Sunday, April 26, 2015

Love is in the Air: Author interview with Mary L. Ball

Mary L. Ball writes inspirational fiction and romance for the Christian fiction market. 

Postmarked Ever After, Escape to Big Fork Lake and Stone Destiny are three of Mary's books, all of which she will discuss today in her author interview!

Grab a cup of tea, treat yourself to a scone or fresh fruit (the healthier option) and spend time learning about today's featured author and her books!

Questions from Alexis in bold, answers from Mary L. Ball not in bold...

Alexis: You’ve said you’re an inspirational author who feels called to write about worldly issues. Explain how you are sure about this and tell us, what issues do you address in your books?

Mary: When I first started writing, I really tried to shy away from conflicts and temptations that the world tosses our way. I wanted to create carefree novels full of sunshine, but with each attempt and every chapter, the process grew harder. My mind kept steering toward the “what if’s,” and how faith could change a person’s perspective about a situation. I soon realized that the Lord was leading me to touch lives with the grace and mercy that He offers to each of us. For me, the plot and the substance of the stories will not come together until I drive into the imperfections in life, and highlight everyday problems showing the readers a different approach than most of the world would sees.

In my debut novel Escape to Big Fork Lake, the main character had to deal with an abusive situation and after she fled to another state, she was then accused of murder.

My latest novel, Redemption in Big Fork Lake, wraps around alcohol addiction. The main character struggles with the problem, and the repercussions that drinking can cause.

Your titles and book covers for Escape to Big Fork Lake, Postmarked Ever After, and Stone of Destiny captured my interest. Tell us, in a few sentences, about each book.

Escape to Big Fork Lake: Bad luck seems to follow Sam Blacker. She loses her job and faces daily struggles keeping her drunken neighbor away from her. An unexpected inheritance gives her a chance for a new beginning and Sam, a city girl at heart, is hesitant. However, after a brutal attack she has no choice. Will an inheritance bring new happiness or a trap for murder?

Postmarked Ever After: Recently widowed, Serena Gray is dedicated to her nursing career and finds solace in her faith. Months after a shooting takes her husband’s life, a mysterious letter arrives that raises questions about his past. She tries to forget the words scripted on the paper until a young patient has a brush with death, and recounts a vivid dream...something he could never have known.

Stone of Destiny: Taylor Harrison’s first contact with what she believes is an insignificant ring, lost for fifty years, sends her life spinning. She experiences strange unexpected feelings that Taylor doesn't understand. Thoughts that should remain unspoken are voiced. Taylor’s emotional journey begins, testing a heart as cold as the ring itself and forcing her to question everything she believes.

Who are your favorite characters in each of those books? Explain why.

Samantha, the main character in Escape to Big Fork Lake really touched my heart as I watched her grow from an unsure woman wondering where she belonged, to a remarkable lady who comes to accept that bad things often happen to good people. On Sam’s journey, she finds that mishaps can lead to greater blessings.

In Postmarked Ever After, I think my favorite would be the love interest, Adam Knox. He is raising a daughter by himself and although he has stepped away from God, Adam still does his best to be a loving father. He really had a hard time accepting the message that was presented to Serena for their lives. What I really like about Adam is the way he steps back into his faith as he struggles with the content in the letter.

Stone of Destiny is a different kind of story, some may think it touches on magic, but that’s not what the book is about. My favorite character in this book is Granny Kaye. She, like many Christians, sometimes lets her concerns get in the way of faith. When Granny Kaye realizes this, she gets back into the word and renews her inner strength.

Who publishes your books? Share a few notes on your journey to publication.

Prism Book Group published all but two of my books. Going through a traditional publisher was a long growing process, but well worth the year and half it took to see my debut novel online. Joan Alley, the editor-in-chief of Prism has taught me a lot about the art of writing a good story.

Life Inspiring Books, my own imprint, is the publisher of Postmarked Ever After and Christmas at Angel Ranch.

Do you have an agent or are you an indie author? Share details. 

I’m a traditionally published, and hybrid author, but I aspire to grow. Although, I enjoy dipping my feet into the self-publishing pool, I would like to find an agent and venture out.

Describe your most memorable moment as a new author of romance. 

A positive moment is the time that a reader raved about the way my characters show romance in their everyday life.

Every author has a storytelling style. What’s yours?

One reader referred to my writing as, similar to that of Grace Livingston Hill. My publisher says that I write with a moderate approach.

What do you hope your readers will take away from your books?

In my novels I always try to highlight the fact that having faith gives one the strength to overcome.

Describe your writing space. What makes it special to you?

My husband and I sing, so my writing room doubles as a practice space. One area holds my computer, desk, and printer. The other side has my karaoke machine, our music, and traveling singing system. On the side where my office space is, I have a window next to my desk. Outside only a few feet away, a bird feeder hangs from a tree. A big angel that my daughter gave me rests on the wall over my desk. To me, it’s perfect. I see and hear God’s beauty outside as I write, and a glance over my desk where the angel hangs reminds me of the Lord’s mercy.

What do you love most about being a novelist? What do you not like about it?

I enjoy creating the characters. And I’m sure I’m not alone when I say the least liked part are the many editing stages an author must do.

As a woman of faith, how does your relationship with God affect your storytelling?

I see things from an optimistic prospective, always understanding that trials build patience.

What or who inspires you?
I’m always asked this. I have to say that learning new ways to stay positive is one inspiration, and Nicholas Sparks is the other.

Share a bit about your personal life (family, children, hobbies, etc.)?

I’m a stay at home nana. I have a mother with Alzheimer’s and a stepdad with dementia who are in a care facility close to our home. I visit them three or more times a week and attend to their needs.  I keep my youngest grandson around the school schedule while my daughter works.  My husband is an associate pastor, and we have a singing ministry. When I do have down time, I like to fish with hubby and enjoy spending time at the lake.

Share the one Bible verse that keeps you focused and faithful to God.

I have this Bible verse taped to my computer. It’s from the King James Version of Mark 11:23 and it reads, “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.”

I’ve found that a mountain can be anything. For me, the key to having a relationship with the Lord is to believe with a whole heart.
Author bio: 
Mary L. Ball is an inspirational fiction author and lives in North Carolina between the wondrous mountains and beautiful beaches. She writes about real-life problems, blended with romance.

Her novels include: Escape to Big Fork Lake, Stone of Destiny, Postmarked Ever After, Christmas at Angel Ranch and Redemption in Big Fork Lake. She is also a contributing author of 21 Stories of Faith.

When Mary is not working on her latest story, she enjoys fishing, reading, and singing with her husband at church functions.

Connect with Mary: 

Twitter -

Website -

Buy Mary's books: 

Escape to Big Fork Lake -

Stone of Destiny -

Postmarked Ever After -


  1. Thanks Alexis, I enjoyed the interview very much.

  2. Really enjoyed the interview. I love Mary's books.

  3. I've read all of Mary's novels, and especially enjoy her own Life Inspiring Books; Postmarked Ever After and Christmas at Angel Ranch. Her writing
    weaves, some mystery, romance and faith. A sweet combination. I look forward to reading more of her work.


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