48 Hour Film Project Audience Choice WINNER!

My improv team, BIG SHOES, entered the 48 Hour Film Project San Diego this year and won the Audience Choice Award for our block! 

It was an amazing feeling to be in the theater and listen to the audience laugh in all the right places, and go silent at the intentional emotional turn– I’m so proud of these folks.

Read more about it in my blog post.








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Read what people are saying!

“It was brilliant.” Amazon Reviewer

“Set in the tiny Southern California mountain town of Julian, this is a sweet story about a girl finding a family, friendship, and community in unexpected places. It’s also about the way that food connects us — to home, and to each other.” Amazon Reviewer

This is hands-down one of the best and (no pun intended) sweetest LGBT middle grade books I’ve read. I’d recommend it to elementary and middle school students in particular but also teachers who are looking for a way to introduce LGBT characters to their students in a compassionate and normalizing light.” Goodreads Reviewer

“This beautiful book is going to stay in my heart forever, and I already know will be one of my top favorites this year.”  Goodreads Reviewer/Bookseller


No soggy bottoms here!



This is a book of my heart and it is GORGEOUS. Plus, I wrote my beloved childhood cat into the book– he’s there in the upper left!


“Readers will delight in Cady’s new world of baking and friends and learning that with both, she’ll be able to get through just about anything. This fabulous book about making pies will leave you hungry, while Cady’s journey toward making a life will leave you entirely satisfied.” (Donna Gephart, award-winning author of Lily and Dunkinand In Your Shoes)

“Margaret Dilloway approaches tough topics with a fine touch. Readers are going to love Cady’s spunk, determination, and grit.” (Karina Yan Glaser, the author of The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street)

“Memorable characters and strong writing make this more than just a book about pie.” (School Library Journal)

“Fans of Anne of Green Gables will find a satisfying story and another heroine to cheer on…. Sweet as pie.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Inspiring and hopeful…. [a] tender coming-of-age story, perfect for fans for Lynda Mullaly Hunt and Ali Benjamin.” (ALA Booklist)


When twelve-year-old Cady Bennett is sent to live with the aunt she didn’t even know she had in the quaint mountain town of Julian, she doesn’t know what to expect. Cady isn’t used to stability, after growing up homeless in San Diego with her dad.

Now she’s staying in her mother’s old room, exploring the countryside filled with apple orchards, making friends, and working in Aunt Shell’s own pie shop—and soon, Cady starts to feel like she belongs. Then she finds out that Aunt Shell’s shop is failing. Saving the business and protecting the first place she’s ever really felt safe will take everything she’s learned and the help of all her new friends. But are there some things even the perfect pie just can’t fix?

Summer of a Thousand Pies is a sweet and satisfying treat of a novel, full of friendship, family, and, of course, pie.

Cover art by Katie Daisy

Books for Kids

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Available now!

“A breathless retelling of the Japanese legend of Momotaro, this is an Asian version of Percy Jackson; adventure fans will be waiting for more.”―Kirkus


The tale of a real-life 12th-century samurai woman comes to life when modern sisters Drew and Rachel Snow discover the book hidden in their mother’s house. The saga of love and loss inspires their own lives and heals their relationships.


Kirkus: “As they embark on this project together, burdened by years of conflict, hurt feelings and an impossible desire to know more about their mysterious mother, Drew and Rachel discover, in each other and in themselves, a power they didn’t know they had—a power to heal, to forgive and become sisters once again. Alternating with Rachel and Drew’s story is the story of Tomoe Gozen and her unlikely friendship with her lover’s wife, Yamabuki. In the hands of a less experienced novelist, this format might have become trite, but the two narratives don’t draw obvious parallels. The ways in which Rachel and Drew learn from Tomoe and Yamabuki and apply those lessons to their own lives are unexpected and ultimately satisfying. In this enjoyable novel, imperfect and at times unlikable women become lovable.”

Available at IndieBound, Amazon, Barnes and Noble

An eBook only edition, THE TALE OF THE WARRIOR GEISHA, is a novella telling the historical part of the story, with additional content.


Now Available in Paperback: The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns

WINNER OF BEST WOMEN’S FICTION AWARD,  the American Library Association’s Literary Tastes Reading List

 “Book-club alert! Dilloway’s exquisite little novel, about a biology teacher who breeds roses so she won’t have to think about her kidney disease, brims with all the heart-tugging appeal of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.”– Entertainment Weekly 

CareRosesThorns (2)

“This radiant debut pays moving tribute to the power of forgiveness.”– People Magazine, 4 Stars

A 2011 John Gardner Fiction Book Award Finalist

Read the first two chapters of How to Be an American Housewife: Housewife Excerpt


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