Welcome Mary to the blog.

 

What is your writing schedule like?
Since my retirement, my entire schedule has changed. First and most important, my morning begins with prayer. Sometimes even when I wake early, my first thought is to ask God to take care of my grandson, to bless and guide him through his day, since it begins fairly early. When I get up, prayer is the first order of the day. But if you ask my dog, she’d say feeding her comes first, so we’ve reached a compromise. I feed her while the coffee perks, then I sit with my morning devotion. Talking with God sets my tone for the day. After that, my morning is spent doing chores around the house, while reserving the afternoon for writing. Sometimes I even write until midnight or a little after. My time is now my own, and I can write when the inspiration strikes.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I don’t know as if you would call it a quirk, but I have been known to stop washing dishes, or any household chore, to run to the computer when an idea for a current story struck. Sometimes I leave a notepad on the counter and jot ideas down. Housework tends to slide during those times, and meals have been burned. But the book was written.
How did you come up with your title?
Now that’s a good question! I suppose inspiration came one evening when I sat on the deck. There was a three-quarter moon. All superstitions of a full moon or almost full moon aside, I thought of how lovely that moon was. Then I started daydreaming about this story, and the title grew from there.
Tell us about your hero and heroine. What makes them likeable?
I feel what makes them likeable is their vulnerability. They come off as real people, struggling with real life issues. They have their strengths and they have their flaws, as many of us do. Yet, they forge ahead one day at a time, with faith and trust in God.
How much of the book is based in real life?
Although the characters and plot are a work of fiction, the one aspect of the book based on real life is the main characters’ fight to save a herd of wild horses. America’s wild horses are in danger. They are being rounded up in horrific numbers and means by the BLM, Bureau of Land Management. Chased down by helicopters and jeeps, herds are disappearing in alarming rates. Some horses are injured, and some die during the round-up. Those that survive are held in government holding pens, or sold at auction. Most sold, are sent to slaughter. Saving a herd of wild horses is the sub-plot of my story. I pray it brings awareness to this unjust situation.
What makes this book special to you?
To me, this book is special because it shows that no matter what comes our way in life, God can and will bring us through. In His time, we can overcome grief and face life with strength, courage, and the determination to fight for what we believe is right. We can also learn to forgive one another. It’s hard to move past something that has been done to hurt us. Sometimes, we don’t want to let go of the anger and pain. We wear it like a badge, but that only robs us of the peace we can find through God. We will never forget something hurtful done to us by another, but we can find forgiveness. That will bring us a peace unsurpassed. Jesus went to the cross for our sins to be forgiven. How can we not forgive another?
Are plots based on someone you know or events in your own life?
Only in my imagination. The only true aspect from my own life that I bring to the plots, is my love of horses, and my love for the American west. Having lived in South Dakota, I bring that love out in my stories.
What books have most influenced your life?
I have enjoyed books by John Grisham, but my favorite books are the Irish Country Doctor series by Patrick Taylor, and books by author Rita Gerlach, who writes Christian historical fiction.
What makes this a "must read" and why?
I feel this is a ‘must read’ simply because the story shows how with God’s help, we can overcome anything. Plus, my characters are battling a real life struggle, which is the welfare of America’s wild horses. I strive to bring out the glory of God, and awareness to the plight of our horses.
Do you have a person you consider a mentor?
I have had numerous people who have advised me over the years, but most notable of late is the help I received from my editor, Fay Lamb. Fay has been an inspiration to me through this entire process. Another person who has been a tremendous help, is my friend and author, Rita Gerlach. Rita writes Christian historical Romance, and has always been there to help when needed.
What book are you reading now?
Unfortunately, I have not had the time to read due to the editing process of this story, but I recently ordered Rita Gerlach’s new release, Wait Until Morning, a Christian historical fiction story based on three women’s struggle during World War 11.
What do you do when you're not writing?
Since I live on a lake, I love to take long walks with my dog and when the weather permits I will spend the afternoon swimming. I’m also an avid canner, and can everything from jellies, fruits, vegetables, and soups. Some might call that work, but to me, canning is a hobby.
What does your family think of your writing?
My family is excited for me, and even though they have suffered from burned dinners and time spent away from them, they support me one hundred percent. Hubby even offers to do the laundry and shopping, so what can be better than that?
What is your next project?
I am currently working on a young adult series. The first book is entitled Misty Rose, which is about a grief stricken teenage girl and a traumatized horse. The first book is complete, and I am halfway through the second. This series led to a spin-off series, entitled Dr. John, The Early Years. I fell in love with the veterinarian in the Misty Rose series, and have completed the first book in this separate series and am working on the second book.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I wouldn’t. I’m very happy with the way my characters have evolved, and hope that I brought awareness to the suffering of our wild horses.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging when it comes to your writing?
Through the editing process of this book, I struggled with the POV. With help from my editor, Fay Lamb, and her unending patience, I think I finally grasped the concept of POV, and am bringing that into my current books. Sometimes though, I still find myself running on from one character’s POV, to the other.
Who is your faviourte author and what is it that really strikes you abou their work?
I enjoy the Irish Country Doctor series, by Patrick Taylor. Patrick possesses a unique style of writing that draws you into the story from the first page. I felt as if I walked the streets of the quaint Irish town of BallyBucklebo. The characters are quirky, loveable, and unforgettable.
What is the hardest part about writing?
Sometimes it’s a lack of confidence. I question myself, asking ‘Is this what they want?’, or ‘Is this something they would like to read?’. I have learned to write for myself, from the heart, and write what I know. The marketing aspect is also a little intimidating, but I’m learning. I never had a blog or a twitter account before, but I now have both and am slowly finding my way around.
Did you learn anything from writing this book? What was it?
The most valuable lesson I learned was the aspect of POV, point of view, and how to layer a story. POV proved most troublesome for me, as I was in the habit of combining the characters POV, instead of breaking into a new segment for each. I never realized how confusing that could be for a reader. And in layering a story, I learned not to give all the information all at once. Let the story build. Let the suspense build, until revealed at the right time.
Do you have advice for other writers?
Do not be afraid of, or disillusioned by constructive criticism. Such criticism, if truly taken to heart, can make your work so much better. Take a step back, look deep inside yourself. Is the criticism given to correct a mistake or show a way to make the story flow better? Is it good for your story? Take that criticism to heart and do not give up.
Do you have anything specific you want to say to readers?
What I’d like to say is to trust in God. In my story, the main characters have crippling hardships to overcome, but they stood strong in faith and put their trust in God. Even when they floundered, they found the strength to overcome their grief and fears, and stand strong.
Is there anything you'd like to add?
To God be the glory.

How can readers connect with you?
I can be contacted via twitter, Facebook, and email. My email is betwix99@gmail.com. The link to my twitter is twitter.com/MarelliMary . The link to my site is: www.marymarelli.com

 

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