*You can earn up to 4 entries in this giveaway. Read below for details*
Today author Mary Connealy is telling us about her new book, Deep Trouble (May 2011 -- Cowboy Christmas sequel). She has offered an autographed copy of her book to one lucky commenter. She will also be stopping by throughout the week to answer your questions! So if you have anything you want to ask her, you can leave a comment on this post to find out the answer!
Welcome, Mary! Tell us about your salvation experience.
I made a public confession of faith at a Lowell Lundstrom concert when I was about sixteen. But I remember believing the truth about Jesus at a much younger age. I was raised in a wonderful Christian family. Eight brothers and sisters in a two bedroom farmhouse. No money but lots of love. I don’t really consider going forward at the concert to be my salvation experience—because I was already saved, but it was a great moment in my life.
How do you handle disasters/BIG problems? Do you have a funny or interesting story showcasing how you handle them?
Wow, big disasters. Honestly, I’ve got a pretty good life. Lots of little annoyances but nothing big. I’m sure in the event of a tornado or earthquake or sudden death, I would be a pillar of strength and wisdom. (wow, it’s like I’m ASKING to be struck by lightning….forget I said that)
Tell us something surprising about yourself that readers may not know.
These are hard questions. Hmmmm….okay, I’ve started three times writing this now and each time I stop and think, “Nah, that’s not surprising.”
How’s this?--I’m shy. I spend most of my life typing. I get an occasional sweet and clueless person who asks what it’s like to be famous and I just shake my head. If indeed I qualify as famous--and I have serious doubts about that—a famous author spends almost all her time alone with her computer, having both sides of a conversation herself. Alone. So very, very alone. Taking back the stupid things she says (types) and trying again until she sounds cool. Not a normal life at all and certainly not exciting.
What is one book that you recently read and would recommend to your readers?
I am right in the middle of reading A Heart Revealed by Julie Lessman and I am so hooked. I’ve been staying up too late reading and it’s maddening. I can’t wait to see how it comes out. I love Julie’s work.
What is your favorite time of day to write?
I’m very low maintenance when it comes to writing. No set time. No set place. I can be distracted and then get right back to work. I do set goals and I mostly achieve them. I try to write 1000 words a day seven days a week and I mostly succeed. I’m doing major revisions on a finished manuscript right now and I’m loving the changes, loving the depth I’m finding in this story. But it’s not piling up the word count like I wish it was. The other day I got to a scene that I knew I needed to add, all new. As I started typing I just felt the surge of pleasure at creating something NEW rather than revising something old and I loved it. There is no part of writing that I do not love.
If you compared your writing style to any other Christian Fiction author, who would it be?
When I was struggling to get my first book published, Petticoat Ranch, I did a lot of market research trying to figure out who I was like. There was no one doing what I was doing…which is probably why it took me so stinking long to get published! Then I read Lori Copeland’s Men of the Saddle series. A romantic western with humor…that was it. I started using her as my example. “Readers who enjoyed Lori Copeland’s Men of the Saddle Series are my target audience.”
I went to a writer’s gathering just after I’d gotten my cover art for Petticoat Ranch and I took a printed out picture of the cover with me and was showing it to anyone who couldn’t escape. Lori Copeland was there. So (boldly, for a shy girl) I went up to her and said, “Lori, I’ve been using your name to try and get myself published for a long time now.” Then I whipped out the cover and said, “And it worked!”
We ended up having a nice visit. Such a great, sweet lady.
Beyond that, there’s not a lot out there like my romantic comedy with cowboys.
I think of it as inspirational, suspenseful, historical western romantic comedy. I think I invented my own genre.
What are you working on now or going to write next?
I have contracts for six more romantic comedy with cowboys novels coming spread out over the next three years. So I’m keeping very busy and I’ll keep writing these as long as someone will keep publishing them. I’m still amazed I ever got one published. This is beyond the dearest desire of my heart that I never forget how blessed I am.
Book’s back cover blurb:
What research did you have to do for this book?
I may have researched this book more than any other I’ve ever written. It begins at Mesa Verde and ends in the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
I do a huge amount of research online but I just wasn’t finding enough for the Grand Canyon portion of the book. I ended up with three books that I cross referenced constantly. The main one was The Man Who Walked Through Time by Colin Fletcher. He’s the first man who hiked the entire length of the Grand Canyon. The thing about his book that was so invaluable was his personal impressions. He wrote about the stones, the mist, the barren stretches, the difficulty of finding a trail. Reading that book gave me a lot of freedom because I realized Fletcher wasn’t a scientist, he was just a man telling how the canyon touched him. I realized my story could be less than exact if I just let my characters have honest reactions to what they were seeing.
Then I had a book of trail maps and a book of pictures that included scripture. I first read the whole Fletcher book, underlining bits and pieces that were buried in it that contained details I couldn’t find anywhere else. That book was battered by the time I was done! Then I’d cross reference his words to the trail pictures to help me figure out where he was down there. Then I’d study pictures. I spend major time flipping pages. I also have a friend, Sandra Leesmith, who lives near the Grand Canyon, or at least near enough that she’s been there many times. I asked her a lot of questions and she’d tell me little tidbits about the place. Including she told me about a man who had only recently admitted he had a ‘secret’ trail down into the canyon. Access to the bottom of the canyon is very limited and the ways down are well documented. And now, here’s this guy with a secret way down. I just loved that and decided everything that is ‘known’ about the canyon may not be everything. Wow, I’ve talked to long about this.
Who would you pick to play the lead roles if this book was made into a movie?
For Shannon I’m going to go with Sigrid Thornton, the heroine in The Man from Snowy River.
How can readers get in contact with you?
Petticoats & Pistols
**This giveaway is open to addresses in any country**
Okay readers, here is your chance to win an autographed copy of Deep Trouble!
*If you leave a comment you will be entered unless you specify that you do not want to be entered.
*Here are the ways to get entries:
(First entry) The mandatory comment saying you would like to be entered with your email address.
+1 Become one of my followers OR subscribe to my blog by email.
+2 Read and leave a comment on my review of Surrender the Night
**You can earn a total of 4 entries if you do all of the above entry options. Make sure to tell me in your entry comment on this post which of the things you did to get extra entries. (You can put them on one comment if you want to, you don’t have to separate each entry into its own comment or anything like that.)**
Good luck! Thanks for visiting.