Saturday, August 4, 2007

Interview with Mary Cunningham by Margot Justes

As promised, below is my interview with fellow Echelon Author Mary Cunningham.

Mary, tell me a bit about yourself.

My husband, Ken, and I live in Villa Rica, GA, and are the parents of three grown children…along with Molly, our beloved, adopted canine. At the moment I have a 3-book children's fantasy/fiction series called "Cynthia's Attic," published by Quake. Cynthia's Attic: Curse of the Bayou, will be out around DEC. 1, 2007.

Along with my children’s series, I also co-authored a humorous lifestyle book, Women Only Over Fifty, WOOF, and am published in the Gulf Coast Writers Anthology, Vol. VI. I am a member of The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and The Carrollton Creative Writer's Club

The idea for Cynthia’s Attic came about through the recurring dream of a mysterious attic. Upon realizing that the dream took place in the home of my childhood friend, Cynthia, the dreams stopped, and the writing began.

My father, Paul Bulleit, a Louisville Courier Journal reporter for 40 years, is directly responsible for my love of writing, creativity, and fantasy. When I was a child, a night didn't pass that Dad wasn't either reading to me from a favorite storybook, or making up a story of his own.

How long have you been writing?

I DIDN'T write from age 0-7. Since then, I can't remember not writing!

Who is your favorite author and why?

Harper Lee is one of my favorites. I love her descriptions and her effortless dialogue. To be able to write a story like "To Kill A Mockingbird" would be my dream. I also love the writing of Terry Kay (To Dance With the White Dog). His characters are always true-to-life, but thought-provoking and charming.

Do you suffer from writer's block? If so, what do you do about it?

Doesn't every writer? I can tell you what I don't do. I don't sit at the keyboard and bang out sentences until something comes to mind. I have to get away from the story until I'm feeling "creative" again. I also bounce ideas off my husband. He's a very good story-teller and can get me thinking, sometimes in a totally different direction.

What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

Read, read, read. Attend seminars and learn as much as you can about the craft of writing and the market. Before you even think about sending a manuscript to a publisher or agent, edit, edit, edit! Do your research and find out which publishers would be interested in your genre. It's a waste of time (yours and the publishers) to send a fantasy/fiction story to a publisher who prints only non-fiction books.

Thank you Mary for your time.

Please visit Mary's website listed below.

The adventure continues!
Curse of the Bayou - DEC. 2007
Have you checked out Fictionwise?

USA Book News Children's
Book Awards Finalist !

Next week I'll visit with another author.
Till next Saturday,
Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris
Echelon press LLC, June 2008

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