Tuesday, January 11, 2011
There are pieces of me in all of my characters—my sense of humor, my own memories, things I’ve seen or felt. I heard a quote a long time ago that there is no true fiction and I agree with that. However, that’s also the reason I love fiction—you don’t know what’s true and what I’ve made up. So it keeps people guessing!
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Have 6 children. Sometimes I still wonder what I and my husband were thinking. :-) There are days I don’t feel equipped to do this. (Most of them!) But I don’t ever regret it. And I’ve gotten to see God come through in amazing ways, providing abundantly (time, money, resources, information) in my lack.
You might think I am crazy, but I actually wanted to have 12 or 13. Of course, it didn't happen. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I have always processed life through writing. But it took me a long time to realize that just that one fact makes me a writer. I thought I had to have a certain number of published pieces to make me a “real” writer. Now I know a real writer is anyone who loves to write; who can’t help but write. That’s all you need.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I pretty much stick with contemporary women’s fiction—both CBA and ABA. As for nonfiction, I love to read writing books that help me learn more about the craft. I also like books that inspire me to a closer walk with God and to be a better wife, mother, and homemaker. But novels and writing books take up the majority of my reading time.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I spend time with God first thing every morning. I decided several years ago that I would not turn on my computer until I had first spent time with Him—really living my priorities and not just paying lipservice to them. I noticed that I was always making time for the computer, but not always making time for Him. This helps me focus and gets my mind in the right place for the day. I also try to go for a run, walk on the treadmill or do an exercise video every day. I think of LOTS of writing ideas while running!
I keep a running list of names that I’d like to use. I have found it’s a way to use up all those cool names for kids that my husband vetoed. :-)
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Staying married for 19 years. It’s been a struggle at times. But we hung in there, and I am so glad we did. We’ve grown up together and I often marvel at the people we’ve become. I am glad we didn’t throw in the towel when we were tempted to!
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I guess I’d have to say an elephant—I never forget anything and I was pregnant forever.
What is your favorite food?
Pizza. And strawberry shortcake. And chocolate.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Lack of time. I never thought I’d have the time to write a novel. Finally one day I just got determined to write the novel I had on my heart no matter what. I started out thinking “I’ll never really finish this.” But the more I saw the word count go up, the more motivated I was to just keep going. I learned to write anywhere, anytime. I wrote in snatches. I wrote in noise. But I finished it. And then I sold it. After that, I didn’t look back!
Tell us about the featured book.
Centered on a real landmark on the coast of North Carolina, The Mailbox blends intriguing folklore and true faith with raw contemporary issues that affect every woman. When Lindsey Adams first visits the Kindred Spirit mailbox at Sunset Beach, North Carolina, she has no idea that twenty years later she will still be visiting the mailbox—still pouring out her heart in letters that summarize the best and worst parts of her life.
Returning to Sunset for her first vacation since her husband left her, Lindsey struggles to put her sorrow into words. Memories surface of her first love, Campbell—and the rejection that followed. When Campbell reappears in her life, Lindsey must decide whether to trust in love again or guard herself from greater pain. The Mailbox is a rich novel about loss, hope, and the beauty of second chances.
I love second chances. Please give us the first page of the book.
I can do better than that—click on this link and you can read the first chapter!
How can readers find you on the Internet?
http://www.marybethwhalen.com/ and at http://www.shereads.org/ , which is the fiction division of Proverbs 31 Ministries—I am the director of that!
Thank you, Marybeth, for spending this time with us.
Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)
Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.
The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 6 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.
If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment. Here’s a link.