About Me

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Clare writes inspirational romance, usually of a suspenseful nature. Her books are available through her publisher Pelican Book Group and Amazon. She is married with three kids and lives in the UK. She loves watching sci-fi, crime drama, cross stitching, reading and baking.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Guest Author - Mary Manners

Mary's first novel, Mended Heart, comes out on Aug 20th. She took the time to do an interview for me. Here's her answers. My review of her book comes at the end :)
1-Where were you born? I was born in Chicago, IL but have lived in the beautiful foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee for over 25 years.

2 –If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? I love where I live. We have a variety of scenery...mountains and rivers. The people are very friendly and the traffic’s not too bad.

3 - What is the funniest thing that ever happened to you or you witnessed that made you laugh so hard you couldn’t catch your breath? I was in Cracker Barrel with my husband a year or so ago. He bent over to look at something on a lower shelf and his shorts ripped along the length of the seam. The sound alone was funny enough, but his reaction was priceless! He has a great sense of humor. We still laugh about it.

4 - What hidden talent do you possess outside of writing... something you do for fun, but are good at? I like to run. I’ve done several marathons, and I think they were great training for the whole writing process. I learned how to pace myself through the hills and valleys and to never give up.

5. Why did you begin writing? How long have you been writing? I began ‘scribbling’ stories before I actually knew how to print. I think I was born writing. I wrote my first full novel in the sixth grade and I was fortunate to have a wonderful teacher who mentored and encouraged me. Writing is something deep in my bones. I don’t think I can separate myself from it—it’s like breathing.

6. What advice would you give a new writer just starting out? Write what you know, and never give up. Life will bring experiences that will enrich your writing. As you age, you will begin to see things from a wider variety of perspectives. This is so important.

7. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? Yes, I suffer writer’s block, though not nearly as often as I used to. When it strikes I...mow. Yes, I mow my lawn. I have two acres, and I push mow it all. The mindless exercise frees my brain to think about the story. It’s like taking a sledgehammer to a dam.

8. What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing? A writer needs to draw a reader in and make her feel like she’s ‘in’ the story. Use of an abundance and variety of imagery is most important.

9. How do you develop your plots and characters? I start with a steno book and give my hero and heroine names and physical characteristics. Then I list other qualities—emotions, quirks and such. I like to free write a few chapters before I actually hit the computer. And I never leave home without a pencil and paper. When inspiration strikes I write it down before I forget.

10. Are you working on anything at the present you’d like to share with us? Yes. I just finished a story named Tender Mercies, and I’m editing another titled Light the Fire. Both have strong heroes and heroines who overcome life’s disappointments and loss to find love.

11. Do you really, really want a dog? I have two...and two cats. They all came from animal shelters and have added plenty of quirks to my life.

12. You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be? My mom used to send me down the block to a woman who ‘cut’ hair for $1.25. In reality, she scalped me every time. Uggh! I looked like a boy. To this day I won’t cut my hair above my shoulders :)

13. Are you a morning person or a night person? I am definitely a morning person. I love the quiet and stillness of pre-dawn when the rest of the world lay slumbering.

14. If you could see anyone tomorrow (dead or alive), who would it be? My dad. He passed away from Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma eight years ago. Yes...I really miss my dad.

About Your upcoming release/Book:

1. How did you come up with your premise? Is there a story behind Mended Heart? How did the story evolve? I have always been intrigued by how the wealthy and not-so-wealthy co-exist. My family was very poor growing up. My dad had to drop out of school in the 7th grade to help support his family after his dad left his mom with nine kids to raise, and he did any odd job he could find to support us. Yet, he was one of the most intelligent men I’ve ever known. He could build anything. Also, every family has at least one secret. How does this change the course of one’s life?

2. For those who are not familiar with this story, would you please give us the blurb? Mended Heart is the love story of Jade McAllister and Shane Calkin...
Shane is a former bad-boy-wannabe fighting to raise his spunky niece and a rambunctious puppy. Jade nurses a wounded heart as she struggles to escape her mother’s rejection...and Shane’s. Nine years have passed since they last saw each other, and a terrible secret looms. Will the secret destroy them, or have the years taught them how to trust...and to love?

3 Are there any fun tid-bits about this story you can share with us? Shane knows how to sweet-talk a computer’s hard drive and his dog, Maggie, is a menace who likes to munch on picnic tables and alarm clocks. (Could do with Shane around here to sweet talk my comp at times)

4 How did you decide on the setting? I write what I know...the south is a beautiful backdrop for romance.

5 When will it be released? August 20, 2010.
Thanks Mary. I loved reading this book. Here's my review :) Oh and the cover too

Mended Heart by Mary Manners

Jade’s past catches up with her when she starts a new job at Piney Grove Church. Shane, the man she spent the last nine years trying to forget, is the youth pastor there. The story starts on a roller coaster and continues with its twists and turns through the heart warming love story as hearts that were broken, by time and circumstances, become whole. Well worth reading.


Donna B said...

Very nice! Great interview and the story sounds wonderful. I'm way behind my white rose reading, but I will surely add this to my list!

Delia Latham said...

Mended Heart sounds fascinating - and I love the cover! Great interview!

Mary Manners said...

Thank you for the kind words, Donna. I appreciate them!


Mary Manners said...

I love the cover, too, Delia. And the artwork looks great on the bookmarks you created. They came in the mail Saturday, and they are beautiful! Thank you so much!

Mary Manners said...

By the way, anyone who'd like a bookmark, please email me at sunriserun63@aol.com and I'll be glad to send you one!

Carol Ann said...

Great interview, ladies! I enjoyed getting to know more about you Mary. I love the Smoky Mountain area. Living there must be a wonderful dream. I, too, love the cover! Congratulations on your upcoming release. Can't wait to read it.

Carol Ann Erhardt

Marianne Evans said...

Mary, congratulations on the release of Mended Heart!! It sounds like a fantastic read! Great interview, too! :-)

Mary Manners said...

Thank you, Carol Ann, for the kind comments. Yes, the Smokies are amazing. I can't imagine living anywhere else but here. Hope you enjoy Mended Heart!

Mary Manners said...


Thank you. I enjoyed being interviewed. I'm looking forward to your upcoming releases, as well!

JoAnn said...

I loved your interview. The Cracker Barrel story was my favorite part :)

Best wishes for much success with your story that releases on the 20th. (It will be here before you know it!)

Mary Manners said...


Thank you for stopping by. Yes, I love the Cracker Barrel story, too. My brother and sister-in-law are visiting from Chicago and we were just laughing about it again last night over coffee. Thank goodness I have such a wonderful husband, with an amazing sense of humor:)

LoRee Peery said...

Kudos to you both. Terrific interview and I look forward to this story's release.