Good morning, welcome to the garden. It's beginning to get a bit cool so I've placed a few space heaters around and also added coffee, tea and cocoa to the refreshments. And peppermint schnapps as a little extra. Fill up your cups and your plates and find a seat.
As you know, next week on October 20th I'll be doing a book signing at a winery in Calistoga California with four other authors. (Details click here) Today, my fellow authors/signee's will interview me. So I hope I can keep you entertained. Shall we begin?
Julia: Tell us about your background - did you begin as a writer?
Mary: Did I begin as a writer? I honestly don't know. I've wanted to be one as long as I remember. I grew up on a 40 acre farm in a small town (now it's not so small) in Utah. Picture Doc Hollywood. Our fourth of July celebration was very similar to squash day from that movie. I had a great childhood. I loved to read Harriet the Spy and Boxcar Children. I wrote a few short stories when I was in Junior High and High School, but there were bad. Then I got married and tried when my kids were small, to write. Since that was in the era before home computers 3 small kids at the library didn't go over very well. So I decided to wait until they were grown and write. And here I am.
Regan: What is the best part of being an author?
Mary: The best part? By far it would be that I get to play with imaginary friends and people don't think I'm crazy. Well maybe they do. My characters have always been my friends. Also, all my life I've had a very active imagination. Writing keeps that alive.
Tawny: What inspires you to tell a story?
Mary: I don't know. That sounds strange, I know. But inspiration comes at odd times. On the way to work. Watching a movie. Surfing the internet. I have a small note pad I carry with me at all times to jot down ideas. I know a lot of authors who do this. I've been known to scribble something on a napkin at a restaurant. I'm not sure if that answers your question or not.
Now what inspires me to continue to write in general? I can answer that, the wonderful authors I know through writing organizations, such as RWA and my local chapter URWA. RaeAnne Thayne is one. She writes the most amazing stories, and she is a full time mom and wife. Through the years that I've known her she has had life crises' thrown at her, and still she writes.
Same with Sherry Lewis, whatever life throws her way, she tucks and rolls and comes up with great emotion and story telling.
I want to be both of them or a combination of them when I grow up to be an author...
Regan: What do you know now you wished you knew when you were first starting out?
Mary: The basics. I had never heard about a writing organization, I knew they probably was a group in the area, like a book club. But I had no idea about Romance Writers of America, or Fiction Writers, Sisters in Crime, etc. I wished I'd known to do my homework. I had no idea what a query was. I didn't know agents didn't represent ALL genre's. Hell I didn't even know what genre meant. I wished I'd known about a large group like RWA and joined before I started to query my first book. It would have saved me a lot of time, money, and embarrassment.
Tawny: If you could change any one thing about your writing process, what would it be?
Mary: Stay home from my day job and write full time. Oh, not what you meant? LOL. Okay what would I change. A lot of things. Like the ability to stick with one project at a time. Focus on that until I'm done. When I write a book, the minute I write THE END, I'm ready to start something new. I guess that's fine, but no one is going to edit and polish the one I just finished for me. That's where my process needs to be changed. I HATE to edit. So that's when I flit from one thing to another and it's very hard to finish so I can submit. And so then I tend to submit before they're ready. This is a bad habit. So then when I finally stop and do the editing and polishing I've already submitted to my dream agents and received a rejection. So cross your fingers I can knuckle under and edit/polish on completed manuscript until it's ready before I submit the first time.
Julia: What are your favorite off-hour activities?
Mary: That's easy! Papa and Nana night, every Tuesday evening after work the family gathers at our house for a BBQ or a pot of spaghetti and visit. Next on the list is college football! Go Utes. And of course I love to cook, until I got my current job I was posting new recipes. It's frustrating not to have the time to experiment any more. Soon I hope that changes. And my husband and I LOVE to travel. But we need to hit the lottery to go to all the places we would like to visit.
Hope to see you all there. And just so you know, I now do Kindlegraphs. Check it out on my web site!
Thank you for dropping by for my interview. All those who leave a comment will be entered into a drawing for a free download of Meet Me In Fantasyland.