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Michigan Book Tour Featured Author: Mary Connealy

Monday, March 23, 2009

This week, I’ll be featuring interviews with the authors whom I’ll be on tour with in western Michigan next week. Today’s featured author is Mary Connealy. I’ve known about Mary for many years—judged at least one of her contest entries four or five years ago in the Genesis contest, as a matter of fact (and then just recently got to read it and make content edits on it for Barbour a couple of months ago—y’all are going to love it when it comes out!). I finally met her face-to-face at the ACFW conference in Minneapolis last year. Mary is fun-loving and a blast to hang out with!

gingham_mountain-coverAll aboard for a delightful, suspense-filled romance, where a Texan is torn between his attraction to a meddlesome schoolmarm and the charms of a designing dressmaker. When Hannah Cartwright meets Grant, she’s determined to keep him from committing her orphans to hard labor on his ranch. How far will she go to ensure their welfare? Grant is determined to provide a home for the two kids brought in by the orphan train. Can he keep his ragtag family together while steering clear of love and marriage?

What do you like best about being a writer?
I love everything about being a writer but, I will always be a writer, no matter what, published or not, so my real favorite thing about being a writer is that I get money for something I’d be doing anyway.

Pop, Soda, or Coke? What do you call it, and what’s your favorite variety?
We call it pop in Nebraska and when my brother visits from New York State…his children call it pop and giggle. Like it’s the funniest thing in the world to talk like Nebraskans. I’m a huge Diet Coke freak. I really care, too, and I’m not proud of that. I love that stuff.

Describe your favorite pair of shoes.
I’ve got a pair of black boots that I wear almost constantly. Well not to shower in, but you know what I mean. Daily, for all occasions, except when they are absolutely wrong. They are getting battered but I can’t part with them. Low heels, non-skid soles and warm, my office at work is FREEZING. I keep looking for a new pair but they all have THREE INCH HEELS and a surface fit for ice skating. It’s like shoe designers HATE ME. It’s like that WANT me to die.

What’s the most fun/interesting/crazy/scary/unique hands-on research you’ve done for a book?
I had a fair amount of fun with my husband’s rifle recently. I was trying to describe how the heroine (yes, heroine) got her rifle into action fast. How would she wear it, strapped on her back, hanging from her shoulder? Did she grab it with both hands? Could she have managed with one? My husband, Quick-Draw and I fooled with that gun a long time. It’s heavy!

Candles. We all have them. But do you burn them? What scents are your favorite?
I am in love with some candles a local woman makes. They are seriously the very best. She has this cottage industry and a little shop in a nearby town full of these spectacular candles, that burn forever and so clean and smell so wonderful. I burn them constantly. My current favorite is a scent called Cinnamon Candy. But we just burned our last one of those and have a Citrus Splash burning and it’s fantastic, too. And I LOVE the holiday scents, Thanksgiving and Christmas and Halloween, lots of apple and pine and cinnamon, just wonderful. You can order through her website. Each candle is in a pint canning jar and has a raffia tie with a little sign on it with John 18:12. Jesus is the Light of the World. I talk about these candles every chance I get because Susie works so hard and makes such an extraordinary product.

Have you ever re-gifted something someone’s given you?
I do pass along books that people send me, but I think that’s a nice thing to do, a good way to share a new author with someone, it’s not re-gifting. Not that there’s anything wrong with re-gifting.

If you were to write a novel about what your life would have been like if you’d become what you wanted to be at eight years old, what kind of character would the story be about?
I don’t remember being eight. I hope this isn’t one of those repressed memory situations. Great, now I have to go into counseling, wonderful! This interview is going to cost me a fortune!

Have you ever gone on a book-signing tour before? What are you looking forward to next week? What makes you nervous?
I’ve been at book signings away from home before. The nervous part comes from hoping someone shows up. The great part is spending time with other authors and readers and the people who run book stores. They’re about the nicest people on earth.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?
Write 300 words a day. No excuses.

What’s your biggest dream for the future?
It was almost beyond my hopes that I’d ever even get one book published. So my biggest dream has come true, but now I’d love a career, a body of work. I’d like to see a shelf full of Mary Connealy books.

Mary Connealy

Mary Connealy

Mary Connealy is an author, journalist, and teacher. She lives on a Nebraska farm with her husband, Ivan, and has four mostly grown daughters. If you hunt hard enough, you can find Mary on the Internet like a middle-aged, female “Where’s Waldo” at or

One Comment
  1. greyfort permalink
    Monday, March 23, 2009 2:43 pm

    I adored Calico Canyon. I think Mary is going to go very, very, very far in the writing world.


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