Welcome back, Mary. What has drawn you to writing for children?
Honestly, I wanted to write for adults and had no interest in writing for children. But while raising my three kids, I watched several of their friends suffer the devastation of broken and dysfunctional families. The story I felt compelled to write seemed better suited to a younger audience, and I decided maybe I could offer some hope to kids through these stories, the kind of hope that comes through faith in a loving God.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I’m not a quirky sort of person. The only thing I can think of is bringing my own light bulb to a women’s conference. I wanted a brighter light than they usually had in the residents’ rooms. Is that quirky?
It’s interesting, that’s for sure. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’ve enjoyed writing ever since I could write my name. I carved “Mary” into a dresser and a windowsill, which demonstrates my early attempts at public writing. But my first job out of college required me to write a monthly newsletter for the organization. People often told me how much they enjoyed reading it, and asked if I’d ever written for publication. With the encouragement of a few friends, I pursued that goal when I became a stay-at-home mom.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I like everything from non-fiction inspirational and biographies to mystery/suspense, mainstream, women’s fiction, and some YA. About the only things I don’t care to read are science fiction (because I trip over all the unusual words) and romance.
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
I’ve written one other book in the Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series, titled Hear No Evil. It’s the story of a young teen who struggles to understand his mother’s sudden rejection, only to find out it was for his own protection.
Yes, we featured that book on this blog as well. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I try to start every day with quiet time alone with my Bible. It may only be a few minutes of reading and a quick prayer, but without that, my day just seems to spiral out of control. Exercise also helps expel some of the nervous energy that builds up.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of, besides family?
Becoming a published author was the fulfillment of a dream. I’m proud to have accomplished that, but also very humbled. To know that people actually buy my books and want to read something I’ve written always amazes me.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’d like to be an otter, because they’re awfully cute and always look like they’re having so much fun. Besides that, I love to swim.
My favorite souvenir from our trip to the
is a tiny sea
otter figurine. I loved watching them in Monterey
What is your favorite food? Monterey Bay
Chocolate. I can live without most anything but I must have chocolate, and it must be dark.
That’s the kind I eat. Is it hard to break into the children’s market?
For me, it was easier than I expected, and I give all the credit to the Lord. I’d pretty much given up on seeing my first book published when I happened to meet Lynellen Perry of HopeSprings Books at a writers’ conference. She was willing to take a chance on me and loved my story. I don’t believe that would’ve happened if the Lord hadn’t orchestrated it.
What advice would you give to an author wanting to do that?
Attend conferences and make connections with other writers, agents and editors. Get to know them on a personal basis, not just to see what they can do for you. The more they see your professionalism and your teachable spirit, the more likely they will think of you when an opportunity arises.
What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
Speak No Evil is the story of Taylor, the bully from the first book.
carries around an attitude as a defense against the hurt he holds inside. His
younger sister is the only one who believes in his dream of one day driving
racecars, but her adventurous spirit keeps landing Taylor in trouble. He knows having her at
camp with him will be a pain, but he never expects the pain to go so deep.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
I’d love to connect with readers. Besides these links, I’m also on Goodreads.com.
Thank you for sharing your new book with us.
Readers, here’s a link to the book.
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