Jersey Shore Scene Featured Author: Debbie Menold Marini

December is a spiritual month when we celebrate the birth of Christ and I couldn’t think of a better author who honors that connection we have with God through her poetic children’s books. Please meet Debbie Menold Marini:

1- When and how did you start writing?

I was obsessed with poetry when I was a child. So much so that my mom got me a HUGE hardcover book of poems and stories for Christmas one year when I was in 3rd grade! That piqued my interest in trying to write stories and songs… I wrote my first song at age 9 called “Rainbow of Colors”.  Please do not research if it ever hit the charts lol.

Question 2- What do you like to write about most?

Emotions for sure and how they drive us. Tied into that is writing about relationships with each other and spiritually.

Question 3-What do you find to be the easiest and hardest thing about writing?

I think it is a bit of a challenge for me when I speak and write about God. I was raised as a Catholic, and still hold the traditions close to my heart. But I struggled a lot within the Catholic Church for many reasons that I won’t go into here. It took me a very long time to develop a relationship with God that was not based on shame or guilt.

So when I write and mostly when I speak to youth in grammar school, and high school about having a relationship with God, I sometimes question whether or not my message will be received, or that I will be challenged for feeling that I am not upholding traditional beliefs.

For this reason, I find it extremely difficult to stay in my own lane and continue to feel that I am being led by God to show people that the relationship with Him does not need to be that complicated if it is based on truth and honesty and kindness and goodness and a desire to be a better person.

I truly hope that I am doing it right and making Him proud.

Question 4- What writers do you most admire and why?

For spiritual authors, I love Mark Batterson… He wrote “Draw the Circle” which teaches you how to pray. I think that that was really something that I always struggled with if that makes sense. Speaking to God was presented to me when I was young as having to be done in a certain way, and in a certain setting… As I grew older, I realized that we just needed to talk to him.

Also, Bob Goff, who wrote: “Everybody Always”.  He begins the very first page of the book by saying just go out there today and don’t say I’m going to try to be kind or try to love somebody… Just be kind and just love somebody. That was a powerful statement. How many times do we say to ourselves “I will just try”?  Why don’t we just “do”?

For relaxation reading, I love Ken Follet.

Question 5- How do you get your ideas for stories and what’s in the future for you in writing?

The children’s book series that is actually my first publication about making God relatable and understandable came to me as a result of my daughter and son-in-law, expecting their first child. They were raised in two different religions and were questioning what to raise their daughter as. The more we talked about it the more that we discussed how important it is to just make sure that she knows God at a very young age, so that she never feels alone.

This book is a culmination or a marriage of sorts of my mental health background, and my journey in spirituality.

I would like to focus next on possibly writing a chapter book for tweens called “Where was God?”

Those are the years where we start to compare and struggle, and wonder if we are good enough, and, intern, can end up feeling very alone and misunderstood.

How great would it be if we had a solid knowledge instilled in them that they truly are never alone, and that they are a part of something, bigger, an integral piece of fabric in the blanket of life and if they just hang on and make it through that time the blanket will not unfurl. Rather it will be brightly colored and complete.

Closing – Can you share a memorable experience you’ve had purely because you are a writer?

Oh my goodness, yes! Just recently I was asked to return to the town that I grew up in and speak to a group of 350 students about my books, how they came to be and how we view God.

Part of my talk, includes a section where I ask them to close their eyes and put their hands in front of them and picture God as a golden ball of light sitting in their hands, and then I ask them to place their hands on their heart and know that God is not far away like they thought way up in heaven but instead, he is now right in their heart and always has been.

I ended up meeting up with a teacher at a restaurant after the talk and she handed me thank-you notes from her children. One child wrote “Thank you for coming. My heart feels very different now.”  Oh my goodness I still tear up at that!!

Click here to purchase Debs books

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