Sunday, June 28, 2015

Introducing Mary Manners, award-winning romance author and devotional writer

Meet Mary Manners:

Mary is an award-winning romance author who lives in the beautiful foothills of East Tennessee (her words exactly)! She's a very sweet person who holds down a day job as an assistant principal yet still manages to create beautiful story worlds filled with fictional characters who captivate your heart and inspire your imagination within the first few pages of Mary's books! 

She's one of my favorite authors and I'm blessed to call Mary a friend. Now you're going to love this, Mary is going to contribute a devotional to my blog on the last Monday of every month starting July 2015! 

So today, my goal is to introduce you to this talented writer through an author interview with questions and answers that were previously published on other blogs (Mary gave me permission to do this) with the hope of helping you get to know Mary who is now a regular guest on my blog.

So without further ado, allow me to introduce Mary Manners to you! :)

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*Questions in bold, answers from Mary not in bold...

What made you decide to start writing?

I cannot remember a time when I didn’t write. In fact, my earliest memory consists of me sitting on the floor beside the washing machine in my family’s laundry room and scribbling (I didn’t yet know how to read or form words, but I could certainly scratch across the paper) because I had a story in my head that just had to come out and be shared.

Since that day, I have never stopped writing. To me, writing is as essential to life as breathing. I am convinced that, prior to the use of my trusty laptop, I killed a forest of trees on my quest to record all of the stories woven through my brain and my heart.

I wrote my first full-length novel in the sixth grade. Thanks to my supportive parents and a few wonderful teachers who encouraged me along the way, my fledgling confidence flourished and I figured I’d be published by the time I turned thirteen (after all, S.E. Hinton had managed a similar feat with her acclaimed and edgy young adult novel, The Outsiders). God had other plans, though, and many years (and countless edits) would pass before that first novel finally became published as Wisdom Tree.

Why do you write inspirational romance?

I feel very strongly about sharing messages of faith and hope with my reader-friends. To me, writing is a ministry. 


What elements do you consider most important in a contemporary Christian romance? 

First of all, that the characters are relatable and by no means perfect. Toss in a bit of trust, honor, loyalty, faith and a sweetness that is woven throughout. Of course, sensuality is important, as well. Our society seems to have forgotten the tenderness in holding hands coupled with a gentle kiss or stroke of the cheek. And, of course, a happy ending is always in order. 

You're prolific and have written so many wonderful books and novellas! Do you have a personal favorite (including series books)? If so, do you mind sharing the title and telling us why it's so special to you?

Though my favorite story is usually the one I am currently working on (I tend to fall in love with my characters and have a hard time saying goodbye), Wisdom Tree is the book of my heart. I actually wrote it when I was in the sixth grade (of course, over the years it went through copious edits) and it is emotion-filled straight from my heart. The characters have lived with me for so long that I feel as if they are family. I would love to do a sequel one day. 

What advice would you give to aspiring authors? 

Write, write, and write! Get involved with a critique group and online or in-town writer’s workshops. Build a network of support where you can learn and thrive. Most of all…believe in yourself! 

How do you like to spend your time when you’re not writing? 

Of course, I love to read, so I do a lot of that. I spend time with my family hiking and watching movies. I also love to run, and have finished three marathons. 

Can you tell us three things about you that readers might find interesting/
surprising/fun? 

First, I love coffee. My favorite writing days begin at about 4:00 a.m. with a cup of black coffee and a veil of pre-sunrise darkness. It’s cool to me to write while the world is still nestled soundly in bed. Second, I spent many years running marathons. This training has helped me tremendously to stay true to my path as a writer, especially when the going gets tough. Third, I write while I push mow the lawn. Yep, that’s right…I live on three acres and I push mow the entire thing. My neighbors used to try to help until I told them to let me be because I was crafting stories. Now they stop by when they see me plodding along to ask what I’m writing. 

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Author bio:  Mary Manners is an award-winning romance writer who lives in the beautiful foothills of East Tennessee with her husband Tim and the cherished cats they've rescued from local animal shelters...Lucky and Gus. She loves swimming, running, flavored coffee and Smoky Mountain sunsets.

Mary was named Author of the Year by Book and Trailer Showcase. She writes inspirational romances of all lengths, from short stories to novels—something for everyone.
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Buy Mary’s books: Amazon.com - http://amzn.to/1ID4DmT
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Connect with Mary:
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mary-Manners-author/303173983043284
Twitter- https://twitter.com/marymanners1
Website - http://www.MaryMannersRomance.com

4 comments:

  1. A wonderful author and true inspiration. Blessings to you always, Mary! xo <3

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    1. I agree with you Marianne! :) Mary Manners is one of my favorite authors after reading her book "Mended Heart" and one of my favorite people before that because she's such a sweet and nice person. "Mended Heart," in my honest opinion, is one of the very best books out there on the Christian market! :)

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  2. Thanks so much for adding me to your group, Alexis. I feel so honored! I'm looking forward to a beautiful friendship.

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    1. You're welcome, Mary. And thank YOU for taking the time to contribute to my blog! :) I'm looking forward to a beautiful friendship too. I love connecting with creatives! :) God bless you! *Jeremiah 29:11*

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