Happy Monday, Reader Friends!
I hope you had a great weekend and are ready to start the week! I’m kicking Monday off with an author interview with Mary A. Felkins. Grab a cup of tea (or coffee) and chat with us!
Toni: Thank you so much for joining me today! I’m so excited to talk about Call to Love. Tell me, did you plot this
series or pants your way through? (Just give us a little hint of your writing process.)
Mary: Honored to be here, Toni! As a member of Susan May Warren’s My Book Therapy, I’m most definitely a plotter. The story idea for Call to Love was chiseled out and set in order in February 2015 during MBT’s Deep Thinker’s Retreat, an intensive 5-day writer’s retreat in Destin, Florida with Susan M. Warren and Rachel Hauck. As the Spirit moves and my characters begin to emerge, I leave plenty of room for the “pantsing” part of the process to shape and mold the story.
Toni: How awesome! I’ve always wanted to do a retreat. Now, Tracy Cassidy is an emergency department nurse. What kind of research did you have to do to make her job authentic to the story?
Mary: Fantastic question. I’m blessed with an older sister who served for 30 years in emergency nursing. I spoke with and texted her frequently. I had her read – and correct – scenes to assure they were accurate and modern. I realize not every ER operates the same, so while she lives in Texas and my heroine lives in Hickory, NC, I took my sister’s experiences and wisdom and added my own observations from visits to a local hospital.
Toni: So great you could pick her brain! What would Tom say is his deepest fear and how has it shaped him?
Mary: His deepest fear is to be made a fool of again, to invest in something and have it all fall apart. Years of sacrifice trying to save a failing marriage that still resulted in his ex-wife’s infidelity, he believes people don’t change. As a law enforcement officer, he assigns the same lie to those he’s had to arrest repeatedly. Thankful the gospel tells us of and gives examples to the contrary!
Toni: Amen! If you had to pick one Bible verse to sum up Call to Love, what would it be and why?
Mary: Trust in God at all times. Psalm 62:8a. (NIV) At age 15, Tracy’s father was shot and killed in the line of duty, two days before the father-daughter dance. As a result, she came to believe love can’t be trusted and life is a vapor. It’s my desire for readers to follow Tracy’s journey as she becomes delivered from her fierce independence and turns control over to God.
Toni: Great verse! Now, let’s talk about you! What made you want to write? Have you known from childhood or are you a late bloomer? 😊
Mary: Oh, definitely a late bloomer. During my elementary years, I loved writing make-believe stories using black felt tip pen on paper, pages cut and stapled together. In middle school, I became sophisticated, typing out my chapter stories on onion skin paper, and created actual, hardback books with laminated construction paper slip covers and my own logo design. Those gems even had a library loan card inside a pocket on the inside of the back cover! But what I’d merely considered a childhood fascination, God used in 2012 to coax the hidden writer inside me out. Writing is oxygen. Without it, I struggle to breathe.
Toni: I love that! What does your writing area look like?
Mary: I work in the “parlor” (aka the living room) and sit at what used to be my mother’s writing desk. The parlor is closed off by two French doors and has two street-side windows that offer a distant view of the Appalachian foothills ridgecrest. My 14-year-old Smooth Haired Fox Terrier, Dottie, rests on her heart-shaped pillow near my feet. If I move, she moves. Which gives me reason to avoid abandoning my WIP for unjustified reasons…like fear or apathy or distraction.
Toni: I love that you write at your mom’s desk. Do you snack while writing? If so, what do you eat? If not, what fuels your writing time?
Mary: Anyone who’s been around me long enough is aware of my passion for Peanut M&Ms. Funny thing is, I have a BS and Master’s degree in Nutrition (see, I told you I was a late bloomer), so I don’t snack on them regularly – or I wouldn’t fit through the door — but I’ve been known to disguise the tell-tale yellow bag inside a solid colored Zip Loc and hide them in my desk drawer. Shhhhh!
Toni: Lol. I’m totally a peanut butter M&Ms kind of girl. Last but not least, how can we pray for you on your writing journey?
Mary: Ah, that’s a precious gift, Toni. Since Call to Love is my debut, please pray I’ll remember the high and holy calling associated with being an author, to surrender the entire journey over to His plan and purpose. To be gracious and humble and to market it wisely so the story can reach God’s intended recipients.
Toni: I certainly will! Readers, do you have any questions for Mary?
About the Author
Mary A. Felkins is an inspirational romance author and contributor to an on-line Bible study magazine. Her debut, inspirational romance novel, Call To Love, (www.pelicanbookgroup) releases November 15th, 2019.
Raised in Houston, Texas–and forever a Lone Star girl-she and her husband Bruce moved to the foothills of North Carolina in 1997. They have four adolescent to young adult-ish children. She can be lured from her writing cave if presented with a large, unopened bag of Pnut M&Ms or to watch an episode of Fixer Upper. A surprise appearance by her teen idol, Donny Osmond, would also do the trick, although she’d likely pass out.
If, upon introduction, she likes your first or last name, expect to see it show up in one of her novels.
To receive Mary’s weekly story-style devotions and quarterly book news via email, subscribe on her website.
About the Book
What if saying yes to love means trusting the kind of man you said you’d never marry?
What if pursuing a woman’s heart means restoring a painful past?
Tracy Cassidy, a fiercely independent ED nurse, must choose between her dream job or staying in her hometown to help support her mother’s faltering ministry. Even if it means risking her heart in love with the kind of man she said she’d never marry.
Why sign up to be Laurelton’s next cop widow?
Tom DeLaney, a hyper-vigilant cop and new hire from Texas, is wearied by years of failed rescue attempts to save his marriage to his ex. A free man, he moves to the foothills of North Carolina. Thing is, he hadn’t expected to fall for Tracy, his supervisor’s sister. But when his adolescent son is diagnosed with a chronic illness, he faces the risk of loving another woman with keep-out issues.
Fears related to the death of Tracy’s cop father and Tom’s inability to forgive the past threaten to sabotage any chance at love.
To trust again means surrender. Will they risk their hearts and answer the call?