Literary Escapes Podcast Episode 107 Exploring New York with author Maria DiRico

Ep 107: Exploring New York with Author Maria DiRico

Join us as we tour the US through books, one state at a time.

Our author this week is New York native and author extraordinaire, Maria DiRico (pen name of Ellen Byron), who shares her love for the Big Apple, her career path from playwright to TV writer to a master of mysteries, and the personal connections and life experiences that enhance her stories.

With a career that spans both coasts, Maria talks about her pivot to novel writing as a result of the harsh realities of ageism in Hollywood comedy writing, and how she found happiness writing cozy mysteries.

Meet Maria DiRico

Author Maria DiRico aka Ellen Byron

Ellen Byron also writes under the name Maria DiRico.

Ellen is an award-winning playwright and non-award-winning TV writer of comedies like WINGS, JUST SHOOT ME, and FAIRLY ODD PARENTS. She has written over two hundred articles for national magazines but considers her most impressive credit working as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart. She blogs with Chicks on the Case, is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America, and was the 2023 Left Coast Crime Toastmaster.

A native New Yorker, Ellen is a graduate of Tulane University, hence her love of both cities. She lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband, daughter, and a rotating crew of rescue pups.

Listen to Episode 107 Here

Exploring New York with Author Maria DiRico

In This Episode

We had so much fun chatting with Maria and here are some of the things we talked about:

  • Growing up in New York
  • Family history with the mob
  • Interesting history of New York
  • Tulane University and Cajun culture
  • Working as a comedy writer
  • Why a catering business is a perfect cozy mystery setting
  • Her hobby of collecting vintage cookbooks

Books Mentioned in this Episode

Here Comes the Body

Here Comes the Body by Maria DiRico book cover

A Very Woodsy Murder

A Very Woodsy Murder by Ellen Byron book cover

Plantation Shudders

Plantation Shudders by Ellen Byron book cover

Bayou Book Thief

Bayou Book Thief by Ellen Byron book cover

Connect with the Author

Maria (Ellen!) would love to hear from you! Here’s how you can keep in touch with her:

Other Resources You’ll Love

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Books Set In New York with map outline of New York and stacks of books in the corners

Books Set in New York


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Episode 40: Books Set in New York

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