Interview with Mary Lynn Archibald

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I think it was Winnie the Pooh. I was enchanted, especially that I could read it myself. I must have been six.
How do you approach cover design?
Nonfiction is difficult, as the cover design must give the reader a pretty complete overview of what's inside. But it also must inspire the potential buyer to peek inside and check out page one. Blurbs on the back must do the same. My readers are mostly women, mostly over forty, who enjoy both humor and pathos, and want to be taken for an intriguing ride.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Soquel, California, a small town of 9,000 people. We knew them all, because first my dad and then my mom served as assistant postmaster, meaning everyone in town knew us. The downtown was so small you could drive through it in five minutes. We had a grocery store, a liquor store, a school and not much else, except for the Soquel Congregational Church of which we were members. I write about the town and its inhabitants in my new book, Sir! I'm Not That Kind of Girl, Or, Goody Two-Shoes Goes to Town. I will be publishing excerpts on my website: <>, and the book will be available October 2017.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing at the age of six, as soon as I could make letters. I told everyone I was going to write a book, but unfortunately it remains an unfinished work. Come to think of it, that's probably for the best. I was encouraged in grade school by the "A"s I got on my essays, although I think the teacher was being generous. It helped that I had a vocabulary of rather big words, because my mother insisted on it. If I didn't understand a word I was expected to go look it up and use it in a sentence. This was how she learned, and for someone who grew up in rural Kentucky, she had a pretty good command of the English language by the time I was born.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I think the thing that pleases me the most is the feedback I get from people who have read my books and essays. It's very gratifying to hear how reading something I wrote has inspired someone or change their life somehow. I believe that memoir and autobiography are so important for everyone to write, maybe just for themselves, but more often for others, especially family and friends, and for posterity. Our lives change so rapidly these days that it's important for people to know what life was like a mere 50 years ago, because folks either forget or never learned. Our children have no idea what our lives were like growing up. Everyone has a story, and I know we can always learn from the past.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans are what keep me going. They are incredibly precious to me, and I feel like I know them, even when I've never met them. I hope I can meet them someday, but I'm getting a little long in the tooth myself, so don't know how realistic it is for me to do a lot of personal appearances, so I certainly will if asked and if possible.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Mostly, I read and garden. I sincerely believe that gardening is good for the soul. My mother had a beautiful garden, and I hope I have done her proud by growing beautiful flowers of my own. I also continue to grow my own vegetables, and for supplying the rest, such as corn and other large crops, I am partial to the local farmers market. I love live theater and live music, but I don't support these as much as I should. I used to enjoy spending the day at an art gallery but my feet no longer cooperate. I also love to travel.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Why, Smashwords, of course!
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story that I can remember was a fourth grade essay about Sierra Sadie, the pig who ate our garbage at Girl Scout camp. I got an "A" on that one too.
Published 2017-06-28.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Accidental Cowgirl: Six Cows, No Horse and No Clue
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 47,210. Language: English. Published: July 5, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir
An award-winning, funny, true mountain adventure complete with city slickers, bats, cats, wild turkeys, skunks, snakes, 'coons, cows and local pot farmers in far northern California. Interested in the Simple Life? If your definition involves rocking on the ranch house porch, you might want to rethink that. Lotsa luck, neighbor!