Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Looking Out the Window: Meet Love Inspired Author Mary Moore
Love Inspired author Mary Moore talks about her new historical book, The Aristocrat's Lady. She'll be giving away a copy. To enter to win leave a comment and your email address.
Welcome, Mary. First, tell us a little about yourself.
I’m 54 years old and my husband, Craig, and I have been married for 27 years. We both grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC, but 8 years ago we felt the Lord’s leading to move to our retirement property in southwest Virginia. I think we’re finally getting over the culture shock!
I’m glad you’re settling into your Virginia home. It’s always interesting to know what writers like to read. Were you an avid reader as a child? What did you read?
Yes, I’ve always loved to read. I confess I prefer fiction, but I do like biographies as well. I’m a Regency fanatic, and my favorite read has always been Georgette Heyer. I was aware of her even before Jane Austen, but my love for the era certainly took me to Austen as well as the Bronte sisters, Elizabeth Gaskill, etc. I still read all of them over and over again.
Why do you write?
It has always been for my own pleasure. I love each story when I’m finished with it, and I would read them over and over again as if I were a real author! I tried to get a manuscript published early on, but I knew nothing about it, so failed miserably. And it didn’t matter (too much) because I still had them to read with my favorites.
Tell us about your latest book.
It’s my first book, so I’m really excited about it. It is a Regency (duh!) about a woman that has a malady that she believes excludes her from love and marriage. She keeps it from everyone so they will not feel sorry for her or awkward around her. She meets an earl and likes him prodigiously and a friendship begins even though a friendship between genders is not a totally accepted thing then. As it turns into more than friendship, it makes it even harder to tell him the truth about herself, and when he eventually finds out, he turns from her believing she was trying to trick an him into marrying her. She feels rejected, he feels distrust, and it is up to their dependence on God to see whether any more could ever come of it.
It sounds as though this book has some interesting twists and turns in it. What inspired you to write it?
The idea intrigued me because it was unlike any Regency I had ever read. But in between the 15 years that I wrote it to now, I’ve had some of the experiences in the book and I think it became more personal to me and maybe more relatable to a reader. I was able to put a little more real emotion into some of the scenes, which made me realize how badly they were done back then. This was the first story I ever wrote, so I am closest to it.
In three words describe your style of writing.
Seat of my pants! (Sorry, that’s four!)
How do you get to know your characters?
You know, I know the kind of hero/heroine I like to read about. So when I come up with the story premise, I make the characters that I already like. I can usually make them fit into the story because I know them ahead of time. I don’t know what each one will look like necessarily, but I know attributes my hero/heroine should and would have, because they are based on what I like. And, since I am your ordinary book lover, I feel like my readers will get my characters and like them, too. I hope that is the case!
Do you have to juggle writing with a job, family responsibilities or other obligations? How do you balance it?
Oh my, yes! And I’m not doing it very well! I knew nothing about any part of the business end of writing. Finding an agent and going through the process of honing and polishing a work I thought was finished before it could go to a publisher. Then the work required once you’ve got a contract and your editor gives you a list of items to do to that manuscript I thought was finished. Did I mention the email “loops” that could take up an entire day if I let it? And putting my self “out there” has really been time consuming. So, when you add all of that to working PT and being very active in my church, you come up with a husband and a dog that are ready to mutiny!! I’m hoping, if I am blessed with another book, that now having been through the entire process, I can improve on my time management.
Does your faith affect your writing? How?
It does now, yes; greatly. When I wrote this book so long ago, Christian fiction was not popular. In fact, such books were few and far between. I didn’t know how much of my beliefs to put into the story or whether anybody else was interested in even reading “inspirational” stories. And I know now that all of this had to be in God’s timing. My level of maturity, in life as well as in my spiritual walk, was so far behind where I am now that it shows up so clearly when I look at the old stories now. I want my writing to be a ministry. I want my book to land in the hands of anyone God knows that needs that message. I admit, I’m not there yet…I enjoy it when someone tells me they love my book or I get a good review on Amazon…but in my heart I want it to be that God ultimately gets the glory.
What are you working on right now?
Now that all of the “book release” priorities have lessened, I am able to work on my second Regency. It’s constantly changing at the moment, but I’m really excited about it.
What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?
Reading! Seriously, in the time management issues I talked about earlier, I lost the time I normally had to just sit down and read a good book; especially one of those that you start and could keep reading straight to the end. That’s a luxury I didn’t have time for. But I plan to change that this time around so I can do both!
What is the coolest, wackiest, most risk-taking thing you’ve ever done?
White water rafting! It was as scary as I thought it was going to be, but it was so fun. Fortunately, it was a professional outfit, and we all had guides in our boats to tell us what to do. It was a blast.
That sounds like a neat experience.
Thank you so much, Gail, for the opportunity to meet some of your readers and let them get to know me a little better.
It was my pleasure, Mary.