Mary E. deMuth is the author of Wishing on Dandelions (NavPress, releases September 15), the sequel to Watching the Tree Limbs. You can find out more about Mary and her interesting life in France by visiting her website: www.relevantprose.com
Q: When did you get started writing?
A: In second grade my teacher told my mom that I was a very creative writer. That inspired me to continue writing until today. Encouragement goes a long way for me!
Q: When or how did you find your writer’s voice?
A: I’ve been writing since 1992 when I started a family. During that time I wrote newsletters. In 2002, I became a weekly columnist for a local paper in Dallas. About halfway through that stint, my mentor emailed me and said, “Methinks you found your voice.” I was so excited. It came after thousands upon thousands of words written.
Q: What makes you write?
A: This obsessive compulsive need to communicate. Basically, I am crazy.
Q: What do you enjoy most about the writer’s life?
A: All the money and accolades. (Ha ha ha….) I love creating stories. I get so jazzed about creating worlds and people and places.
Q: How did you write your first novel Crushing Stone? Was the second novel easier or harder?
A: I researched the life of my great grandmother who raised seven children during the Great Depression all alone. Her husband had died in a tragic rock quarry accident. One day I decided to finally write the novel I’d always wanted to write, based loosely on her life. Four months later, it was finished. The second one was easier. The third one was not easy and I put it down. The fourth went well. We’ll see how the next one goes.
Q: Do you prefer writing fiction or non-fiction? Do you plan to continue to write for both categories?
A: I see myself as a storyteller, so I prefer fiction. You’ll notice in my nonfiction that I spin a lot of stories.
Q: Which writers have influenced you?
A: Leif Enger of Peace Like a River fame. He showed me you could write lyrical prose and still create a page-turning story. I like both components. I enjoy Anne Lamott’s crazy writing style and the wit of Donald Miller. Someday when I grow up, I’d like to write some comedy.
Q: If you were stuck on a desert island for say, six months, before a Carnival cruise ship swooped past to pick you up, which two books would you like to be shipwrecked with? (A copy of the Gideon’s Bible is already on the island.)
A: Peace Like a River and anything by C. S. Lewis.
Q: Do you find writing easy or not? What’s the easiest part? What’s the hardest?
A: It is easy now that I’ve spent so much time at it. The more you write, the better the words seem to flow. It’s like a muscle that needs constant exercise. The hardest part for me is balancing marketing and promotion with my schedule.
Q: Writers are faced with so much to do from a publicity standpoint. What promotional technique has been most effective for you? Least effective?
A: The most effective: developing my web presence. The least? Some radio interviews don’t necessarily translate to book sales.
Q: Are you working on anything new?
A: Yeah, a proposal for a nonfiction book and a short novel.
Q: Any advice to first time writers on getting published?
A: Write, write, write. Listen to criticism. Join a critique group. Be humble. Pay your dues. Start small. Be teachable. Rewrite. Make friends with other writers.
Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
A: Writing is a difficult profession. You need to know that you know that you know that God has called you to do it, or you will easily give up. Work hard. Trust.