hey say write what you know. Mary C. Findley has poured her real life into her writing — From the cover designs inspired by her lifelong art studies to the love of pets and country life that worm their way into her historicals. The never-say-die heroes in her twenty-some fiction works are inspired by her husband, a crazy smart man with whom she co-writes science and history-based nonfiction. These works were jump-started by a deep awareness of the dangers in our future if we don’t understand ideological enemies rooted in the past. She’s a strong believer in helping others and also has books about publishing advice and the need to have strong standards in reading and writing.
She has traveled internationally and around the lower 48 and Canada multiple times. Anecdotes from her small town life, college experiences, European, Canadian, and south-of-the border travels, as well as adventures as shotgun rider in a tractor trailer fill her contemporary works. She has also donned the cloak of alt-Victorian adventuress as Sophronia Belle Lyon, steampunk writer with her own League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (and ladies) from the great 1800s novelists. In all her works you will find faith, family, friendship and fulfilling stories. Do come have a look!
What inspires you to write?
My themes are things I have learned that are too important to keep to myself. The Benny and the Bank Robber historical adventure series reinforces the lesson that we may go through tragic loss, great pain, and emotional turmoil, but God will never leave us or forsake us. The Great Thirst serial archaeological mystery focuses on government and media interference with our freedom to educate children according to our conscience, including teaching and sharing the Word of God. Our nonfiction centers on Secular Humanism as a religion that tries to replace true science and history with the mythology of evolution. Even my new murder mystery communicates the hidden crisis of Christians around the world facing violence and death for leaving the religions they grew up in.
Tell us about your writing process.
I am almost 100% pantser. I start with a theme and create story elements as I head toward a fairly definite ending. I usually have a strong idea of settings and main characters. Often secondary characters will become more important than I imagined. Once a guy I intended to keep well in the background became the main character! I do frequently have to keep track of names and character sketches so I have continuity. I write in multiple genres, so I have to get into a character myself as the storyteller to use the right language and tone to fit my historical fiction, contemporary suspense, or urban fantasy.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don't know that I talk to them, or they to me. I just know that they can certainly change and grow, or even shrink, from what I first thought they would be in the story. I start out thinking someone will just be an arrogant, angry jerk, but he becomes a smart, observant friend. Someone might be a brilliant nerdy sidekick but morphs into a green-haired tragically-injured love interest. Someone might begin as a major love interest and change into a plucky sidekick that has to be rescued by someone else who becomes the hero.
Who are your favorite authors?
Charles Dicken's Tale of Two Cities is still my favorite, no matter how many times I read it. Sidney Carton is the hero nobody saw coming. Richard Adams' Watership Down is such a splendid story of overcoming the odds and unlikely cooperation. Precarious Yates' Revelation Special Ops books are wonderful stories. Rudyard Kipling wrote so much lyrical prose and poetic beauty I can't pick one story.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I did submit to a few publishers and agents but eventually I decided to self-publish after hearing how much traditionally-published authors had their stories changes by editors and publishers. I wanted the freedom to cross genres and communicate my message, not someone else's.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
People will always want stories or information communicated to them in some way. The form may change, or need to diversify, to reach a larger audience. Ebooks, print, audio books, interactive digital, and even various kinds of illustrated and video storytelling (perhaps even virtual reality) will be needed to reach everyone who wants stories and knowledge.
What genres do you write?
Historical adventure, contemporary suspense, allegorical, urban fantasy, steampunk literary tribute, and nonfiction
What formats are your books in?
All information is provided by the author and is presented as it was submitted so you the reader get to hear the author’s own “voice” in their interview.