Sunday, April 3, 2011

with Mary Ellis

Welcome to the Barn Door Book Loft, Mary!
What started you on your writing journey?

I started writing in my twenties, but my job and home and care-giving to my parents took up so much time I had to abandon the notion. I was 40 before I decided to follow my dream. By that time, I had so many stories “bubbling around in my head” I couldn’t stop myself.

What distracts you from writing the easiest?
Real life. Just when you settle into the chair and get your story moving forward, the dog needs to go out, or somebody is at the front door, or hubby comes homes and says: Are you planning on making dinner tonight, or should I just heat up this can of beans-n-franks???? (He always gets fed, yet to listen to him, you’d think he went hungry on a regular basis…)

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
I love reading historical romances and contemporary romances and romantic suspense, besides my own genre—Amish inspirationals. No recommendations from me—for fear of leaving someone out and hurting someone’s feelings!

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote?
My main character, Abigail, is thrown in jail for just doing her job to the best of her ability. She’s a midwife and loves bringing babies into the world. (The story is loosely based on a real-life event that happened not far from my home…) Her faith and trust in God stays strong despite her horrific circumstances. It is a lesson for all Christians about not giving in to despair.

If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
Oh my, that’s an unusual and unique question! I suppose I would have to be classical easy-listening music with the sound of waves lapping on the shore in the background. Not that I live such a serene life, but that’s what I’m aiming at.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I was a volunteer snake-handler at the Cleveland Zoo. I used to bring out the boa constrictors to show to school groups and daycares. I had to support the snake’s weight using my neck and shoulders. I was much braver back then, but to this day, I’m not afraid of snakes. If a rattler crossed my path, I’d just say: move along, go about your own business.

What is your strangest habit?
Oh my, you won’t tell anybody, will you?? I tend to write in my pj’s until almost lunchtime. Then I jump in the shower and dress for the day. I love to break up my writing with a hot shower to loosen stiff muscles. But then I must hide from the neighbors if they come looking for a cup of sugar. Nobody should see my ratty old pajamas!

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Getting the taxes ready to take to the accountant. I’m putting off doing that right now! I absolutely hate doing this. I will clean out the cat box, wash the kitchen floor, shovel snow (and we’ve been getting a lot of that lately here in Ohio)—anything so I don’t have to organize the taxes!

What's your favorite meal with family and friends?
I love to cook Hungarian dishes that I learned from my mother, especially Chicken Paprikas with homemade dumplings. But I don’t make this too often, since Mom’s recipe is about the most fattening thing you could possibly cook. (but yummy!)

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
I love writing about the Amish because they keep their faith close all day, every day. I’m not saying they don’t sin, because all of us sin. But they don’t keep their religion reserved for Sundays and evening prayer time. I love the theme of seeking God with your everyday concerns and being grateful even when He says no. Sometimes we tend to struggle alone instead of turning the problem over to God first.

Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you.
My favorite Scripture is Colossians 3:13 “You must make allowances for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. “ I must read this over often, since I have the bad habit of holding grudges when someone hurts my feelings. But I’m working on that!

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
My next book is out April 1st. It’s called Abigail’s New Hope and it’s first of the Holmes County Series. I don’t want to repeat myself from the back cover blurb, but it’s two sisters whose bonds of love grow ever stronger when faced with some difficult challenges. The second in the series, A Marriage for Meghan, deals with their youngest sister, and will be released in September from Harvest House.

You can purchase Abigail's New Hope from Amazon.

Mary is giving away a copy of Abigail's New Hope. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.


cjajsmommy said...

I would be tickled pink if my name were drawn for this book! It looks very good.

Mona said...

The book sounds great and enjoyed the interview. The household chore I tend to put off? Well...all of them as long as I can get away with it.

PriviesAndPrims said...

Never enough Amish books! And, I work in my jammies lots of times Mary. :)

priviesandprims at yahoo dot com

Courtney said...

Sounds like such a great book, I would love to win it! Thanks!


windycindy said...

I am very impressed that Mary is not afraid of snakes!
Her book is delightful...
Thanks, Cindi

karenk said...

would enjoy reading this novel...thanks for the chance :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Leanne said...

I'd love to read this!

leanniegehrke at hotmail dot com

Charity said...

I just recently read another Amish book and this one sounds kind of neat. Thanks for the chance at winning it:)


Pam K. said...

Snake handler? Mary was quite brave! I've never gotten enough nerve to touch a snake.
The book sounds like one I would enjoy reading. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks.


Charity U said...

Please enter me! It sounds so good.

Marianne said...

Thanks, Esther and Mary for the interviews, and the chance to win Abigail's New Hope. Sounds like a wonderbar series! mitzi_wanham[at]yahoo[dot]com

Jo said...

I would love to read this book. I love reading Amish fiction. Please enter me in the giveaway.


lgm52 said...

Love Amish fiction..would love to win this one!

Mary Ellis said...

thanks so much for dropping by Patty's blog and leaving a comment!
good luck to everyone in the drawing. where would writers be without readers???
blessings, Mary Ellis

Charlotte Kay said...

It would be a blessing to win a copy of this book!
Thanks for the chance!
Charlotte Kay
charlovesmark at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Would love this book. Just finished reading some of Mary's books

Tracey Daniel said...

I have enjoyed ALL of your books!! My problem is once I get a book in my hand I don't get out of my jammies, and my housework doesnt get done, this includes feeding my husband LOL Thank you for sharing your inspiration and the talent God has blessed you with!

Anonymous said...


Tracey Daniel said...

OOPS, forgot to leave my email

Kari Linder said...

Can't wait to read this 1st book in the series! I love Amish books! Thanks for the chance to win!
Kari in Oregon

Judy B said...

Great interview. I am a huge fan of Mary Ellis and can't wait to read this book. I would love to win a copy!

Judy B

sergiosboxers said...

Cant wait to read this!!! :)

RubyKat said...

I would love to win a copy of Mary Ellis' book. Thanks for the contest.

Anonymous said...

I love all Amish books and would love to win a copy of this one !!
Donna J Krueger

Katy said...

The girl on this cover is so sweet-looking! Sounds like a neat story. Please enter me!

~ Katy

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