Thursday, September 1, 2011

Interview and Giveaway with Author Mary Moore

It's my pleasure to introduce Love Inspired Historical author, Mary Moore.

Q:  What was your inspiration for The Aristocrat’s Lady?
A:  The book revolves around Jeremiah 29:-12 “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.’” The heroine believes God has a certain plan for her life and she must not deviate from it. Then, when she comes close to doing just that, she believes she deserves the conflict and pain that arises from it. Several years ago my husband and I faced some very difficult trials and as a result, our lives changed. I thought I had God’s plan figured out, but realized His plan for us changes constantly, sometimes based on the choices we make, but often because He needs us in a new direction. When I rewrote this story, originally written about fifteen years ago, I wanted to incorporate what I had learned into the lives of the hero and heroine. I hope it makes the book a little more personal and the characters a little more vulnerable, thereby making it inspirational to others.

Q:  How does your faith impact your writing?
A:  My faith has become the impetus for writing. If it doesn’t have a godly message that touches the reader, then it is no different than a secular love story. As I mentioned above, my theme for the book was God’s plan for our lives. But when my agent sent it out to target readers, they were asked what they considered the major theme of the book. We got five different answers . . . and none of them matched mine! I was a little concerned about it, that the writing didn’t make the theme clear. But my agent thought it was wonderful because it touched each reader where they were in their own lives and their own spiritual walk. So that’s my prayer now for my writing.

Q:  Do you plot out your story ahead of time, or do you think it up as you go?
A:  No, I’m not a plotter!! I come up with the general premise, and I know the types of characters I want, then I start writing. I know there are teachers out there screaming, “No!” at the top of their lungs because I’ve read about the concept of plotting the story out, but it hasn’t worked for me so far. I don’t know what will come into my head that I think will really be cool at some point in the story, so I just jot a note down on a piece of paper so I don’t forget it and go back to the point I left off. I hope that gives someone writing now a little encouragement!

Mary, I'm not a plotter, either. I'm encouraged to find a kindred spirit  :+}

Q:  After becoming a published author, what surprised you the most?
A:  Just about everything! The work left to do after you’ve been accepted by a publisher is hard, especially for a debut novel. There are revisions, and sometimes more than one. There are edits, always more than one! I knew absolutely nothing, so I joined just about every writers “loop” that was out there, and I have learned so much from the others on those loops. You have to get your name and the book “out there” so people learn who you are. But now I am trying to set up ways to work systematically should the Lord bless me with another book sale. Time-management is an absolute must, or you’ll get lost in the computer and lose valuable writing time. I hope having now pretty much been through the entire process from beginning to end, that I will have a better understanding of that process and recognize the things that are essential and ones that, while helpful, can eat up too much time. Yes, it has been one big surprise, but I’m not complaining, it’s a good one!

Q:  What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to a fledgling writer?
A:  I think I mentioned this on another blog, and I don’t know if it is the most important piece of advice; let’s just say it has helped me tremendously. After I’ve written a chapter, I go back and read it out loud to myself. First and foremost, you will hear it as the reader hears it, so you can see any stumbling blocks. You get a much better feel of the flow of the sentences together and how to reword them if necessary. Finally, I remember in my contest judging, I used too many of the same words too close together. When you hear it out loud, those instances jump out at you, as well as the last three paragraphs starting with “she” or “I.” It really gives me a sense of the grammar. Now computers do most of that for us, but until you read it out loud, you won’t get that feel that the computer cannot give you.

Q:  What do you think about writing contests? Have you participated in any? What’s the benefit to an unpublished writer?
A:  Personally, I think contests are a great resource for writers. I have, indeed, entered a contest, and though the critiques were hard to take at first, I soon began to see the benefit of making some of the recommended changes. Then once the recommendations were worked on, I realized the judges were honestly trying to help me grow, and I was very appreciative.

This year I was a judge in a contest for the first time. It, too, was an eye-opening experience. Wow, did I learn how hard that job was without being too critical! But I tried to turn my feelings of being criticized into a positive form of judging. I wanted to give as much positive reinforcement as suggestions to make the writing better. So in both instances, I think contests are really valuable to up and coming writers.

Q:  What does your family think about your crazy career?
A:  I think it runs the gamut of emotions. I think my dad is in shock. He’s 80 and he’s determined to read it though I’ve asked him not to try. He called me up last week to tell me he was into Chapter 5 and there hadn’t been one single sword fight! Sigh! My brothers and sisters are all being very supportive. My sister-in-law, Carol, has believed this book could be published from the time I wrote it 15 years ago. She is ecstatic and I love her for her belief in me. My husband is so happy for me as well, but I have to confess how sorry I am to him all the time that the computer takes so much of my time right now! I’m back up to the question about time-management…if I don’t develop it soon, I think I may have a mutiny on my hands - by him and the dog! Then my dad would be happy because that would have a lot of sword fighting in it!

Q:  Scenario: You’re about to be dropped off on a deserted island. You can take along one survival item, one book, and one person (living or dead… but they’ll be alive on the island). What and who do you take?
A:  Hmmmm, I think I would take a knife. I have no idea why, I just remember when I used to see scenes of “Survivor” the knife seemed the all important item to have. I don’t guess I could take fire with me? The book is easy, that would be the Bible. I have a feeling I would need to be in the Word big time stuck on an island. The person is also easy, I would take my husband. He’s a pretty handy guy to have around and I would want to be with him through anything (assuming that the Skipper and the Professor don’t count! :0)

Q:  What’s the one far out sci-fi technology you’d most like to see become a household item?
A:  Oh, this one is easy as well. I used to be a real Trekkie! Yes, I know, it’s hard to believe. I loved how they would go to their “cabins” at the end of the day, walk up to the wall and say, “steak, medium rare, a baked potato, and corn” and a door would slide up and there it would be! Ta Da! Yep, that is what I would want in my house!

I agree, Mary. A replicator would be awesome! Funny, though, how even when she used one, Captain Janeway could still burn dinner  :+}  Thanks a bunch for hanging out with us today.

If there is anyone who has NOT seen my bio then this will be ok, but to everyone else just think back to the last blog! :0) I have been an avid student of the Regency-era since the 1970’s and I am a member of the American Christian Fiction Writer’s historic fiction community as well as a member of the Faith, Hope and Love and Beau Monde chapters of the RWA. I have been writing historical fiction for over fifteen years. I had to put my writing on hold due to some health issues, including a bout with breast cancer, but I’m now even more excited about my writing as I incorporate some of my struggles throughout my books; dedicated to encouraging others in the Lord and using my stories for His glory. A native of the Washington, DC area, my husband and I now live in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of southwest Virginia, with our black lab, Darcy. When not writing, I enjoy time with my husband, watching romantic movies, reading and weekend getaways.

ABOUT THE BOOK: The Aristocrat's Lady
For a few moments on a moonlit balcony, Nicole Beaumont was just a beautiful woman catching the eye of the handsome Lord Devlin-but she knew the illusion couldn't last. If the enigmatic aristocrat knew her secret, he'd realize that her disability left her unfit for love. So who could blame her for hiding the truth a little longer?

Devlin had never met a woman like Nicole. Her unique combination of innocence and wisdom left him utterly intrigued. Yet what was she hiding? For a man who did not trust easily, discovering her secret was devastating. Overcoming their pasts and forging a future would take faith, forgiveness and trust. And second chances could lead to new beginnings.

If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of The Aristocrat's Lady, just leave a comment on this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on Wednesday, September 7th. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) Good luck!


karenk said...

a wonderful posting/interview, jen...thanks for the chance to read this beautiful story :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

windycindy said...

This book sounds like a wonderful, historical romance! I would enjoy reading it very much...Thanks, Cindi

Jennifer AlLee said...

Today's winner is Cindi! I'll be sending you an email for your mailing info.

Thanks for stopping by, ladies. And a BIG thanks to Mary for visiting with us :+}