Mary Deal


Mary Deal writes suspense/thrillers, has a collection of zany short stories and nonfiction references for authors. She is an Eric Hoffer Book Award winner, Pushcart Prize nominee, and twice a Finalist in the National Indie Excellence Book Awards. She writes from her island home in Honolulu, Hawaii. She is a former Associate and Contributing Editor of a print magazine and columnist for the local newspaper on Kauai. Her website,, is a valuable resource for writers.

Smashwords Interview

Describe your desk
Doc said “No more 15 hour days sitting at your PC. You’re exacerbating your back injury.” So with my move and downsizing, I purchased a stand up desk. Now I work vertical with a padded mat underfoot. This upright desk, as opposed to my former expansive L-shaped desk, offers little room for clutter and I must utilize a side table for my printer and reference books. I sometimes become animated when writing, working out the gestalt of my characters' dialogues and movements. It’s easier standing up. I feel on the verge of taking off, ready for anything. I even type faster. Most of all, my lumbar has stopped hurting.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a rural farm area, cut off from town. Dad worked sun up to sun down; Mom didn’t drive. As a child I had no access to libraries and such so didn’t read much As I grew older, I began to read a lot of the older writers like Hemingway and Steinbeck. They are only two I read among many, but it was Hemingway’s "The Old Man and the Sea" that influenced my first novel, "The Tropics." Yet, this nonconformist does not ascribe to a certain influential writing style. Writing a great story is my ultimate goal.

Once I had two stories ideas that simply wouldn’t jell. When I attended a class reunion in my childhood hometown area of California’s Sacramento River Delta, not only did I find a locale for a story, but the two plots crashed together into one big book that has won two major awards. That book is River Bones, which has a sequel out almost ready to go to paperback, with another sequel on the way. Though the setting changes in each sequel, the River Delta is home base for the characters.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Mary Deal online

Where to buy in print


Write It Right - Tips for Authors, Volume II
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 72,580. Language: English. Published: January 2, 2013. Category: Nonfiction » Reference » Writing skills
The result of many suggestions, this eBook is the 2nd Volume of Write It Right – Tips for Authors by an award winning novelist. Extra articles by popular authors are included, as are many links and referrals to sites for further research. Also, numerous examples are given to further explain the many topics discussed. A reference manual to which many will refer to perfect their prose.
The Howling Cliffs - A Sara Mason Mystery
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 85,910. Language: English. Published: February 27, 2012. Category: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
After searching for and finding MIA remains in Vietnam, Sara nearly loses her life when she investigates a missing child case in Hawaii. Someone means to keep the cold case cold.
Off Center in the Attic - Over the Top Stories
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 35,650. Language: English. Published: August 29, 2011. Category: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
Humor and nonsense, flights of fantasy into other realms, fright, disgust and disappointment, silliness and wonderment, and the sadness of reality and heartache. It’s all here and more in stories that may leave you a little "Off Center in the Attic," conjured through a mind that may be a little "Off Center in the Attic."
Legacy of the Tropics
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 94,880. Language: English. Published: March 16, 2011. Category: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
Stories that shatter the myths of stereotypical islands of paradise; a rewrite and expansion of the novel, “The Tropics,” where two women fall prey to nature's wrath during inclement tropical weather, face death at sea, and are tested to the limits of survival.
Write it Right - Tips for Authors, Volume I, 2nd Edition
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 46,100. Language: English. Published: January 24, 2011. Category: Nonfiction » Reference » Writing skills
Write it Right - Tips for Authors, Vol. I, 2nd Edition, written and compiled by an award-winning novelist, is a major source of information for breathing life into your prose. Learn how to polish your work with a collection of extraordinary tips and examples for making your writing the best that it can be.

Mary Deal’s tag cloud

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Mary Deal's favorite authors on Smashwords

Smashwords book reviews by Mary Deal

  • No-Such-Thing: The Committee on Dec. 07, 2014

    No Such Thing: The Committee, by Cynthia Seasons, took me on a trip through the mind of a patient with split personalities and eventual breakthrough to healing. It melds traditional psychotherapy with metaphysical/spiritual modalities. We humans are all of those aspects and more. One cannot understand one portion without addressing the rest. One portion cannot be healed without healing the rest. I found the patient, Moriah Montgomery to be of exceptional character from the beginning, with hidden endurance in spite of a brutal life and becoming suicidal. We had to see the story through her mind to know why she could not be that strong and willful person that was buried deep inside. In the end she ends up nearly overbearing because she has found her true self, is proud of it, and plans to live the life of which she had so long been deprived. This has been an incredible journey for Moriah and will be for each and every reader who can stick with this story till the end. A novel is usually fictional. However, this novel is patterned after a true case and as such should not be taken lightly or seen as pure entertainment. To me, it was difficult to see what fiction there may have been, outside of name-changing and few other minute details. This book, in essence, could well become a case history to be studied in psychotherapy training of doctors and other professionals in the field. I would not recommend this book to a person who approaches therapy for their own multiple personality or other very serious disorder. The spectacular breakthroughs achieved by Moriah Montgomery may cause a person to compare their own therapies with hers and be either disappointed in the degree of their personal overcoming or feel total failure for not being able to accomplish all she did. Too, Moriah’s journey could be seen as too long a road to travel when one is fragile and close to giving up. Each case is different and should not have interference from another. Something needs be said about the clinical psychologist, Dr. James. Had Moriah been led somehow to someone less caring, less professional, the story would have a different ending, perhaps a tragic one. Dr. James’s patience knows no end. He truly guided Moriah to find her miracle and in doing so, found unsought reward for himself. It could only work that way for one so committed to helping a patient in his care. I would recommend this book to those interested in therapy modalities. This story of overcoming multiple personalities offers points of understanding that the astute and curious reader will pick up for their use and self-understanding, even though they may not need therapy themselves. This book was long and arduous to get through because I felt everything the characters felt and wished for a quicker upbeat ending. The denouement, however, left me rooting for Moriah. In my mind, I’m saying, “You go, Girl!”