Tell us a little bit about your background.
I retired early from office administration to keep my grandson while my daughter works. That was 15 years ago. As a stay at home nana, I began creating non-fiction Christian articles.
Now tell us how you got into writing.
Writing has always been part of my life, especially correspondence because of my career. Fiction stories naturally progressed from nonfiction.
Was getting published hard?
I wouldn't say hard, but I certainly devoted a lot of time to finding a publisher. I sent query letters (55+) and took the comments seriously, rewriting my debut story four times. A year and half later, Prism Book Group (then Inspired Romance) offered me a contract.
Give us a summary of your current novel.
Stone of Destiny is my current book.
Taylor has given up on everything but her work. After becoming the youngest CEO of Mugful’s Beverage Company, she believes life is complete--until her grandmother asks her to oversee the renovations of the family home, in addition to searching for a missing heirloom.
Her first contact with what she believes is an insignificant ring, lost for fifty years, sends her life spinning. Taylor experiences strange. Unexpected feelings surface that she 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.
Is this a fairytale, or simply her soul reaching out for a different world--a life she can only find through faith and a divine trust in God?
And what about your upcoming release?
I'm excited about Redemption in Big Fork Lake. Prism hasn't announced a release date, but I'm hoping for late fall. It takes the readers back to Big Fork Lake Alabama and visits the most of the same characters in Escape to Big Fork Lake.
Below is the blurb.
Redemption in Big Fork Lake
What happens when an addiction takes over?
Only after Robert Turner attempts to hurt someone does he realize how much of a hold alcohol has on his life.
For Robert, a chance meeting with an Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor offers hope. A new devotion to the Lord and a relationship with Belle McBride gives him expectations for a better future.
His life appears to be on the right track, until he comes full circle with his past and faces the one mistake that haunts him daily. Can forgiveness-free Robert? Will he return to the life he once had?
Where do you get your ideas?
Something sparks my imagination. It will be a newscast or another person's comment, if the situation really sticks in my conscience. I’ll feel a need to create a story. In Stone of Destiny, my grandson was reading a book on magic and that incident sparked a desire to show God's wondrous ways.
How long does it take you to write a novel?
I have so many things going on in life. I can't write as I'd like, a normal first draft usually takes4- 6 months.
What do you enjoy doing outside of writing?
I read, a passion that started with Nancy Drew mysteries. J
My husband and I both enjoy fishing. I also like to sing praise songs. Hubby and I sing at church and often-other places.
Do you find certain times of the day or certain things inspire you to write?
Not really, I steal times to write when I can and as often as possible.
What advice would you give to a new writer wishing to make it in the publishing world?
Never give up and don’t let comments about your writing detour you from the goal of being published. Writing is ever learning, don’t waste time putting yourself down, just grow in the craft.
We'd love to hear a few quirky facts about you...things that don't normally come up in an interview!
Seriously, being weird is my middle name. I enjoy washing dishes. I’ll dig for the fishing worms without batting an eye and I would rather eat at a diner than a five start restaurant.
In my reviews, I try to give away as little as possible so I apologize in advance if I talk in generalities, but here goes.
In the beginning of the book, the main female character has a few frightening experiences and then after that, an unexpected change. Once she starts a new life, things settle in and the romance begins. At that point, I thought, well that's that, I know what's going to happen now! And just when I was ready to watch what I KNEW would happen unfold the author hit me upside the head with something totally unexpected, which I love. Reading a book you can predict can still be enjoyable, but once I was completely caught off guard, I no longer read that way at all. I still had my ideas about what might happen and I was wrong about many of them. It makes me admire the author and her imagination. It felt like she did it on purpose...led me one way so I'd think something and then changed direction. She did it masterfully and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Overall, the book was an adorable love story with some mystery and intrigue thrown in, something that can be hard to do, but Mary L. Ball did it well.
In any book, I also try to list a few things that stood out on the other side, even if I enjoyed the book to its fullest. This is the author in me that is continually trying to improve on writing myself.
For "Escape to Big Fork Lake," two things caught my attention. One was that on occasion, the perspective would change between the two main leads without warning. Now, when there's a chapter break or even a break within the chapter and the change occurred that was okay, but the changes within chapters without warning were jarring at times. That being said, it wasn't hard to figure out who was thinking what.
The second thing that I noticed was an abundance of people using other people's names. The author used hardly any "said so and so" type tags after sentences. Instead, the people would use each other's names when addressing one another. After a while, this became a bit much for me because I personally don't talk that way. Honestly, I can't remember the last time I said my own husband's name when talking to him.
Neither of those nit picky little things were deal breakers, of course. Overall, the story was there, the elements were in place and best of all, I was pleasantly surprised in several areas. Well done Mary!