Mary Gant Bell began her writing career about fifteen years ago to give voice to the ideas rattling in her brain. She started with genealogy books and later Christian fiction romance novels. She married a man who craves adventure. Together they parent one daughter and a gaggle of attention-seeking cats. When Mary is not writing, she quilts or cleans seashells from her latest trip to the beach. She never learned to cook, so don’t show up at dinner time. She’d much rather chase her characters from chapter to chapter than preheat the oven.
What inspires you to write?
People I meet influence me more than other authors. I enjoy taking unusual people and making their quirks come to life in a lovable fashion. Readers have told me that I write in a way that forces the reader to see a person or situation from another angle, make you see a side of things from another perspective. Exposing my readers to those other perspective influences me the most.
Tell us about your writing process.
I generally start with an outline but don't always follow it. At the very least, I have the idea that I want the reader to take away from the book plastered on my computer monitor. That keeps me focused. Then I follow the characters to see how they will get me to that goal. Most of the time, we agree on the path and arrive on the last page without too many deviations.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Absolutely! My characters, like myself, chat with me all day long. There are things I didn't know about certain characters until they reveal that halfway through the book. For example, I didn't know the story of how Thomas got his name until book 6 of the Under the Garden Tree series. I always thought his name was Thomas, but it wasn't. Who knew?
Who are your favorite authors?
I read a wide variety of authors and types of books. I can't say I have a favorite. I will say, however, that I do enjoy reading dialogue. Novel without dialogue don't hold my interest for long.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I started writing family genealogy books. I self-published them because I figured only handful of people would buy them. I was wrong about that! I continue to self-publish now that I am writing novels because I want to stay true to my message. Publishing houses sometimes have their own agendas and deadlines. I prefer to march to my own beat.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I believe the future will hold many variations of publishing. Some will become a flash in the pan while others still stick. In the end, sharing information and recreational reading will never disappear. Authors will find a way to tell their stories no matter what the publishing world does. We are a determined lot!
What genres do you write?
Christian romance novels, genealogy
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.