Maria Palmer

Maria Costanzo Palmer is a writer and Page Turner Award Finalist for her co-authored book On the Rocks (Koehler Books 8/8/23). She is also a regular co-moderator for the Food Is Religion Club on Clubhouse. She was a former host on L.A. Talk Radio. Maria was recently featured on Food and Beverage Magazine Live, a nationally syndicated podcast. Her writing has been published in OC87 Recovery Diaries, and she has made a number of media appearances. You can find Maria on FB and IG @joecostanzoprimadonna and on Twitter @mariacpalmer.

Fun Facts About Maria

  • She grew up in Pittsburgh in an Italian restaurant which acted as her third sibling which brewed jealousy between her and her sister.
  • Through college, she worked several jobs. One summer she held two internships, three paid jobs, and took two college courses.
  • Maria married her college sweetheart Joe, whom she originally met when they starred in a student music video, “Separate Ways.” In the video, Maria is seen leaving with another suiter, as Joe was late to pick her up for a date. Since then, he hasn’t been late once to pick her up.
  • Maria has a degree from each coast, as she did her undergrad work at Syracuse University (Go Orange!) and her graduate work at Pepperdine University.
  • Maria, although not blessed with any athletic ability, has run two marathons and dozens of half marathons. In 2010, she blogged about her running experience training for the L.A. Marathon while working at Get on the Bus and raised $10,000 for the organization.
  • Every year Maria transforms her basement into Santa’s Workshop collecting presents for hundreds of children in her local community.
  • Maria volunteers as a Girl Scout troop leader for both of her children. You can also find her at PTO meetings and volunteering as a class mom in her “free” time.
  • Maria throws killer children’s birthday parties with unique themes like goats in pajamas and alpacas doing sidewalk chart art.
  • Maria taught her children their address by reworking the lyrics of the Tommy Tutone song “867-5309 / Jenny.” She also remembers all of her old addresses by humming this tune. Luckily since she’s been with her husband, they’ve only lived places that lyrically worked with the Jenny song!
  • Although a former Catholic turned Episcopalian, Maria has a true affinity for nuns. She frequently plays the game “I bet I have more nun contacts in my phone than you have in yours,” which she has successfully won every time.
  • She loves rescuing pit bulls who were on the to-be-killed list and turning them into high maintenance pooches.
  • If Maria has downtime, you can find her out on a hiking trail, doing yoga, or hitting the ski slopes with her family.

Beyond the Rocks

Nonprofit Work

Growing up as the oldest child of an award-winning restaurateur, Maria unexpectedly became a daughter of the incarcerated. This experience ignited an interest in working for Get on the Bus, a non-profit in California dedicated to uniting children with their incarcerated parents. Maria credits Get on the Bus for helping her to find her voice.

Maria is currently a grant writer and as she puts it “whatever else is needed” for St. Paul’s Development Corporation in Paterson, NJ, an organization that helps thousands of individuals a year with “a hand-up, not a hand out.” Maria worked on both coasts for nonprofit organizations that give voice and equity to the marginalized members of society.

St. Paul’s CDC- Appeal Written by Maria


  • Maria is currently working on her second manuscript, What I Learned on the Bus. This unpublished manuscript, represented by her agent Leticia Gomez, details her 3,000-mile journey to escape and to make sense of her dad’s incarceration. The manuscript was recognized this year as a Finalist for the Writing and Screenplay Book Adaptation categories for the Page Turner Awards.
  • Maria’s article “The Magical Little Pill,” talking about her difficulties with mental health following her father’s federal investigation, is featured on OC87 Recovery Diaries (   
  • Maria’s article “The Culinary Cardinal,” which details her experiences growing up having Sunday dinners at her Italian immigrant grandparents’ home, was featured in Growing Up in an Immigrant Household, Essays by Descendants of Immigrants published by Innovative Ink Publishing in an anthology edited by Vicky Giouroukakis.

Follow On Social Media

Maria would love to keep in touch. If you want to follow her, she’ll be sharing updates on book events, new books, delicious Primadonna recipes, sweepstakes, and more. Simple choose your favorite social media platform listed below and give her a follow.