Mary Connealy is the bestselling author of romantic comedy with cowboys. She is a Carol Award winner and a Rita and Christy and IRCC Award Finalist. She was kind enough to answer a few questions for me about her writing journey.
What are some themes you worked into your books? I’ve seen authors talk about this– recurring themes. I’m not sure I have any. Or maybe I’m not a particularly introspective person. I guess, if I had to say a theme, and I’m not sure this is even what you mean, I’d say my theme is…that people don’t really change who they are. Books are supposed to be about people changing, growing into better people. But in my books they don’t do that. Instead, what I think is, people stay the same, their basic personality, but they learn to USE what they are for good. They make the BEST of what they are and use it for God. But a take-charge, bossy woman in my book isn’t going to turn into a shy, submissive little thing just because she meets a strong, handsome man to take care of her. She’s always gonna be a handful.
What do you think makes a good story? When I start a story, my goal is just to write the most entertaining story I’m capable of writing. I want to write a book that is impossible to put down. I want my reader to be having fun. If they learn something powerful and meaningful along the way, well, that’s probably an accident.
What book(s) have been life changing for you? Life changing, that’s tricky. Authors I consider inspirations for how I write are Clive Cussler, Mary Higgins Clark, Louis L’Amour and Walter Farley who wrote The Black Stallion books. These authors, with maybe the exception of L’Amour, he’s an inspiration for another reason, have the gift of dragging you into a story and making you feel it, making you smell and taste and hear the book and holding you there in a way that is hard to escape. That’s what I try to do. I will add that when I read Francine River’s Mark of the Lion Trilogy I remember just thinking it was an achievement in literature. I remember thinking that THIS is what is possible with words. She created a world unlike anything I’d ever seen before and took me into that world.
And I’ll add, because I mentioned that Louis L’Amour is different, he’s life changing in that he’s just sort of my greatest influence in how I consider great cowboys act and think and conduct themselves; the good guys, the bad guys, the women too. His cowboy code is mine. I love his work.
What projects are you working on now? The Trouble in Texas Series concludes in June with book #3 Stuck Together. I also have a novella collection releasing in January called A Match Made in Texas, written with Karen Witemeyer, Carol Cox and Regina Jennings.
In Dry Gulch, Texas, 1893, a young woman with a tender heart that longs to help those in need takes it upon herself to meddle in the affairs of three acquaintances who are in dire straits.
Wanting to stay anonymous, she relies on unusual methods to hire men and women of good character who she thinks can solve the problems facing her “targets.” How was she to know that her meddling would turn into a cupid’s arrow? And what will she do when her friends turn the tables on her with a matchmaking scheme of their own?
Find me online:
Seekerville Blog: http://www.seekerville.blogspot.com/
Petticoats and Pistols Blog: http://petticoatsandpistols.com/
Like me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maryconnealy
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/maryconnealy