Interview with Mary Helen Gill

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in glasgow Scotland, during the world war 2 years. I always had an interest in writing, and excelled at composition, spelling and English at school. I used to lie in bed at night, making up little stories in my head, until I eventually would fall asleep. I eventually took a Short Story Course when I was sixteen, and obtained a Diploma at the end of the course. I however did not pursue this as a career, as I reverted to my Art, which I had a keen interest in.
I realised of late that I have a keen memory of my past life events, and love reading, and therefore decided to write again, and see where this would take me. I especially enjoy writing Ebooks.
When did you first start writing?
Oh , when I was at school, but seriously at 16.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
After having seen and read a few ebooks, I decided to have a go at writing them, and when I found Mark Coker's Style Guide, and read through it, I decided this might be for me.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Celestial Girl, being my latest book, I was inspired by a memory of falling through a bright night sky amidst bright stars. I was surprised when my son told me he had experienced that very same memory, and this puzzled us both. I used this as the base of this last book, and turned it into a Life Mystery, where this young girl is transported through the stars as an angel before her birth. Her mother, not realising that she was pregnant, is shocked when she goes into labor. Annie has a very eventful life where she escapes a few life or death incidents during World War 2. She is also pulled out of school early at age 14 to be sent to work in a factory. during this time on the way home from work she slips and falls into a hole beside an unexploded bomb. I added a few wartime tales, and only after Annie ( having been kept in the dark concerning the facts of life) is let down by her first boyfriend at 16, and eventually joins nursing, does the memory of her fall through the stars come to her in a vivid dream. This is sparked off by a young male patient telling her he has seen a bright light surrounding her, and believes she is an Angel.
She has to spend some time in hospital as she becomes ill.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Mark's Style guide helped me a great deal, and when I first struggled a little to pass through the Meat Grinder with my TOC, I was given good advice and succeeded on the next try.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Having a book accepted for publishing, and knowing my books are out there, even if they are not moving fast enough as yet. I keep praying that they will.
What do your fans mean to you?
They mean a great deal.
What are you working on next?
I am busy on a longer story about my journey to South Africa as an Immigrant in 1968. What life was like then, and the years between.
I intend to attach a few pics of animals we encountered on our trips to the Eastern Transvaal. I am also working on a short book with illustrations on how to begin drawing.
Who are your favorite authors?
Barbara Erskine - Patricia Cornwell - Lee Child -R.F.Delderfield - James Clavell - Stephen King - Virginia Andrews- Wilber Smith -Jeffrey Archer -John Grisham - Catherine Cookson.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Usually the thought of switching on the computer and writing at least one paragraph if not more.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I have a few hobbies, like sketching ,sewing, and knitting, apart from reading, and housework, and then some TV., and a little gardening.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I go into the websites and explore. I begin with downloading a few free ebooks, and compare the writings., as I don't have very much money at the moment for buying.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
"Lonely girl".. I.did not publish it.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I think it was Oliver Twist, and it was a story I could never forget, also Little Women, and Hatter's Castle.
How do you approach cover design?
I have a few pictures of paintings I did a long time ago. I choose one I think might be relevant to my story and I first cut it down to size and enhance it on Premium Photo. Then I add the text. I post it on my Facebook Page, and inevitably a friend of mine in the UK, picks it up and decides to enhance it further for me, as she has a lot of experience with photos. When I told her what my last story was about she went ahead and produced a pic for me that suited. Added a fresh pic of her own grandaughter, and sent it to me. It suited me perfectly.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Virginia Andrews.."Flowers in the Attic"..This was extremely good and book one of a series.
Barbara Erskine..."Child of the Pheonix",,all her books are engrossing stories, although they have a historical theme.I cannot put them down.
James Clavell..."Shogun". This was actually my husband's book and I only read it recently. Is 4 inches thick.
Mary Higgins Clarke..A book of 4 stories.."You belong to Me"..she writes mysteries and murders.
"Let me call you Sweetheart' "Loves Music loves to dance"."Where are the Children"?
Wilber Smith..His latest ..".Assegai"...His books are compelling reads. I like them all.
What do you read for pleasure?
Any of the books I have just mentioned. I don't waste money on magazines and ads. any more.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I would love to posess an Ipad eg Kindle, but cannot afford one and so I use the Kindle app or Adobe Digital Editions.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I only have used Smashwords so far, but looking at kindle ,create a space, Amazon., as the market might be good., if I can get there.
Describe your desk
My desk is a sewing combo, made of white wood, with drawers and cupboards. it is a corner unit.
What is your writing process?
windows xp
What is my age.
I will turn 83 in October.
Published 2013-09-01.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Journey To South Africa
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 30,800. Language: English. Published: September 24, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs, Nonfiction » Biography » Adventurers & explorers
This is a true auto biography of how, a dream came true and the author and family immigrated to South Africa in 1968, during the Apartheid years, and of what it cost them to make this decision. The places they visited and of how they built up their new lives and re-settled, even though there were a few draw backs. Having been unaccepted firstly by the Afrikaner community they struggled to settle.
Celestial Girl
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 30,690. Language: English. Published: August 4, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Inspirational, Nonfiction » Biography » Historical biography
This is a Life Mystery, based on the life of a girl named Annie.Her life begins when she is transported throughout the stars and enters her mother's womb just before the start of the birthing process.She grows up throughout the traumas of World War 2,and has a few narrow escapes during this time. She meets and is seduced by an older man when she is only 16. A dream reveals she is a living Angel.
Is Anybody There ?
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 12,300. Language: English. Published: June 5, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir, Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir
This is a true story based on Sphycic Phenomena events and relates to ghosts and visions seen and experienced by the author and persons mention in the story. If you believe in Ghosts, and spiritual events, then this is a story you might enjoy reading. Or otherwise you might learn something from it on how not to use Ouija Boards.
Mind The wee Places Nurse.
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 13,380. Language: English. Published: May 2, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
An interesting read,with a touch of humour,and an insight into what it was like to be a nurse in the Forties. This is a true story told from the Author's own experience. Should not be missed in particular by those who want to be a nurse.
Operation Pied Piper
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 9,520. Language: English. Published: April 1, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Historical biography
A Historical Event. This is a True Story of a group of World War 2 Evacuees from Glasgow Scotland.Events are true and related to my own personal experience as an eight year old Evacuee-About what transpired on the 1st September 1939-The place where my brother and I were transported to, and what followed. It relates also - the the events that occurred, during the war after I was brought home again.