Interview with Mary Ann Claud

What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle which I use primarily when we are traveling.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Connections with Indy book stores and readings before book clubs.
Describe your desk
A friend of mine once described his desk as a mare's nest. That fits nicely!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was lucky enough to grow up in a small Southern textile town near the NC/SC border. As a youngster, I was encouraged to read and to perform. Both have served me well as a novelist. My writing career began in my forties. I attained a degree of competence as a free lance magazine writer and newspaper columnist, but was too intimidated by my lack of an English major (I have a bachelors and masters in vocal performance) to try fiction. I didn't tackled the novel until much later when I had accumulated a lifetime of reading, attending writers' groups and workshops, and most important teaching (Southern lit and Henry James, among others). Now I have two novels out and I'm proud of both!
When did you first start writing?
Answered in the preceding question.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Whirlygig: The Dancin' Man's Daughter catches up with the Ward/Brunson clan, originally introduced in my first novel, The Dancin' Man. Ten years have passed and Volly Brunson has come home.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
It's a lot less complex and a lot quicker than going through the usual agent/ publisher track. Besides, I was introduced to a wonderful editor who offered to edit my first book. She has given me the kind of help that I have only read about, rereading and re-editing, sticking with me all the way. Her firm has grown and she now offers hubrid publishing advice. Lystra Books id amazing and so is my editor, Nora Esthimer.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Not a lot so far, but I believe the new book, Whirlygig, will make a big difference.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Waiting and watching as characters develop.
What do your fans mean to you?
I wouldn't exactly call thm fans, but I have been lucky enough to meet some terrific people along the way. Smart women like my books. That's says it all.
What are you working on next?
A collection of columns written some years ago but quite relevant still.
Who are your favorite authors?
The list is far too long ... but Walker Percy is way up there.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
For the last eight years, the life I am privileged to lead with a husband who understands how important writing is to me.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm rarely not writing, even when I'm marketing or traveling or walking or going to the grocery store.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I don't read a lot of ebooks.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
No
What is your writing process?
I sit down at my computer and work.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
No.
How do you approach cover design?
With the help of a talented designer.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
An impossible question! The answer changes every day.
What do you read for pleasure?
Mysteries
Write your own question here!
This has been fun, but I need to get back to work. Thanks, Smashwords, for the chance to let your readers know me better. They can learn more at my web site, maryannclaud.com and at my facebook page.
Published 2016-05-23.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Blue Ridge Pilgrimage: A Collection of Columns by Mary Ann Claud
Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 58,450. Language: English. Published: September 12, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » By region
Mary Ann Claud's weekly columns recount her exploration of the Blue Ridge Mountains and her discoveries of people, places and stories. With this collection of columns, she hopes to inspire others to make their own pilgrimage.
Whirlygig: The Dancin' Man's Daughter
Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 74,510. Language: English. Published: May 22, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
It’s 1999. Volly Brunson comes home to Parkersburg, SC, determined to resurrect the family’s failing textile business and to assume the responsibilities she has run away from for the past ten years. She faces an aging business, a dysfunctional family, and the entrenched attitudes of a typical Southern town. But she's smart and she's ready. Or so she thinks.
The Dancin' Man
Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 87,030. Language: English. Published: April 26, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Plays & Screenplays
In THE DANCIN' MAN, an ambitious young man of modest means marries into a legendary Southern family in the 1980s, a time of economic and social upheaval in the cotton mill industry that provides the family's wealth and power. Can Ted save the family from itself when matriarch Dolly dies? Can he save his own marriage? With its depth and richness of characters, THE DANCIN' MAN is a compelling read.