Living in Ireland, Mary Elizabeth Coen is a former Home Economics teacher and lifestyle journalist.
Though she always dreamed of being a writer, Mary Elizabeth took a rather circuitous route getting there. You could say she has had several incarnations in this lifetime from Home Economics teacher to Fashion Editor of a magazine, along with being mother to three wonderful children, Mark, Janet and Emily. Due to demand from clients she opened her own pr consultancy firm specializing in fashion; – the dream job for a fashionista, availing of great discounts on wonderful shoes and vintage clothing.
Unfortunately the five inch stilettos had to go when Mary’s health deteriorated and she received a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Work too, had to take a back seat as Mary sought to maintain optimum health and became interested in holistic medicine and personal development. In the process, she developed a passion for mythology, philosophy and the study of ancient spiritual traditions. As a spiritual seeker, she traveled to Mayan sites in Mexico, visited a famous healer’s ashram in Brazil and undertook a shamanic journey through Peru. Mary’s book Love & the Goddess is based on her travels.
Mary is now in robust good health, working as a full-time author and stress management lecturer, while also running a website called Goddess MECA. The acronym is for Mary Elizabeth Coen Assists the Goddess in everywoman through sharing her love of cookery fashion and mythology. Mary brings her experience from teaching, using tools that are practical and easily integrated into every day busy lives. Her clients range from private individuals, to SMEs, to large organizations and bodies.
What inspires you to write?
My love of writing, psychology, nature and people. I love to entertain people by telling stories.
Tell us about your writing process.
I develop an idea and allow it to gestate.
I create character sketches and visualize them before, using an image board to stick pictures from magazines onto.
Then I write a first draft which I will go on to re- write ad infinitum.
I consult and editor regarding a possible re-structure in between and after many drafts consult a copy editor.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I first of all feel somewhat like a method actor as I get a sense of being in the skin of my characters. Later as chapters develop I listen as they tell me what happens and who they are deep in their hearts.
What advice would you give other writers?
Read more than you write, especially in hte genre you are interested in. A good writer must first of all be a voracious reader.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I wanted creative control so I self- published but also printed 1,500 paper backs for sale in Irish bookstores. It has sold really well.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I believe there will always be a demand for print books but digital is certainly the way forward since we live in a digital world. Also it cuts down on escessive use of paper. I do however love the feel of a real book as many readers do. It is a treat to browse an indigenous or second hand bookstore in search of rare treats.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Women’s fiction/Humor/Travel/ Inspiration
What formats are your books in?