
Sylvia: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Maryanne: My message is live life to the fullest. All life is precious and I believe we should take advantage of all the beautiful opportunities that allow us to grow.
Sylvia: What is the hook for the book?
Maryanne: Father Damien was canonized on October 11, 2009.and President Obama praised him and the Congress made a resolution to celebrate him as an American Saint. Also there is an interest in National Parks and the Congress declared Kalaupapa, Molokai a National Memorial Park.
Sylvia: How do you develop characters?
Maryanne: I made a mixture of all the interesting people I know who remind me of the character in my head. It may be a movie star, a friend, a character from a book or play. As I write the characters take on their own personality and characteristics.
Sylvia: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Maryanne: I believe that all writers can improve their work by keeping journals and writing something every day. I love poetry and I believe that my time in poetry workshops has enriched my work greatly.Twice I made a resolution to write: a poem a day for a year and I feel it improved all my writing.
Sylvia: What marketing techniques have you used to sell your books and which ones have been most successful?
Maryanne: Book signings at Barnes and Noble in California and New York City were very successful. Book parties in people’s houses worked well. I have sold books in clothing shops, tourist shops, churches and schools.
Sylvia: Why should we buy your book?
Maryanne: You will learn about interesting people and be inspired to enjoy and explore life. I have great fun writing and many readers have told me they enjoyed reading my work.
Sylvia: Is there a special place that you prefer to write?
Maryanne: At my desk in the living room, on my computer looking out the window and listening to my favorite songs. Sometimes I listen to Edith Piaf, other times I listen to John Denver or Judy Collins.
Sylvia: What projects are you currently working on?
Maryanne: Publishing my book, Dorothy Day, A Passion for Peace. My agent sent it to St. Anthony Messenger Press, the publisher of What Mother Teresa Taught Me. I am waiting to see if they will publish it or whether we will need to look for another publisher. My agent has found another publisher who wants me to write a third book about Mother Teresa. I worked with her and her Missionaries of Charity in Mexico, California, New York, South Africa and Calcutta.
Sylvia: What is your POWER WORD?
Maryanne: My word is Dance! I was a professional dancer and I see life as a Dance. My mother’s nick name was Dancing Doris and at her funeral the choir sang Lord of the Dance. I wrote a poem Dancing Doris dances still.
Sylvia: Wow, love that word… and very interesting the meaning behind it. Thank you so much for sharing your life with us. By the way, I love your tagline, “Whatever I am doing right now you can be pretty sure I’d Rather Be Writing.” So fitting for an author! Where can we learn more about your books?
Maryanne: Thank you as well. My web site is www.authorsden.com/maryanneraphael. In addition, all of my books are for sale on Amazon.com.