Good morning, Mary Jane and welcome to Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Authors. We are thrilled to have you with us this morning. Can you tell us what you’ve written?
I have three books on Kindle. DANGEROUS MOVES, SHELBY’S GIFT and LONG ROAD HOME. LONG ROAD HOME is the first book in my Crystal Springs/Coming Home series. The second book, COMING HOME, is expected out soon.
What is your favorite genre to write?
I love writing contemporary romance that centers around strong women with real-life problems. SHELBY’S GIFT has a special place in my heart. It is such an emotional book that looks not only at the very complicated romance between Shelby and Ben but the complex issues from Shelby’s family of origin and how those issues shaped her life and choices.
Sounds wonderful. Favorite food?
My favorite food is chocolate!
Coffee or tea.
I drink a lot of green tea but I love my Starbuck’s vanilla lattes. Yum!
Pizza or ice cream.
I definitely prefer ice cream to pizza. I really have to curb my sugar cravings!
Where would you like to visit?
I would love to visit Ireland. I am three-fourths Irish, and hope to someday see the Irish countryside and visit with the people who I feel a strong connection with. I definitely inherited the Irish story-telling gene.
Favorite music and musician.
I love good music. In fact, I started out as a vocal music major in college. It is difficult to choose my favorite musical artist; there are so many wonderful musicians out there. Going back to my Irish roots, the Celtic Woman does a beautiful job singing the Irish Blessing. John Lennon is another favorite. I love his beautiful and thought-provoking lyrics. I can’t leave out Barbara Streisand, a strong woman with unbelievable talent. And then there is Brandi Carlile with her smooth, soothing voice. I obviously can’t choose just one!
Fair enough. What makes Mary jane Morgan laugh?
It doesn’t take much to make me laugh. A good dry wit is always appreciated. My father was a master at it, and while he’s been gone almost six years, I still miss his wit (among other things). I use humor as a coping mechanism, and it usually works quite well.
My favorite sculpture is James Earl Fraser’s The End of the Trail of Tears. It’s a beautiful, emotional piece that depicts the pain and enduring strength of the gentle and sweet-spirited Cherokee people.
I was in high school when I began writing nonfiction articles on my school newspaper. Also, my mother was an English teacher and a wonderful writer, who encouraged me to follow my writing dreams every step of the way. I wrote greeting cards and nonfiction articles before moving to fiction and have never looked back.
Describe your perfect evening.
My perfect evening would change depending on my mood. I do love romance though! However, I just spent a perfect evening holding my new grandson for two hours. We bonded! I am a people person, so while I do need some alone time, I love an evening with good friends, laughing and sharing our ideas and experiences.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I get my inspiration from people – from their real-life stories of courage and love, hardships and triumphs, challenges and victories and, most of all, loss and love.
What do you do when you get writer’s block?
I rarely get a writer’s block and thankfully, when I do, it doesn’t last long. I have a tremendous group of women critique partners who are always willing to help each other any way they can. Having said that, when I do feel stuck, being in nature usually helps. I love the Rocky Mountain National Park, and have several favorite places where I can sit and soak up wonderful energy to get my writing juices flowing again. I feel the pull as I type this! A trip is on the horizon…
I have many favorite authors! If I had to choose just one, I would choose Kristin Hannah. She is a marvelous storyteller, who wraps you in a world of strong, three-dimensional women, makes you care, and (if you allow), gives you some insight into yourself and your own life lessons.
I love her, too. Best book you ever read.
I believe the best book I ever read was Barbara Samuel’s, MIDNIGHT RAIN. Wow! Just Wow!
The last book I read was Toni Anderson’s romantic suspense, EDGE OF SURVIVAL. I enjoyed it. She wove their emotional conflicts together well and had a good ending. It took her a while to conquer wrapping up a good ending, and I was glad to see that she has grown in this area. This was an emotionally satisfying book.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
If I were not a writer, I think I would enjoy working in the medical world – maybe a doctor. I am a massage therapist and enjoy helping people get out of pain, but if I could do things over, I would get some type of real medical training.
Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why.
The person who has influenced my personal life the most would have to be my mother. She had a very difficult childhood and had many problems. Our relationship was not easy, but she did love me, and because of the hardships in our relationship, I have learned a great deal about not only myself but people in general.
Name one person, living or dead, real of fictional, that you would like to sit down and have a conversation with and why.
If I could have a conversation with one person, living or dead, I believe I would choose Anne Frank, the young girl who taught the world so much. Two of my favorite quotes from her diary are:
“It’s difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality. It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.”
Also: “I don’t think of all the misery but all the beauty that still remains.”
Anne Frank, truly only a girl, taught the world so much, and I would love to visit with her and soak up some of her positive energy and belief in the goodness of people!
Do you have any advice for someone just entering our world of writing?
Writing is a gift and if you aspire to be a writer, then write, write and write some more. Only by actually writing, can you hone your talent. Studying the art is helpful, but nothing takes the place of sitting down and writing!
Do you have any links for us to follow you?
Crystal Springs/Coming Home Series:
Long Road Home, book 1, Diva
Shelby’s Gift, Indie
Dangerous Moves, Kensington (reprint)
Mary Jane Morgan