She is also the author of the Soul Catcher series, which is paranormal romance.
I asked Mary how many books she's written and she paused to think about it.
"I wrote several before the Soul Catcher series. So, let's see... I have five published currently, one to be published this fall. Another novel I'm shopping around. I have one I'm almost done with. Then, I have a novella to be published in April. That's 8.5 (half for the novella) and I completed two books before getting published. Wow. Didn't realize in three years I wrote that much."
The book she's currently working on is another urban fantasy with the working title Immortal Revenge. It's set in present times and involves a human seeking revenge against the person who destroyed her immortal lover. But there's more…a prophecy.
During the time Mary was writing The Awakening, she was watching episodes of Fringe. She liked one of the characters so came up with the name of Jonas for one of the characters in her book. I asked her how she decided on the other characters.
"Names just come to me. Boss was bossy, so it just fit him," she said, laughing. "As for my protagonist, I can't say her name, but once again, I didn't put much thought into her name. Here's one of my problems...I think too much." She grinned. "So the best thing for me to do is just spit out names and see if they work. So far, they do."
For titles, she likes them to have something to do with the plot. For the Soul Catcher series, the protagonist sends evil souls to hell, so Mary used the word "evil" in all the titles.
"Sometimes I like to use a word for each title, but there might be times when it's just not possible to use the same word," she admitted.
I asked Mary what inspired her to start writing.
"Reading and watching movies. I'd come up with my own ideas and thought I should try to write. Of course, I needed to find time to sit down and write, be serious about it. That part didn't come until a few years ago."
She started writing on a regular routine about three years ago and hasn't stopped since. She writes in the evenings after she fixes dinner and nearly non-stop on the weekends. She gets up early and works late, taking breaks to feed her daughter and herself.
"On occasion, we go shopping so I can clear my head for a little bit," she admitted. "Since I get the most writing done on the weekends, I try to devote as much time as possible. But sometimes we just need to get out for a bit."
She considers herself pretty lucky, in that she doesn't really suffer from writer's block. If she does have an issue, it's thinking too much and over-analyzing things. When that happens, she steps away or takes a shower. Often plots will just pop into her head while she's showering. When it comes to characters, she thinks of people she know or people on television and change them a bit. Once she gets the basic plot in her head, she sits down to write. No outlines, she just writes as she goes.
"When did you first consider yourself a writer?" I wondered.
"I believe it was last year after I had three books published, one on the way, AND two novels and a novella finished. All that time writing got me to thinking...yeah, I'm probably a writer," she answered with a laugh.
Mary's office is a 10x13 bedroom upstairs that she calls her spare room.
"I recently painted it a purplish color. Double windows on one side face the front yard and street. Near the door, I have a plain desk for my business cards and other paper stuff. The chair next to it holds my case of water bottles. I drink a lot of water!" she told me."A bookshelf for books I need to read stands near the closet. My desk faces the farthest wall. I have a bulletin board above it. An ample supply of gum is nearby, and I have a sticky pad for jotting things down. My computer is a Mac. I'm an Apple girl all the way."
"Have you ever eaten a crayon?" I asked.
"Not that I remember. And if I did, I probably wouldn't share it." She laughed.
Finally, I asked, "What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?"
"Write. Read. Write. Read. Daily. Find a good/honest critique partner you can trust. Do not let any rejection bring you down. Stay focused and determined. And keep snacks handy."
About the Author:
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Two investigators—one human, one vampire—find a young woman among a mass of dead bodies. She has no memories, and nothing but her clothes, two receipts, and a mysterious dagger carved with the initials 'SB'.
As she seeks her identity, SB realizes she's unlike any other creature in the world, making her the most valuable person on the planet. And the most wanted.