Welcome Mary Ann

What makes this a “must read” and why?
While everyone doesn’t face the same problems Mandy and Erik do, we all face harsh griefs and terrors in life. By vicariously living through Mandy and Erik’s struggles, readers can gather ideas and strength for coping when hard times come.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I teach preschool and Sunday School, sing with two choirs and occasionally sing with a civic theater musical. I enjoy reading mysteries. Cooking and baking. Pet care takes a lot of time, with a dog, two cats and two guinea pigs, all of whom enjoy quality petting sessions and frequent snacks. For exercise I like to walk in nature and swim. Playing with our four grandchildren is one of my favorite things. And, of course, I spend too much time on FaceBook and watching T.V. Occasionally I clean the house and work on the yard.
What is the hardest part about writing?
For me it is overcoming procrastination. If I have a specific deadline for an editor, I can work hour after hour into the night to get it done, letting other tasks slide. But for many, many years I didn’t have an editor waiting, and it was easy to let the writing be the work that got put off. Easy to “just check Facebook a minute” before opening the Word document, and losing a precious hour. Easy to say yes to too many projects at school and church, instead of keeping writing a priority. I still need to work at creating quiet space in my life so that I can hear the ideas when they bubble up, and note them when they do.
Do you have advice for other writers?
If you love writing, keep working on it even when no publishers seem interested. As Martina McBride sings in “Anyway,” “Do it anyway.” When an opportunity suddenly shows up, you’ll be glad you have a project to share. Mandy’s Song was rejected by publishers for many years—I haven’t counted how many times—but I kept learning and kept revising it, and now it’s finally out.
Attend writers’ and book conferences, and seek out writing friends. Friends help lift you up out of rejection despair, and rejoice with each little victory. Critique group meetings give you deadlines before you have an editor. Writing friends “get it” when your family and other friends don’t.
Finally, Julia Cameron’s exercises in “The Artist’s Way” helped me in many ways. Whether it’s grief, discouragement, fear or lack of self-confidence, obstacles impede us from getting the writing done. I’ve learned to be gentle with myself after a death in the family, for example. My inner artist is stunned for a while, and doesn’t have the joy needed to create. Be kind to yourself when needed, and firm when that’s needed, as well.

How can readers connect with you?
Readers can contact me by email: maryannsteinkemoore@gmail.com

 

What is the spiritual takeaway for your reader?
“Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” Ps. 30:5
Is there anything edgy/possibly controversial in your book? 
Confronting the idea of suicide could be difficult or painful for some people.
What is your hero’s main character flaw?
From a traumatic event early in his life, Erik learned to distrust people. When he gets close to love, he pushes it away, which isolates him and makes him prone to depression.
What is your heroine’s main character flaw?
Mandy lacks self-confidence and sometimes heeds her inner critical voices, second- guessing herself when she needs to move forward and act. She isn’t sure she’s worthy of love.
What can readers learn from your villain?
Just because Lindsey is popular and confident, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t have underlying pain and fear.
What makes your hero heroic?
Even though it terrifies him, Erik learns to open up to others, and is rewarded with Mandy’s love
what makes your heroine heroic?
Her deep love helps Mandy overcome her fears of being wrong, looking foolish and suffering Erik’s anger to get him help when he needs it most. Her love is stronger than her fear.

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