I’m so excited to be a stop on the blog tour for author Mary Marks and her new book Knot On Her Life. This is the seventh book in her A Quilting Mystery Series. I just love the cover!
Knot on Her Life (A Quilting Mystery)
7th in Series
Kensington (July 30, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Digital ASIN: B07K5ZJRYX
While quilter Martha Rose awaits the birth of her granddaughter, a neighborhood girl appears at her door with a mystery that can’t be pinned down . .
Martha’s eager to finish the baby quilt she’s making for her new granddaughter, but she scraps those plans when a young girl rings her doorbell begging for help. Poppy Halaby, the foster child of Martha’s neighbor, is an orphan whose parents were murdered by a killer who was never caught. When Poppy’s doting foster mom falls suspiciously ill, Martha is determined to keep the child safe. But she’ll have to unravel more about Poppy’s parents to stitch a broken family back together again—and prevent another crime cut from the same cloth . . .
About the Author
Born and raised in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, Mary Marks earned a B.A. in Anthropology from UCLA and an M.A. in Public Administration from the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. In 2004 she enrolled in the UCLA Extension Writers Program. Her first novel, Forget Me Knot, was a finalist in a national writing competition in 2011. She is currently a reviewer of cozy mysteries for The New York Journal of Books at www.nyjournalofbooks.com.
When did you know that you wanted to be an author? What things, if any, influenced that decision?
I came to be writing late in life. When I hit my sixties, I wanted to write a memoir, more for my children and grandchildren than for public consumption. I took memoir writing classes for four years but abandoned the project. By sheer whim, I signed up for a mystery writing workshop. My imagination soared while writing fiction and I discovered not only did I like it; I was good at it.
With so many cozies being written today, what makes your books stand out from the crowd?
I push at the boundaries that define a cozy: amateur sleuth, no overt violence or sex, no bad language and set in a small community. While there’s plenty of humor in my stories, I weave in serious topics in every book along with American history; history of women; quilting history, lore and techniques; friendship; and Jewish practices (Sabbath and holidays).
Do you work from an outline or plot or do you just see where the characters take you?
I tried working from an outline once and found that it hampered my creativity. I like the story to come from my characters as I write because they are more interesting and funnier than I could ever be.
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you do anything special to get those reviews?
Contrary to all advice, I read each and every review. I find them to be instructive. Especially the negative ones. Where writing is concerned, it’s a good idea not to let your ego get in the way. My readers teach me what they like and don’t like about my stories. Then it’s up to me whether I let the comments shape my writing.
While Martha and her gang may not be everybody’s cup of tea, it’s important to keep her authentic.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in someone buying your book(s)? Who designs your book covers?
I give the art director at Kensington Books full credit for making my book covers appealing. I truly believe that the covers sell more books.
Please give us an insight into your main characters. What do you think makes them special?
My protagonist is unlike any other in the genre. She lives in the San Fernando Valley north of LA, not in a small town. She’s older, divorced, overweight, suffers from fibromyalgia, and is Jewish. These characteristics set my books apart from anything else I’ve seen in my genre.
What have you learned about yourselves since becoming an author?
It’s okay to be eccentric. I mean, who’s going to challenge a 76 year old woman with turquoise and purple hair and a nose piercing?
Do you write full-time or part-time?
I don’t write every day. But when I do write, it’s at the beginning of the day when I can think better.
What do your plans for future projects include?
More stories about Martha Rose and her friends.
What do you think the hardest part of writing is? What is the easiest?
Coming up with the plot is the hardest. Since I don’t write from an outline, I must depend on “the little gray cells” to come up with plot in every interesting scene.
The easiest part and one I thoroughly enjoy is editing and polishing the first draft.
What is the one thing you would like your readers to know about you?
I started writing in my sixties. My first book was published when I was 70. I’m now 76 and have just finished the 8th book in the quilting mystery series.
Do you have anything specific you would like to say to your readers?
You are never too old to try something new.
If you think you’d like to write, whether fiction or nonfiction, just do it. The more you write, the more skills you will develop along the way. And who knows? One day you might get lucky like I did and find a publisher who wants to bring your stories to the rest of the world.
How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Marks/e/B00DUZLNXA/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
To enter The Rafflecoter Giveaway, please click on the link below:
August 1 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 1 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
August 2 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW
August 3 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW, EXCERPT
August 3 – Reading Is My SuperPower – SPOTLIGHT
August 3 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
August 4 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
August 4 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT
August 4 – Lisa Ks Book Review – REVIEW
August 5 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
August 5 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
August 6 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
August 6 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW
August 7 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
August 7 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW