Monday, September 18, 2006

AUTHOR INTRO: Mary E. DeMuth

See Ya On The Net: Please give the readers a brief bio on you the person and the writer.

Mary E. DeMuth:
I've been writing since 1992, first as a newsletter editor, then as a newspaper columnist. In 2002, I started publishing articles in magazines. After writing a novel, I attended Mount Hermon Christian Writer's conference (www.mounthermon.org/writers) and met my agent. Since then, I've published five books:

1. Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God (A devotional for moms released by
Harvest House in 2005)

2. Sister Freaks (a devotional about girls that gave everything to God; I'm one of four authors. Time Warner, 2005)

3. Building the Christian Family You Never Had (a parenting book for those who don't want to duplicate the homes they were raised in released by WaterBrook in January 2006)

4. Watching the Tree Limbs: A Novel (NavPress, March 2006)

5. And its sequel Wishing on Dandelions (NavPress September 15, 2006)

Currently, I live in the south of France with my husband and three children where we are planting a church with two other families.

See Ya On The Net: Tell us about your current book.

DEMUTH:
My current release is Wishing on Dandelions where I revisit the character Maranatha Winningham from Watching the Tree Limbs. She's now seventeen years old and is haunted by sexual abuse from her past. This book highlights that struggle, along with God's continued redemptive hand as she pushes away Charlie, a faithful boy who loves her. Theirs is an interracial relationship set in East Texas. The book is populated with lots of quirky characters, all who play a role in Maranatha's story.

Here are some endorsements:

Wishing on Dandelions is a journey into the heart and mind of a young women caught between womanhood and a painful childhood. Natha is both fearful and fearless as she faces life's injustices, overcoming the only way she knows how -- one wish at a time.
T. Suzanne Eller, speaker and author of The Mom I Want to Be – Rising Above
Your past to Give Your Kids a Great Future

Mary DeMuth offers up a great story that's a feast for the senses. Her characters' struggles and triumphs resonate with readers long after the last page has been turned.
--Sandra Glahn, ThM, coauthor, Lethal Harvest and False Positive

Mary DeMuth's lovely talent for infusing prose with metaphorical treasures shines as brightly here in Wishing on Dandelions as in its poignant predecessor, Watching the Tree Limbs - and accomplishes the same wisely-employed task of exposing with dignity edgy themes like sexual abuse, bigotry and unforgiveness. Her finely drawn, multi-dimensional characters are allies to cheer for, scoundrels to loathe, wounded souls to
tenderly embrace.
--Susan Meissner, author of Why the Sky is Blue

"Step into words so beautiful they hurt, pages of rich symbol, and emotions so genuine you can't look away. Experience a powerful, lyrical voice in contemporary fiction. Maranatha pleads, "Jesus, show me your love." Her longing to be reassured of God's love will resonate with every reader as they share her journey." Sharon Hinck, author The Secret Life of Becky Miller

See Ya On The Net: What would you like your readers to take away from your book?

DEMUTH:
I want my readers to long for Jesus' healing touch when they close the book. I want to offer readers hope that no matter what kind of horrific abuse someone may have suffered, God is bigger still.

See Ya On The Net: How are you marketing your book and what are your thoughts about the importance of marketing for authors?

DEMUTH:
Since I live in France, I can't do book signings, unfortunately, so I've worked very hard developing a web presence. I have a website: www.relevantprose.com where I highlight my current books and provide writer helps, recipes, examples of proposals, pictures from France, and several essays. My blog, www.relevantblog.blogspot.com, receives a lot of traffic. There I ruminate about the art and craft of writing, the difficulty and joy of living in France, and whatever else pops into my mind. I belong to Amazon connect. I've been on the radio several times.

Marketing is very important. Gone are the days when an author had the luxury of simply sitting down and writing. There's more to it. If you want to continue writing, you have to sell books.

See Ya On The Net: What advice would you offer on learning the craft of writing?

DEMUTH:
Read widely. Read deeply. Read writing books. Go to a critique group and dare to let others critique your stuff. Go to writers conferences. Write, write, write. There really is no substitute for BOC time (bottom on chair). I've found that the more I write, the easier the ideas come, the faster I get through books, and the more clear my prose.

Also resist the urge to be flowery. I started out writing flowery. Now I write spare. I want my words to bring readers into a world. I don't want flowery prose to pull them away from that world. Use strong verbs. Kill adverbs. Be relentless about not repeating words and phrases.

See Ya On The Net: What writing business advice would you offer other writers?

DEMUTH:
Always be professional. Don't print business cards on your printer. Go to vistaprint.com or printingforless.com and have them professionally printed. Design letterhead that matches your business cards. When you meet with editors, dress nicely. Always be polite. Don't gossip. Don't burn bridges. Don't be difficult. Be edited with grace. This is a very small world. If other publishers find out you're not easy to work with, they won't hire
You again.

See Ya On The Net: Name your top five writing books of all time.

DEMUTH:
Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott
On Writing by Stephen King
The Elements of Style by Strunk and White
Roget's Super Thesaurus
The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman

See Ya On The Net: What was the last book to keep you up at night reading it?

DEMUTH:
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

See Ya On The Net: What resources do you use on the net?

DEMUTH:
www.crosswalk.com for gleaning Bible verses.

See Ya On The Net: How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)

DEMUTH:
Use the contact form on my website: www.relevantprose.com

3 comments:

LaShaunda said...

Hi Mary,

Thank you for your interview. I've heard great reviews for your books. I'm curious what inspired you to write Maranatha's story?

relevantgirl said...

Hi LaShaunda,

Thanks for the interview. Maranatha's story brewed in my mind for years. As a victim of childhood sexual abuse myself, and as one who has been substantially healed by Jesus, I wanted to show His redemption of even the most horrific events.

Rhonda Nain said...

I attended a workshop Mary presented at the ACFW conference last weekend. What a powerhouse of soul. She speaks as powerfully as she writes. I was truly blessed by her class. She taught me to include the Christ, really, in my writing. Not to whitewash him or make him into what I perceive him to be. I'm sure prayer will help with this. Thank you Mary, it was an honor.