Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Please welcome author Mary DeMuth. It seems 2006 is turning out to be a banner year for Mary, Building the Christian Family You Never Had (WaterBrook Press) was released in January, Watching the Tree Limbs (NavPress) was released this month, and Wishing on Dandelions (NavPress) will be released this September. Mary’s other non-fiction book Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God (Harvest House) was released last March. Mary and her family are currently in the mission field and live in southern France.
Megan: Congratulations, Mary! Have you had time to catch your breath with all this excitement?
Mary: No, not really. I still haven’t found time to celebrate!
Megan: Talk to us a little bit about your books that came out this month.
Mary: Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God is a devotional for thinking, Jesus-following mothers. I was tired of devotionals aimed at women that were foofy. This is not a foofy book!
Mary: Building the Christian Family You Never Had is for pioneer parents who don’t want to duplicate the homes they were raised in.
Watching the Tree Limbs is a novel about God’s redemptive hand in a nearly impossible situation—childhood sexual abuse.
Megan: When did you realize that you were going to be a writer, and when did you first pursue it as a career?
Mary: I realized it during college after I handed in a short story in lieu of a term paper. The English professor loved it. I knew then that I wanted to spend my time writing. I first started writing “professionally” in the early nineties. I published a newsletter called The Giving Home Journal for three years. This led to editing and writing for three church newsletters. In 2000, I started getting serious about publication. I met a mentor then who helped me navigate my first query letter and encouraged me as I wrote my first novel.
Megan: Three books released in one year—what was the timeline for this accomplishment?
Mary: I wrote Watching the Tree Limbs first, in the summer of 2003. I wrote Building the Christian Family and Ordinary Mom fall 2004 until summer of 2005. I wrote Wishing on Dandelions June and November of 2005.
Megan: Your bio lists work as an editor, novelist, freelance writer and columnist. What is your training in writing?
Mary: I graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA with a degree in English. Everything else, I learned from reading, going to conferences, and attending (and now leading) critique groups.
Megan: What does a typical writing day look like for you?
Mary: Wake up around 7. Run or do the Stairmaster. Eat breakfast with the kids and walk them to school by 8:30. Write from 8:30—4:30 except on the days my children are home (Wednesdays) and our church planting team meetings (Tuesdays). Lately, I’m pretty swamped so I am doing a lot of work in the evening as well, particularly radio interviews.
Megan: Do you write your books simultaneously or one-at-a-time?
Mary: It depends. Right now I’m writing a parenting book about parenting in a postmodern context, but I’m also working on a fiction proposal and retooling another fiction proposal, all the while doing the final edits for Wishing on Dandelions. It’s pretty crazy.
Megan: What’s Wishing on Dandelions about?
Mary: Wishing on Dandelions is the sequel of Watching the Tree Limbs, taking themain character, Maranatha, to her teens. It's Southern Drama and deals withprejudice, fear, and dealing with past sexual abuse.
Megan: We know that being a writer can be a solitary career. Are you able to fellowship with other Christian authors?
Mary: Not in France. I miss it terribly. I do have a writer’s group here, though it’s been hard to meet other Christian writers. I try to fly back to the states a few times a year to network with other publishers and authors.
Megan: What advice can you give to new writers?
Mary: BOC time (bottom on chair). You won’t improve your writing if you’re not writing. Read good writing books. Join a critique group even if you’re scared. Attend a writer’s conference. Read good books, even outside your genre.
Megan: I’ve had the pleasure of keeping up with you and your family as you minister in France. How is God working through you in that mission field? What’s the best way to pray for your ministry?
Mary: It’s been really fun seeing how God has used my writing in English IN FRANCE! Today I heard from a new friend of mine here that she read my novel and really loved it. I’m tickled!
Our first church service is April 8th. Please be praying for that. We have a lot to do to prepare for it.
Megan: Mary, thanks for joining us and sharing your news. God bless you.