Saturday, December 4, 2010

Interview with Reader Mary Walker



My parents signed me up for my first book club before I was born. As a toddler I never went anywhere without my favorite doll and a book. Today, I still never go anywhere without a book.
In my past life I worked as a technical editor for eyeglass prescriptions. I sometimes find myself editing the books I read, out of habit.
I have 2 blogs http://primarymary.blogspot.blog for random stuff and http://mary-walker.blogspot.com/ where I review some of the books I read.




Deirdra: What are your favorite kind of books to read and why?

Mary: I prefer LDS Fiction because I never have to worry about language and content.

My favorite genres are mystery/suspence with a smattering of romance & historical fiction.



Deirdra: How many books on average would you say you read a year?

Mary: I have no idea, a lot maybe 25 or 30 in an average year. This year I have been borrowing audio books from my Dad and listening to them while I drive, so my total books are way up, I usually have 1 of each going at all times.



Deirdra: What is the most disappointing thing authors do?

Mary: For the National Market authors I listen to, I am disappointed that they feel the need to use bad language to tell their stories. Most could be told without profanity. Leaving it out wouldn't hurt the story any.

For LDS Authors I am always disappointed when the story wraps up into a nice neat little happily ever after package, where the couple, who were miles apart in the middle of the book, get married and everyone is baptized and live happily ever after As nice as that is, it is unrealistic, I don't read more than one or 2 books by an author, if they tend to go in that direction.


Deirdra: Who are your top five favorite authors?

Mary: I'm not sure I can narrow it down to just 5. I would have to say, in no particular order, Betsy Brannan Green, Traci Hunter Abramson, Josi Kilpack, Tristi Pinkston and Michele Ashman Bell. They are a few of the authors whose new books I buy as soon as they come out and usually move them to the top of the too be read pile.



Deirdra: How do you feel about e-books?

Mary: I think E-books are quickly gaining a place in the world. I still don't have a lot of warm fuzzy feelings towards them. I have Nook software loaded onto my computer, but I like to be able to read whenever I find a spare minute and not just when I am near my computer.



Deirdra: If you could give a message to authors what would it be?

Mary: Keep up the good work. LDS Fiction has come along way since I first started reading it in the late 60s. When you are planning book signing tours, keep Phoenix in mind.



Deirdra: Have you ever thought about writing a book?

Mary: I've thought about it, I think everyone toys with the idea of writing a book at sometime. I don't actually have the desire to write a book. My natural shyness would make it hard to share anything I might write. I think my talents lie in other areas.



Deirdra: Where is your favorite place to read?

Mary:I read at my desk at work a lot, but my favorite place to read is curled up on the couch, wrapped up in a quilt. OK that part only happens for a few months down here, but the couch is still a good place to enjoy a book.



Deirdra: Do you have a favorite reading snack?

Mary: I really don't snack when I read. If I did I guess I would probobly snack on something chocolate.



Deirdra: What books have made you cry?

Mary: I should start out by saying, I cry easily.

The last book that made me cry was The Roadshow by Braden Bell. The end was very touching.

If I am reading a book and a family member dies unexpectedly (especially the Mother) I also cry. That always hits close to home.



Deirdra: What books have made you laugh?

Mary: Generally, the kinds of books I read don't have a lot of humor in them. I think one of the last books I read that made me laugh was Secret Sisters by Tristi Pinkston. The pictures it brought to my mind were too funny.



Deirdra: What kind of books are you looking to read next? What is on your reading list?

Mary: I'm not sure what I'll choose to read next. My pile of too be read books is up to my hip right now. Some of the books on my reading list are Key Lime Pie by Josie Kilpack, Murder byDesign by Betsy Brannon Green, Traitor by Sandra Grey, Cross My Heart by Julie Wright and a number of books by HB Moore. There are lots of others on the pile and everytime I go to Deseret Book the pile gets taller.



Deirdra: Is there any other message you would like to give the literary community?

Mary: I asked Leanne this question and her response was "Write interesting books." I would like to second that.




Picture of Mary and Deirdra

8 comments:

  1. Mary, thank you for the nice comment about my book! And Deirdra, thank you for posting the interview!

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  2. I'm so pleased to be on your favorites list, Mary! Thanks for enjoying my books so much. Readers like you are what make it so fun to write.

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  3. What a good idea to interview Mary - she is one of my favorite people that I came to know through "LDS Forever Friends" email group and then later, when her nephew was one of my students, we saw each other at school events, and at "Meet the author" lunches, etc. She's great!! Nice post. :)

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  4. I enjoyed the interview! It leaves me with a huge question though:)How would readers prefer stories end? See, I'm a happy-neatly-tied-up-ending reader myself (and a writer of such), but I recognize that not everyone is and I wonder: what would make someone like Mary enjoy the ending? How could I, as a writer, widen my audience to include someone who doesn't want the fairy tale ending?

    What would make it both satisfying as an actual ending to the story (not just a story to end happily at a later date that the reader is not privvy to) and yet not be . . . happy and neatly tied? I'm a relatively new (and unpublished) writer with interest in writing LDS and general romantic fiction, and so this really is a serious, kindly-intentioned question :)

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  5. Braden & Tristi Thank you for writing good books for me to read.
    Stephanie, we need to get together after the holidays, its been a long time.
    8pizza
    I'm not aganst hapy endings, I actually like happy enings. The endings that I dislike are the ones that tie everthing up in neat little package. Like Sally and Bob are in love, but Sally won't marry outside the church, and throughout the story Bob is not interested in learning the gospel. If, in the last chapter Bob suddenly decides to get baptized, and they get married and live happily ever ater. I'm not likley to give the author that writes that ending a 2nd chance.
    I would prefer an ending that leaves something to the imagination.
    Steve Westover's ending in Defensive Tactics is a good one. He gives us a happy ending, while leaving what happens in the future open to the reader's imagination.
    If you need the happily ever after, why not write an epilogue, that takes place a couple of years in the future telling how things turned out.
    I hope that makes sense.

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  6. What a great interview. Soooo informative and insightful. Thanks to both Mary and Deirdra. :)

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  7. I totally understand what Mary is trying to say. A good book for LDS authors to read is one called "A Storyteller in Zion" by Orson Scott Card. He explains in detail what Mary is talking about. One quote from the book "He who writes about happy people being happy in a happy world ain't gonna last long as a writer."

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