Saturday, November 13, 2010
An Interview with Mary Ellis and Giveaway
leave a comment on the interview - or ask Mary a question - to be entered into a drawing to a copy of Mary's new book, Sarah's Christmas Miracle
Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I write sweet inspirational romances set in the Amish community because a) I love to read them myself, and b) I love to study these wonderful people who put God first every day of their lives. They are the least self-absorbed, least self-serving people in America.
I love reading Amish books too. Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
Although I was only 6 weeks old, I suppose the 2nd best day of my life is when my parents picked me out of the 5 or 6 girl babies at the “children’s home” (county orphanage) many years ago. Although they have both passed on, my parents were wonderful loving people, who introduced me to the Lord as early as I can remember. Thanks, mom and dad!
How has being published changed your life?
Well, I can no longer write “when I feel like it.” (smile) Now I must sit down in front of that computer 5 days week. (and they are very long days, I might add.) I have adjusted my schedule to not write on Saturdays unless I’m under a tight deadline, and never on Sundays.And I got to give up my dayjob recently. Ask me in a year if I’m starving yet.
What are you reading right now?
I am reading “The Believer” by Ann H. Gabhart, a historical set in the Shaker Community.
What is your current work in progress?
Right now I’m working on a romance set in Holmes County, Ohio about a young woman who bites off more than she can handle as the local schoolteacher.
Sounds intriquing. What would be your dream vacation?
I have always longed to go to Italy—Tuscany region, in particular. Ever since I saw that movie, “Under a Tuscan Sun”, I’ve been enchanted with that area of the world. But no, I do not plan to buy a falling down house and try to restore it, without being able to speak a word of Italian.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
So far I have chosen Holmes County and Wayne County, Ohio for the settings for my Amish romances. I am familiar with these areas from my days as a sales rep, and they’re close (a little over an hour away) enough to plan plenty of getaway research trips.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
It would be Bono of the rock group, U2. Besides being an awesome singer, he’s a devout Christian. I would love to know how hard that has been in the rock-n-roll world to be a Christian.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I love swimming and snorkeling, anything with water involved. I love floating around in a pool on an air mattress reading a book. (unfortunately, I don’t have a pool, so these magic moments are few and far between.)
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Time management—to not let blogs and email steal too much of my writing time.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Write the story in your heart first, then start “fixing it up”. Get the story down before you start fitting it to other (well-intentioned) people’s opinion of what a successful book looks like. If you let people read and critique your work chapter-by-chapter, when you get done, the book will “sound like” them, not like you.
What do you want readers to take away from the book?
That we must first have faith, must believe in ourselves if we want the world to take us seriously. Only when we truly believe our dreams can come true, can we make them happen.