08-02-2012 10:42 AM
This week we have a special treat in my New Release Feature because Mary Carter author ofThe Pub Across the Pond has her brand new novel released this week
So with out further ado our New Release feature this week is
Interview with Mary Carter
author of The Pub Across the Pond
Debbie - Mary you will have your 6th novel published on July 31st,
Do you still get butterflies on release day.
Mary - First, thank you for having me. Yes, The Things I Do For You, will be out on July 31st. I don’t necessarily get butterflies because I’m not physically present when the “release” happens, but I do look forward to it. I now have an image of thousands of butterflies being released—I like that, I think I will hold on to it. There is always a lot of anticipation when a book comes out. You’ve spent so much time on it, it’s like your child and you want people to like it, and be nice to it, and invite it to their birthday parties. But you also have to learn to relax because you really can’t control how your book will be received. I try to spend most of my energy on writing the best story I can, and am learning to be a bit Zen about the rest.
Tell us about your new project The Writers Den, how did it come about and why did you start it.
I love talking about writing and I always have aspiring writers ask me for advice. Years ago I took an online writing course that helped me tremendously while writing my first novel. The course later became a published book—Immediate Fiction by Jerry Cleaver. He’s been teaching his course in Chicago for 26 years and running. We’ve stayed in touch with each book I’ve published, so one day I emailed and asked what he thought about me teaching his unique 6-week writing workshop in NYC. He loved the idea, and it all snowballed from there. So I’ve franchised the workshop, but as a working novelist I have practical experience of my own to offer my students as well.
Tell us where you were and how you felt when you first learned you were going to be a published author.
I was living on a houseboat in Seattle at the time. It was a very small houseboat but it was just “down the block” from the Sleepless in Seattle houseboat. Speaking of which—I have to tell this cute little story—I was told that there was a little boy who lived on the houseboat they used to film Sleepless in Seattle, and one bright summer day they were filming and this little boy fell asleep on the dock. While he was napping they set up for a Christmas scene. So he wakes up to find Christmas lights and fake snow. The poor kid thought he slept through summer and fall. Don’t know if it’s true, but that’s what you hear when you hang around houseboats. Back to me. Believe it or not I don’t remember exactly where I was when the call from my agent came in, I think I was on the houseboat—but I do know that shortly afterwards I walked up and down the pier with this incredible feeling of joy. It had just rained (Really? Rain in Seattle?) and I looked up and there in the skies over Lake Union was a double rainbow. I took it as a promising sign. It was a very special moment.
Tell us about the history of your writing, did you always want to write, are you an overnight success.
My first short story was written when I was four-years-old. It was called “The Boy and the Mouse.” Then in third grade I won a state-wide writing contest with a story about a boy and a muskrat. I don’t know why I was so fascinated with boys and rodents, but hey, whatever gets you going, right? I continued to write poems, essays, short stories, plays, and even a screenplay up until I attempted my first novel. So technically I was very lucky in that the first novel I’d ever written was published, but I had many years of practice behind me.
Tell us about your life as an author, do you write full time, do you belong to a writer’s group.
I am getting close to the dream of writing full time. I still do some freelance work in another field but it’s trickled way down lately. I also conduct the writing classes now. I’ve always thought about writer’s groups but I’ve never actually joined one. Maybe there’s one in my future because I do love meeting and being with other writers. The act of writing is so lonely that we need the support and like-mindedness at times.
Do you do your research behind a desk or do you get to go to the places you write about.
A bit of both. For The Pub Across the Pond I went to Ireland for a month. I’m currently writing a novel set in Italy, but I was only able to go for 8-days so a lot of my research will be online, books, travel videos, etc. Whenever I can, I prefer to be free of the “behind the desk” syndrome and actually get out and see, and do, and touch, and smell, and eavesdrop.
Take us on an average day in the life of Mary Carter
I truly don’t have an “average” day. Sometimes I write on my couch in PJs. Sometimes I go to a coffee shop. Sometimes I go to my writing space. Some days I do other freelance work. Some days I have class in the evening so I am preparing for that. I guess I shake things up quite a bit. I also try to balance it with a social life—friends and activities. I live in NYC after all, so there’s never the excuse that there’s “nothing to do”.
Now let’s step away from the world of books, tell us what’s at the top of your bucket list, if you have one.
I guess I keep mine in my head, I’ve never actually written it down. I want to travel more—if I were rich—I’d probably always be going to a new place. I’d love to spend more time in Italy and learn to speak Italian. I also want to visit Madrid and Portugal. Hong Kong. An African Safari. Machu Piccho. Some day I’d also like to have a house on a beach with a labradoodle.
Mary, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule for answering these questions and for being an integral part of our discussion.
Thank you so much, it’s so much fun answering these questions.
My review of The Things I Do For You
In this romantic comedy Mary Carter introduced me to a couple that I laughed with and at, cried with and wanted to throw things at too, why because she made them so real and along with her other memorable characters led me down her merry path. Her storyline is a delicate mix of comedy, tragedy and everyday living that she expertly molds into her tale giving it just the right slice of authenticity. Her narrative brings the scenic views from the Lighthouse, the Hudson river and the surrounding vistas to life told in a dialogue that’s easy to read and understand. This is not my first trip with Mary Carter and I know it’ll not be my last either. If you’re looking for a beach read, a novel to take your mind off your own troubles or just a good read this one fits the bill.
Bailey and Brad Jordan have been in love since they were ten and grew up to stay in love and marry. During their marriage Bailey has followed Brad throughout Europe, through owning many mom and pop business gone bust and would willingly go through Hades and back. The only thing that would make the union better in Bailey’s eyes would be a child, but Brad will have none of that and is always making excuses why they should wait. After Brad’s near fatal accident which sent him spiraling toward the light of afterlife Bailey follows him one more time, this time to ownership of a Lighthouse in upstate New York that he plans on turning into a B&B. Now in their late thirties Bailey hopes that this time he’ll settle down enough so they can have a baby before her biological clock becomes a ticking time bomb. What follows is a series of events that will forever change their lives, will it be for the better. Let’s check into the B&B and see.