Sunday, February 20, 2011

Welcome to the Blog, Mary Manners!

Today I'm delighted to welcome my dear friend, and fellow White Rose author, Mary Manners to A Minute with Marianne! Mary is a treasure, and such a talented writer. I'm excited to introduce you to her, and her wonderful stories.

Mary lives in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee with her husband, Tim, and their daughter, Danni, as well as dogs Abby and Molly and cats Lucky and Gus. Mary is an award-winning, multi-published author of inspirational romance. You can visit her at

Mary, I just returned from a research trip to Nashville, and my husband and I fell completely and totally in love with Tennessee. What a gorgeous state! Thanks for paying a visit to the blog today.

I'll start things off with a bit about your contemporary inspirational romance, Tender Mercies:


When Lexi Taylor resorts to hosting an online auction to raise money for her fledgling youth center, Thursday's Child, the last thing she expects is to be matched for a date with…

…Cooper Jackson…hometown hero and former championship-winning University of Tennessee quarterback. Lured by the promise of a lucrative NFL career, he broke off their engagement without so much as a backward glance six years ago. Now he's come home to Knoxville to nurse an injured knee and his wounded pride--and he wants Lexi back.

A heartbreaking secret stands between them…and Lexi plans to keep it that way. But when Cooper's gentleness and renewed faith coax the secret to the surface, will forgiveness draw them close…or will their love be shattered forever?

What inspired you to come up with writing in the genre of Christian romance?

MM: I like to share God’s many blessings with my readers, and give a message of hope and happiness.

How long had you been writing before you got your call (or email) from an editor?

MM: I have been writing since birth!! No, really…I completed my first full-length story in the sixth grade, but had been seriously pursuing a writing career for about three years when I got the email from Nicola Martinez at White Rose Publishing.

Such a thrill!! Congrats!! What advice do you have for other new authors coming into the field of writing?

MM: Write, write, write! The more you write, the better you become. Also, submit your work to contests and take the judges’ feedback to heart. You can learn a lot from another reader’s ‘fresh’ eyes.

So very true, Mary. How do you overcome writer’s block, or do you ever get that?

MM: I mow. Seriously…I live on two acres and when a block hits, I go out and push mow. It’s like taking a sledgehammer to a dam. During cooler months, I light some scented candles and just sit in front of the keyboard until the words come. I do not pass go…you know the saying.

Mowing therapy! I absolutely love it! I've had that happen with weeding / landscaping. I'll have to give mowing a try as well! What do you think it takes to write a good book?

MM: A great imagination, outstanding imagery, and a desire to share what’s in your heart. I also think life experiences bring a certain authenticity to a person’s writing. The older you get and the more you experience, the better you can relate to what a character feels in any given situation.

What is your process of writing a novel, briefly—from conception to revision?

MM: I begin with a phrase, idea or situation and build on it brick by brick, like building a house. I begin by writing in a steno pad—character names, quirks, fears, likes, etc. Then I weave the first few chapters before transferring over to my laptop. I don’t typically use an outline, but have a good idea of where I’m going. Sometimes I’m surprised, though, which is always good.

Here's a little bit of a curve ball: Think of something you might ask a fan that would spark your interest in subject matter for your next project. What would that question be?

MM: What is the most difficult experience of your life, and how did you manage to overcome it?

GREAT question -- and the answer would truly speak to the receipt of God's grace and love! Thank you again for stopping by, Mary, you're a delight! Where can readers find you and your work?

MM: Readers can find TENDER MERCIES and MENDED HEART at and at or order autographed copies by visiting my website at