Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Mary Connealy - Interview and Giveaway

Here is my interview with Christian Western Romance writer Mary Connealy. She's going to give away one of her books, so leave a comment if you want to be in on the drawing.

Mary, your books are so fresh and fun and different. Stephen King says all writers hate this question, but I can’t help but ask you: Where do you get your ideas?

My books have a jumping off spot usually from my own life but then I start with the what-if. I call Petticoat Ranch my husband’s story because he’s from a family of seven sons and we have four daughters and watching him interact with the girls is sometimes comical.

Calico Canyon I think of as my husband’s life growing up in that family of all boys.
Gingham Mountain is more my family when I was growing up. Eight kids in a two bedroom farm house.

Montana Rose was inspired . . . the original spark of an idea . . . by Janette Oke’s beautiful classic Love Comes Softly. The basic set-up. A widow, pregnant and alone in the west, more or less forced into an immediate marriage.
Of course, I’m not Janette Oke (like anyone was making THAT mistake) and my novel has taken an alarming turn to romantic comedy, suspense and chaos. I think of it as Love Comes Hardly. Or maybe Love Comes Loudly. Or, in the case of the poor, long suffering hero Red, Love Comes Unfortunately.

When did you start writing and why?

I started writing seriously, book length fiction, when my baby went to Kindergarten. I was inspired to do it by a friend who wrote a book. I just loved the idea and started one of my own. And once I started I couldn’t seem to stop, regardless of all the editors who seemed to be saying I should.

Your newest book, Cowboy Christmas, comes out in September. Will you tell us about it?

Elijah Walker's lost his father at the hands of a deceitful woman. The one thing he can’t abide is lies.
Citified Annette Talbot is on the run from something and Eli knows a liar when he sees one.
After a lifetime of being a good girl who does what she’s told, Annette’s obedient nature has led her straight into danger. She’s determined to live more bravely and she’s planning to start just as soon as she can be brave from behind her tough Wyoming rancher father.
Her father fails her but Elijah can’t ignore a damsel in distress. He’s powerfully drawn to the little liar. In self-defense he turns his back on her.
That leaves Annette her first perfect chance to stand up and face trouble.
She almost dies running away.
Walker can’t help protecting her, especially since God pretty much dropped Annette straight into his unwilling arms.
But helping her isn’t the same as trusting her, and that he will never do.
As Annette and Walker fight their attraction and danger draws near, Christmas approaches. The bickering twosome will get one special chance to heal old heartbreaks and follow their own star.

Do you have any other books coming out in the near future?

Montana Rose, which released in July is book one of a three book series. Cowboy Christmas isn’t in that series but book two, The Husband Tree releases in January 2010 and book three, Wildflower Bride comes in May 2010.

What book are you working on now? Give us a sneak peek into your future stories.

I’m on the three book series Barbour Publishing has contracted for after the Montana Marriages series. This books are the children from Petticoat Ranch all grown up. I think of it as the Sophie’s Daughters Series but we haven’t given the series an official name yet.

What does your family think about all your success? Has your success changed how “the locals” treat you?

My family has been so great. Melanie, if you knew me, you’d know I am just the most regular person imaginable, honestly. I am a ranch wife. I live a quiet normal life. A stay-at-home mom for twenty-seven years. Now I have a job teaching GED. All very orderly and nice and boring. That I got a book published is still amazing, seriously stunning to me. That people seem to really like them is beyond any hope I ever had. It’s like my dreams came true and now I can’t dream big enough to imagine what will happen next.
Everyone in the area seems so happy for me. Lots of the people from my hometown, where I’ve lived all my life, make such a fuss over my books. It’s wonderful

Do your husband and four daughters read your books? Do they ever “critique” them?

They do. My husband is great, though he usually reads them after they’ve released so he’s a little late to critique them then.
My girls are terrific fans. They’ve all been so encouraging and excited for me. And they’re probably even more surprised than I am that MOM has books that are actually on the shelves in Wal-Mart.

Do you have any advice for beginning writers?

The advice I always give is write. Write and keep writing. Yes take classes. Yes join a critique group. Yes read books on the craft. Yes enter contests and take the judges critiques seriously. Yes join professional organizations and attend conferences and make contacts, meet people. But bottom line, write. All that stuff you learn had to be practiced, honed. And you can’t do that without putting words on that computer screen. Finish a book. Toss it out into the world in contests and to editors, but don’t sit around biting your fingernails waiting. Start a new book. Just keep writing.

Any advice for writers who have been at it for a long time?

I’m a big believer in perseverance, Melanie. I wrote for ten years before I got my first book published and most writers has similar stories. Yes, you find an occasional troublemaker who gets her first book published but mostly not. Mostly you need to stay in there. Take the heartbreak and disappointment and heartbreak. Grow a tough hide. If you want to be published you’ve got to learn to handle that. And sometimes it’s really not easy. You’d better love writing. In fact, if you can stop, I’d say just stop if it hurts too much. I just can’t seem to stop.


Nora said...

LOVE MARY'S BOOK!! Mary is a hoot!! I haven't read this one but I have it by my night stand (don't want to be entered in the drawing) I will be reading it soon. I'm really looking forward to it.

Blessings to you and Mary!!

Finding Hope Through Fiction

Cara Slaughter said...

Mary, I have to say I love all your books, especially your sense of humor! It's amazing to me how fast you can write. I guess you're my inspiration for getting lots of words down on the screen!

Mary Connealy said...

Hi, Nora. Thanks for stopping by.

I'm honored to have made your nightstand.

Thanks for having me on, Melanie.

I think it's only fair to say here that despite all my answers and advice, I'm pretty clueless. So be warned.

Mary Connealy said...



~Ley said...

Ooh, a Sophie's Daughters series. I'm excited!


Linda said...

Please enter me. Haven't read any of Mary's books yet. Thank you.
desertrose5173 at gmail com

Krista Phillips said...

Ohhh, I just bought Gingham Mountain to read the other day, SO looking forward to it!

krista at kristaphillips.com

Debra E Marvin said...

Mary, you always come across as so likable and real that I think we all feel we know you. A real class act!

I received Gingham Mountain by winning a drawing on Seekerville, so I shouldn't try for another one but . . . I will.

Thanks Melanie for rounding up Mary and roping her in to post for us.

Jody said...

Oh I just love this series! My local library has such a limited CF section and I was thrilled to find the first three books in the series and read them all in less than a week. I didn't even realize there was a new one out. I would dearly love to win it.

rodgerandjody at hotmail dot com

Mary Connealy said...

Jody, if you don't win you have my permission to go and kick up a fuss at the library until they get it in.

Hold your breath, drop to the floor.

Tell them Mary sez it's okay.

Uh.....see if the local paper will come and take pictures. This could add up to a few sales...sorry about you being publically humiliated, but it's for a GOOD CAUSE.

Renee G said...

Enjoyed the interview and would love to read this.

sugarandgrits said...

Please don't enter me ~ I FINALLY won my very own copy of Montana Rose!! YAY! It hasn't gotten here yet, but when it does it will be put right at the top of my TBR mountains. LOL

I just wanted to say that I'm thrilled to hear that you're working on a series for Sophie's Daughter's!! SWEET!! Petticoat Ranch was my absolute fave of the series ~ I laughed most of the way through the book. :)

Thanks for another interesting interview! ~ Lori

Renee said...

OOOoooOOOooo I am SO excited that another series is already in the works! Can't wait to see if Sophie's daughters turn out like their mama! I just finished Montana Rose and can't wait to read The Husband Tree and Wildflower Bride as well! If you win this book, girls you will NOT be disappointed...trust me :-)

Keli Gwyn said...

I enjoyed the interview, Mary and Melanie. My question, Mary, is how do you teach and still have time to write as many books as you do? Have you given up on sleep?

I've chuckled my way through the first two books mentioned, have the third in my TBR mountain and would love to read Montana Rose as well.

Cherie J said...

Enjoyed the interview. Mary comes across as such a warm and genuine person. I don'r have Montana Rose yet so I would love to be entered in the drawing. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.


Carole said...

"Christian Western Romance" - I've always loved Western romances, and it's wonderful to have them in the Christian market. Mary's books always lift my spirits. Thank you so much for the chance to win this new book.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

The Write Life said...

Fun interview, Mary! I look forward to Sophie's girls' stories, too. I'd love to be entered in the drawing.


Mary Connealy said...

You've all got to get through Cowboy Christmas first. It's coming in September.

More trouble and true love in the old west.

Then Belle's story, The Husband Tree, well, just hang on to your saddles. This is one woman who,when she says she's sworn off men, is DEAD SERIOUS.

Mary Connealy said...

We've got working titles for Sophie's daughters.
They'll tell you what they're about, even if the titles change.

Doctor in Petticoats
Wrangler in Petticoats
Sharpshooter in Petticoats

Was there ever a chance that Sophie's daughters would grow up to be shy lady-like little things?

Mary Connealy said...

Cherie J, you're not the first to comment on how warm and likeable I seem.

Those who have never met me.

I'm a writer remember? It's what I do. While I'm hiding from real life. :)

Mary Connealy said...

Cherie J, you're not the first to comment on how warm and likeable I seem.

Those who have never met me.

I'm a writer remember? It's what I do. While I'm hiding from real life. :)

Robin Johns Grant said...

Interesting interview! Mary sounds like a fun person and Montana Rose sounds like great fun. Funny how two writers can take a similar idea and produce something totally unique.

kellie said...

What a great interview.thanks for sharing a piece of your life with us.Please enter me to win this book I would love to read it thanks

Deborah M said...

Mary, I haven't had the opportunity to read your books yet, but they sound delightful. From the comments I have read you have loyal following.
Keep up the good work and please enter me in the contest.
Deborah M.

Mary Connealy said...

I owe Melanie big time so I had to come here.

Our first experience...she barely escaped with her life.

So I'm trying to make that up to her.

Melanie Dickerson said...

I scared you, didn't I, Mary? But once you realized how much fun you were going to have teasing me about it FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE, you got over the fright.

And thanks for being vague about it!!! LOL!

Wanda said...

Mary, your books sound amazing and I would love to be entered in a draw to win one!!
wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

Anonymous said...

nascar simracing nocd crack
newsbin pro serial crack
98lite professional warez
download paint shop pro 9 crack
super guitar chord finder 5.0 crack

acdsee 7 powerpack activation crack
living cell 3d screensaver keygen
pdf editor 2.2.6 crack
universal pass crack
image optimizer crack
chessmaster 7000 crack
windows longhorn 4074 activation crack
windows blinds 4.4 crack
girder 3.3.4 crack
max gammon crack
packetvideo recorder crack
multimedia builder mp3 version crack
imtoo mp3 converter crack
wma encoder decoder crack
microsoft word keygen
vsp poker crack
c builder keygen
derive 6.1 keygen
wave corrector crack
fruity loop crack
zero trace 1.4 crack
py software crack
dynamic submission 7.1.17 crack