Welcome, Mary. What has drawn you to writing for children?
I was dragged kicking and screaming into writing for children. Even though I loved reading books to my own children, I wanted to write novels for adult women. But this story came out of personal experience and because the main characters are young teens, it’s marketed for the middle reader. Still, my favorite kids’ books were the ones with enough depth to interest me as well as my children, so I tried to write this in a way that adults will find engaging as well.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I asked my husband this question and he said I’m too practical to be quirky. If “unexpected” counts as quirky, I played an April Fools’ joke on my family one year. I put a rubber band around the nozzle of the sprayer hose on the kitchen sink to hold the valve open. Then I positioned it so that whoever turned the faucet on got a shower. My husband and kids were shocked that I’d pulled a trick on them. And a good one at that!
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’ve loved to write since I was young, but didn’t take it seriously until I became a stay-at-home mom. For my first job after college, I was responsible for writing a monthly newsletter and several people complimented my writing, suggesting I should write for publication. Several years later, I finally took a course on writing for publication and that’s when I knew I was a writer.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I like books that make me think outside my personal box. That includes mysteries, historicals, and contemporaries. I read an occasional Young Adult, too. I enjoy alternating between novels and non-fiction, with the non-fiction books dealing with some aspect of faith.
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
I’m currently writing Speak No Evil, the next book in the Rustic Knolls Bible Camp series. Taylor, the bully from Hear No Evil, will return to camp the following year along with his younger sister.
meets his match when he finds himself at odds with the boy his sister has a
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
It’s easier now that my kids are grown, but I’ve always tried to live pretty simply. We don’t have a TV, and I don’t care for background noise. I find the quiet relaxing, and often sit out on my patio with my Golden Retriever enjoying the bird songs and sounds of nature. I enjoy taking walks, too. That’s my thinking time.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of, besides family?
Several years ago, I was asked to write a play. The church I attended at the time put on a dinner theater for women each Christmas season. I’d never written anything more than a magazine article but with the Lord’s help, I wrote the play. Seeing it performed was an incredible thrill. I remember thinking I’d given them a story in black and white and they made it Technicolor. It was quite a memorable experience.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’d like to be a sea otter because they’re so cute and playful. But I’m probably more like a cat. I can be outgoing and friendly but always need time to hide out. I tend to keep my thoughts to myself. And I love taking a little nap in a warm, sunny spot.
When I went to
to visit one
of my aunts, I loved watching the sea otters play. What is your favorite food? California
Warm-from-the-oven chocolate chunk cookies made with oatmeal. Is your mouth watering yet?
Yes, they sound wonderful. Is it hard to break into the children’s market?
I think it’s hard to break into any market. But being a successful writer means thinking of yourself as a small business owner. Approach writing as a business—your book might be spectacular but it must fit the market in order to sell. It’s hard to keep those rejections from being personal, but the market is an impersonal place. Your product won’t sell unless it fills a need in the marketplace.
What advice would you give to an author wanting to do that?
Write the best book you possibly can. Have it checked by critique buddies and/or a professional editor before offering it to an agent or publisher. Then study the publishers who are putting out books similar to yours and target them. Be willing to consider smaller publishers. And don’t give up!
What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
Hear No Evil is the story of Brady McCaul, whose newly remarried mother drops him off at summer camp saying he’s no longer welcome in her home. In addition, the girl with the cute dimples thinks he’s immature and childish, and the camp bully targets him with cruel taunts and teasing. If Brady doesn’t find a way to change Mom’s mind before the end of the week, he’ll have to live with his workaholic dad, the guy who left six years ago. But when he learns Mom may be in danger, Brady risks his life to help her and discovers a surprising reason behind her decision to send him away.
Sounds intriguing. How can readers find you on the Internet?
There are several ways to connect with me.
Twitter: @mhamilton122Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/mhamiltonbooks/
Thank you, Mary, for sharing your new book with us.
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Hear No Evil ('Rustic Knoll Bible Camp' Series, Book 1) (Volume 1)
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