Welcome, friends! Relax with your morning coffee or take a break during your weekend to help me welcome author Mary Manners to InspyRomance! Mary is a multiple award-winning writer who writes inspirational romances of all lengths, from short stories to novels—something for everyone. Mary lives in the beautiful foothills of East Tennessee with her husband Tim and the cherished cats they’ve rescued from local animal shelters…Lucky and Gus.
Mary has graciously agreed to give away one eBook copy of each of her four books shown in this post, but you must leave a comment or a question for Mary in order to be eligible. Contest ends on Friday, June 27, 2014 at midnight, and the four winners will be notified by email. Now, let’s visit with Mary Manners!
Welcome to InspyRomance, Mary! I’m thrilled to have you visit with us. Can you tell us three things about you that readers might find interesting, surprising and fun? First, I love coffee. My favorite writing days begin at about 4 am with a cup of black coffee and a veil of pre-sunrise darkness. It’s cool to me to write while the world is still nestled soundly in bed. Second, I spent many years running marathons. This training has helped me tremendously to stay true to my path as a writer, especially when the going gets tough. Third, I write while I push mow the lawn. Yep, that’s right…I live on three acres and I push mow the entire thing. My neighbors used to try to help until I told them to let me be because I was crafting stories. Now they stop by when they see me plodding along to ask what I’m writing.
What elements do you consider most important in a contemporary Christian romance? First of all, that the characters are relatable and by no means perfect. Toss in a bit of trust, honor, loyalty, faith and a sweetness that is woven throughout. Of course, sensuality is important, as well. Our society seems to have forgotten the tenderness in holding hands coupled with a gentle kiss or stroke of the cheek. And, of course, a happy ending is always in order.
Have you ever written or considered writing any other genre other than contemporary Christian romance? If no, why not? I have considered writing Christian YA because, throughout my years spent working with kids, I have learned there is a great need for this genre. I have actually written a YA novel (years ago) and perhaps I will dust off the pages someday and see what happens with it.
You’re prolific and have written so many wonderful books and novellas! Do you have a personal favorite (including series books)? If so, do you mind sharing the title and telling us why it’s so special to you? Though my favorite story is usually the one I am currently working on (I tend to fall in love with my characters and have a hard time saying goodbye), Wisdom Tree is the book of my heart. I actually wrote it when I was in the sixth grade (of course, over the years it went through copious edits) and it is emotion-filled straight from my heart. The characters have lived with me for so long that I feel as if they are family. I would love to do a sequel one day.
I know you’ve written Christmas novellas released in the same Holiday Extravaganza collections as my Starlight, Iowa Christmas series. Do you enjoy writing holiday-themed books? Oh, yes! I love writing holiday- themed stories. As a matter of fact, I just completed a Christmas novella last night. I have also written stories for the Fourth of July (Love Notions) and Easter (Designed by Love).
Do you have a favorite recurring theme or spiritual insight you’d like readers to “take away” after reading one of your books? Through God all things are possible. Never give up, have faith.
Do you have a verse from the Bible that you claim as your own in terms of your writing career? I love writing so much, and cannot imagine a life spent without it. My earliest childhood memory is scribbling across a sheet of paper, trying to ‘write’ the story in my head. So, I would have to say Ecclesiastes 2:10 fits well: “My heart took delight in all my work and this was the reward for all my labor.”
What’s up next from Mary Manners in terms of new releases? Coming soon is the third book in my 4-book Wildflowers and Wishes Series…Lilies and Lies. There is also another Heart’s Haven story arriving, titled Babycakes, which will be part of the fourth wave of books from the collection I write with Marianne Evans, Delia Latham, and Tanya Stowe. And, somewhere in between those stories readers should see the launch of the first book in my 7-book Sins and Virtues Series, which is titled Disguised Blessings. Stay tuned…there’s more to come!
Thank you, Mary, for being our very special guest today. Readers, now it’s your turn! Be sure and leave a comment for your chance to win an eBook copy of one of the fabulous books featured in this blog post!
Learn more about Mary Manners at her website: www.MaryMannersRomance.com
Join her on Facebook:
Mary Manners ‘Where love blooms…’
Freesia and Faith: Book 2 of Wildflowers and Wishes, now available
Wisdom Tree, 2012 TWJM Reviewer’s Choice Award, 2013 IRCA & ACRW Winner,
National Excellence in Romance Fiction
Light the Fire, 2012 Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award Winner
Buried Treasures, 2011 CAPA Award Nominee
Mended Heart (debut novel), nominated Best Inspirational Romance and finalist for the Bookseller’s Best Award
Tender Mercies, 4 1/2 Stars, Romantic Times Book Reviews
Named Author of the Year by Book and Trailer Showcase