Friday, February 10, 2012

Welcome Back Mary Ellis

Mary Ellis

Is there a story behind this book?
I introduced a character in my first Christian inspirational novel, A Widow’s Hope, and I always wanted to return to her. Now twelve years have passed and Phoebe is all grown up. I wanted to tell her story as an adult beginning a new career and embarking on romance.

What started you on your writing journey?
As most writers will answer, I had all these stories in my head fighting to get out. I even dream in high-drama, high-conflict stories. If I hear a snippet of conversation in the grocery store line, I start imagining a full-blown story. About 10 years ago, I decided to write down these stories in my head. And another writer was born….

What distracts you from writing the easiest?
Life, plain and simple. My beloved husband expects me to have a social life with him. How does that happen for a writer? Do you mean actually shut down the computer and make polite conversation with friends, or ride our bikes through our beloved National Recreation Area or gasp….go on vacation without WiFi??? There is always more to do and always the next book itching to get down on paper.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? Why?
I love my heroine, Phoebe. She has formed a relationship with her (step) mother that is better-than-blood. As an adopted daughter, I loved visiting the theme of what makes a mother—blood ties or the bonds of devotion and sacrifice?

If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
Rip-roaring Gospel music, sung loudly and slightly out-of-key! (that’s what I do every Sunday in church. Funny, nobody has ever asked me to join the choir…)

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I went on a white-water rafting trip with my husband and friends on the New River in West Virginia. The river “guide” suggested we jump off this rock down into the rapids below, a drop of about 30 feet. So I did it. Yes, I had a life jacket on, but I wasn’t a strong enough swimmer to get out of the current. I ended up about a mile downstream from everyone and had a long, poison-ivy infested hike back to my loved ones!

What is your strangest habit? I talk to myself, but among other writers that’s probably not strange in the least.

What is your favorite season of the year?
Goodness, what an easy question. Summer, for sure. I’m the world’s biggest freeze-baby. I hate being cold. Give me hot, sticky, and sweaty over cold and clammy any day. (of course, I do appreciate somewhere in between too…)
What is a favorite memory from your childhood?
I loved it when my dad took me fishing. My mom packed a picnic hamper and Dad and I stood on the bank of a reservoir and cast our bamboo poles over the water. I would catch tons of (small) bluegills and poor Dad usually caught nothing! But he loved that I enjoyed fishing with him.

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
I guess that would be cleaning house. I don’t mind dusting, picking up, recycling, and dealing with clutter. But scrubbing the shower or kitchen floor or washing windows?? My husband has taken over many cleaning duties. However, I must pay him from my royalty checks from time-to-time. So very worth it!

What's your favorite meal with family and friends? (and feel free to share a recipe with us!)
I cook a big pot of homemade soup every Sunday afternoon. My husband and I love soup and I’ve gotten quite creative—lobster bisque (fake lobster meat, however...) shrimp gumbo, both Cajun and Creole style, clam chowder, plus the soups of my heritage, Hungarian—chicken noodle, beef vegetable, cream of cauliflower, split pea with bacon, twelve-bean with ham, and many more! I have a pot of chicken vegetable soup cooking while I write this, to be served with brown rice for me and egg noodles for Ken.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?  
I keep coming back to the theme of obedience. Christ asked for obedience to His word…that is so simple but so hard to do….for me and for my Amish fictional characters. Talking-the-talk is easy, but following in my Savior’s steps is a very different story.

Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you.
I love Colossians 3:13 “You must allowances for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”  As a person whose feelings are easily hurt, this passage brings me back to reality and helps me not to judge.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
My next book, An Amish Family Reunion, is about to be released from Harvest House. I’m so excited about it since I revisit my characters from the Miller Family series, plus add a brand new romance. But don’t worry…readers who haven’t found my earlier books will still be able to understand and enjoy the story.

Mary Ellis is giving away a copy of An Amish Family Reunion. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.
To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

Until next time. . . Sharon A Lavy


Jo said...

It looks like I am the first one to sign here. What a great interview! Really enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading this book. Thank you for the opportunity.


cjajsmommy said...

I love the lightheartedness I pick up in the author through her answers to these questions. Please enter me in the book giveaway.
djragno {at}hotmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I love soup and reading books! Made Pea Soup for my husband! Yum!

eyeballlucy said...

Yes I would love to win Mary Ellis' new book..."An Amish Family Reunion".....all the great mixing for a super good

wfnren said...

I really would like to have this book. Great interview, I didn't realize it was a follow up to A Widow's Hope, now I 'need' this book, lol.


Marianne said...

Hi, Mary. It was great getting to know you a bit more. No, i can see where they might not ask you to join the choir, though why perfect tune is needed, i have no idea. i'd love to win An Amish Family Reunion. Thanks for the opportunity, Mary and Sharon


Anne Payne said...

Thoroughly enjoyed learning more about you, Mary! I'm not a writer and I talk to myself :)

Thank you fro the opportunity to win a copy of your new book!


Carol N Wong said...

I really loved the interview. Fishing with dad is one my favorite family memory too. I made some sandwiches and Dad would drive us and our bamboo poles to fish in Fall Creek. We caught rainbow trout, plenty of catfish, and some perch. I loved it. The wind blowing gently and the birds singing. I would love to learn more about about Mary Ellis's life maybe we share more experiences!

Thank you for this giveaway!!


Elyssa said...

Great interview! Mary's books are great... I'm looking forward to reading the Miller Family Series!


HomePlace Gatherings said...

Thanks for offering this. I'd love to win!

priviesandprims at yahoo dot com

Linda Kish said...

I would love to win a copy of this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

ann said...

Loved your interview . And I love Amish reading . I would love to win to. Thanks for the chance.
amhengst at verizon dot net

Judy said...

I can't wait to read this book. An Amish Family Reunion is going to be a good read I just know it. I have read all Mary's Amish fiction books and I am a huge fan of hers!

I would be delighted to win this book!

Blessings and thanks for this giveaway!

TAMMY said...

Love the interview you seem like you would be alot of fun to be around. I am like you I love gospel music

Tammy Hudson

Nancee said...

Mary, I love your books, and I'd love to have an opportunity to win a copy of this one. Thank you for offering it!

Nancee said...

Oops! Forgot to leave my email address:

Patsy said...

Would love to read "An Amish Family Reunion".


Amy R.S. said...

Hi. I also hate scrubbing the shower. Thanks for the giveaway.

sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

Lane Hill House said...

Pick me! Pick me please. I would love to read this book, and the first book, A Widow's Hope. Thank you for this interview.

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this wonderful story :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

cc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I am looking forward to this new release, as I have greatly enjoyed all your previous books. Thanks for the opportunity to participate in the drawing.

Karen Schulz

aregeetee5162 at yahoo dot com

Teela said...

Great interview. Would love to read and review Mary Ellis' book, An Amish Family Reunion.
Teelayoung at hotmail dot com

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