If you've been reading this blog long, you know I love this author. Welcome, Mary. Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
I’m third born of 8 kids. I’m married to my high-school sweetheart for 34 years now. I was a stay at home mom for 27 years. I started writing when my baby, the youngest of four daughters, went to Kindergarten and my first book released the year she graduated from high school. I had twenty finished books on my computer when I made my first sale.
How did you become interested in writing?
The real “event” that kicked off my writing was my second of four daughter writing a book in about sixth or seventh grade. It was short of course, but it had a really great idea in it. I asked her if I could steal the nugget of her story and write my own. She said, “Write your own darned book and leave mine alone.” (or words to that effect)
So I did.
What compelled you to write a book on this subject?
Out of Control is set in and around a huge cavern in
. I visited Carlsbad Cavern as a young bride and was absolutely captured by it. This was long before I was writing, but the story was there. The first explorers to find that cavern. It was all safe when we went there, trails carefully marked, railings to keep you away from dangerous stuff. But what if???? Colorado
Isn’t that the writer’s game,
Lena? What if I was the first person in there? What if I only had lantern light? You couldn’t begin to see to the end of it, but you’d glimpse the stunning beauty and you’d be in terrible danger from the pits and floors that looked broken off, as thin as glass in places. What made those floor break? Had someone fallen through? I loved that place and I’ve wanted to set a story in there for a long time. But the history of Carlsbad Cavern is really well known and I’d have had to trample it to really set my book there and I didn’t want to. So I created my own cavern, there are several really cool ones in . And then I sent three little boys down there to explore. Colorado
Mary, I really love books set in caverns. I worked in Longhorn Cavern in the summer when I was in college and became an amateur spelunker. What is the main theme or point that you want readers to understand from reading your book? Are there any other themes present in the book?
The main theme is giving control of your life over to God. The cavern represents losing control to the oldest brother and he is bent on protecting his younger brothers from that cavern. Rafe then meets Julia, who LOVES the cavern and wants to explore, believes it’s God’s will she explore. And then they clash….and fall in love.
Are there some specific lessons you hope readers will learn and apply to their lives after reading your book?
I just hope they have a really fun time watching two bossy people fall in love.
What makes your book different than any other books similar to yours that are in circulation today?
Lena. I write inspirational, suspenseful, historical-western, romantic comedy. There aren’t any other books like that are there?
No. That’s why I love your unique books. How does the book intertwine with God’s call on your life and how you are currently serving Him?
I tell people who occasionally say to me, “I think I’ve got a book in me….but I’ve never found the time to sit down and write it…” To not feel bad if their idea of a fun pastime isn’t sitting by yourself for countless hours having conversations with imaginary friends, then sending your work out into the world to be rejected, abused and insulted….for years….for no money.
Writing a book isn’t a very normal way to behave and I think it’s just something a bit different that makes us do it. We could call it being a sociopath. Being a trouble loner. Having voices in our heads….or….we can call it a gift from God. So writing, including this book, intertwines with God’s call because he made me love it. So here I sit typing.
Do you have a favorite Scripture verse?
When I read my Bible I am forever finding a new “favorite.” I think God touches our hearts through the Bible in different ways depending on what we need in our lives. One story I’m currently in love with is one that is in three books of the Bible Matt 9:2; Mark 2:3; Luke 5:18 When Jesus heals the paralyzed man who is lowered down from the roof by his friends. And Jesus says to the man, “Your sins are forgiven.”
His friends are angry at Jesus because they want their friend to be healed not forgiven. I think there is so much wisdom and power in this story. I think this story shows the heart and mind of Jesus more clearly than nearly any story in the Bible. And that’s me saying that because the story is striking me, only me, right now today, in that way. Another story will take its place another time, as God reveals it. But think about all that goes on here.
Men who believe Jesus can heal their friend but are angry about forgiveness. What are they thinking anyway? They think a man can do miracles but then turn on him when he doesn’t produce.
Jesus saying, “Because I want you to know I have the right to forgive sins, I’ll heal him.” Jesus is using miracles to draw attention to His words, to say forgiveness is more important than walking. To respond to anger with love. The levels of this story, or maybe the layers of it, is so rich.
The fact that Jesus does perform this miracle before the crowd that surrounded this house…since the men had to lower their friend through the roof, we know there was a mob. A paralyzed man who stands up and goes home---praising God. Another voice proclaiming Jesus is doing God’s work. In fact most of that crowd would have done the same thing.
Anyway, I’m going on too long, but I love everything about this story, most importantly that Jesus says forgiveness is more important than health.
I so agree with you. When you are not writing, what do you like to do? Do you have any hobbies?
As we close, is there anything else you would like to add?
I love doing your blog interviews,
Lena. You’re usually scary but fun with your questions. Keep it up.
Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
Petticoats & Pistols
Mary, thanks for once again dropping by.
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