Diane Marquette - Biography

Diane (Merryman) was born in Baltimore and grew up in Howard County, Maryland. She credits her librarian mother with sharing her love of books with her.

During her school years, Diane was an avid reader and a good student, even surviving nine years of nuns. Her big problem in school was always math - she didn't get the arithmetic gene from her engineer father. She loved grammar and literature and excelled at spelling.

Not sure what she wanted to be when she grew up, she majored in a variety of subjects during college. Art, history, biology, and English were her favorites.

Her first boss was James Rouse, visionary and designer of the city of Columbia, Maryland. She changed jobs and worked as an administrative assistant at an industrial manufacturing facility. One of the benefits was meeting her future husband, Jim.

Her love of animals led to a two-year position with the Humane Society and then a stint as a veterinary technician for ten years. She worked as a freelance writer for Patuxent Publishing Corporation in Baltimore before she and her husband moved to Maryland's Eastern Shore in 1987.

She was a visual merchandiser for a retail store in Easton, Maryland for ten years. A two-year job at the world-famous Aspen Institute Wye River Conference Center in Queenstown was Diane's next career move. This experience gave Diane the ideas for some of her most successful writing (see "Behind the Story" under Diane's Book page for In Over My Head.)

When asked how she became a serious writer, Diane responds:

"In 1999 Oprah asked me (and zillions of other viewers) a very simple question. What one thing would I regret not having done for myself if I knew I was going to die soon? My answer surprised me. I said it was to write a book.

I hadn't realized writing was so important to me. I hadn't even given it any serious consideration in fifteen years, but Oprah's question ignited a fire in me - what Oprah would call a passion.

I attended a local writers conference to see what opportunities were available. All day I kept waiting for someone to tap me on the shoulder and tell me to leave - that I wasn't a real writer and didn't belong there. But that didn't happen. By the end of the day I was so motivated and so inspired I couldn't wait to get started on my new career. Thanks, Oprah."

Writers Conference The writers conference Diane attended is the Bay to Ocean Writers Conference. Since 2002 she has played a key role in coordinating the conference, which is held every February on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It's her way of giving back and sharing with others the information and inspiration that paved the way for her serious writing career. For more information on the next conference, visit www.baytoocean.com.

Since her Oprah epiphany, Diane has written more than one hundred and fifty articles, which have been published in the Baltimore Sun, the Star Democrat, Delmarva Quarterly, Shore Living, Talbot Guide, Caroline Review, Delaware Beach Life, and Women's View.

Diane’s been interviewed on local television and radio news programs and on the blog talk radio show “Murder, She Writes.” Visit  podcast.com/show/141743/rss to listen in. She’s also read her work on local public radio. You can read this piece by clicking on Public Radio Essay on the menu.

Diane's books, Almost Mine, Good Fridays, and the Chesapeake Conference Center mysteries, In Over My Head, Too Close For Words, and Suitable For Framing, are available on www.amazon.com, www.borders.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, www.target.com, www.mysterylovescompany.com, www.cambridgebooks.us or through bookstores.

To order a signed or personalized copy of any of Diane's books, click on the Contact Me button on the menu on the left.

Diane's books are also available as ebooks (electronic books) on www.ebooksonthe.net and www.fictionwise.com.

She has also written six screenplays. Diane is a former Vice President of the Eastern Shore Writers Association and is currently a regional coordinator for the organization. She is also a member of the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime, and the Maryland Writers Association.