Writer’s Desk: Mary Connealy
Mary Connealy writes romantic comedies about cowboys, always with a strong suspense thread. She is a two-time Carol Award winner, and a Rita, Christy and Inspirational Reader’s Choice finalist. She is the bestselling author of 75 books and novellas. Her most recent book series is WYOMING SUNRISE. Mary has nearly a million books in print.
More about Forged in Love
When sparks begin to fly, can a friendship cast in iron be shaped into something more?
Mariah Stover is left for dead and with no memory when the Deadeye Gang robs the stagecoach she’s riding in, killing both her father and brother. As she takes over her father’s blacksmith shop and tries to move forward, she soon finds herself in jeopardy and wondering–does someone know she witnessed the robbery and is still alive?
Handsome and polished Clint Roberts escaped to western Wyoming, leaving his painful memories behind. Hoping for a fresh start, he opens a diner where he creates fine dishes, but is met with harsh resistance from the townsfolk, who prefer to stick to their old ways.
Clint and Mariah are drawn together by the trials they face in town, and Clint is determined to protect Mariah at all costs when danger descends upon her home. As threats pursue them from every side, will they survive to build a life forged in love?
Q&A with Mary Connealy
TG: Everyone always asks for an interesting fact, but we’re going to flip the question: What is one boring fact about yourself?
MC: Wow, Tricia, everything about me is boring. It’s hard to pick just one fact. I pretty much sit around with my laptop open all day every day. I think if my husband ever came inside and didn’t see me sitting in that same recliner, he might call 911 and report me as a missing person.
TG: Where did you get the inspiration for Forged in Love?
MC: I started plotting this novel when I found out that Wyoming was the first state (then a territory) in the Union to grant women the right to vote. Then I discovered it wasn’t just the right to vote; all sorts of other rights were given to women, like the right to run for elected office or be appointed to office. And the first woman justice of the peace in the U.S. was from Wyoming. This inspired me to have one of my heroines be the second justice of the peace in the country.
As I continued my research, reading about all that went on in Wyoming was fascinating. They became a territory in 1868—with women voting—and yet they weren’t allowed statehood for another thirty years. With other states being granted statehood in only a few years, why was this? Because the U.S. government refused to let Wyoming in unless they took away the vote from women.
But Wyoming adamantly refused to strip that vote from women, so year after year they were denied statehood. When they finally did get it, the women maintained their right to vote because Wyoming would not budge. The whole history of this was great reading.
TG: Do you have any habits or rituals as a writer?
MC: Yes, 1,000 words a day, 7 days a week. I often write late into the night. But being an insomniac isn’t a problem—it’s my superpower.
TG: What habits would you encourage others to take up to be a more productive writer?
MC: Write every day. I write 1,000 words, but the trick is to open that book document. Write the first sentence. Yes, you’ll miss days and goals, yet the days you miss should be the exception and not the rule.
TG: What do you snack on or drink while writing?
MC: I usually have a can of Diet Pepsi or a mug of Oolong tea beside me. But I often let the soda get warm or the tea get cold because I forget about it.
TG: How do you overcome writer’s block?
MC: I’ve never had writer’s block. This reminds me of something Daniel Boone was rumored to have said: “I’ve never been lost, but I was bewildered once for three days.” I just keep writing, even if I’m not sure where I’m going. I then go back and fix it, all within the 1,000-words-a-day parameter.
TG: Are you an “edit as you go” writer, or do you wait until the very end before you do any editing?
MC: I edit as I go, then go back and edit again, and then usually once more.
TG: What would you say is the most common mistake new writers make?
MC: Adding too much backstory, not starting the novel right when the action starts but instead writing all about what leads up to the action.
TG: What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?
MC: The best writing is rewriting. I love the revision process.
TG: What’s next for you?
MC: This year it’s been the three books of the WYOMING SUNRISE series: Forged in Love, The Laws of Attraction, and Marshaling Her Heart. I just signed a contract for three books for Bethany House for next year, too. Plenty to keep me busy.
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