It is my pleasure to introduce, Diane Cunio an author, speaker, blogger, and ordained minister, who writes inspirational books. Please feel free to leave a comment or question, Diane welcomes them.
1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’m not sure I made that realization until after I completed my first book, The Kiss of Peace: An Intimate Exploration into Song of Solomon. I had a message to share with the body of Christ, and I wrote to communicate it. I enjoyed writing my first book so much, and I wanted it to be the best work it could be, so I attended my first conference to hone my craft.
2. How long does it typically take you to write a book?
I’ve only written two books so far, so I’m not sure. My first book took over five years to write, but I was not in a rush to complete it. My second book took six months to complete.
3. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I write with worship music playing. It relaxes me and helps me to focus.
4. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I like homesteading, horseback riding, creating Scripture-inspired jewelry, cooking, and feeding my koi.
5. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
I learned that I am a writer. I love to write! The journaling I once did to the Lord has now become stories and devotions instead, that bless other people, on my story blog, called VineWords.
6. What do you hate most about the writing process?
I don’t like interruptions. I get focused in my work, so I like solitude at those times.
7. What do you think makes a good story?
I like to inspire people to trust God for the answers to everyday challenges. I like to write about real life situations with happy endings. There is enough drudgery to life, so in my writing world, the good guy helps the bad guy to repent, and Jesus Christ is glorified.
8. Where do you get your ideas for your books?
For my devotions, I observe people. One of my devotions, called Lovin the Details, came to me as I watched an elderly couple caring for each other despite their physical limitations which included a walker. They were so attentive to each other, I just had to tell their story. It is a testimony of marriage the way God created it to be. Another devotion, called Trial by Fire, came to me when I observed two war buddies sharing over breakfast. I overheard their conversation, and asked if I could interview them. The devotion, Angela’s Apple, was birthed as a dear friend, Victor Marcos, asked me to write a memorial about his wife Angela. The devotion has been translated to Spanish and shared in Peru, which was the couple’s homeland.
My first book, The Kiss of Peace: An Intimate Exploration into Song of Solomon, was written to restore the biblical view of Song of Solomon as an allegorical representation of Jesus Christ and His bride, the church, and to dispel the myth that it’s about sex. Song of Solomon is about divine love that cannot be expressed in human language, so it is written allegorically, using man’s most passionate expression. Why is this so? It is as if God is saying, “Understand this first, I am not ashamed of the intensity of My love for you.” When we see Song of Solomon from this perspective—as an allegory of God’s love—we see Jesus Christ in every chapter. Did you know our Savior’s beryl-set, nail-pierced hands are in this vignette? So is His Communion table, the rapture of His bride, and so many other treasures. The Kiss of Peace walks the reader through this vignette as an actor in the play, so he or she can experience wholeness through the divine love of his or her Groom. The name, Beloved Solomon equates to Beloved Peacemaker. The love described in the vignette is divine love; it is not human love. People get confused about that, so I wrote The Kiss of Peace to counter the myth and to help the bride of Christ to become whole through the Savior’s divine love.
My second book, Tunnel Vision, was birthed out of the desire to share Christ with seekers. In the initial scene, a landscaper named “Sam” dialogues with a homemaker named “Naomi.” Sam shares two near death experiences and is worried that God is out to kill him. Naomi offers to counsel with him if he will come back later. Sam then gets run out of town and never returns. That scene is almost true-to-life with very few details changed. Naomi decides to write a book about God-encounters, hoping this book will be discovered by Sam, and that he will consequentially realize God loves him so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die to pay the penalty for his sins, and to raise victorious over death, Hell, and the grave. If you haven’t guessed, I am “Naomi” in the story line, although Naomi is a much better cook. I have a desire for “Sam” and other seekers to find Christ when they read the book. It amazed me how God sent people into my life who had encountered Him in unusual ways. I am still meeting people who have had God-encounters, so I am writing a sequel, called Never Alone.
9. Where can we find your books?
I am currently seeking royalty publication for the two books I’ve completed, so that is yet to come. You can, however, find my stories and devotions on my blog site. Some of these have been published in various places, such as CBN, Word Aflame, and The Secret Place. The blog address is: www.vinewords.net While you are there, please subscribe to VineWords to help me toward my publishing goals. More details about my books, and current projects, are on the website under “About.”
10. Will you give us an excerpt from your book?
Excerpt from The Kiss of Peace: An Intimate Exploration into Song of Solomon:
“Step into a century of long ago. The stage is set, and you are an actor in a vignette called Song of Solomon. In this play, your Groom sings His love songs to you, His bride, and you sing your love songs to Him. You are cast as a Shulamite woman in the country of Israel. By profession, you are a shepherdess and a keeper of the vines.
The vignette opens with the kiss of your Groom, whose allegorical name is King Solomon. Your Groom’s identity as the Messiah Jesus is revealed in every scene. As you discover this, the prophetic imagery will give you a profound appreciation of both Testaments.
You and King Solomon have nicknames for each other. He calls you “Love,” and you call Him “Beloved.” There is security in your Beloved’s identification of you. He has always loved you with a passion unlimited by human enterprise, so before you ever understand His kiss of peace, He has already nicknamed you “Love.”
This is the bride’s story of completion in her Groom. You are the bride, but know this: as you enter into the romance, reach higher than the human dimension and into the spiritual realm. Beloved Solomon “romances” you in the vignette, but the communication is beyond romance. Limited to the human dimension, your Lover communicates to you through the allegorical allure of romance. This is an awakening into divine love by your Groom’s kiss of peace.
Song of Solomon is a true love story. You truly are “Love,” and your Betrothed truly is Beloved Jesus the Messiah. But, this is an exploration into Song of Solomon, so for now, let’s just pretend that we’re actors in a play. Let the journey begin…”
Excerpt from Tunnel Vision:
“The next week, Sam didn’t show up. Dave had been assigned foreman of the crew—Sam’s former position. Naomi asked what had happened to him. He had been terminated for cussing in front of a client. The landscaping team didn’t know where he had gone to. They only knew he had moved out of town to find work. They didn’t seem to care. Sam was a troublemaker to them; he was a gentleman in the making to Naomi.
Naomi slunk into the seat on the veranda where she and Sam had had their last conversation. Would she ever see him again? Why had she not talked with him further when he had shared about the accidents? She realized Sam had stolen her heart. She loved him as if he was a son. Suddenly, it dawned on her that his injuries formed a cross. “God, if You can save Sam from those accidents,” she prayed out loud, “You can reveal life to him through Your Son Jesus Christ…”
…Naomi shuffled into the kitchen. Time seemed like an enemy rather than a friend; she never had enough of it—especially in regard to Sam. Now, time had become like a broken clock; rather than not having enough time with Sam, she had none.
While turning home fries, she began to think of God-encounters her friends had shared with her through the years. She could recount real life stories of men and women she knew that had experienced the supernatural realm firsthand. Some had shared near death experiences; others had recounted encounters with angels or demons or other superenatural interventions. What she noticed was that whether these individuals had entered a tunnel, as Sam had described, or, if their encounter was entirely different, each person had experienced what she would describe as tunnel vision focus. The supernatural realm had captivated their attention to the exclusion of whatever else was going on around them at the time. Naomi also noticed that each of their lives had visibly changed after these episodes. How many other individuals had experienced the supernatural realm? Could she give them a platform to tell their stories by recording their experiences? Would this have made a difference if she could have shared these testimonies with Sam? Naomi turned off the burner and salted the fries. Could she write a book, and, perhaps, dedicate it to Sam? Even if he didn’t find it, others who needed the same message would be encouraged by it.
“I’m not a writer,” she whispered. I’m too busy, she thought. God, I’m retired but that doesn’t mean my excuses are…. Someone else can do it. “Okay, why not?” Naomi said aloud, resigning herself to the quest.
“Why not, what?” her husband Keith inquired.
“I’m thinking about Sam….” she started.
“Hon, you’d better get those fries to the veranda. The crew is packing up.”
“Sure. We’ll talk later.” Naomi plated the fries and poured ice into the pitcher of sweet tea. “Are you gentlemen ready for your snack?” she called, setting the goodies on the table.
“Yes, ma’am,” the new crew member said. “I’ve heard ‘bout yer treats.”
“Well then, dive in!”
Naomi didn’t talk much while the landscapers ate. She was praying grace to be upon Sam. I’ll keep his name the same so he’ll recognize his story, she thought. God, lead me to the people whose stories You want told. Allow Sam to find the book, she prayed in earnest, for I know everything’s possible “with You,” she said, not realizing she had verbalized a portion of her prayer.
“What’d ya say, ma’am?” the newcomer questioned.
“Pardon me, I was thinking out loud. Gents, I have a question. Have any of you had a supernatural encounter like Sam had? I’m going to write a book.”
“Whatcha gonna call it?”
“Tunnel Vision. It’ll be about real life encounters with the fifth dimension.”
“I’m outta here!” Dave said. He scooped up a handful of fries and trotted to the truck. As before, he turned the radio on full volume.
“What’s with Dave?”
“His grandpa has....”
“Dave’s grandfather has... had... an encounter?”
“Dave’s cagey ‘bout the ‘sperience. It scared the heebie jeebies outta him and his girlfriend.”
“Dave has a girlfriend?”
“Talitha is ‘er name.”
“Ask Dave’s grandfather to meet me on the veranda if he wants to talk.”
“Dave’s grampa is dead.”
My thanks to Diane for sharing her books, her interests, and why she loves to write.
Diane is a blogger, writer, speaker, and ordained minister. She and her family live in the foothills of North Carolina where they share their homestead with free-range chickens, several rescue dogs, twenty koi, and one happy rabbit (who once was skinny) who lives in the veggie garden. Diane enjoys horseback riding, pastel painting, and creating Scripture-inspired jewelry. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in natural Resources at The University of the South-School of Theology, Sewanee, Tennessee.
To read Diane’s blog, please visit VineWords Stories and Devotions at www.vinewords.net
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