A Cafe For Authors and Avid Readers
Mary Deal, a native of Walnut Grove in California's Sacramento River Delta, now resides in Honolulu, Hawaii. She was Founder and past President of Kauai Writer's Roundtable. She is also an artist, photographer and former editor of a print magazine and newspaper columnist.
She is the author of six suspense novels: "The Tropics," an adventure/suspense trilogy, "The Ka," a paranormal Egyptian suspense, "River Bones," a thriller that takes place in her childhood hometown area, "Down to the Needle," a thriller, taking place along the West coast, "Legacy of the Tropics," a re-write and expansion of The Tropics, and "The Howling Cliffs, a Sara Mason Mystery" and 1st sequel to the award winning River Bones. She has also published "Off Center in the Attic," a collection of over-the-top short stories and flash fiction pieces. The eBooks, "Write it Right - Tips for Authors, Vol. I and Vol. II are nonfiction references for writers. "Write It Right - Tips for Authors - The Big Book" (a Finalist in the National Indie Excellence Book Awards) brings both of the Write It Write eBooks together in paperback.
"River Bones" was a winner in the Eric Hoffer Book Awards competition and a Finalist in the National Indie Excellence Books Awards. Her short story, "The Last This I Do" was nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
Her mega-web site, www.WriteAnyGenre.com , is a valuable resource for writers. It covers topics from all creative writing to business writing, including interviews, writing samples and examples. Portions also cover other aspects of creativity, like artwork for books covers.
What makes you proud to be a writer from (Honolulu, Hawaii)? Hawaii is a special place were many people can only wish to visit or live. It’s remote, difficult and expensive to get to from great distances. Once you’ve lived in the Islands, the excitement simmers down a little. However, I do get to live out my dream of being here. With the powers of the Internet, the remoteness doesn’t bother me – except for traveling - and publishing is managed as easily as anywhere else. Oh yes, networking brings other writers here and I can help them have a vacation of a lifetime. When writers, family and friends arrive for a vacation, I play tourist with them to assure their stay is exciting and, of course, Hawaii offers limitless photo opportunities.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? Stories have always rumbled around in my mind since childhood. I wrote everything and still have many old notes and numerous tattered pages. I’ve always been aware of the plights of others and wanted to voice my opinions but wasn’t sure how. Becoming certified as a Clinical Hypnotherapist was to be the answer, and I was able to help quite a few people. Mostly, they were adult children of abuse who had transcended their traumas and wanted to express creatively. I had also begun to take my own creativity seriously and began a novel in 1990. Then, being rear-ended in an auto accident and three years of physical therapy ended my practice.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? After the auto accident in 1991, I wasn’t able to move around without some pain. I mostly sat still. My body was temporarily weakened, but my mind still ran full speed. It was then that I finished that first novel. However, feeling uncertain about my future as a writer, and having heard you don’t get published with only one novel completed, I began to write another, even as I ached sitting at my computer and was having physical therapy. But by the time I had plunged into that second novel in order to either forget or transcend my problems, I was hooked on writing. Ha! I was hooked writing that first novel and didn’t realize it, but it was what made me jump into the second one.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? As a child, I was made aware of many things I find people just don’t know or understand in today’s world. I had a rigidly strict father and a mother who carried out his teachings. I didn’t like it then, but I certainly appreciate it now.
Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? I usually have a working title to begin, though it may change once the story is completed and I feel the title doesn’t fit. Some sort of title is necessary for a PC file. I hold much of my notes and information in my mind and a working title is like a beacon that directs my thoughts toward a certain book or story and nothing else. As elements of other stories pop into my mind while working on another, I know to which plots those ideas apply and go right to the outline or page and drop them in till I can work on them later.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? This is such a leading question. My primary genre is mystery/thriller, though my first novel (unpublished) was a long tragic romance. I’m drawn to people situations and their emotions. Solving a mystery seems to satisfy those feelings. For example, I once read some information about a man who was given lethal injection though he wasn’t proven guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt. In an instant, that gave me the whole story for one of my novels. I do not write true crime due to the interviewing and travel involved. Plus, my muse conjures enough crime and mystery that enables me to solve the situation my way, addressing the human element and emotions of people involved.
Still, I consider myself a multi-genre writer because I love crafting articles to benefit writers. Also, due to my past work as a therapist, I’m moving into writing techniques and reference books in those fields. Researching and exploring new topics to write about is exciting and, at the moment, have no preference for one genre or another but will keep writing mysteries in addition to the rest.
What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book that you are seeking promotion for? For several years, I lived in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in the Caribbean. I had always dreamed about moving back to my childhood hometown in the Sacramento River Delta and buying and remodeling one of those old Victorians along the levee. Admitting the financial impossibility of it, I tried to write a story based on that but it wasn’t enough for a book. Yet, I had another story about a woman moving “back home” and solving a mystery but could neither make that one long enough to make a whole novel. When I happened to go back for a class reunion, a former classmate asked, “Why don’t you set one of your stories here in the Delta?” At that moment, the two unfinished plots careened together in my mind and River Bones was born.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? In a word: Acceptance. I’m never sure how my stories will be accepted. I understand that some will like, some will hate, and some will love them. But they read them.
Have you had a negative experience in your writing career? If so please explain how it could have been avoided? After attending a writing conference, I signed on with a literary agent who wished to see my current manuscript. It was in first draft form but she said she could give me insider pointers. She loved the story as written (it was really rough) and she promptly sent it out to twelve big houses without seeking my approval. Eight rejected it and the rest didn’t reply. The rejections were that the manuscript seemed to be from an author who needed to learn the value of polishing a story. I knew that. The agent was over-zealous but ruined me with that book for all the big houses. I do not seek the services of literary agents any longer, but for those who do, everything that agent does needs to be in writing first and strictly adhered to. Do the research on agents before you contact them.
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Learning how to format and publish my own books is a great reward. It’s a door standing open, never again locked, allowing me a feeling of accomplishment at getting my books published.
Have you had a negative experience in your publishing journey? If so please explain how it could have been avoided? I’m told the price of one of my books on Amazon cannot be lowered to compete with today’s prices, so the book languishes with no sales. Amazon says the publisher must request the price reduction and that the request must come from the same email address from which it was submitted. That publishing company moved from one state to another and the email is no longer valid. The print-on-demand company says the book was published as an “opt-in” and can no longer be changed – though they can’t seem to explain what that entails. It would seem both publisher and Amazon should work together to get this resolved, and lower the book price to allow more sales. As it remains, I will be pulling the book and republishing it myself soon as my current work-in-progress is published.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Perseverance. Write, if that’s what you truly wish to do, and promote yourself. If you do not find great acceptance for your good effort, learn what it is you need to improve upon and attack it. Even if you think your writing or book is great as is, be humble enough to know that none of us are perfect grammarians. Improvement must be an on-going effort, even with yours truly.
Who is your favorite author and why? Originally John Steinbeck. He wrote the Grapes of Wrath at a time when my mother’s family crossed the United States during the Great Depression. He wrote about the human condition. The book was banned at the time Mom was reading it. She explained it all and said it was exactly what people went through, including her family of 13 who crossed the country in a run-down school bus as they followed the crop seasons. Mom said people suffered as did her family. I think that’s why I feel so keen about people’s emotions and struggles in dire situations.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? Oh yes, I love it when people email from my website and ask questions about writing. If I do not have an article already written to send them, then I research and write one to post on my site. We both win.
Please add questions and the answers to any questions that you believe your readers would like to know.
How many published books do you have? I have ten books published presently, though the first one is out of print.
Author Mary Deal’s Current Published Books (in order of importance)
Hypno-Scripts - Life Changing Techniques Using Self-Hypnosis and Meditation
The Howling Cliffs
Down to the Needle
Legacy of the Tropics
Off Center in the Attic - Over the Top Stories
Write It Right - Tips for Authors - The Big Book
Write It Right - Tips for Authors, Vol. II
Write it Right - Tips for Authors, Vol. I
The human mind is capable of miracles and people are finally opening to that fact. Or maybe they aren’t miracles at all. They only seem that way because for so long powers of the human mind have been denied.
Do you wish you had the power to become all that you can be? Discover your potential through unleashing the power of your mind. All good intentioned programming works best when you reach a deeper state of mind. The secret is in accessing those states through easy life-changing techniques presented here, in thoroughly explained examples.
A thin window of consciousness differentiates two states of the mind – self-hypnosis and meditation – and this book will show their similarities, and define each condition and accessibility. If curious enough to at least peruse this book, then the ability to learn these techniques are already a part of your consciousness and soon to be recognized. Lucky you! Your subconscious is prompting you to investigate. It is saying that you are capable of deeper states of mind.
Many have tried to focus to learn either self-hypnosis or meditation and failed. Applied concentration and knowing what to expect once entranced may be what was missing. The instructions in this book are meant for those wishing to learn and use the techniques of self-hypnosis and/or meditation for self-improvement. Easy yet powerful scripts are provided to produce desired changes. You can change your life now!
Retired Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist Mary Deal helps the reader understand the power on one’s subconscious. Quote: “A thin window of consciousness differentiates two states of mind-self-hypnosis and meditation – and this book explains their similarities and defines each condition and accessibility. “If curious enough to at least pursue this book, then the ability to learn these techniques are already a part of your consciousness and soon to be recognized. Lucky You! Your subconscious is prompting you to investigate. It is saying that you are capable of deeper states of mind.”
Section One-Hypnosis speaks to the issues of unintentional Childhood Training-My Early Practices, using Inductions and Scripts and Terminology that the lay person needs to know. Quote: “Hypnosis: A technique to still the conscious mind activity of the analytical left brain. To protect us, the conscious mind, the left brain, censures all we receive, know, or transmit. Truth is cloaked in order that we may not be hurt by that which we do not understand or are not ready to comprehend or accept. Our conscious mind protects us from ourselves until we are ready to learn. It is the conscious mind we make quiet in order to access hypnosis.”
About half way through the book I learned something that I could put into immediate practice to lower my stress. I share with you an important quote from Dr. Andrew W. Weil, American medical doctor, teacher and best-selling author on holistic health says on an internet post: “People who are stressed or anxious are actually chronically under-breathing, because stressed people breathe shortly and shallowly, and often even unconsciously hold their breath. By extending your inhale to the count of four, you are forcing yourself to take in more oxygen, allowing the oxygen to affect your bloodstream by holding your breath for seven seconds, and then emitting carbon dioxide from your lungs by exhaling steadily for eight seconds. The technique will effectively slow your heart rate and increase oxygen into your bloodstream, and may even make you feel slightly lightheaded which contributes to the mild sedative-like effect. It will instantly relax your heart, mind, and overall central nervous system because you are controlling the breath versus continuing to breathe short shallow gasps of air”.
This book deals with many topics. I found the Through The Gate: Problem Solving, Allergy Control, Tinnitus Reassignment, Immediate Stress Reduction and The Attic Trunk-Finding Your Gifts most enlightening.
Quotes of Interest from Section Two-Meditation:
“Even the smallest shift in perspective can bring about the greatest healing.” by Dr. Joshua Kai, ND
“Mediation cannot be induced manually. It is the ability of the inner mind or soul when conditioned and trained correctly, and when conditions that prevent us from seeing our true nature are removed.”
It is my impression that whether you believe in Hypnosis or Meditation this book will show you ways to reduce stress and become more aware of your surroundings. Keep this Kindle reference book handy, learn from it and develop your own Hypno-Scripts.
I leave you with this thought from Mary, “Life may not be that joyous, but believing that it is moves you quickly to it becoming that way.”
Cold Coffee Press Endorses For Hypno-Scripts - Life Changing Techniques Using Self-Hypnosis and Meditation - by Mary Deal for her educated guidance with Hypno-Scripts and her concise writing ability that brings the subject into the readers grasp for self-help. We purchased this book through Kindle. The review was completed on August 1, 2015. For more information please visit Cold Coffee Press. http://www.coldcoffeepress.com
A VALENTINE’S DAY GIVEAWAY. You could receive a copy of my writing reference, Write It Right – Tips for Authors – The Big Book. Offer available from today, February 14, 2017 until February 28, 2017. On March 1, 2017 we will randomly choose 10 – yes, 10 – people who will receive a book. Here’s more info:
* Send me your name, address, and email (Send to my Inbox only.) Your information will be deleted from my records when the giveaway is finished..
* A random…Continue
The Howling Cliffs: A Sara Mason Mystery (1st sequel to River Bones) by Mary Deal
Is A 2015 Bronze Global Ebook Awards Winner Under The Suspense Fiction Genre.
In writing your opus, you may have encountered myriad questions about imperfect areas in the composition that you hadn’t anticipated. The thoroughly explained…Continue
Write It Right – Tips for Authors, Volume II, is nearly double the size of Volume I. It’s packed full of writing tips to help you polish your prose. Articles in this…Continue